Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Green Terrace Teas
Eastern Beauty, also know as Oriental Beauty, Bai Hao Oolong, and Champagne Formosa, is one of the most famous and unique Asian teas. During the growing process, green cicadas or “leafhoppers” bite the leaves, stimulating a hormonal reaction in the tea tree that develops its natural honey flavor. This also means that the tea is organic, as no pesticides are used during production. Eastern Beauty is more oxidized than other oolongs and has a very distinctive taste. It is delightfully smooth and fruity, with naturally sweet honey and floral undertones. Thanks to its lack of astringency, this selection is also very forgiving to oversteeping and its savory flavor persists through many infusions.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’m loving this Eastern Beauty Oolong from Green Terrace Teas. It represents the first of the teas that I’ve tried from this new-to-me company, and I’m very happy with what I’m tasting thus far!
I brewed this in my gaiwan using 180°F water, and after a 15 second “awakening” of the tea leaves, I steeped the first infusion for 1 minute and the second infusion at 1 minute 15 seconds. I combined the first two infusions in one cup. For each subsequent infusion, I would add 15 seconds to the infusion time, and I would combine two infusions in one cup. (The second cup = infusions 3 and 4 … and so on.)
The first cup was lighter in flavor and texture than the subsequent cups, but even though it was lighter in flavor – it was still very flavorful! There were sweet, peach-like notes with a sharp floral tone. Beautifully sweet! The mouthfeel was soft and pleasant. There were some earthy notes to the cup as well as hints of wood-like notes. I detected no bitterness or astringency to the cup unless I really focused on it, and then I picked up on a slight dry note toward the finish. It’s barely there!
And even though I mentioned the sharp floral note, this is not an overly floral tasting tea. There is just a bit of flower there that cuts through some of the fruity sweetness – it’s enough to offer contrast without becoming a flowery tea.
The second cup had a more developed set of flavors than the first. I could really taste the peach-y notes! The sharp floral tone that I picked up on in the first cup is somewhat subdued now. It is not so sharp, and instead, it is more like a whisper of flower in the distance. This cup was more about the peach, the notes of earth and wood, and a lovely, sweet nutty tone that began to reveal itself. I like the way the peach and the nutty flavors work together.
The third cup was the sweetest of the three! The peach notes are profound, and the woodsy/earthy notes are softened, making way for more sweetness that is reminiscent of honey. This is where the honey notes really come into focus, so it’s definitely worth the effort to keep on steepin’ when it comes to this tea. The honey notes are BEAUTIFUL!
A really enjoyable tea … if it’s any indication of what I have to look forward to from Green Terrace Teas, then I’m really happy to have found this company!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: thepuriTea
Originally developed to mimic the fruity notes of Darjeeling Second Flush, Oriental Beauty has since become a tea that stands tall on its own merit. Also known as Eastern Beauty, Bai Hao Oolong and White-Tipped Oolong, Oriental Beauty is a dark oxidation oolong with wiry leaves and the occasional fuzzy tea bud. Woodsy, spicy dry aromas evolve into an enchantingly sweet copper-colored brew. Aromas of fruit, flowers, spice and wood carry through into the smooth, round, full flavor, which features notes of rose, plum and cedar. The aftertaste is accented with flavors of rosewater and cardamom, making it a great choice for pairing with Indian or Moroccan dishes. It’s also delicious on its own or paired with white chocolate and hazelnut truffles or cedar plank grilled kabobs of sweet potato and lamb.
Reading the description of this tea as I sip it, I must say that the description is pretty spot-on. The aroma of the liquor is pleasantly spiced with deep wood tones. The flavor is sweet with distinctive wood-like notes and hints of flower and fruit. I can even taste the rose water and cardamom aftertaste.
As the seasons slowly begin to change from the heat of the summer to the cooler air of autumn, this tea seems to reflect this time of year. The lightly spiced taste reminds me of the warm flavors of fall, and the crisp floral notes and sweet fruit notes remind me of the beauty of summer as its final moments come to a close.
The sip begins with a wash of flavors that is sweet and warm. Toward mid-sip, I taste a just slightly sour note that accents the sweetness of this tea. Sweet flavors of roasted peach. A floral note and even a slight nutty flavor in the distance. Only a very faint astringency that I can detect, and only when I’m really focusing on it. A casual sip would miss it completely. No bitterness. Just sweet, warm comfort – Oriental Beauty style!