Taiwan | Tea Drunk (茶醉)

I organized photos from the Taiwan portion of my trip yesterday. It’s hard to believe this was just a few weeks ago, everything moves so quickly in NYC. I mentioned it before, but this was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken. But I don’t know where to start with it blogging-wise…which is why everything’s been a bit haphazard. 

There’s this phrase called tea drunk.

It’s not the most elegant sounding but that’s the direct Chinese translation of chá (茶) zuì (醉). It’s an actual thing. You can literally get drunk off tea. How amazing is that? There are two kinds of tea drunk.

1. The bad kind where you end up sweaty, shaky, and hungry.

2. The good kind. Which can only happen when you have the right harmony of people, place, and time. And it can’t be planned. So you have to throw a bit of luck in there too. But when it happens, goodness. It’s like a cross between three glasses of champagne and this feeling that all is right in the world, that anything is possible, and an overarching sense of peace and calmness. The sensation can last anywhere from a few hours to an entire day. 

I was lucky to get tea drunk on multiple occasions during this trip.

One of my favorite moments was with David and Austin of Tearroir when we spent the day in Yilan with Jhen Tea. We started in the tea gardens, exploring the jin xuan cultivars (also known as “milk oolong” in the US) and clean air. 

We drove up and down the mountains, the views were exquisite.

Take a look at this rocky soil. Tea is more akin to wine than coffee. 

Being surrounded by all these tea leaves made me so happy ^-^ 

We eventually made way to the tea processing areas…

….drying the just picked leaves…

…and into the shop where we drank and drank until night fall.

It was sometime during these afternoon hours that we became tea drunk. And man, if there was only a way I could translate that feeling to you.

And when we could drink no more, we drove to town and feasted on a generous, saucy meal with plenty of beer. 

We made it home, back to Taipei just before midnight. At the end of the night, when I slipped on my pajamas and tucked myself under those thick, soft sheets, I had to wonder, was that all a dream? Taiwan is amazing.                      

  • D & A
    December 25, 2013

    We feel very grateful to have had those moments of being tea drunk together, and are looking forward to many similar moments to come in 2014. Love the shots and the recap, and thanks very much for the shoutout, KYLC! :)Peace and tea from Taipei,David & Austin

    • Kathy YL Chan
      January 2, 2014

      Thank you both! Am very excited to see what 2014 will bring ^_^

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