Honey Orchid Oolong | Mi Lan Xiang

15916990195_b59c6caf3f_cOn my last Taiwan trip, I visited a tea shop (one of the oldest in Taipei!) owned by a friend’s family.

15915142471_1e8e4ed4d7_cWe cupped six oolongs over the afternoon. And when we steeped the Honey Orchid Oolong (aka Mi Lan Xiang) her aunt noted that it was excellent with honey in the winter and champagne in the summer.

15729500518_c1c04cd67e_cSo we brought some back to NYC. And while I love this oolong best plain and pure (that’s when you get this heady sweetness that envelopes your entire mouth, intense!)…

15729766560_419854dcb5_c…it’s lovely late at night with a tiny spoonful of honey. This oolong has natural honey notes (hence the name), and this further enhances it.

15916390082_d1b149bdce_cBut if the caffeine from too much tea keeps you up, no worries. There’s always champagne. Do an 80:20 ratio of champagne to oolong. Best to cold-steep the oolong the night before. And of course, make sure it’s chilled before topping off that glass.

Mahalo to Allen for the photos ^-^

Delivery from Taiwan | Eco-Cha

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Delivery from Taiwan ^_^

I visited Taiwan last summer and had such an amazing experience that I went back for a solo trip in the fall. Right in time for tea harvestEco-Cha was one of the brands I spotted in stores…

…and this is the Taiwan Tea Tour set. Pretty neat, right? There are five oolongs and you get 38 grams of each tea: 

  • Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong (Lightly Roasted)
  • Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong (Unroasted)
  • Dong Ding Oolong (Heavily Roasted)
  • Jin Xuan Oolong (Unroasted) – also known as milk oolong here in the US
  • Four Seasons Spring Oolong (Unroasted)

I like how they come with notecards detailing everything from tasting notes to origin and brewing tips. It’s all in the details ^_^

Taiwan | A Day with Tearroir

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This post is for my grandma who asked, so what did you do every day in Taipei?

One morning (after that day in Yilan), I met David and Austin of Tearroir for lunch at Ooh Cha Cha, a super cute vegan cafe. I had a sautéed mushroom sandwich with pesto, tomatoes, and alfalfa on toasted whole wheat. 

To drink, a masala chai latte (using Tearroir’s teas!) with oat milk. Can’t wait to return for the soy matcha latte.

We shared raw desserts like matcha cookies made with almonds, oats, maple syrup, ginger, and lemon…

…and a creamy, soft cacao pie ^_^

After lunch we went to this street filled with stores that sold packaging supplies. I was in heaven! Serious heat seal machines, tea tins, and all the bags and pouches you could imagine. Needless to say I ended up getting another suitcase to carry everything back to NYC. We also went to look at prototypes for their new tea packaging…which looks amazing! More to come on this soon. 

And then David and Austin took me to visit Shifu

…where getting tea drunk was inevitable. And awesome. 

It was the tieguanyin that did me in, crazy how tea can have that sort of effect on you.

Then it was time for dinner…at Din Tai Fung! Sautéed string beans…

…and those (justly) famous soup dumplings. 

Hot and sour soup…

…and shrimp dumplings followed by…

…sautéed cabbage (I love cabbage!)…

…and fried pork chop over fried rice.

For dessert, steamed thousand layer cakes…

…and red bean dumplings. 

During dinner Austin mentioned something about cupcakes, and so…how could we not?

Here we are at Twelve Cupcakes.

One for each! I had the peanut butter and jelly.

And then we got cocktails at Parkside BarTea cocktails to be specific.

Ending the night one with one perfect (Tearroir) matcha-based cocktail ^_^

Taiwan | W Taipei

Hop on a plane, off we go! Let’s take a look inside W Taipei.

I first visited this property briefly back in September and returned again in November. Location, people, food, everything. It’s one of my favorite hotels in the city.

We can start in the lobby…

…and head upstairs to the check-in floor…

….where you’ll also find The Kitchen Table

…and WOOBAR.

Right outside is the pool…which turns into an ice skating rink during the winter months. 

Best poolside table in the house ^_^

Now let’s head to the spa

Aside from the actual treatment, my favorite part of a spa visit is the before (chrysanthemum and berries)…

…and after (warm ginger) drinks. Mainly because they’re always tea-oriented ;)

Ahh feels so good. 

Ok before we head to our rooms, let’s check out YEN (here’s lunch!)…

…and afternoon tea at YEN BAR (full post here). 

All ready to settle in. Let’s slip on the bathrobe…

…and make a cup tea (they offer Revolution Tea in the rooms)…

…to go with a few sweet and savory nibbles.

And then…

…how quickly the evening arrives!

Till next time  ^_^