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Hsinchu County, Taiwan
Summer Harvest 2013

Oriental Beauty (Dong Fang Mei Ren)

£1.50

Hsinchu County, Taiwan
Summer Harvest 2013

Oriental Beauty (Dong Fang Mei Ren)

£1.50

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While most frequently referred to as Oriental Beauty, this famous oolong is also known as Dong Fang Mei Ren, Formosa Tea, Champagne Oolong or Pong Fong. Originally however, this tea was simply called Bai Hao which roughly translates as White Tip. This name arose due to the fact that only the silver needle bud and top two leaves are selected for its production.

While uniformity of colour is fairly often used as an indicator of a tea's quality, the reverse is true of Oriental Beauty. Here the finest examples are those that show a range of colours; from the silver needle tips to smaller green, golden brown and even darker coloured leaves. Personally I find this dry loose leaf tea to be one of the most beautiful to look at and its modern name highly appropriate.

Our Oriental Beauty is probably my favourite tea of 2012 and it certainly ranks among the finest teas I have ever tried.

 


  • Ripe fruits, honey and sweet muscatel notes combine with hints of warming spices and exotic woods.
  • Harvested nearly a month later than Taiwan's other summer oolongs, over this period farmers allow leaf hoppers (Jacobiasca formosana) to begin nibbling upon the edges of the leaves. The damage caused to the leaf starts the oxidisation process while the leave is still on the bush, as well as causing the plant to releasing an enzyme to prevent further attacks. Fortunately for us, once the leaves are picked and processed, this enzyme produces the highly aromatic and sweet honey like flavour that Oriental Beauty is revered for.

    When brewed this tea produces a bright golden liquor that is filled with a complex array of distinctive flavours and provides a smooth, rounded feel in the mouth. Delicate fruit and citrus notes combine with hints of honey, sweeter spices such as cinnamon, along with edges of tropical woods. This tea leaves a delightful sweet, lingering muscatel and fruit sugar aftertaste in the mouth.

    James

  • Longer & Less - for a European style of brewing Oriental Beauty I would recommend using: 

    1 flat tbsp (3g) of loose leaf tea per person into a pot of around 80º water*. (Allow freshly boiled water to stand for 2 minutes) Infuse for around 2 minutes. For subsequent infusions increase the time by 1 minute each round. 

    Can be infused 2 or 3 times this way. 

    Shorter & More - for a traditional Asian (Gong Fu) style of brewing Oriental Beauty I would recommend using: 

    1tbsp (7g) of loose leaf tea with around 150ml of 80º water*. (Allow freshly boiled water to stand for 2 minutes) Infuse for around 45 seconds. For subsequent infusions increase the time by 20-30 seconds each round. 

    Can be infused 4 or 5 times this way. 

    *Despite being a heavily oxidised oolong (around 70-80%), a far cooler water temperature is required to reveal the subtle depths of this tea than otherwise might be expected.