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Wuhe Tourist Tea Plantations

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The Wuhe Tourist Tea Plantation is located in Hualien County's Ruisui Township. It is situated on a river terrace southwest of the convergence point of the Hongye River and Xiuguluan River. During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese originally planted coffee on the Wuhe Terrace. After the Japanese left, this area gradually fell into disuse. In 1973, the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry evaluated the climate and the natural conditions of the Wuhe area, and, upon deciding that it was suitable for tea cultivation, started promoting tea growth here. Though assistance and improvements provided by the Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station, the quality of tea leaves produced in the Wuhe district has gradually improved, and this tea has gradually become better known. In memory of Dr. Qian Tian-he, who made the greatest research contribution to the improvement of the local tea leaves, the then director of the Executive Yuan's Ministry of Agriculture, Lee Chong-dao, named the tea produced in the Wuhe area "Tianhe Tea," which became an up-and-coming tea product among national tea production.

When driving through the Wuhe Terrace, identical tea fields can be seen, one after another, spread out over this vast Wuhe Terrace. 30-40 families can be seen here drying the tea leaves that they themselves produce and sell. Tea plantation owners each have their own secret tea production method. Most of the tea produced is oolong tea, including qingxin oolong tea, jinxuan tea, and jade oolong. The tea leaves are thick and tender, with a superb aroma, and are greatly loved by tea connoisseurs. Many East Rift Valley visitors like to stop by these tea plantations, and sample the delicately fragrant tea of the Wuhe Terrace.

A few years ago, a tea plantation, in cooperation with the "Non‐toxic Farming" promoted by the Hualien County Government, stopped using pesticides. This resulted in the tea leaves being eaten by little "green leaf cicadas" (leaf hoppers). The farmer discovered that after drying, these tea leaves that had been eaten by the little green leaf cicadas had a special honey aroma. After many attempts and experiments, a new flavor, the "Honey Peach Black Tea," with its gentle fruit and honey aroma, was created. During the First World Tea Award of 2006, it won a gold medal award, and has become a shining star for the Wuhe Tourist Tea Plantation.

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