Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gui Fei Mei Ren Oolong 貴妃烏龍茶

This tea is from Nantou County, Lugu Township. In 1999, following the devestating earthquake in this area, many of the tea farmers in the area used an excessive amount of nitrogenous fertilizer which in turn attracted many of the aphid type leaf hoppers. The Flavor of this tea depends on the transfer of pollen from nearby flowers to the tea leaves, giving the tea its unusually sweet flavor. My favorite varietal of Gui Fei Mei Ren is made Qing Xing Oolong, but it can also be made with Jin Xuan Oolong and possibly other variatals as well.
Gui Fei Mei Ren is named after one of China's four famous beauties, Yang Gui Fei. She represents a sexy juicy version of beauty due to her plump nature. Gui Fei is a title given to a kings wife that is his favorite wife just after the queen, indicating a second tier wife position. Yang Gui Fei lived in the Tang dynasty and was the wife of Tang Ming Huang. There are many stories about Gui Fei. I will convey the ones that I know. It is said that she bathed in milk. She was one of the king's favorite wives. Her favorite fruit was Li Zhi (I am not sure of the English name), a fruit that grows in the south of China. Gui Fei lived in central China. The king assigned the fastest horse to transport his beloved wives favorite fruit so that it would not spoil before it arrived. Eventually she brought great turmoil to the kingdom as her jealous boyfriend, An Lu Shan, took it upon himself to kill the king, although he never did. Another name for this tea is "Noble Concubine".

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