Katie Yen’s Organic Oriental Beauty (Dong Fang Mei Ren / Bai Hao)
Oriental Beauty is different to other oolongs because it is typically harvested in the early summer and is highly oxidized (about 60 – 75%). Katie Yen’s Oriental Beauty is also different to other Oriental Beauty Oolongs. This is because the plants used to make the tea come from a high altitude garden in Nantou County instead of from plants from the somewhat lower altitude gardens in Hsinchu County, and the cultivar used was Qing Xin instead of the more typical Qing Xin Da Pan. As with other Oriental Beauty Oolongs, the leaves used to make this tea have been carefully selected to make sure they have been bug-bitten, which is what needs to happen to get the special and unique Oriental Beauty taste: Just like a second flush Darjeeling, tiny ‘leaf hoppers’ (Jacobiasca Formosana) are allowed to chew on the leaf edges while still on the bushes just before harvest. This triggers the plant’s defences, creating a natural oxidization and provoking their flavours. Oriental Beauty has a refreshing and deliciously sweet honey characteristic that is often compared with teas from Darjeeling.
While this tea can of course be prepared “western style” in a teapot using ca. 6 g tea for 500 ml of water and making 1 – 4 infusions of 2 – 3 minutes each, we strongly recommend trying it gong fu style so that you can fully appreciate how the tightly rolled leaves unfold to reveal their beautiful scent and complex flavour notes. If you do this, use the same amount of tea (ca. 6 g) for 120 ml of water, make a first infusion of 15 – 20 seconds, then add 5 seconds for each subsequent infusion. This should allow you to make approximately 5 – 6 infusions during which you will experience how the aroma and flavours develop with each steeping.
OriginNantou County, Taiwan
FlavoursRipe stone fruits, honey, brown sugar
From controlled organic cultivation