Combine your love of tea and travel on one of our thoughtfully created charming Taiwan tea tours, perfect for the discerning traveler wanting more than ordinary, everyday travel experiences.
At ChinaTours.com, we understand the world is divided into two groups: Those who take an everyday approach to tea, and those who take their tea very seriously (the way we do). In Taiwan, tea is serious business, so if you take tea seriously, know your Oolong from your Assam, and can discern a pu’er tea from a black tea, then our Taiwan tea tours are for you. In the creation process, we’ve taken the best of Taiwan tea culture and woven it into wonderful, holistic experiences of this lovely idyllic island. Tea aficionados can indulge their love with local Taiwan tea lovers, growers, and workers. Read more
Join our lovely bilingual guides as you travel the island and learn about the history of tea in Taiwan, visit some of the island’s most highly regarded plantations, deepen your understanding of tea culture, and practise the art of making and enjoying tea. All this while you experience Taiwan’s beautiful landscapes, picturesque natural highlights, and manmade sights.
If there’s one thing we strive for at ChinaTours.com, it’s perfecting the balance of activity and rest on tour. Why? So you have time to savor experiences and gather beautiful travel memories and treasured mementos along the way. Ready for a travel experience with a difference? Join us on one of our Taiwan tea tours when you book a vacation with our friendly tour team.
● Explore exciting cities like Taipei, Taitung, Yilan, Hualien and Kaohsiung. Who knew a tiny island could hold such treasures. Taiwan’s cities are vibrant, with each reflecting different aspects of culture and history. Expect to be delighted.
● Discover destinations steeped in incredible natural beauty (did we say Taiwan’s other name is the ‘emerald Eden’?), like Taroko, Alishan, Kenting, Sun Moon Lake, and Yehliu Geopark with its fascinating rock structures
● Unpack history at places of cultural significance like the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, and Martyrs’ Shrine.
● Savor opportunities to delight in Taiwan’s cuisine, which spans a remarkable breadth: Expect delicious street food, bustling night markets, fabulous Michelin hat restaurants, Hakka to indigenous food reflecting local minority groups, and more.
● Gain insights to traditional cultures when you visit indigenous villages and homestays that provide an experience of real Taiwan and its people.
Maybe you’re a more discerning traveler than most. That’s okay. At ChinaTours.com we specialize in creating bespoke travel experiences. Whether it’s a Taiwan tea tour for two or a family friendly tour of this lovely little island, our crew has got you covered. And if you’re hoping to travel beyond Taiwan to other destinations throughout China or Indochina, we can help with that too. Simply get in touch with our friendly travel consultants who will take care of every detail.
● Wander through Taroko National Park - Enjoyed for its fabulous walking trails, incredible views, and world class photo opportunities, there are few more naturally beautiful places in Taiwan.
● Immerse yourself in Alishan - Revered for its stunning mountain views, a visit to Alishan is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a forest of giant cedars.
● Cruise Sun Moon Lake - At the very least, the curious name ‘Sun Moon Lake’ should pique your interest, but there’s more to captivate you here. Expect quiet moments of reflection either floating across the lake itself, or cycling or driving around its perimeter.
● Marvel at natural stone sculptures - Visit another world at Yehliu Geopark, a fascinating assembly of natural rock sculptures bearing uncanny resemblance to all weird and wonderful things.
● Make and taste tea - Visit a famous teahouse in Taipei or a tea plantation in Dongshan for a unique tea making experience.
● Enrich your knowledge of tea - Learn from the very best with a visit to Pinglin Tea Museum, Wuho Tourist Tea Plantation, and an old Assam tea factory.
● Explore Taiwan’s tea growing areas - Explore the tea producing regions of Shi-Chuo, Pingtung, Hualien and Pinglin.
● Enjoy local authentic food - Taiwan’s cuisine is exciting and diverse. Try something different each day by choosing from street food and snacks, local delicacies, Hakka food, indigenous food, local night markets, and Michelin restaurants.
● Overnight at a homestay - Explore the traditions, culture, and people from Wujie Indigenous Village, then sample some typical indigenous dishes for lunch or dinner.
● Relax in a natural hot spring - Soak in a natural hot spring in Chiphen and Jiaoxi, both ideal destinations for hot springs.
● Visit Taiwan’s night markets - Enjoy the hustle, bustle, and seriously good food at any number of night markets in Taiwan. Perfect for immersing yourself in local flavors.
● Explore local life and history - The faithfully restored historical town streets of Beipu offer much to the curious, not least of which is deep insights to how life once was for locals.
Our multi-day Taiwan tea tours range in duration and destinations. Each one includes opportunities to enjoy the very best of Taiwan’s natural beauty, historical landmarks, and of course, all things tea-related. And if you can’t see what you’re looking for here, reach out to our friendly team and create your very own custom tour.
Taiwan’s tea history
For an island whose history spans millennia, it’s hard to believe the history of tea in Taiwan dates back just over 200 years (notwithstanding the history of tea stretches back some 5,000 years and that the Dutch grew tea on a small scale in Taiwan in the 1600’s).
So when did it begin? During the Qing dynasty, immigrants from Fujian and Guangdong brought tea and tea making to Taiwan. An English merchant John Dodd and his comprador, a Chinese businessman Li Chunsheng, effectively launched the tea industry in Taiwan by importing tea from Fujian. They taught farmers to grow tea, built large-scale tea plantations and made Formosa Oolong tea well-known all over the world by exporting to the USA and England in the 1860s. After 1895, new and improved varieties of tea were developed and black tea production was boosted.
During Japanese occupation in Taiwan (from 1900 to the end of the Second World War), tea production ramped up, and the quality of Taiwanese tea - known as Formosa tea - gained a worldwide reputation. During this time, some of the world’s most popular varieties of teas were developed in Japanese testing facilities in Taiwan.
Taiwan’s best known teas include: Dong Ding Oolong, Baozhong, Jin Xuan Oolong, Tieguanyin, Alishan High-mountain tea, Dayuling Oolong, Oriental Beauty, Sun Moon Lake Ruby Red black tea, and Biluochun green tea.
A visit to Taiwan is not complete with entering a teahouse to two, but where do you start? There are many wonderful venues, but here are three we highly recommend:
Stop By Tea House
Stop By Tea House
Discover bubble tea
Bubble tea, also called pearl milk tea, tapioca tea, boba tea, and foam milk tea, is so popular among Asians, and is now even a beverage that is popular worldwide. Incredibly, local Taiwan people consume about 100 million bubble teas annually.
How did bubble tea originate? It is said that Chun Shui Tang, a teahouse founded in 1983, started to make a kind of ‘iced tea’ by using premium tea. In 1986, a young employee mixed her favorite tapioca balls into the iced milk tea and iced lemon tea by chance, and even sold this ‘private recipe iced tea” for a trial. Positive customer feedback sealed its success, so when she asked to sell the tea as an official product, approval was a fait accompli. In the Spring of 1987, the pearl milk tea was officially launched in Chun Shui Tang.
Today there are countless bubble tea shops all over the world. A basic bubble
tea, which can be black or green, can be morphed into many varieties simply by adding different ingredients of herbal jelly, coconut jelly, taro balls, puddings, aloe, coffee jelly, and fruit pieces.
Taiwan tea ceremonies
The tea ceremony as an art form originated in China, and spread to Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. In Taiwan, tea is integral to life and culture in Taiwan, and modern local tea ceremonies in Taiwan take influences from Japan, yet Taiwan tea culture maintains its own distinctive characteristics. Where a Japanese tea ceremony may be a more serious affair, a Taiwan tea ceremony is more life-oriented, and in Chinese is called ‘tea art’.
The heritage of a Taiwan tea ceremony can be found in a Gongfu tea ceremony. (Gongfu translates as mastery of skills or spending much time and effort doing something). In terms of tea ceremony, it appeared during the Song dynasty and was popular in the regions of Fujian and Guangdong. As the name implies, there is an art and skill in making the tea, not to mention an array of teaware and utensils necessary to create the perfect tea and perfect tea experience. The art of tea making Taiwan-style means to pay attention to the quality of the tea, the skill applied in making the tea, the exquisite teaware used in the ceremony, and the peaceful environment in which the tea is enjoyed.
While there’s a whole industry around the growing of tea, it’s fair to say that Taiwan teaware has emerged as a kind of sub-industry, with the very best teaware appealing to those who love items of beauty that are rich in symbolism.
Teaware is made in many and varied materials, including clay, porcelain, glass, silver, bamboo, wood, jade, crystal, and metals such as tin, copper, iron, and stainless steel. Craftsmen create beautiful artworks that are collected and coveted by tea and art lovers alike. When in Taiwan, it’s hard to go past Yingge, considered the center of pottery and ceramics on the island. For tea lovers serious about using the finest quality teaware, be it classic or contemporary, add Yingge to your Taiwan bucket list.
Tea culture experience
How do you choose between all the tea plantations, factories, and museums for the ultimate tea culture experience? It’s not easy, but with a little guidance you can sip with confidence. We’ve listed our top picks here, but read through our tours for more detailed information on tea culture destinations.
Pinglin Tea Museum
Pinglin Tea Museum
Fuyuan Tea Factory
Fuyuan Tea Factory
Antique Assam Tea Farm
Antique Assam Tea Farm