My dear Alishan Oolong,
Born to misty tea trees, high up in the mountains, you beam with the lightness of clouds.
I always remember how, the first time around, you surprised me, not with your light green tenders but your rich golden traces—bold and radiant like the summer sun—as if brought to life by a beautiful higher power.
I love to bake your leaves on the stove and warm you up in a pot. I want to be gentle, except the boiling water always rushes through the kettle. But entering the fire, you persist and how! I see you dive, roll, and blossom in the bubbles—all in a matter of seconds. Submitting to the fire, you alchemize into gold, my dear.
When the time is up, I silence the timer because I want to keep seeing you be. My mind in a tangle, I cannot wait. Yet, steaming and dancing in the cup, I need to take a moment before I can hold you and bring you close. Infinite is this wait.
But you are no less of a tease, Alishan.
First, the bitter. You test me.
Then, the smoothness. You welcome me.
As the refreshing notes follow, I know you accept me.
And finally, you turn sweet. I wonder if you even see your own beauty?
I love that you refuse to be any other way — not too bitter, not too light — and I’m lucky to always see the real you.
You and your unique ways feel just the right company in my life. Could you also be the mantra of my life?
You are golden. You are bright. You are everything I want.