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Taiwan offers easy brews for mainlanders

By Ye Jun  (China Daily)

11:01, July 02, 2012

Lin Chien-chung says his company's tea was a favorite with Madame Soong Meiling.(China Daily)

Drinking Taiwan tea has become a "culture" in the Chinese mainland, according to Lin Chien-chung, general manager of Chuan-Shang Tea.

Lin was among 10 Taiwan tea companies represented at the Beijing International Tea Expo in mid-June. They were part of a tea trade association from the island, which has more than 30 members.

"The most famous Taiwan specialties nowadays for people on the Chinese mainland are Taiwan oolong tea and pineapple pastry," says Lin.

The history of Lin's company dates back more than 100 years. He says they were the first to make original leaf teas and traditional Chinese teas such as jasmine tea in Taiwan.

"We were located on Hengshan Lu, and Soong Mei-ling used to buy jasmine teas from us," he says.

Taiwan teas have a good reputation among tea lovers in the Chinese mainland, who think the teas have a full, round taste, a flowery aroma, and made with high-level techniques.

Taiwan's most popular teas in the mainland are Alishan, Lishan, and Dongding oolong teas.

Lin is based in Chengdu. He was at the expo to locate more wholesale agents, and looking for locations for new stores.

"Beijing's market is becoming bigger and bigger," he says. "We are very confident, especially in terms of product safety."

Lin Risheng, founder of Shengxiang Tea Store, has attended Beijing's tea expo for the past five years. He put up a specialized counter for selling dongfang meiren, or "south beauty", a highly fermented oolong tea unique to Taiwan.

Lin Risheng said the name was given by Queen Victoria when the tea was sold to Britain in 1880.

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