Oriental Beauty Oolong tea
Oriental Beauty Oolong tea or Dong Fang Mai Ren. Specially selected from the old trees of Guanxi Oolong, this white-tip Oolong tea is made from hand picked fresh sprouts bitten by leafhoppers to create a mellow fruity aroma and honey-like sweet taste. Oriental Beauty is sometimes called with two other names: Bai Hao Oolong, Oolong with white hair/fur, or Wu Se Cha, tea with 5 colors, in reference to the appearance of its dry leaves.
PLACE OF ORIGIN:
growing in wild gardens of Mioli in Taiwan.
specially selected from the old trees of Guanxi Oolong. It is a highly oxidized (+/-70%) Oolong harvested from young leaves, in summer, just after they have been bitten by the tea jassid (a small criquet). This bite starts the oxidation of the leaves and adds a sweet and sour note that is so characteristic. In response to the tea jassid's bite, the leaves produce an antibody that in turn imparts an incredibly sweet fragrance and flavour to the tea. The insects also prompts the oxidation process and when the entire process is finished the leaves are left with a beautiful range of rich tones; white, green, orange, burgundy, and dark brown.
being lightly fermented, these teas are high amino acids, vitamins, polyphenols and antioxidants. These combine into a tea that reduces cholesterol and helps reduce hardening of the arteries, and so can help reduce risks of heart attacks. The antioxidants it contains can also help guard against some forms of cancer, and also help fight the affects of aging and bacterial infections.
I was taught to steep Oriental Beauty at a very low temperature, only 70¡C (158¡F). It doesn't require a huge amount of leaves either, about a third of the pot is enough. Though I usually stick with Yixing pots, I sometimes use ceramic for Oriental Beauty, since it delivers the full flavor of this tea. Examining the finished leaves, you can find leaves with little dark specks on them, where the tea jassid fed. The bitten leaves turn a more yellowish tint (on the bush) and become misshapen and slightly crumpled. A high concentration of spotted leaves means a very high quality tea. The leaves should be small, as well. The more tips and small leaves, the better.
we recommend to store in a cool, dry and dark place.
Oriental BeautyÊdates from the end of the 19th century, when Taiwan started exporting its Oolong teas overseas. At that time, tea was mostly harvested at low altitude in the plains of northern Taiwan or in the Wenshan forest. Most tea farmers were new immigrants from Fujian with little tea growing experience. They had moved across the Formosa Strait in search of a place to start a new and prosperous life. Oriental Beauty tea was their 'Klondike gold'. They mostly sold their harvests to foreign agents (John Dodd or Jardine Matheson) for export to the West. The better the quality, the higher the price they would get.
During each summer, the tea farmers were upset to see their crops eaten by swarms of small criquets, particularly present in the warm plains. They didn't even bother to harvest the leaves because low-quality tea was usually turned down by the foreign tea traders. One farmer in Hsin Chu county didn't accept this fate. He harvested these bitten leaves nonetheless and managed to sell them for a high price to John Dodd. Legend has it that this tea was so good that it supposedly made its way to the queen of England who named it "Oriental Beauty" (or 'Dong Fang Mei Ren' in Chinese. See the calligraphy on the left). In Hsin Chu county, meanwhile, our farmer proudly told his friends for what a high price he had been able to sell this tea. There, people named it "Pong Fong Cha" or braggar's tea.
50g / 30 cups
5 g / 30 sec / 4 infusions
5 g / 3 min / 2 infusions
5 g / 1 min / 3 infusions
Semi - fermented
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