Tea fix

I’d gotten really desperate for an escape from the city. My first choice was to find some hot springs and simmer away while Taipei shivered on, but I was having trouble recruiting people for this adventure. (What’s wrong with these people?)

Remembering that my friend Lali has a soft spot for the tea hills (her response to my facebook invite was “MAO KONG!”), I listed that right after “hot springs.” So off we went last Sunday.

Colin and Megan made four, and after a 40-minute bus ride up a mountain, we were in Mao Kong, one of many hills near Taipei that still grows tea. Lali brought us to her favorite joint, an open-air restaurant that uses tea leaves in pretty much everything on their menu.

Lali prepares our locally grown tea. Colin Cam

Fried rice, greens, and three kinds of potatoes all fried in tea-infused oil and thin noodles cooked in tea, I think. I know it was all delicious. Colin Cam

Taipei spread out under its blanket of haze below us, and over pots of tea and several plates of delicious food, we chatted until well past dark. When our tea leaves were exhausted and everyone had bundled back up against the cold, we agreed it was time to go home. Four hours of tea-drinking makes for a very tough time getting to sleep, let me tell you.

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