Also known as Dongfang Meiren or Bai Hao, Oriental Beauty is grown in the Hsinchu County area of northern Taiwan. Oriental Beauty has a secret: this honey-sweet, loose-leaf oolong owes at least some of its rare charms to insects. Nibbled by tiny green leafhoppers, or tea jassids, its leaves begin to oxidize while the leaves are still on the plant, triggering the production of polyphenols and making for this superbly smooth and fruity luxury tea. Because the lush, fruity flavors depend on the leafhopper's visit to the gardens, this tea is very rare and exceptionally difficult to harvest in consistent quantities year by year. It is also grown organically, as sprays and other types of pesticides would actually lower the harvest.
Oriental Beauty Oolong is perhaps the most well-known example of a heavily oxidized oolong. One look at its delicate brown leaves, twisted and streaked with silver, tells you that this Taiwanese oolong is something special. A quality Bai Hao must display the 5 colors – black, red, brown, green and white in the dry leaf.
Our single-origin Oriental Beauty has been traditionally harvested in summer at the perfect point of oxidation, with the tea offering a crystal clear amber liquor in the color of maple syrup. Carefully oxidized to 65% with a light bake to stabilize the tea. The rich liquor has a typical wild-honey and floral aroma and the taste has similar qualities. Clean, minty palate with faint notes of peach and American ginseng. The highly notable honey taste comes through the medium robustness of a fruity and mildly floral oolong, resulting in a balanced and smooth flavor. The lasting, refreshing aftertaste that is minty, savory of the aforesaid herbal root. Slight yet persistent sweetness at the throat.
Brewing Guide: We recommend using 5-6 grams per 6 ounces of water. To draw out the best of the sweet and fruity tones of this leaf, we suggest using 90°c water at around a minute maximum for the first two steeps, gradually increasing steep time by thirty seconds or so from the third cup onward.