At latitude of 21.5-25.5°N, Taiwan is an island in the subtropical zone. Climate-wise, the mountains are immersed in mist and clouds all year round, which diffuses sunlight to give tea plants well rounded exposure for highly efficient photosynthesis. And such a high rate of photosynthesis gives tea leaves thick aroma, sweeter taste, and smoother texture. The relatively high humidity, abundant moisture, and warm climate make the mountains a highly suitable location for tea plants to grow and that is why Taiwan is one of the best tea production areas in the world. Next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. The commonly known oolong tea is mostly grown in regions such as Fujian and Guangdong provinces in Mainland China and in Taiwan, and Taiwan takes up one-forth of the production of oolong tea in the world mainly for high quality tea.
In earlier times, tea plants and tea making technology was brought to Taiwan from Anxi and the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian province. Because of the excellent tea production environment and constantly upgraded tea making technology, Taiwan’s teas began to be sold back to Xiamen and Fujian in small quantities. In 1869, 120 kgs of oolong tea with label of “Formosa Tea” was sold directly to the New York tea market. Its high quality made the tea a big hit and created an opportunity for Taiwanese teas in the international market. Tea became a key industry of Taiwan at that time.
After 1980, due to the booming of Taiwan’s export trade, per capita income was rising, as was the standard of living. This caused local demand for tea to outstrip export demand. In addition, the bulk of black and green teas for export began to be replaced by high quality semi-fermented teas. In particular, the light, aromatic, high mountain oolong teas became the favorite of domestic consumers. Because of Taiwan’s unique climate, geological features, and rich soil (iron-rich clay soil is most suitable for tea growing), Taiwanese tea holds a large share of the domestic market, and with its unique aroma, Taiwanese teas have begun to win over the tastes of tea lovers in the international market in recent years
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