Here we are again, drinking tea as usual. Whatever year, whatever weather, whatever pandemic, war or disaster strikes us a simple cup of tea and a little meditation will push all the above away, leaving behind only bright, clear mind and pure happiness in the soul.
Today, we have received a brand new & fresh Bai Hao wulong, also called Dong Fang Mei Ren, some of you may know this magnificent Taiwanese treasure under the name of "Oriental Beauty" or "Eastern Beauty" or "White Tipped" (referring to the silver furry buds) wulong/oolong.
Oriental Beauty tea is a Taiwanese semi-oxidized tea to 60% - 70%, which means that it is a highly oxidized tea, close to black teas. It has a fruity and floral aroma and sweet, velvety taste this makes it one of the most distinctive teas in Taiwan. Made from Qing Xin Da Fang cultivar in altitude of 500m.
This is a beautifully made up summer tea. Bud and two leaves - big, twisted & fluffy. The leaves of OB actually have five colours: Golden, coppery, silver, green and brownish curly leaves, beautifully dried on touch, releasing aroma of sweet caramel, dried apricots and exotic wood.
What is so unique about this tea?
Except the fact that Queen Elizabeth II. named this tea "Oriental Beauty" it will surely be that the tea leaves are attacked and bitten by Tea Jassid (sort of green crickets). Bzzzzzzz......
This tea was first produced in the late 19th century in the Beipu County in Taiwan and it was done purely by accident.
"A tea farmer found his plantation had been damaged by small green insects - Tea jassid, similar to tiny crickets. The little pests had chewed on the leaves.
Instead for destroying the plantation to begin anew as was customary, the tea farmer harvested the tea leaves and processed them anyway. The resulting tea was so surprisingly good that it sold for twice the regular price."
Processing Oriental Beauty:
This tea is mainly produced in Beipu and Emei, in the Hsinchu county in Taiwan. Production has to be totally free of pesticides to attract the small crickets.
Green crickets then bite the plant to suck the juice from young leaves and stem. The bite starts the oxidation of the leaves and add a sweet muscatel to the characteristic.
A bud and two leaves are harvested in the summer.
Leaves are spread under natural sunshine to begin the process of evaporation of the moisture inside the leaves. Second stage of withering takes place inside the factory.
Leaves are then tossed onto a bamboo tray, which bruised the leaves and agitate the oxidation furthermore. The leaves are rolled with moderate pressure and finally dried to stop the oxidation.
Oriental Beauty tea is like any other tea, it contains caffeine. However, this wulong tea contains a moderate to high caffeine level.
Remember, buds and young shoots is where the tea bush stores most of the caffeine content as this acts as a natural defence against insects. Caffeine is not the only one, of course. O.B. also contains several healthy components such as vitamins (Vit C), minerals ( Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iodine, zinc, etc..) antioxidants which gives a range of healthy benefits. These components are in most of teas so let's just list few healing properties here: helps digest, helps metabolism to function properly, helps to get rid of unwanted waste, polyphenol content boosts up the activity of enzymes which may help to burn fat faster, boost your immune system (something what we all need right now!), reduce the risk of infections and inflammations, reducing plaque build up and tooth decay, helps to reduce blood pressure and reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, strengthen your blood vessels and improve blood flow... calms your mind down and fights off free radicals (free radicals cause damage to your DNA and cause premature aging that reflects on your skin).
How did we brew our new Oriental Beauty?
We have used a Yixing teapot (clay) to highlight the earthiness of this tea.
We brew the kettle to 100 C (and pre-heated our tea-ware with it) then we let the water naturally cool down to 85 C and washed the tea leaves with it (place the leaves into the teapot pour the water over and pour out right away into the jug and in our case onto THOR... :O) Rumble...tumble!
Then we ritually poured another 85C water over and waited for the masterpiece ... for about a minute.
Oriental beauty is such a lovely tea to drink...it's full bodied, smooth and sweet with really amazing aroma and taste.
Bright, clear golden cup with mesmerising floral aroma of lilies, hints of honey, apricots, pineapple and cinnamon. Liquor is smooth and velvety with a taste of wild lilies, fruits, earth and spice (cinnamon & saffron). After-taste is incredibly sweet and roundy with muscatel aroma and no astringency at all.
You can go on and on, pour the tea until it's dark (in Scotland.. we pretty much start in the dark and end in the dark ...lol as the light is hard to find... it's mostly only in our hearts!)
Oriental beauty is suitable for many brews - we have brewed one tiny teapot 9 times :) We will have this magnificent tea in our store shortly, so you can try it too.
Drink Tea... Be Free...