A leaf that grows from the earth infuses its personality into the fresh mountain water – an aromatic adventure for the senses…
What day is it again? The jet lag came in full swing today by waking me up at 4am. After tossing and turning, I decided to start my day with the sunrise. After a cheap and delicious breakfast at Hong Ye Soy Milk King and a long stroll through the many twists and turns in Da’an, I stumbled across a quaint little house.
Wisteria Tea House – a tea lovers promise land!
After snapping a few pictures, I got curious and peered through a window. Inside, I saw a little Taiwanese auntie and a younger lady sweeping the floors and opening up shop. I was the first customer of the day. To my surprise as I walk in, I see a large sitting area – furniture rustic and warm and a design that eased my mind.
Have I been here before? Maybe in a dream.
The younger lady approached me with a menu the size a small book and smile of unscalable measure. When I started flipping through the pages of the book, I was even more lost then before I got here. Luckily, the server spoke pretty good english and recommended a strong Tianti Peak oolong called “Cloud Mountain Jade”.
She told me the tea is freshly roasted every morning and the water comes straight from the spring on the same mountain. This made the price of $420 NTD (17 CAD) a lot more attractive.
How many vessels does one need to drink a simple cup of tea. The answer? Many.
The server was very kind to sit with me and show me how to properly steep the tea to perfection. I could explain it in detail, but that will take the mystery of the experience away from you. Needless to say, it involved pouring, smelling, pouring, steeping, wafting and finally sipping.
Mrs. Teapot…meet Mr.
A tea experience like this is something you just can’t put s price on. Not only that, but the being in the historic house of a taiwanese man who dedicated his entire life to tea, makes any another tea I will drink seem meaningless. The whole experience can’t be clearly be put into words as it is more of an experiential embodiment. If you are reading this and have had traditional style tea (whether it be in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc.) like this, you can probably relate to my first-timer hype.
Although I have only gone to one tea house so far, many websites actually call Wisteria one of the top tea houses in Taipei. So, I highly recommend you check them out if you are ever here, especially if you are a traditional tea virgin.
I’m heading to Jiufen in a few days, what tea houses do you all recommend? Let me know in the comments below or shoot me a message on social or via email.