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Oriental Beauty

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Exclusive to Té Amor in the British Isles, this intoxicating oolong is exotically fragranced, with notes of honey, lilac and wood.

From Beipu in northern Taiwan, this entrancingly oolong is a firm favourite at Té Amor and we are delighted to be able to source it direct from Taiwan. The Deng family has been making Oriental Beauty in Miaoli, Beipu since 1967. It is their speciality, and their mastery of the craft has borne fruit with first prize at the prestigious National Oriental Beauty Tea Competition Taiwan for years.

The handpicked leaves are oxidised to deep autumnal colours interspersed with white tips. Unroasted, with a relatively high level of oxidation and quite dark coloured liquor, it could be mistaken for a black tea, but its complex and recognisable fragrance marks it out as an oolong.

High quality Oriental Beauty is distinguished by its fragrance, which is variously described as honeyed, floral (lily/honeysuckle) and fruity (muscat). This is the result of an enzyme released by the plant after it’s been bitten by a leafhopper (Jacobiasca formosana). Deliberate oxidation during processing intensifies the remarkable flavour still further.

The tea, from the chin shin dah pah cultivar, is grown on the protected leeward side of low lying hills, which enjoy high humidity and plenty of sunlight – the ideal environment for attracting the leafhoppers.

For an interesting variation on this tea, see the sister tea – Black Oriental Beauty – a fully oxidised version of the oolong. 

Brewing Guidelines

  • 3g
  • 250ml
  • 1-2min
  • 95°C

Like most oolongs, Oriental Beauty can be re-infused multiple times. This practice works best when the leaf is steeped in a small vessel, with a large proportion of leaves to water (gong fu style). Using a gaiwan or small teapot, double the amoung of leaves you might normally use, and steep 6g of leaves with roughly 150ml of water. The first infusion can be as short as 30 seconds, and increase the infusion times thereafter. Reinfuse multiple times.

As always, adapt the leaf quantity, infusion time and temperature to suit personal preference. 

This is lovely to drink throughout the day and is especially good with cake!  

NB Although most oolongs are traditionally rinsed before brewing to ‘awaken’ the leaves, the open leaved Oriental Beauty and Pouchong do not need to be rinsed. 

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