Visit Pinglin Taiwan to experience a Quintessential Tea Ceremony

December 22, 2023

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Thousand Island Lakes in Shiding - On the way to Pinglin

In the heart of Pinglin, where the air is tinged with the delectable aroma of freshly baked pastries and the ancient whispers of incense from nearby temples, we stumbled upon an enchanting sanctuary of tea mastery – Xuan Zi Ju Tea House. Serendipity led us to this hidden gem, nestled and tucked in the quaint embrace of Pinglin Old Street, Taiwan.

If you’re visiting Taiwan, check out my guides on is Taiwan safe to visit, the best Taiwan souvenirs to buy as gifts, and the best apps for Taiwan for travel, taxi, shopping, translation, and dating.

You also might be interested in my free Taiwan itinerary for 7 days guide and Kenting National Park guide to learn if Pingtung Kenting is worth visiting.

The Unexpected Beautiful Journey to Pinglin, Taiwan

To reach this aromatic haven, our journey took us through the breathtaking views of Taiwan’s countryside, a scenic drive meandering past the tranquil Thousand Island Lakes. Along the way, we made pit stops, including the Ba Gua tea plantation viewpoint, where the undulating hills adorned with rows of vibrant tea plants greeted us. Off-road viewpoints revealed dainty, unique wildflowers, painting the landscape with vibrant hues unseen elsewhere. As we navigated through the vibrant tapestry of countryside roads leading to Pinglin, each step led us closer to the traditional tea house that had become the custodian of Taiwan’s rich tea tradition.

Why is tea ceremony important in Taiwanese culture?

The significance of the traditional tea ceremony lies in its profound ritual that fosters connection, mindfulness, and a deep appreciation for the artistry of tea preparation. In Taiwanese culture, the act of brewing and sharing tea is akin to an unspoken language, a gesture of hospitality and respect. Pinglin, renowned for its terraced hills blanketed in tea plantations, stands as a testament to Taiwan’s commitment to producing some of the highest quality teas in the world. The region’s tea artisans, with generations of expertise, cultivate leaves with meticulous care, resulting in brews that are perfection.

Xuan Zi Ju Tea house, Taiwan

Meeting the Taiwan Tea Masters in Pinglin

Pinglin Old Street awaited us like a step back in time. The air was filled with a sense of simplicity, and Xuan Zi Ju Tea House, with its humble facade, exuded the sweet aroma of time-honored traditions. The tea house beckoned us, and as we stepped inside, we were embraced by the serene ambience that seemed to breathe with the secrets of leave, and the sweet aroma of time-honored traditions. The tea house, a sanctuary of calm amidst the bustling surroundings, welcomed us into its hallowed halls. Here, the essence of centuries-old knowledge lingered, and the walls seemed to breathe with the secrets of leaves and water.

The Tea Masters, elder guardians of the craft with faces etched by time, smiled warmly, inviting us to partake in their tea ritual. Tea Master Huang, a venerable figure whose hands bore the weathered appearance of two decades of tea leaf harvests, became our guide through this odyssey of flavors. Our understanding of tea underwent a profound transformation as Master Huang, unveiled the intricacies of tea ceremony brewing – the precise ratio of leaves to water, the warming on a tea cup, the temperature, and the timing. Each tea ceremony infusion unfolded a narrative of distinct yet subtle flavors, a sensory journey into the heart of tea alchemy.

Tea Masters in Pinglin, Taiwan

The Art of Traditional Tea Ceremony at Pinglin Taiwan

Tea Master Huang’s teachings extended beyond the art of brewing. He revealed the delicate dance of reusing tea leaves, imparting a wisdom that elevated our appreciation for the leaves’ resilience and depth. As we savored each perfectly brewed cup, a silent gratitude filled the air. An echoed rhythmic tap of two fingers on the table whispered across the table—a symbolic gesture honoring the tea master and expressing gratitude for the bestowed knowledge.

Tea Master Huang’s wisdom extended beyond the mere act of brewing. He showed us the art of reusing tea leaves, a learning that elevated our appreciation for the leaves’ resilience and depth. As we sipped the perfectly brewed cups, a silent gratitude filled the air. The rhythmic tap of two fingers on the table symbolizes a gesture to honor the tea master and show gratitude for the knowledge bestowed upon us.

The Best Traditional Tea Ceremony in Pinglin, Taiwan

Xuan Zi Ju Tea House, we discovered, was not just a local treasure but a national champion. It’s grasshopper tea won first place in a competition featuring over a thousand tea leaf growers from across the nation, it stood as a testament to the dedication and mastery of its tea artisans.

The tea menu unfolded like a poetic scroll – from honey-scented black tea to the delicate dance of baoxhong oolong and the intriguing notes of grasshopper tea. Each cup became a portal to Taiwan’s rich tea tradition, steeped in history and honored through generations. Before partaking in this sensory journey, the tea cup, we learned, should be warmed to perfection and could even serve as an unexpected face massage.

Beyond the indulgence of flavors, the tea masters shared insights into the health benefits woven into each leaf – antioxidants, relaxation, and a tapestry of well-being that only the finest teas could provide. The health benefits, a testament to the purity of the leaves, enhanced our connection to the age-old elixir.

Before bidding farewell, we ensured to carry a piece of this enchanting experience with us – carefully selected teas and delectable tea biscuits—as thoughtful gifts for family and friends. To learn about the history of tea, visit the nearby Pinglin Tea Museum in Taiwan, known as one of the largest Tea Museums in the world. Stay tuned for our next guide to Shiding Township and the Pinglin Tea Museum in New Taipei City.

Pinglin Tea Museum, Taiwan

If you’re a traveler that loves traditional experiences, experiencing a traditional tea ceremony is definitely worth a trip to Pinglin. As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm glow over Pinglin, we left Xuan Zi Ju Tea House with hearts and palates forever changed. The magical location, the seasoned hands of the tea masters, and the rich tapestry of flavors had woven an unforgettable chapter in our tea journey – a story to be savored and shared, much like the finest tea leaves from the hills of Pinglin.

Looking for more unforgettable day trips from Taipei?

Save this guide on what the best food to eat in Jiufen Old Street to plan a trip to Jiufen Old Street, one of our favorite places in Taiwan!

Want to connect spiritually with nature and mountains in Taiwan? Grab our guide to Keelung Mountain Trail and Teapot Mountain Trail and plan a trip to the Ruifang, Taiwan where the gorgeous natural wonders await you!

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