Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Ave
Go ahead, search the world—you won’t find another tea quite like Oriental Beauty, the luxurious, highly prized oolong tea so exquisite that it made its way from Taiwan to Queen Elizabeth II, who gave it its name. Processed entirely by hand, Oriental Beauty is produced only once a year, during summer. Our Oriental Beauty grows in the Ping Ling area of Northern Taiwan, known for its breathtaking scenery. The perpetual mild climate and rolling fog makes the growing environment truly unique.
Learn more about this tea here.
Tea Ave. is a fairly new company that I was fortunate enough to get to sampler prior to their official opening; while I really enjoyed each tea I got to sample there was only one I personally wanted to restock and so I waited for a good opportunity to place that order. Well, they recently announced a Summer Sale where you don’t pay for shipping, which was the perfect chance to place that small order! In addition to the tea I wanted to stock (Ginger Lily), I received a few samples of their other teas as well as a little bit of “swag” in the form of a reusable branded tote bag.
Obviously this is one of the extra samples I had received; while Tea Ave. does let you specify what you’d like to sample I left that field of the order form blank and so they chose for me. Two of three samples were new to me, and one a repeat – though as I’ve been pretty impressed with all of their teas I’ve tried (including this double) I’m far from disappointed about that. This sample came in sachet form, though not all three did. It’s the first time I’ve tried one of their blends in a sachet; I always have mixed feelings about teabags/sachets because I LOVE the convenience but think that most sachets don’t generally offer enough room for leaf expansion – which is definitely a bigger issue with oolong. Though in this case the sachet is very large, and that turned out to not be an issue at all.
I did two infusions of this tea, both turned out to taste very similar so I wont do a flavour summary for each like I tend to do when I steep the same tea several times. I thought the liquor was very light and gentle with an incredibly smooth and silky mouthfeel that made for really easy, calm sipping. The dominant note – though in this case dominant just means “most present” because nothing about this blend was harsh, was honey and it was the right level of sweet but natural and not cloying. Supporting notes were fresh picked Spring flowers, hay, and a soft, roasty note that reminded me of just barely toasted bread. I’d describe the overall combination as ‘ambrosia’.
I do think this was a little watery, and had it not tasted quite as diluted I’d be all over this blend – but it was incredibly pleasant for what it is as well, and a really nice balance between a greener, more vegetal oolong and a heavily roasted, mineral tasting more oxidized one.
Going back to the company itself, it’s definitely always very cool when companies go that extra mile by including samples and other goodies – just like when I received my sample package from Tea Ave. months ago, I continue to be impressed by this company’s branding, their teas, their customer service and now on top of that their quick shipping time! If you like oolong even a little I absolutely recommend giving them a chance and taking advantage of the current sale which is running throughout July.