Formosa Ming Xiang

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jim Marks
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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From TeaGschwendner

A fine and robust representative of Oriental Beauty or Dong Fang Mei Ren, a specialty of northern Taiwan. The Ming Xiang is heavier than its Formosa counterparts, a rich amber in the cup with a smoky depth that contrasts with sweeter fruit notes.

Two heaping teaspoons per 8oz cup of filtered, boiling water. Allow to brew 3 min.

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5 Tasting Notes

325 tasting notes

The dry leaf smells like warm fruit in a humidor.

The wet leaf, I kid you not, smells like beef, brown gravy and egg noodles.

The cup smells like brown beer. It is not as dark as yesterday’s golden pekoe, but is certainly closer to amber than to goldenrod. Let’s call it chestnut?

This is one of those teas that is too open, in dried form, to measure by volume, and so there’s a chance I didn’t use enough, but I actually felt like I might have put in more than I needed, really. The opened wet leaves take up about 1/3 of the pot, which with big, full leaves, is about normal for me. This may be a tea that is just all in the nose not on the tongue.

The cup tastes very gentle, hence my concern about enough leaf. A mild roast and dried fruit in the sun. Like trail mix on a hike, sitting on a big, dark rock on the summit. Old, weather worn, but solid, and full of dormant energy. This tea fits today very well. A bit overcast with storms on the way, and a long afternoon of quiet, somber reflection.

Now, I will confess that a week’s worth of singing for hours every night in a church full of incense has made me rather congested. So I could be completely wrong about all of this. ;-)

Also, I discovered that people are willing to take even tea too seriously, after thinking just yesterday how nice it was to have a social networking site where people didn’t go out of their way to pick fights with you. So much for that. If you find me reticent to interact, don’t take it personally. I’m really, really burnt out on this kind of thing and had hoped to just have some fun over here.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

What an intriguing tea! Your writing style is really evocative of the teas you drink. Your description of this odd tea makes me want to order it right away.

Jim Marks

I’m lousy at “wine talk”. I tried to pick it up from Sam at TeaG during the tasting sessions on State Street, but I just don’t eat the right kind of foods to pull that off. I don’t eat very much fruit at all, so my fruit vocabulary is horrible. Not that I drink a lot of fruity tea, either, but the words help.

Also, I’ve read enough to know that most wine talk is a complete lie. Studies have shown that you can’t identify more than six flavors at a time ~ even trained professionals.

Also, I think most people misunderstand the metaphor or wine talk, anyway, and it too literally.

So rather than provide some laundry list of “notes”, I try to get into what the tea evokes for me, over all. This is definitely “curl up with a good fantasy novel on a rainy day” tea ~ which isn’t today at all, but that’s ok, the tea still fits.

Jim Marks

and use it too literally.


I really like your evocative notes. I think that “wine” talk can get absurdly pretentious. Tea, for me, evokes places, time periods, feelings, and moods and I try to convey that. While I like wine, I don’t get the same sorts of visceral reactions nor the range of reactions.

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302 tasting notes

After seeing me rate many oolongs as ‘not the kind I like’, my friend Jim sent me a sample of this tea. I told him I liked Chinese restaurant oolongs! :)

This tea is very delicate, but does indeed have that richer, roasty, restaurant-style flavor. There is absolutely no bitterness to it. I like it a lot! It brewed up to a nice amber color. I did a quick rinse of the leaves (don’t know if that was necessary) with boiling water and then brewed it for about 3 min. I used about 2+ teaspoons in my 12 ounce glass bodum mug. Not sure if that was enough leaf, but I think so. My temp might have also been a little high on this as the water was already boiling in the kettle when I decided to make this. The high temp didn’t seem to harm it at all.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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