TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A dozen Taiwanese tea farmers have been granted the 2021 Superior Taste Awards by the Belgium-based International Taste Institute (ITI, formerly ITQI) for their high-quality products.
In the latest edition of the Superior Taste Awards for the best consumer food and drink products, Taiwanese tea was recognized by a jury of over 200 Michelin chefs and prestigious sommeliers from different countries. The 12 Taiwanese tea products were given a total of 35 stars, only one star less than a perfect score.
According to its website, the ITI evaluates an average number of 1,500 products per year and certifies those that achieve acceptable performance levels with the highest possible rating of three stars. The event was established in 2005, and all the products are blind tasted.
Taiwanese tea farmer Chang San-wo (張三我), who harvests his tea on Hehuanshan, told CNA that all his products are organic and that he has received the Superior Taste Awards seven years in a row. He described tea manufacturing as an art form and said the key to adjusting the bitterness of the tea is prolonging the oxidation of the leaves.
Meanwhile, the other 11 awardees are Chen Meng-zhi (陳孟智), Huang Sheng-feng (黃勝豐), Chiu Tang-hsin (邱唐杏), Lai Yong-fu (賴永富), Hsu Jui-lin (許瑞麟), Chang Wei-teng (張巍騰), Wu Chiu-lin (吳秋伶), Hsu Yi-chen (徐鐿真), Su Xin-zhang (蘇新章), Huang Tzu-cheng (黃子誠), and Bai Ching-chang (白青長).
The tea farmers said they are planning to organize a team to promote Taiwanese tea products to international buyers. They expressed confidence that tea manufacturing will develop into one of the country's gold industries with help and guidance from the government.
Taiwanese tea products receive 2021 Superior Taste Awards. (International Taste Institute photo)