07 Dec 2014

Taiwan 臺灣 by isabelle

10/17

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Our first stop was Jiufen. I had some fond memories here when mom took me on a trip with her friends. I remember the beautiful fog that rolled into the mountain at dusk while we enjoyed traditional tea on a tatami. I had looked forward to visiting Jiufen again with J.

This time, Jiufen was packed with tourists from Hong Kong and China. We took a shuttle into the mountain and squeezed through the crowded and narrow alleys. Jason pointed out his recommended street food stands and took us to the tea house that we would later have tea at. We dropped off our luggage and went off to enjoy street food on our own.

Firs stop, Taiwanese meat ball soup (gong wan) - 貢丸湯. Then we went to have Ai-Yu 愛玉 (jelly drink with lemon/passion fruit), vermicelli, fish ball soup, and stuffed tofu. We then ate a Taiwanese crepe with peanut powder and ice cream, and finished off the eating with sweet bean soup with taro mochi 芋圓.

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The staff taught us to make tea with their loose tea leaves and tea sets. First we warmed the cups and the pots with hot water, poured the water out, and then made the tea. Each steep only took 20 seconds with a 5 second increment with each steep after. We had tea plums and tea cheesecake to go with the Oolong tea. Yummy.

All the tea sets were made by the owner. They are quite lovely. We didn't have time to browse around the gallery on the way out. If we had more time, I would have liked to check out the the handmade tea set collections.