Golden Grade Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea - Summer 2015Taiwan Sourcing
This is an upgrade from our "Silver Grade Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea - Summer 2014." Since the tea was very popular, we think it would be a nice opportunity to let people try a more premium version from 2015, while just paying slightly more. High quality Oriental Beauty has an extremely high price due to limited production and high labor cost. Every single leaf must be picked when it is still a bud so it will be tender enough to be processed as Oriental Beauty. To find a relatively affordable Oriental Beauty with a proper taste is a difficult task!
In the old days of Taiwan, "Oriental Beauty" was the most refined "Fan Zhuang Wu Long" (番莊烏龍), a name which came about in the early 20th century literally means "a tea for selling to uncivilized people", because the foreigners (especially British) consumed and enjoyed this style of tea very much. As a result, a legend says that the name "Oriental Beauty" came from Queen Elizabeth who was a big fan of it.
Another more persuasive name for "Oriental Beauty" is "Bragging Oolong" (椪風茶), which earned this name because of the extremely high price it garnished when sold to the British merchants during the colonial era. As we already know, Oriental Beauty must suffer from the bites of "leaf grasshopper", causing the "after-bitten" tea leaves to look extremely ugly and cheap according to the old time standard which made the tea farmer feel extremely desperate. But a tea is still a tea, the tea farmer who did not give up on the material decide to process it into heavily oxidized oolong anyway to see if it could be sold. When this tea was desired at such as high price by the British merchant, the farmer who invented this tea immediately shared this news with his friends and neighbors. Sadly, no one believed him at the beginning, and some people even accused him of bragging, which is how Oriental Beauty got the name "Bragging Tea", a name is still widely used in the southern part of Taiwan.
This Oriental Beauty from Summer 2015 was grown in the north part of the island, using the local specimen named "Da Man". The "Da Man" varietal when processed delicately has a very unique pear-like character. This Oriental Beauty is different from those Oriental Beauties that are produced in the middle part of the island which are processed from Qing Xin Da Pa (青心大冇) varietal. After one year of settling, our Oriental Beauty has transformed itself into a thicker and more full-bodied tea than it was right after it came out. We are confident this will be well received by all lovers of Oriental Beauty!
Harvest: Summer 2015 / 夏 二零一五
Varietal: Da Man Varietal / 大慢種
Elevation: 500 M
Region: Shih Ding / 石碇
Oxidation Level: 74%
Roast Level: 0
Aging Potential: High
Full-bodied and sweet in the mouth. Just enough astringency to remind you that you are drinking tea. Complex dried fruit sweetness and long lasting taste in the mouth. Many infusions to be had from these tiny bug bitten leaves. A real gem!
An old dog has to say this is one of the softest oriental beauty it had ever tasted in its dog life. Some people might find this "soft" character unimpressed, but an old dog thinks it delivers another aspect of the oriental beauty's world. You are still able to taste that "orange skin" character that is common in oriental beauty, just with a much softer touch. An old dog thinks this tea is still very enjoyable despite its lighter overall character.