One of the things I really enjoy about living in Taiwan is the tea. Now, I know that probably sounds a little silly, but it’s true. I drink it almost every day and have quickly come to appreciate the many perks and benefits of drinking tea.
Before I go too much further here, I’d like to point out that I wrote this entry a few weeks ago with the intention of posting it on a lazy day when I didn’t feel like writing anything on my blog. Today is one of those days. I’ve got about twenty of these articles for this exact purpose as I like to add to my blog every day if I can.
Luckily for me, Mark over at Doubting to shuo started the ball rolling by writing a great article about the difference between Wulong and Oolong Tea and he also put me onto Tea From Taiwan, a great website that provides plenty of information about tea varieties and the benefits of drinking tea.
Most of us already know that the Chinese and Japanese have long believed in the health benefits of tea, but I had no idea exactly how healthy tea is for you until I saw this this BBC News Report a few weeks ago. The medicinal benefits of tea have been in use for over 4000 years and are used to treat a variety of bodily ailments. The Chinese believe that drinking tea helps relieve fatigue and boost energy levels. It’s also said to inhibit the increase of blood pressure and blood sugar and is reputed to be helpful in fighting carcinogenic bacteria, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease. It’s even supposed to be good for dieters and helps fight tooth decay! Plus, green tea is an antioxidant, which helps prevent cancer and heart disease.
I was never much of a tea drinker in Canada, but since my move to Asia four years ago, I’ve become a devoted consumer of tea. In China, I particularly enjoyed Eight Treasures tea (Ba Bao Cha). The traditional type is a special blend of chrysanthemum, tropaeolum, honeysuckle, dried lemon peel, dried tangerine peel, haw, medlar and rock sugar. The second type has camellia, globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, chinese wolfberry, red jujube, haw and rock sugar. Both these teas are gorgeous to look at and even better to drink. I also enjoy drinking jasmine tea, rosebud tea, green tea and chrysanthemum tea.
Suffice to say, I’ve been to a lot of different tea houses and tea stations in Asia. I particularly like the tea stations in Taiwan, which can be found almost everywhere you look in Taipei. People here are passionate about their tea, as am I. In the hustle-bustle world of Taipei, I don’t always have time to go and enjoy a nice cup of tea in a quiet tea house.
That’s why I love the tea stations of Taiwan. There are loads of different companies to choose from and I’ve probably tried them all, but my absolute favorite ‘pay and go’ tea station is Ching Shin Fu Chuan Tea Station. I’m seriously addicted to their teas. I don’t even have to order anymore at the local tea shop here in Shu-lin. The girls there know me by name and I’m served within seconds. My favorite beverage is their iced oolong tea, but the girls have been known to spice it up with different types for a special treat. Lucky for me, and countless other customers, these tea stations are located throughout the city. It’s the best ‘fast’ tea around.