Oriental Beauty, aka Dong Fang Mei Ren, is arguably the most distinctive tea of Taiwan. Unlike many other Taiwanese oolongs which mostly are lowly-oxidized, green and high altitude rolled oolongs; Oriental Beauty is highly oxidized low altitude tea coming mostly from Hsinchu and Maoli in the northern part of Taiwan. In that regard, it’s very unique and one of a kind tea.
Furthermore, Oriental Beauty is one of these bug-bitten oolongs, only the leaves that are bitten by tea jassids are picked to make this tea. As the tea jassids nibble tea leaves they start oxidation earlier and as a result, processed tea leaves produce sweeter honey-like taste.
Dry leaves of Taiwan Tea Crafts Oriental Beauty are composed of white furry tips alongside with two following leaves. They are curly and have a fruity smell.
I brewed it gongfu style using about 6 grams of tea. It cupped out golden yellow liquor with great clarity. The aroma of the brewed tea is mesmerizing and therapeutic. In my experience it’s not possible to get this aroma from any other tea but Oriental Beauty. The taste is sweet and fruity; there is a little astringency possibly because of over-brewing. The mouthfeel is thick and velvety. The aftertaste is rather long and persistent leaving a nice refreshing fruity taste behind. It held up more than 6 infusions easily and if you don’t mind watery taste you can go for a few more steeps.
Overall I love it! I feel quite lucky and grateful whenever I have the chance to drink special teas such as this one. Taiwan Tea Crafts Oriental Beauty is recommended particularly for those who’re into Taiwanese oolong teas!
This month’s tea, Longan Charcoal Roasted Wuyi Oolong Tea, from Eco Cha Tea Club comes from Songbolin, Taiwan. It’s quite an extraordinary one, at least for me. I’ve been drinking roasted oolongs from Taiwan a lot recently and this is the second time I’ve tried Longan charcoal roasted oolong. They constitute a nice alternative to the conventional floral green oolongs of Taiwan.
Anyway, this month’s tea is 100% organic and composed of spring and winter harvests of 2016. Dry leaves are tightly rolled and dark green. The smell of the leaves is roasty and slightly smoky.
I brewed it gongfu style by using about six grams of tea. It cupped out reddish-orange liquor with great clarity. The first thing that hits my palate is the taste of its strong roasty flavor alongside with subtle smoky taste in the background. There is also a fruity character although it’s hard to detect. So far so good! It’s sweet with no bitterness. The mouthfeel is thick and velvety. The aftertaste was persistent and left a nice refreshing minty feeling in the throat and mouth.
Overall, Longan Charcoal Roasted Wuyi Oolong from Eco Cha Tea Club is a great tea, particularly for those who are looking for highly and masterfully roasted oolongs. Highly recommended!
Last week I reviewed Grand Tea Premium Jasmine Pearl Green Tea which is a decent representation of naturally flavored jasmine green teas. This week I’ll review Shi Feng Dragon Well Green Tea from Grand Tea which is a pre-Ming harvest of 2017.
Dragon Well (aka Longjing) is originated from Longjing village near Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. It’s arguably one of the top most popular teas of China. If you had the chance to try it you’d know why! I always try to keep some in my tea cupboard because dragon well is one of my go-to teas whenever I long for a smooth, refreshing green tea.
Dry leaves of this week’s tea are flat as with all dragon well teas but shorter than other dragon wells I’ve tried so far. They are quite light green and uniform in appearance. It’s pan-fried and roasted. The smell of dry leaves is grassy but not a strong one.
It cupped out light green-yellowish liquor with slightly cloudy appearance. It’s unexpectedly sweet and smooth with no astringency at all. Mouthfeel is mildly thick and velvety. It has got a tad touch of a grassy taste alongside with some floral tones in the background. The aftertaste is not persistent but leaves a refreshing, mellow taste in the mouth.
I don’t consider myself a tea snob although there are times I feel like one. The reason I’m telling you this because I’m not a great fan of flavored teas. And whenever I refuse to drink them when I am offered to do so, It feels like a bit tea snobbery. However, jasmine pearl green tea has been always one of the exemptions for me and always try to keep some in my cupboard. What I like most about this tea are its smell and aroma, not many teas out there to beat its enchanting scent of jasmine!
However, jasmine pearl green tea has been always one of the exemptions for me and always try to keep some in my cupboard. What I like most about this tea are its smell and aroma, not many teas out there to beat its enchanting scent of jasmine!
This week’s tea, Grand Tea Premium Jasmine Pearl, is naturally flavored with jasmine blossoms. As soon as you open the package beautiful smell of jasmine blossoms hits your nostril. Each pearl is made of two leaves and an unopened tea bud and processed as green tea.
I brewed it western style using 3 grams of tea for 200 ml glass teapot. It cupped out bright yellow liquor with great clarity. The aroma is even better than the smell of dry leaves. I’m not sure if the taste can beat the aroma! The taste is floral with slight grassy touch in the back. It’s quite smooth and sweet leaving a sense of calmness on the palate. There is not much in the aftertaste but a short lingering taste of jasmine blossoms.
About Jun Chiyabari
Jun Chiyabari (meaning “moon-lit tea garden”), arguably the most famous tea garden in Nepal, is a small family run tea farm located in the Himalayas in the eastern mountains of Nepal. Tea is grown organically and the elevation ranges from 1650m to 2100m.
About Zhao Zhou Tea
Zhao Zhou Tea, founded by Peter and Gabor, is a tea house located in Budapest, Hungary (one more good reason to visit Budapest very soon!). They carry a wide range of tea selections on their website; they particularly focus on puer teas that are made out of ancient tea tree leaves in southern China. I loved the tea map on their website. You can go through it and learn a lot about teas from different countries and furthermore you can add any tea in your cart right on the map.
Jun Chiyabari Imperial Black Tea
Dry leaves of Jun Chiyabari Imperial Black Tea are neither short nor long and composed of slightly twisted black leaves. The smell is reminiscent of cocoa. When it’s brewed, it cupped out bright orangish red liquor with great clarity. The mouthfeel is thick, even though not as strong as Assam black teas. It’s slightly bitter, but nothing that bothers my palate. Quite contrary it’s very well balanced! The aftertaste is quite short yet leaving a nice touch of nutty feeling in the mouth. Overall, it’s a fantastic tea. Highly recommended for black tea aficionados!