In Taiwan, the temperature in summer can be burning hot, usually above 100F. Hot and humid weather is perfect for making Black Tea and Oriental Beauty. For tea makers, the best harvest time is the period between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. The moisture content in tea leaves is reduced by the sunlight. The right level of moisture in the flesh of the leaves is one of the keys to producing an excellent smell within the tea. However, the high temperature makes working on the farms very difficult. To avoid sun burn, all tea workers have to wrap themselves to completely cover their skin. When harvesting teas in the summer and fall seasons, they have to work in very uncomfortable conditions for the whole day.
Most Taiwanese tea farms are owned by single family which can make it difficult to harvest enough tea leaves during the peak harvest period. That mean that tea farmers need to hire extra people to harvest their teas. Most tea workers work from 7 am through 5 pm for a period of a week to a month. Since many tea workers are from far off cities, they usually live with the farmers’ families during harvest season.
Working on a farm is never easy. Older workers have fallen steadily and younger generations are not willing to put themselves into this harsh job. This is one reason why hand-picked teas are so valuable. Thank for these nameless and faceless tea workers. Because of them, we can enjoy wonderful hand-picked teas!