Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teavivre, Taiwan Oriental Beauty (Bai Hao) Oolong Tea

Teavivre Description:
Oriental Beauty Oolong also have other beautiful name as “Bai Hao Oolong” or “Dong Fang Mei Ren”.  It is named “Bai Hao Oolong” because its buds covered much of white tips.  It has honey aroma and sweet smooth taste.

This tea is special because it needs the bite of small green insect / leaf hoppers for its natural sweet aroma or honey aroma.  The small green insect called leaf hoppers or tea jassid prefer to bite young leaves (buds).  The leaf than reacts to defend and recover from the bite.  This causes a partial oxidation and the very specific high pitched Oriental Beauty fragrance.  So, organic leaves should also be more appetizing for tea insect / leaf hoppers.

Sample provided by Teavivre.

My Review:
This is the last of the latest round of samples Teavivre sent for review. I saved this one for last. Why? It's oolong. I like oolong but I never wake up and say, "I need oolong." So keep that in mind as you read through my review.

I opened the sample and as is my custom, I sniffed the leaf. What? I sniffed again. This is oolong? Yep, that is what it says right there on the label. The scent is like a cereal grain - wheat or oats? Also there is obvious malt. Malt in an oolong!

I took out half the sample to examine. The leaf shape reminds me a lot of a quality White Peony only this is much darker. Still, there is some bright brown buds, some silver, and even traces of green. It is a pretty leaf to look at.

I steeped the leaf in 10 oz of 185 F water, in my freshly scrubbed press, for 4 minutes. The liquor is a deep honey color. The wet leaf is dry forest leaves and malt with hints of fruitiness in aroma. I notice some of the leaf is now quite green while most is deep brown.

The taste is honey. Wonderful beautiful honey backed up by delicious notes of malt. I know I made the comparison to Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) earlier, but honestly the taste even suggests it. There is a certain light earthiness with hints of floral and fruit. If you can't tell, I really like this one and it's an oolong!

I am so used to green oolongs have that strong floral geranium taste and dark oolongs that are generally heavily roasted. This is just different. It is not overly floral and definitely not roasted. I can see myself actually waking up with this in mind for my morning cup, and surprisingly, it's an oolong.

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