I went to Maokong today. Maokong is a hill near Taipei. I went there two years ago when I last visited, and I remember you had to switch from subway to a minibus to go up the hill. Between then and now though, they built the new Maokong Gondola. So now, instead of having to ride the very bumpy bus ride up to Maokong from Muzha station, you can just ride the cable car up to the mountain in 20 minutes. Very nice.
There are definitely more people there now, although today was rainy so the crowds probably aren’t nearly as bad as, say, a sunny day. There are lots of farms up there that a visitor can go see and brew tea at. It’s almost impossible to choose which one.
My girlfriend and I went to this Wutie place that I first heard about through RFTD a while ago. The place….. does microwaved tea. Sounds crazy? Yeah…
We ended up just having “Wutie” oolong. This is an Alishan oolong that they somehow concoted with a high fermentation and high roasting. The result is…. interesting. There is a sort of strange fruitiness to the tea beyond the usual roasted Taiwan oolong taste. I don’t know how to describe it other than the aroma of the roasted tea hits the nose very strongly. My grilfriend said bark dust/woody, I said old tangerine peels…. I’m not sure what it is, but whatever it is, it’s a very interesting aroma.
This is the setup they provided. It’s quite decent.
I didn’t get to try the microwaved teas, but I did see them
They’re big balls (1kg or more) of oolongs that were somehow rolled together and then somehow microwaved and then somehow kept in this shape. Very, very hard. I don’t know how they put it together, or how they peel it apart, or how it doesn’t rot. The “master” wasn’t there today, so I couldn’t ask. I wonder if it’s worth going back to figure it out.
But it’s a good place to drink some tea and just relax. We certainly had a great time.