On June 6, 2004, Master Tse introduced us to Master Zhou, Hsien Bang. Master Zhou is a unique tea farmer from Hsin Tian County, just south of Taipei. He uses no chemical pesticides nor fertilizers on his tea plantation. Instead, he relies on spiders, frogs... to keep the tea eating insects out and let's wild plants grow among the tea trees, in order to later cut them and use them as natural compost (He wouldn't even take outside natural compost for fear of upsetting the delicate balance he has achieved).
I won't reveal his other secret here, but you may find it out if you look at the pictures of his plantation posted above.
Master Zhou is really aiming high and those who have tasted his tea can testify he has achieved making GREAT, RARE, FINE Chinese teas. I had the priviledge of tasting his green tea and was amazed of how I would brew it again and again and drink 10 excellent brews of the same leaves. Despite the low altitude, the leaves are very thick and are able to brew a long time. You can really take your time and enjoy making the tea without fearing bitterness if you forgot to pour the tea out!
No wonder this tea is now sold by Wang De Chuan www.dechuantea.com. It has a store in the Formosa Regent in Taipei. Wang De Chuan is THE store of top quality teas in Taipei, in my opinion. Not cheap, but worth every cent! Note: I have no financial connection with Wang De Chuan (I wish I had), but I do know Master Wang since he is also one of Master Tse's tea students.
Sencha de Shimizu, Oku-yutaka
16 hours ago