Tea Picking in Taipei

There is a well-known tea picking area just outside of Taipei’s Xindian District heading toward Wulai called WFarm that offers tea picking courses for free and gives visitors an overview of how tea leaves are planted, cultivated and later picked for being processed.

Heading out of the Xindian MRT station and taking a taxi, you can get there in about 10 minutes or NT$175 as it is only a few kilometers from the MRT station. Anyone who knows that area is aware that as soon as you leave the MRT station and head to Wulai over the bridge you feel like you are in the countryside and this area captures this feeling beautifully, as it is nestled off the main road heading to Wulai down a few hundred meters.

Upon entering the farm or park rather, there is a lodge where you can sign up for tea picking classes. Note, before entering they will ask you for a reservation number and while this course is free it fills up really fast so booking ahead of time is necessary. After clearing your reservation, you walk about 200 meters further into the park to where there is a tea signup booth. Let them know you are taking the class and they will show take you on a guided tour.

The courses are in Chinese but translation is available if requested ahead of time. However, schedules for the translators tend to differentiate and it would be best to go with a local if possible in order to avoid any language barriers. The tea guide will take you through an assortment of processing steps, including the beginning stages of planting all the way to the picking, sun drying, and roasting and drinking methods. It is a comprehensive course that takes about 2 hours and visitors get to take home the tea they picked to put into their own cups for brewing.

Surrounding Taipei is one of the largest concentrations of tea making areas in the world in fact. In addition to the is area there is also Shenkeng, Muzha, Pinglin, Shitou and many others that bring Taipei to life in a whole other way. In Wulai, this particular area offers the above-mentioned park that is specifically geared toward providing tea classes so it is our top pic. The surrounding area also offers various walking and hiking paths and can easily access nearby rivers and hot springs. This area is also one of the few offering picnic benches and outdoor grilling, which is rare in Taipei due to strict laws against such areas as well as the lack of space.

Also at the farm, participants can enjoy an assortment of desserts and drinks made from local tea products. There are many popular ice creams such as Oolong ice cream and various green tea popsicles in addition to small candies with different tea tastes. Japan is known for doing this with its Matcha tea but it is a fad that never caught on in Taipei, as this is one of the few areas where we have seen such a product.

Visitors can also purchase tea at the farm. The most well-known one is called Baozhong or sometimes spelled Baochong or Bauchung, which is basically an in between tea of green and oolong teas. This is not only special to the area but the surrounding areas are known for this tea, making it a must if you want to take something away.

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