Dong Fang Mei Ren (also called Bai Hao) is an unrolled dark Taiwanese oolong unlike any other. Its English name, Oriental Beauty, was given by Queen Elizabeth II in the early 20th century when she tasted this tea for the first time. The tea is hand-harvested and crafted with two leaves and a bud per cluster. It is 70-75% oxidized.
Enzymes change the color of the leaf edges to a deep red, causing the plant to give off the aroma of honey and fruit, and an unusually sweet flavor. The leaves are naturally oxidized by leaf hoppers that chew on the leaf edges while still growing on the tea bushes. As such, it is harvested only in the early summer. It yields a rich, strong honeyed liquor which produces a sweet tasting bright-yellow-orange tea liquor without any astringency or bitterness.
Leaf Aroma : Flowery bouquet, hints of honey.
Leaf Dyness : Dry
Leaf Color : Yellow-orange
Leaf Texture: Semi-crisp
Leaf Size, Shape: Unrolled twisted leaves about 1 inch long.
Amount of Tea : 1 tsp.
Amount of Water: 6 oz. gaiwan
Temperature : 180 degrees F
Steeping Time : 2 minutes
Tea Aroma: Floral, honey
Tea Color: Yellow-orange
Tea Taste: Superb sweet refreshing honey, floral
Tea Aroma: Same
Tea Color: Slightly darker
Tea Taste: Same, but more intense
Tea Aroma: Same
Tea Color: Slightly less intense.
Tea Taste: Slightly less intense.
Oriental Beauty is one of the most precious Oolongs to come from Taiwan, a superb example of one of the world’s most extraordinary teas. Truly a tea not to be missed.
By Chas Kroll, Tea Master