“A decade ago, the Taiwanese government began a campaign to curb high mountain agriculture,” Tsay* tells me. “Their intentions were correct, but it’s been executed in a horrible way.”
High mountain agriculture can be quite destructive; it erodes the landscape and causes harmful pesticides and fertilizers to contaminate water sources and the land.
In response to the environmental lobbyists and influenced by voter interests, the government set off to reforest high-elevation tea farms and restore them to their pre-agricultural state. Most farmland was seized and reclaimed.
*David Tsay, a tea teacher in Taiwan who specializes in organic farming.
Assuming this article is accurate, even if the government rethinks its stance an entire generation may never taste this exquisite type of tea.