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Oriental Beauty (Bai Hao) Oolong from Oollo Tea

OrientalBeauty2Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Oollo Tea

Tea Description:

Renowned for its beautiful five colour dancing leaves. This traditional beauty exudes apricot and peach scents followed by indulging orchid, muscat grape, and apple flavours.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oollo Tea offers some outstanding teas and this Oriental Beauty Oolong is a perfect example.  It’s one of the nicest Bai Hao Oolong teas that I’ve tasted in a quite some time!

The aroma is lovely – it reminds me of warm peaches – like the filling in a peach cobbler.  Warm and bubbly and sweet!  That’s what I think of when I smell this tea!

The tea has a wonderful fruit flavor – I taste stone fruit and flower.  The above description suggests orchid and when I focus on the floral notes, yes, I would say that the flower I taste is indeed orchid.  I taste notes of peach and apricot and hints of a honeyed sweetness.

OrientalBeauty1I don’t taste muscat grape or apple yet, but perhaps those flavors will reveal themselves in later infusions.  For now, I’m quite happy with the notes of honey, orchid and peach-y apricot!

With my second cup (infusions 3 and 4) I am picking up some of those aforementioned notes of grape and apple.  Really nice!  I taste less of the peach and apricot flavors – those seemed to have disappeared – but I still taste a lovely orchid note and a lovely sweetness that I’d describe as more of a sugary sweetness now rather than a honey-like sweetness.  This tastes a bit like the sugar notes I’d experience if I were to eat a handful of raisins.

This cup is really smooth with just a hint of astringency toward the tail.  I taste a light, hay-like note to this too, similar to what I’d taste from a Bai Mu Dan (white tea).  Every once in a while, I’ll also taste the slightest whisper of vanilla.

I started to notice the flavor waning with my third cup (infusions 5 and 6), so I decided it would be my last of this tea.  But I had three marvelous cups of tea!  The third cup still had plenty of flavor – lovely notes of apple and grape and almost a melon-like background note that I hadn’t noticed in the previous infusions!  Still sweet, still lovely.

A really wonderful tea – this Oriental Beauty from Oollo Tea!  If you haven’t checked out their website yet, you should stop in and check them out!

Top Grade Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea

orientalbeautyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Tea Description:

Taiwan characteristic Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea, a long narrow strip like of various colors, is also called Bai Hao Oolong Tea. Bright white-tipped leaves, a symbol of high level Oriental Beauty Tea, can only be cultivated irreplaceable strong fragrance in organic ecological tea plantation. This tea, with very limited quantity, can only be produced by a senior experienced tea master at one harvest each year.

Learn more about this tea here.


Taster’s Review:

This is not the first time that I’ve sampled and reviewed Fong Mong Tea’s Top Grade Oriental Beauty Oolong, but with every new year comes a new harvest and this is a top notch Oriental Beauty!  It’s definitely worthy of another examination because it’s one of the best Oriental Beauty Oolong teas that I’ve encountered.

To brew this tea, I reached for my gaiwan.  I measured 1 bamboo scoop of leaves into the bowl of the gaiwan and then I heated the water to 180°F.  After a 15 second rinse, I steeped the leaves for 45 seconds and strained the tea into a small teacup.  The teacup holds 2 infusions, so I went ahead and infused the leaves a second time, adding 15 seconds onto the steep time (1 minute) and then combined the two infusions into the cup before I started sipping.

The first cup was delightfully sweet with notes of fruit that are peach-like.  There is a honey-like sweetness to the cup as well.  The liquid is very smooth and has a soft, rich mouthfeel.  It has a barely there astringency.  By the time I reach mid-cup, I start to pick up on a light floral tone and subtle woodsy tones.

I noticed the flavors became more developed with the second cup (infusions 3 and 4).  The fruit and honey notes remain the strongest flavors of the cup and these flavors have intensified.  The peach notes are like a soft, ripe peach.  I can almost feel the soft, luscious texture of the peach as I sip this tea.

There is a little more astringency with this cup than in the first cup, but it is still quite a light, barely noticeable astringency.  The floral notes and woodsy tones I started to notice at mid-cup are a little stronger with this cup.  A pleasantly sweet and beautiful cup to sip.

Later infusions offered an even stronger sweetness.  In the third cup, I noticed the floral notes emerging a little more and I found these to be sweet and as they melded with the honey notes and the sweet peach notes it intensified the sweetness of the overall cup.  I also started to pick up on some earthier qualities.

A very intriguing tea, I highly recommend this one to all Oolong enthusiasts!

Asian Beauty Oolong Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

AsianBeautyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

Tea Description: 

Delicious! This tea is probably unlike any you’ve tried before. We think it’s absolutely pleasant and sophisticated. Lighter bodied and very smooth, you might get hints of honey and cinnamon and there’s plenty of room to explore with multiple infusions. This tea is perfect for a cold winter day or equally at home in the heat of summer. This tea is also known as Oriental Beauty or Beggars Tea.  We suggest you don’t add anything to this tea as it will take from it what is already there!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I absolutely adore a good Oriental Beauty Oolong, and this Asian Beauty Oolong from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company is very good, indeed!

If you’re familiar with my Oolong reviews, you’re probably familiar with how I approach brewing most Oolong teas, but for those who aren’t:  I steeped this in my gaiwan.  I measured out a bamboo scoop of tea into my gaiwan, and heated freshly filtered water to 180°F.  I carefully poured into the gaiwan enough water to cover the leaves and I let them steep for about 15 seconds.  Then I strained off the liquid and discarded it.  I call this the “rinse” and I think that this simple little process greatly improves the flavor of Oolong teas and some other teas (such as Lapsang Souchong and Pu-erh).

Then I pour more water into the gaiwan, and allow this to steep for 45 seconds and strain the liquid into my serving cup.  The cup I use holds two infusions perfectly, so I steep the leaves again, this time for 1 minute, and strain the tea into my cup.  I continue this process until I feel like I’ve either had my fill of the tea for that day or until the leaves are spent, adding 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.

My first cup (infusions 1 and 2) is light and refreshing.  It has a smooth note of honey and hints of peach.  I taste a slightly woody note and notes of earth and spice.  There is some astringency toward the tail.  It’s a very pleasant and relaxing cup.

The second cup (infusions 3 and 4) offers a stronger flavor than the first cup.  The notes of wood and earth are beginning to emerge a little more.  The honey is present throughout the sip and I’m noticing the sweetness in the aftertaste.  The same is true of the peach.  The warm spice is still a hint of a flavor at the start of the sip, but toward the finish I taste a little more and it does linger a little into the aftertaste as well.  As the tea cools slightly, I pick up on more honey notes.  Nice!

With the third cup, the flavors seemed to mellow into a very seamless, united taste.  The lines between the layers of flavor have been blurred to create a unified flavor that is sweet, fruity, a little bit earthy and a little bit warm.  I think this third cup is my favorite, because the flavors have all become a little less less focused, so I’m able to enjoy the soft texture of the cup and the sweetness seems to be emphasized more now.

I really enjoyed this tea.  It was beautifully flavored.  This is the tea I’d recommend to those that find Oolong to be a little too “flowery” for their taste.  This is more fruity and honeyed than it is floral.  It’s best served hot, but allow the cup to cool slightly so that those honey notes pop.  It’s alright when it’s cold/iced … but the flavors are much more distinct when the tea is warm.

Eastern Beauty Oolong Tea from Green Terrace Teas

EasternBeautyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Green Terrace Teas

Tea Description:

Eastern Beauty, also know as Oriental Beauty, Bai Hao Oolong, and Champagne Formosa, is one of the most famous and unique Asian teas.  During the growing process, green cicadas or “leafhoppers” bite the leaves, stimulating a hormonal reaction in the tea tree that develops its natural honey flavor.  This also means that the tea is organic, as no pesticides are used during production.  Eastern Beauty is more oxidized than other oolongs and has a very distinctive taste.  It is delightfully smooth and fruity, with naturally sweet honey and floral undertones.  Thanks to its lack of astringency, this selection is also very forgiving to oversteeping and its savory flavor persists through many infusions.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m loving this Eastern Beauty Oolong from Green Terrace Teas.  It represents the first of the teas that I’ve tried from this new-to-me company, and I’m very happy with what I’m tasting thus far!

I brewed this in my gaiwan using 180°F water, and after a 15 second “awakening” of the tea leaves, I steeped the first infusion for 1 minute and the second infusion at 1 minute 15 seconds.  I combined the first two infusions in one cup.  For each subsequent infusion, I would add 15 seconds to the infusion time, and I would combine two infusions in one cup.  (The second cup = infusions 3 and 4 … and so on.)

The first cup was lighter in flavor and texture than the subsequent cups, but even though it was lighter in flavor – it was still very flavorful!  There were sweet, peach-like notes with a sharp floral tone.  Beautifully sweet!  The mouthfeel was soft and pleasant.  There were some earthy notes to the cup as well as hints of wood-like notes.  I detected no bitterness or astringency to the cup unless I really focused on it, and then I picked up on a slight dry note toward the finish.  It’s barely there!

And even though I mentioned the sharp floral note, this is not an overly floral tasting tea.  There is just a bit of flower there that cuts through some of the fruity sweetness – it’s enough to offer contrast without becoming a flowery tea.

The second cup had a more developed set of flavors than the first.  I could really taste the peach-y notes!  The sharp floral tone that I picked up on in the first cup is somewhat subdued now.  It is not so sharp, and instead, it is more like a whisper of flower in the distance.  This cup was more about the peach, the notes of earth and wood, and a lovely, sweet nutty tone that began to reveal itself.  I like the way the peach and the nutty flavors work together.

The third cup was the sweetest of the three!  The peach notes are profound, and the woodsy/earthy notes are softened, making way for more sweetness that is reminiscent of honey.  This is where the honey notes really come into focus, so it’s definitely worth the effort to keep on steepin’ when it comes to this tea.  The honey notes are BEAUTIFUL!

A really enjoyable tea … if it’s any indication of what I have to look forward to from Green Terrace Teas, then I’m really happy to have found this company!

Taiwan Beipu Oriental Beauty Black Tea (Premium Grade) from Cameron Tea

OrientalBeautyBlackTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Cameron Tea

Tea Description:  

*This black tea is a fully oxidised version of traditional Oriental Beauty.

Region: Beipu, Taiwan

Type: Black Tea

Harvest Time: Winter 2013

Oxidation level: Fully oxidised

Taste: Refreshing floral aroma with fruity and honey taste.

When to drink: Throughout the day

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  This Beipu Oriental Beauty Black Tea is absolutely DELIGHTFUL.  I’ve had quite a few Oriental Beauty Oolong teas, but only maybe a handful of Oriental Beauty Black teas, and of those that I can remember … they really impressed me with their amazing flavor.  This one is also quite impressive.

The dry leaf aroma is somewhat earthy, reminding me of damp, mossy earth (there’s a lot of that up here in the Pacific Northwest) with notes of flower in the distance.  Once the tea is brewed, more of those floral notes emerge, and the earthy notes have subsided somewhat.  It smells rich and inviting.

It has the soft, buttery texture of an Oolong tea, but with the well-rounded, full flavor of a black tea.  The softer texture means that this is not as hearty a tea as many black teas out there.  This isn’t a tea I’d turn to as that first tea in the morning.  I’d choose this for a late morning or early afternoon tea.

The flavor is sweet.  It has a distinct honey note and it’s the first flavor that I can really distinguish in the sip.  The honey notes are intense and almost have a molasses-y undertone.  Then I start to pick up on the fruit notes.  It tastes of stone fruit, evoking thoughts of freshly-picked, tree-ripened peaches and apricots, bursting with flavor and still warm from the sun.

There are some faint (very faint!) floral tones to this, and I find that they’re most noticeable when I slurp the sip.  Mostly I taste the sweet honey, hints of molasses and the juicy peach and apricot flavors.  Such incredible flavor to this tea!