Press Release

CHB grows high mountain tea on plains at “President Tea Garden”

“President Tea Garden”, the garden self-owned by Dong-Bao Yeh where President Ing-Wen Tsai had visited started working on the cooperative project “Growing High Mountain Tea on Plains” with CH Biotech since last year. Finally, they have successfully cultivated spring tea winning a rating by a third party in the middle of April, of which the flavor is superior than 1800-meter high mountain tea with nearly twice price. 
Yeh’s tea garden locates in Zhushan, Nantou, where Tsai’s presidential campaign commercial was taken in 2015. At that time, Tsai plucked tea leaves from the garden and left her autograph and the opinion “Good Tea!”, so the garden was given the name “President Tea Garden” among farmers.
Besides the President’s blessing, Yeh is one of tea farmers who rarely cultivate Ruanzhi tea at low altitudes. Ruanzhin tea is one of specialty tea, accounting for 60% to 70% of mainstream tea trees. However, Ruanzhin tea trees are often planted at high altitudes over 1,000 meters with low temperature and less pest due to their vulnerability. In spite of the environment barriers, Yeh’s garden locates at 190 meters above sea level, which makes the garden becoming CH Biotech’s cooperative partner to challenge “Growing High Mountain Tea on Plains”.
According to Yeh, fine tea quality requires three factors: agricultural chemical and machinery, tea processing techniques and farm management. CH Biotech started their project with Yeh since the winter tea in the last year. Until this April, their spring tea has finally won the Spring Tea Rating, achieving scores 29% higher than high mountain tea from 1,800 meters above sea level and proving that fine high mountain tea can be cultivated on plains in reality.
High mountain tea is one quite important product in Taiwan. According the statistical data of Council of Agriculture, the area of tea-growing regions in Taiwan merely accounts for 1% of total farming area, while its total output value accounts for 10% ($2.5 million estimated) with high economic benefit. Among tea trees, leaves from high altitudes possess unique flavor for their environment factors such as amount of insolation, temperature and humidity, and their average unit price is even three times higher than leaves from low altitudes.
The “High Mountain Tea from Plains” cultivated at 190 meters above sea level towers above genuine high mountain tea from 1,800 meters above sea level in terms of aroma, taste, quality, sensory experience, yield (50%) and competitive price. In other words, this new technique will help the promotion of fine tea industry in Taiwan in terms of price and quantity.    
Ronald Chen, the Director of CH Biotech’s R&D team says, the project “Growing High Mountain Tea on Plains” has been undertaken for over three years. First of all, they need to analyze catechin, alkaloid, amino acid and pectic substance, all chemical compositions affecting the flavor and quality in high mountain tea and discover the most flavorful ratio of compositions. In the meantime, they also investigate the differences of various environmental factors like amount of insolation, soil and temperature among gardens at high and low altitudes. When the integrated analysis is completed, they utilize the data to develop high performance fertilizers and adopt farm management techniques. At last, they finally grow tea on plains with more flavorful than those from high mountains.
Ronald indicates that the research methods are verified effective, and they will create flavor maps of tea leaves, along with nutritional supplements and ratio optimization, to overcome environmental barriers among various elevations. Thus, the goal of “Growing High Mountain Tea on Plains” can be fulfilled widely at tea gardens throughout in Taiwan.