Another great example of Taiwan’s insect-bitten teas. Ours is grown in the low-elevation flatlands of the East Rift Valley, an area in eastern Taiwan that is hot and humid – ideal for attracting the green leafhopper. Tea gardens here are kept entirely pesticide-free in order to further welcome these tiny insects. Early to mid-summer is when they begin to arrive, feeding by sucking phloem juices out of plants. In the tea plant, this triggers a self-defence mechanism which initiates the production of phytoalexins, specifically terpenes, and among which hotrienol. Terpenes have a two-fold function, they act as an insect-repellent and attract natural predators to these insects. Hotrienol is also found in honey, grapes, roses and second-flush Darjeeling, for example, and is understood to be responsible for the highly desirable muscatel aroma. The picking and processing of Mi Xiang black tea is similar to that of Eastern Beauty oolong, except that it undergoes light crushing and no kill-green phase, thereby promoting and allowing full oxidation, respectively, and thus qualifying it as a black tea. Unlike most black teas, however, we recommend brewing this one at lower temperature and using longer steeping times as this helps accentuate the musky, sweet-sour, grape-like muscatel notes. The meaning of the name Honey Fragrance really becomes apparent in the aftertaste of this tea, which is delightfully sweet and exceptionally long-lasting.