Tasting notes: Honey, peach, sugary
Origin: Pinglin, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Cultivar: Taiwan No.19 碧玉 Biyu (Jade)
Said to be named by an English queen for the colourful, elegant appearance of the leaves that dance in the water, Oriental Beauty is one of Taiwan's most highly prized teas.
Its endearing honey aroma is produced by the tea plant as a defence against tiny leafhoppers that nibble on the leaves. The resulting tea is lightly roasted and yields a golden amber liquor with a fruity, sugary flavour and distinctive floral notes, reminiscent of Champagne.
This legendary rare beauty is unique in the oolong category of tea in many aspects. Comprising one bud and two leaves, Oriental Beauty is the most heavily oxidised oolong (closest to black tea on the oxidation spectrum), and the only one to contain white furry buds, which require very delicate handling in the complex and laborious processing stage.
Our Oriental Beauty is made from the Taiwan Tea No. 19 cultivar, also called 碧玉 Biyu (Jade). Teas from this cultivar tend to have a delicate aroma, smooth texture and clear liquor.
It is harvested in summer when leafhoppers abound. You can actually smell this honey scent in the fields! Pesticides are kept to a minimum for this harvest. The farmers must ensure the leaves are harvested when exactly the right amount of damage has been done by the leafhoppers. Too little damage, and the honey aroma is not distinctive enough, while too much damage actually increases the bitterness of the tea.
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