Taiwanese Tea Culture
"What is the tea culture like in Taiwan? Are there specialized ceremonies? Are tea shops and public tea gatherings common or is it something that is typically enjoyed at home with family or alone?"
It would take a while to fully describe tea culture in Taiwan here, but to answer briefly – it is everywhere! Tea completely permeates culture here in Taiwan, from the traditional tea farmer to the 9-5 office worker. There are tea shops on every corner where you can chose from about 50 types of hot and cold teas. They deliver on scooters and motorbikes and offices will order tea throughout the day. In the hot summer months there are lines for cold teas. Some are better than others and use different qualities of leaves. Walking down the street and peeking into shops you will often see Gong Fu brewing setups on the table. The shop owner will be brewing tea throughout the day. We could go on and on here, but to summarize the answer to your question: Tea is everywhere. Tea here is enjoyed at shops, at home with family, in traditional Gong Fu style, and in every way and place imaginable by everyone from young to old. Tea is everywhere in Taiwan.