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May 30, 2017

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Gukeng's festival of coffee shows off Taiwan's brews

TAIPEI--Every November, rural Yunlin County is cast into the national spotlight with its Gukeng Coffee Festival, which showcases Gukeng Township's coffee industry, farming history and unique coffee culture.

During weekends in November, visitors will flock to the hilly area for a taste of the area's smooth, mild brews made mostly from Arabica beans, but they will also have the chance to explore the world of coffee in greater depth than ever before.

Now in its 10th year, the festival has added a "Taiwan Coffee University" program this year that will hold classes at Huashan Elementary School to help visitors learn more about coffee and the crop's evolution in Taiwan, a Gukeng official said yesterday.

"We will teach people how to roast coffee beans and brew coffee from scratch," said Sun Wang-tien, head of the agricultural economy department of the Gukeng Township Office.

The new program has three "schools" — the school of agriculture, the school of history and humanities and the school of music — that will give visitors free instruction on topics ranging from how to grow coffee trees to music that goes best with a leisurely cup of coffee, Sun said.

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