Oriental Beauty Oolong tea is a tea which comes from Taiwan, and is considered one of Taiwan's top ten most famous teas, being a traditional tea in Taiwan and very exclusive. In China, Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea is called “Dong Fang Mei Ren” or “Bai Hao Oolong” because the buds of the tea plant are have delicate white tips.
The name Oriental Beauty is said to have originated in England. Legend has it that a British tea merchant presented this very tea to Queen Victoria, she highly praised this tea for its vivid golden red colored liquor and the mellow, sweet flavor. Only knowing that the tea was from the far East, she began calling this tea “Oriental Beauty”, which has been its common name ever since.
Oriental Beauty is considered a half-fermented tea, however the fermentation of Oriental Beauty tea leaves is higher than most other Oolong teas and can be fermented from anywhere between 65-85%. Because of the high fermentation level in this particular Oolong tea, you will find that there is no distinct odor of fresh leaves, and the liquor is smooth and sweet without any astringency or bitter flavor.
The name of this tea is very appropriate as the appearance of the tea leaves themselves are extremely beautiful, with hues of white, green, gold, red and a variety of brown tones throughout the leaves. Because Oriental Beauty Oolong tea is a more highly fermented Oolong tea, the liquor produced is a gorgeous shade of clear and bright golden amber.
The flavor of Oriental Beauty is very sweet and smooth with a natural sweet flavor and aroma, which has honeyed undertones. Indeed, Oriental Beauty is especially savored for its intoxicating aroma, which is unique among all teas. There is a very special way this tea gets its natural sweet honey aroma.
Oriental Beauty Oolong tea is harvested in the summertime, during June and July. But what makes this tea unique, and so fragrant is that the leaves which are plucked are the leaves which have been bitten by a small green insect called a leaf hopper. Leaf Hoppers can be considered a pest for most crops, in fact it can be devastating to potato crops in the eastern United States, however these tiny leaping insects are essential to the production of Oriental Beauty tea.
When the fresh tea leaves are bitten by the leap hoppers, this causes a partial oxidation of the tea plant which results in the very unique and highly sought after aroma and flavor of Oriental Beauty tea.
Only the most experienced tea farmers can successfully grow Oriental Beauty tea, and production of that tea is a highly specific process which takes great care. The quality of the Oriental Beauty tea is actually determined by how much the leaves have been bitten by the leaf hoppers, as the more bites the leaves have, the higher the quality of the Oriental Beauty tea. Growing Oriental Beauty tea can also be a challenge because to encourage the presence of leaf hoppers in the leaves, the tea farmer can not use any pesticides or it will kill the leaf hoppers as well. Successfully growing high quality Oriental Beauty tea can be an extremely arduous and difficult process, but reaps the most beautiful tea in the Orient.