Rixin Tea Plantation

President Tsai Ing-wen visited Rixin Tea Plantation
(Photo credit: Rixin Tea Plantation)

Chinese name
Located at: Miaoli County (Northern Taiwan)
Address: 29-1 Shangping, Neighborhood 5, Xinglong Village, Toufen City, Miaoli County

Situated in Miaoli County’s Toufen City, Rixin Tea Plantation (日新茶園) is about one hundred years old. The fourth-generation owner Hsu Shih-wen (許時穩) has devoted himself to the tea industry for more than three decades. More than twenty years ago, Hsu started organic tea cultivation. Different from a tea plantation relying on pesticides and chemical fertilizers, Rixin Tea Plantation refuses any artificial chemicals. Organic farming is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and low-yielding because tea workers have more difficulty in weeding and repelling insects. Despite that, Hsu persists in growing organic tea.

tea leaves
(Photo credit: Rixin Tea Plantation)

The owner’s perseverance and investment have not been in vain. Hsu got a national non-toxic certificate and an MOA organic certificate. In 2008, his black tea won the gold medal in the national organic tea tasting competition. He has become one of organic tea suppliers for big drinks companies. Moreover, Hsu promoted his own tea on television or in print media. As a result, Rixin Tea Plantation draws public’s attention and earns a good reputation. Having fine qualities and receiving many awards, its Oriental Beauty tea, honey black tea, and bitter orange tea are widely popular with domestic and overseas customers. Among these teas, bitter orange tea, Rixin’s signature product, is a characteristic of Hakka heritage.

As a Hakka descendant, Hsu uses his grandfather’s method to make bitter orange tea by mixing tea leaves into the fruits of Hutou Gan (虎頭柑), a kind of orange used as an ornament during Lunar New Year. Hutou Gan is usually destined to be discarded due to its bitterness. In earlier times, wasting food was the last thing Hakka ancestors would do since they were faced with the harsh living conditions. Therefore, those immigrants invented bitter orange tea.

bitter orange tea
(Photo credit: Rixin Tea Plantation)

However, the process of making bitter orange tea is much more complicated than expected. Because fewer and fewer tea farmers are willing to invest massive amounts of time and energy in this complex tea processing, bitter orange tea is gradually disappearing. Fortunately, Hsu has produced bitter orange tea for ten years. On account of Rixin’s prestige, bitter orange tea is also exported to many countries, such as Japan, China, and Germany. At Hsu’s insistence, the Hakka legacy of wisdom can be preserved.

Rixin Tea Plantation’s commitment to organic farming and environmental sustainability enables itself to produce natural and healthy tea. In recent years, Rixin has been opened for people to experience the tea-making process and Hakka traditional industry. In addition to tasting tea and purchasing tea, visitors can also take part in tea processing. Hence, Rixin Tea Plantation is now a renowned tourist attraction. Through Rixin, it is expected that not only tea industry but also Hakka cultural tourism in Miaoli can be boosted.