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Oriental Beauty

Hand Picked Summer 2016, Taiwan
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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 fragrant oolong is a firm favourite at Té Amor and we are delighted to be able to source it direct.

A classic tea, it has lovely curled leaves in autumnal hues interspersed with white tips in a mix of textures. 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
  • 150ml
  • 2 mins
  • 90°C

Like most oolongs, Oriental Beauty can be re-infused multiple times and yield a good volume of tea. This practice works best when the leaf is steeped in a small vessel, but it also works reasonably well using a large teapot.

Use freshly drawn and filtered water at around 90°C.

For Western-style brewing in a teapot, steep 3g per cup. Infuse for 2 minutes before serving. Re-steep an additional 2-3 times (or more) for 2-3 minutes each time. 

For Asian-style brewing in a gaiwan or small teapot, steep 6g of tea for 4-6 infusions. The first infusion can be as short as 30 seconds, and increase the infusion times thereafter up to about 1 minute.

The leaf quantity, infusion time and temperature can be adapted 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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