In Taiwan, typical work weeks hover between 6 and 7 days of work. At least, this is the case in our small tea growing community of Mingjian Township in the middle of the island. Here, life evolves around work. Employees at our facilities are scheduled to call-in from Monday to Saturday inclusively leaving them with a day of reprieve on Sunday. However, customers, tea producers and suppliers can, and do, drop-in any day of the week at anytime they wish during the day… or night making our work week seem just like it is: a week of work! It is not uncommon during the critical growing seasons, like it is the case now with the high mountain winter tea picking season in full swing, to receive the visit of growers coming down from their respective mountains with a trunk load of their just finished, freshly produced tea to arrive at our doorstep in the late evening hours to propose their treasure after we’ve retired to our sleeping quarters. This has been an occurrence for generations now in this house. Read more

I will have to admit, I love top 10 lists. I also love this time of the year for all the retrospective TV shows that look back on the events of the last year. I think it is healthy to take a moment and look back into the rear view mirror. It gives us a better perspective of where we are now, what we’ve accomplished, and if we wish, move on to the next step: plan the route ahead (some call this resolutions). At least, it’s a process that can justify the infusion of some good leaves to help in the process of reviewing your notes and, most certainly, re-validate your selection! Now, of course, we do this for fun. And, of course, this a purely subjective list, and the comments are very personal as they reflect some of the highlights of my past year’s experience in Taiwan. Nonetheless, the comments are genuine and well thought out. Read more