Mei Shan Bei Huo

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From Black Dragon Tea Bar

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This is another winter ’09 tea that Brett brought back with him from his annual tea buying trip to Taiwan! (Check out his fun tea blog at

I know nothing about this tea except that it’s a winter oolong from Taiwan, and that it’s exactly the flavor profile that I love and have missed ever since I tried a small castaway sample from an anonymous tea farmer, when I worked for Teance in 2008. It’s amazing how our brain stores impressions and can bring it up suddenly when, two years later, I’m sipping a cup of a completely different tea.

The hard part is translating that impression into words. This tea is more roasted than the Li Shan and Da Yu Ling that BDTB also sells right now, but it still maintains that light, green sweetness. However, layered on top of that floral greenness is this perfect spice note. Nutmeg, clove, and sweet incense waft lightly through the tea without stealing the show.

If greener oolongs like baochong remind me of the springtime, this tea reminds me of that transition between summer and fall, when the days are getting cooler. You welcome the change in seasons, but aren’t quite ready to let go of that bright warmth quite yet. There’s just a hint of what’s to come.

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