My tasting notes: Oriental Beauty oolong
Oriental Beauty is such a poetic name, it stuck in my mind. Somehow I even find its other Chinese name “Bai Hao” (which means “white tip”) memorable (it doesn’t happen very often with the Chinese equivalent of tea names).
Oriental Beauty is a “bug-bitten” oolong tea from Taiwan. Let's take a moment to appreciate a tiny insect, the tea green leaf hopper. (We owe you one, little buddy). The plant defense mechanism against the attack of leaf hoppers makes the tea delicious by releasing chemicals which contribute to its flavor. If you want to find out more, I recommend this article by World of Tea.
If you follow me on Instagram Stories, you know I was in Los Angeles two weekends ago. That's where I purchased this tea, at American Tea Room.
Tea Name: Oriental Beauty (Dongfang Meiren), white tip oolong (Bai Hao)
Origin: Hsinchu, Taiwan
Ingredients: oolong tea
Harvest: summer 2004
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Leaves/Water Ratio: 4 gr to 5 oz / 150 ml filtered water
Water Temperature: 195 F / 90 C
Steep Time: 1 minute 30 seconds, multiple steeps (5-6)
dry leaves: one leaf and a bud, wiry, curly, bud is silver and fuzzy, leaf is brown, rust - coppery (some), some leaves are dark grey/black some dark brown, ½ inch to 1 inch long (2-3 cm)
wet leaves: reddish - brown with hints of purple, when leaves and buds unfurl you can see that you have one leaf and a bud clusters but also two leaves and a bud clusters and single leaves
liquor: golden with orange tones
dry leaves: sweet and aromatic, slightly floral
wet leaves: sweet, slightly citrusy
liquor: notes of honey and flowers, poached stone fruit
Liquor: very sweet and aromatic, hints of muscatel
MOUTH FEEL: medium to full bodied, lingering sweet and aromatic aftertaste
FOOD PAIRING: call me crazy but I think this tea would pair beautifully with foie gras, French duck or goose liver pate. I haven't tried this pairing because foie gras is a controversial delicacy (in terms of animal welfare) so I try to limit it. Anyway, I remember a French friend of ours pairing it with a sweet wine and it was amazing! (PS if you live in California, "Foie Gras Ban Is Back"). Stone fruit would be another great match!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: very complex and aromatic, I really enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money and I was not asked to review it. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with any companies mentioned in this blog post.