Oriental BeautyFloating Leaves Tea
A tea of many names, Oriental Beauty is sometimes called Bai Hao Oolong, Eastern Beauty, Dongfang Meiren, Five Colors Oolong, Formosa Oolong, and, in Taiwanese, Braggart's Tea (Phong Hong Te). It is an intentionally bug bitten, open leaf oolong created in Taiwan. It is bitten by a small green leaf-hopper, and the bite-wound causes a sweetness in the leaf. Then the young leaves are plucked by hand and oxidized rather heavily to coax out the natural sweetness in the tea. The characteristic of this tea is it's attractive honey aroma and sweet taste.
Due to climate conditions and a Covid lockdown that came JUST at the time of harvest, there was even less OB produced this year than in previous years. And it was already a small production, high demand tea. So we were grateful that a good friend helped us to secure this batch. You will be able to tell from the photos, the bud count is not as high as last season and the resulting tea broth is less concentrated because of it. We like this tea because it is smooth and round with a satisfying sweetness.
Dry leaves in a hot gaiwan give off a sweet scent of muscat grapes and honey. Surface scent of the broth opens up with a delicate rose aroma in the first infusion.
The broth is light, juicy and sweet with an overall round mouthfeel. Notes of caramel and dried fruits. This OB was oxidized on the darker side, so there's more of a black tea feeling to this tea, broth is of a relatively dark color. This tea is more and more complex every time we drink it, evolving a deeper richness of scent and a rounder body.
*Update : We've been experimenting with this tea a lot, and we have found that a heavier leaf ratio and long brew time brings out a big round sweetness. In other words, it tastes best if you really push it.
- Harvest Location : Pinglin, Taiwan
- Cultivar : Qing Xin