Tea Plantation, Wuhe Village, Rueisuei Township, Hualien County
During the Japanese occupation, this area of Hualien County on the Wuhe Terrace beside the Siougolaun River was given over to the Sumita Coffee Production Corporation for coffee growing. After the Second World War, coffee production fell off and it wasn't until 1973 that the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry began promoting tea cultivation here. Through the efforts of the Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station, the quality of the mostly oolong tea has steadily improved. It is now known as Tianhe Tea, named after Dr. Cian Tian-he who made the major research contribution to this improvement.
A recent discovery evolved when the Hualien County Government promoted pesticide-free tea cultivation. The tea bushes here became infested with green leafhoppers, normally considered a pest. However, after drying, it was found that the tea had a pleasant honey flavour. After further refinements, mi xiang hong cha (honey peach black tea) has become a unique product of Wuhe. (Rick Green photo.)
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