Tea. A spiritual way of life.

We visited an organic tea garden in Taiwan back in April. The keeper of the gardens was not a decades old tea growing family but a small group of monks. Instead of gathering funds through donation, this spiritual group creates beautiful teas on top of a mountain in Pinlin and sell them for a modest fare to support their spiritual practice. In caring for all living organisms as part of the Buddhist belief, their tea is free of any pesticides. All the tea plants live harmoniously with mother nature. The end results is a wonderful variety of tea rich in aroma and characters. It's a gift for the community, whose water source from the mountain top is free of harsh chemicals. Clear natural water then made delicious teas for generations to come.

Beautiful landscape on top of the mountain in Ping Lin.


Volunteer tea pickers. He has been here every season to help with the harvest for a few years.


We humbly learned how to pick fresh teas as fast as the professionals.


This is a wild grown large branch tea tree. It's much taller than the traditional tea bushes we typically see at tea gardens. You can almost taste the personality of the tree from its tea, strong, stern, spicy and fragrant.


Have you seen purple tea leaf? Well here you go. They were made into highly oxidized black tea, beautifully sweet and aromatic.


Organic harvest. Hole-y leaves.


Learning the vast body of knowledge in tea processing is a type of meditation and spiritual practice.


Hard at work.


The lucky one who got to sample all the teas!


This is green tea, freshly off the dryer from the day's harvest. Sweet and grassy with a hint of seaweed.