尋訪城市茶香 春日時光品茗趣 | Savor the tea and enjoy the pleasant aroma in the city on a springtime day

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台北不僅擁有百年老茶行,也在國際間的頻繁交流中,匯集各國特色茶館,無論走訪至哪一區,都能在巷弄間找尋到一抹優雅的茶香韻味。

TAIPEI (The China Post) — In Taipei, you are never far from a century-old tea shop. Blessed with frequent international exchanges over the centuries, the city is the confluence of tea houses from different cultures. No matter where you roam, there is no way you can miss the elegant smell of tea among Taipei’s streets and alleys. 

百年茶行 品茗台灣茶的悠閒自得 | Sip from The Tea Cup with Ease in Taiwan’s Century-Old Tea Shops  

追尋華人品茶的歷史脈絡,最遠可以追溯至神農時期,歷經4,500年的歷史演變,茶已然成為最普遍的飲品之一。

The Chinese have a long history of tea drinking, which dates back to the era of Shennong (神農氏), the Emperor of the Five Grains in China 4,500 years ago. With such a long expanse of time, changes happen, making tea the most common drink amongst the ethnic Chinese all around the world. 

台灣雖然是華人世界中的蕞爾小島,卻是種茶與製茶的精華之地,無論是地形、氣候、緯度、海拔或是土壤,都相當利於茶樹的生長,在有百年歷史的林華泰茶行任職廠長的廖明宗驕傲地表示,台灣的製茶技術堪稱一流,「前端茶農要求高,後端製茶師傅的技術純熟,加上高端設備,台灣茶一直維持很高的水準。」

Tiny as it is when compared to other places occupied by the Chinese, Taiwan still holds true to the essence of tea planting and tea making. The topography, climate, latitude, and altitude of the island are quite conducive to growing tea trees. 

Liao Mingzong (廖明宗), factory manager of the century-old Lin Hua Tai Tea Company (林華泰茶行), takes pride in Taiwans tea making technology. The three factors that secure the quality of Taiwanese tea are: conscientious tea farmers, tea-making craft workers with sophisticated skills, and high-end equipment, says Liao. 

台灣大部分地區都是得天獨厚的軟水,廖廠長坐在茶桌前倒著溫度適宜的熱開水,欣喜地說:「天時、地利、人和,全都面面俱到,台灣絕對是一個品茶善地。」

Taiwan is bestowed with soft water in most regions, says Liao with a smile on his face as he pours some boiling water with the right temperature in the teapot. Taiwan has it all: the right climate, the right soil, and the right people. 

在這塊四季分明的寶地上,每個季節都有茶葉產出,也各具特色,其中廖廠長極力推薦春茶,「經過很長的冬眠期之後才萌芽的春茶,由於茶葉休息時間很長,相對所綻放的葉子最嫩、最新鮮,喝起來喉韻、回甘度、香氣都是各季茶類中最優秀的。」

Thats why Taiwan is the land of tea drinking.” Taiwan has distinctive seasons and produces different types of tea leaves all year round, each of which is unique. What Liao recommends to us is something he calls Spring tea.  

In his words, the tea is made from the new tea leaves that awaken after a long hibernation, so they have had plenty of resting time. These leaves are the most tender and  Tea brewing should be casual without putting stress on the price of the tea. If you like it, its good tea. the freshest, and its sweet aftertaste and aroma are exceptional when compared to all other teas.”  

然而市面上的春茶琳琅滿目,產地製造來自四面八方,該如何挑選品質優秀的春茶?擁有34年製茶經驗的廖廠長說,觀看茶葉的顏色、靜聞其味、品其口感,大都可以判別優劣。「葉面要完整,鮮而帶一墨綠,不能有太多細碎葉或老黃葉,香氣也要夠足。」

When faced with a smorgasbord of spring teas with different origins on the shelves, how do we determine their quality? Manager Liao, equipped with 34 years of experience in tea making, gives us a tip: The color, the smell, and the taste are the three criteria for tea leaf quality.  

The tea leaves should be complete, the color should be dark green but not dull without too many shredded or yellow leaves, and the aroma should be strong, says Liao. 

要泡出一壺好茶,置茶量、溫度、時間是三大要素。以烏龍茶為例,先是溫杯,再倒入適當的茶葉,以150cc的水量沖泡5克的茶葉,約莫3分鐘即可倒入茶海,最後再倒入茶杯中。倒入茶杯的動作看似簡單,仍有一些小技巧,「盡量只倒 7分滿,這樣既不會潑灑出來,也不會燙手。」但依茶種類、個人口味不同,還是可依照個人喜好調整濃淡。

Once the selection has been made, three elements are to be taken into consideration when brewing a pot of tea: The amount of tea leaves, the temperature, and the brewing time. When preparing Oolong tea, for example, the brewer should warm the teapot in advance before pouring in an appropriate amount of tea leaves.  

Then pour boiling water into the teapot (the water-tea leaf ratio should be 150 c.c. to 5 grams of tea leaves.) Wait for about three minutes and pour the hot tea into the serving cup. Though it seems like a simple action, there are few tricks to proper tea pouring. 

 “Pour the tea to 70 percent full to avoid spilling and burning the guests’ hands.” The brewer, however, can choose to adjust the thickness of the tea according to its type and the guests’ preferences. 

雖然泡茶有些細瑣的茶序,然而其實無須太過注重細節,「泡茶是很隨性的,無論茶葉一斤多少錢,只要愛喝,就是好茶。」

Sure, there are some intricate procedures for tea brewing, but you can always skip them. Tea brewing should be casual without putting stress on the price of the tea. If you like it, its good tea, Liao stresses. 

中西結合 探索文化交流的火花 | A Collision Between Oriental And Occidental: Sparks of Cultural Exchange  

離開林華泰這間傳統的老茶行,來到百貨公司林立的中山區,下午茶的店家琳琅滿目,有別於其他店家僅憑菜單上的文字敘述讓客人選茶,smith&hsu現代茶館則是端出裝著多達31種茶葉的試聞盤供人聞香選擇。

Lets change scenes from the traditional Lin Hua Tai Tea Company to the Zhongshan District, which is dotted with countless department stores and afternoon tea houses. Unlike other tea houses that give patrons a menu with tea names for them to choose from, smith&hsu presents a plate with more than 31 tea leaves for their customers to smell. 

試聞盤中的小茶罐有台灣本土的傳統茶葉,也有西方紅茶,還有來自世界各地的調和茶、水果茶與花草茶等,透過小玻璃罐中茶葉所散發出的自然芬芳,彷彿讓人優遊世界各國,也著實讓高雅的挑茶過程成為一種生活情趣。

Among the jars on the plate, you can see local Taiwanese teas, Western black teas as well as tea blends, fruit teas, and herbal teas from all corners of the world. These small jars exude natural fragrances that make you feel like in exotic locales. 

在這裡,無論是將台灣產的鐵觀音搭配西式乳酪蛋糕,又或者是將台灣綠茶與保加利亞玫瑰結合,處處可見東西方茶文化所碰撞出的和諧火花。

In smith&hsu, you can enjoy your Tieguanyin tea, grown by Taiwanese tea farmers, with a piece of cheesecake, or infuse your Taiwanese Green Tea with Bulgarian Rose Tea. You can practically see sparks of cultural collisions between the Oriental and Occidental teas bursting forth.  

那麼該如何享用正統的英式下午茶?傳統的三層式下午茶盤有鹹食與甜食,先品嘗鹹食,此外,挑選的茶類也應與餐點佐配,smith&hsu行銷企畫張玉慧說:「重烘焙或是奶味重的餐點,可挑選重發酵的烏龍茶、紅茶或是帶酸甜的水果茶等,這些茶類有助於分解食物的油脂,恢復口中的清爽;輕發酵的綠茶或部分發酵略低的烏龍茶,則適合搭配水果類糕點。」

But all of this talk of culture raises some questions. For one, what is the right way to enjoy the orthodox English afternoon tea? A traditional English three-tier cake stand should have a selection of salty and sweet pastries. It is also important to choose the right tea to go with the cakes.  

As for fruit pastries, go for slightly fermented green teas or partially fermented Oolong. Smith&hsu has tried to solve the long-asked question of adding tea first or adding milk first. The result showed differences in taste and flavor indeed, but they were subtle.  

Choose heavily fermented Oolong, black teas, or fruit teas with a slightly sour taste to go with cakes with heavy cream because these teas will help digest the grease and refresh your taste buds, says Zhang Yuhuai (張玉慧), smith&hsus marketing director. 

至於自古就爭論不休的「先加茶還是先加牛奶」,smith&hsu也曾做過實驗,其口感與口味差異相當細微,因此建議以茶器的材質與耐溫高低差來判別,如果是用陶器,就要先倒入熱的茶,再加入冷的牛奶,瓷器則兩者皆可。

Smith&hsu suggests Choose heavily fermented Oolong, black teas, or fruit teas with a slightly sour taste to go with cakes with heavy cream because these teas will help dig grease and refresh your taste buds. “that the decision be made according to the material of the tea utensils and the difference in temperature. That is, if you are using ceramic tea utensils, add hot tea first and then pour in milk; as for porcelain tea utensils, add whichever you like first.

雖然英式下午茶有其品嘗的脈絡與方式,但張玉慧也開朗地表示,下午茶就是與人交流,無論是吐苦水、講夢想或談心事,都是情感傾訴的美好時光,依自己喜歡的口味與舒適度去享用就好。

Though there is a certain way of drinking English afternoon tea, Zhang expresses with delight that the essence of drinking afternoon tea is to communicate with other people. It might be complaints, talk of dreams, or a serious tête-à-tête; nonetheless, they are all beautiful moments of emotional exchange. Hot, warm, or cold, it doesnt matter what the temperature is so long as you feel comfortable with it. 

日式茶道 找尋利他與修身的道理 | The Japanese Tea Ceremony: The Tao of Altruism and Self-Discipline  

無論是中式品茶,又或是西方的午茶時光,皆能任其喜好調整,反觀日本茶道,相對就嚴謹許多,每個步驟、細節都必須謹慎執行。日本茶道裏千家副教授祝曉梅(宗梅)猶記得日本茶道剛進入台灣時,許多人往往不解,為何喝一口日本茶要等上20分鐘?

People can adapt the Chinese tea tasting and Western afternoon tea to suit their preferences. The Japanese tea ceremony, on the other hand, is relatively strict and must be carried out precisely according to the set protocols.  

Zhu Xiaomei (祝曉梅), a tea ceremony professor at the Japanese Urasenke School, recalls the time when the Japanese tea ceremony first entered Taiwan. Many people were bemused by the fact that it took 20 minutes to taste a cup of Japanese tea. 

「日本茶道的每個環節都是在找尋『利他』的精神。」祝曉梅進一步解釋,手中這一泡茶,必須根據對方喜好的熱度與濃度調整,除了利他,沖泡者本身也在追求自我調整,意即空性之境界,無我即不會有煩惱。

Every component of the Japanese tea ceremony is based on the concept of altruism, expounds Zhu. This means you have to adjust the temperature and thickness of the pot of tea you are making right away to pander to your guest. Apart from altruism, the brewer is also seeking self-adjustment, hoping to reach the level of discerning the nature of everything. Follow the ideal of anatman, the belief that there is no self and you will have nothing to worry about. 

台灣在飲食文化上深受日本影響,台北到處可見日式餐飲,尤其抹茶類飲品更是受到大家歡迎,有興趣的民眾甚至可報名相關課程學習道地的日本茶道文化。

Taiwans food and drink culture is heavily influenced by Japan, and a phenomenon you can easily witness is the prevalence of Japanese restaurants on the streets of TaipeiMatcha beverages are no doubt popular drinks among Taiwanese people. There are even courses teaching the authentic Japanese tea ceremony open to members of the public who are interested in the art.  

如北投文物館從2007年開始即為了喜愛日本茶道文化的民眾,邀請鑽研茶道的裏千家開辦相關文化課程,在日式建築中、身著和服的老師傳授著茶道知識,讓人有如身處日本,甚至還有許多國外旅客為此前來,讓日本茶道文化也成為台北的觀光亮點之一。

The Beitou Museum has been inviting members from the Japanese Urasenke School to teach people attracted to the Japanese tea ceremony since 2007. Students will be studying in a Japanese building with tutors dressed in kimonos, making you feel like you really are in Japan. Surprisingly, the course has become a magnet for foreign tourists. It is fair to say that Japanese tea culture is now one of Taipei’s tourist highlights. 

除了日本茶道受大家喜愛,品茶時所搭配的和菓子,也是吸引人的亮點。「春天櫻花盛開,因此大都以櫻花造形的和菓子為主。」祝曉梅表示,春季時節以新採摘的日本煎茶最為推薦,其苦澀味淡且甜味高,沖泡的水溫應控制在70至80度間,水溫過高會讓煎茶過於苦澀而難以入口。

Another selling point besides the beloved Japanese tea ceremony is wagashi, the Japanese confectionery, which is usually consumed along with tea. Sakura trees are in full bloom during springtime, and the Japanese make wagashi in the shape of sakura, says Zhu. Japanese Sencha made of the newly picked sakura is on top of her recommendation list.  

Instead of the bitter taste, Japanese Sencha has a relatively sweet flavor. The water used to brew Sencha should be around 70°C to 80°C as a higher temperature will make the tea too bitter to swallow. 

無論是中式、西式或日式茶,各有其獨領風騷之處,趁著明媚的春日時節,不妨細細地來一品茶香的寧靜與美好。

Chinese, Western, and Japanese teas all have their own distinct merits to be enjoyed. When the inviting springtime weather arrives, do yourself a favor and make yourself a pot of tea and enjoy the taste of serenity and beauty. 

This article is reproduced under the permission of TAIPEI. Original content can be found at the website of Taipei Travel Net (https://www.travel.Taipei/zh-tw/featured).

By Lin Shohan | Translated by Joe Henley |  
Photos by Liu Deyuan, Liang Zhongxian, Alisher Sharip