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Hello Steepster friends, it’s been a while…

I had plans to go hiking with Doberman Dexter this morning. We woke up at dawn, just the way I like it (yes, I’m a night AND a morning person, not much sleeping going on here, lol) And I realized it was going to be a rainy day. Well, I wasn’t going to let that ruin my plans, so we went anyways.

I go hike to this regional nature forest park we have, it has a big mountain to climb plus you can walk a trail that sinuously contours a beautiful river with lots of rapids. I like going there by myself with the dog, it’s pretty much the only nature park around that allows dogs.

My bright yellow rain coat with a large hood kept me protected from the rain all morning. Turned out to be a lovely day. It wasn’t really pouring. More of a slow dripping, allowing our ears to listen to a beautiful symphony of little noises orchestrated by the sound of each drop of water gently lending on the luxuriant vegetation…ploc, ploc, ploc…

I sat on a big rock, closed my eyes, and inhaled this pure oxygen that you find only in the forest. I couldn’t help thinking about this tea I was going to have later.

When I got back, I wrote a long note to a dearest Steepster friend that I’ve missed a lot (if you read this, you know who you are!!) and made this tea. I felt it deserved a proper evaluation, that’s why I took my time with it.

I was introduced to Oriental Beauty about a year ago, by a friend who brought me as a gift 1/2 pound directly from Taiwan. I didn’t know the brand nor the estate it came from, my friend bought it at a local merchant and was told it was Taiwan’s finest Wenshan tea. I don’t think he lied. I fell in love with it and quickly went through the 500g bag. I had a few samples after that from different vendors but just couldn’t find one that equaled it.

When Stacy gave me the heads up about an upcoming Butiki OB, my heart stopped. Then she said it was going to take a little longer cause she was «being picky». Well, her being picky was great news, it meant I could expect something fabulous!

And fabulous this tea was…

The dry leaf of OB is very peculiar, it is small considering it is oolong. It is referred to as the tea with 5 colours. If you look very closely, you see that some of the silver tentacles are covered with a white duvet. That’s why this tea is also named Bai Hao Oolong, meaning white hair/fur. I notice I don’t see as many white buds in Butiki’s as I did in my Taiwanese Wenshan OB.

I used about 4g for my glazed gaiwan as it is my favourite vessel for Oolongs in general.

First steep renders a bright and transparent golden orange colour. It is very fragrant of red fruits, muscatel and honey. For those «who like to watch», here’s a pic:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/9111047867/lightbox/

Its fruitiness reminds me of Darjeeling, but it’s fuller and rounder with no astringency. The fact that it has such a high level of fermentation and oxidation brings it closer to black tea, that’s one of the reason I like it so much.

I love the automnal rainbow of colours the leaves of this tea presents…rich auburns, browns, greys, and greens, it is stunning to look at. Here’s another pic after 2nd and 3rd steep:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/9111047817/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/9111047597/

The 3rd steep is a real charmer, a burst of sweet honey notes, created by those little insect bites. There’s a faint spicy note in the background that I can’t really identify, the taste is more concentrated, I get dried fruits, maybe fig or apricot. There’s also a cooling feel in the mouth at the end that lingers for a while. It’s very addictive.

Again, here’s some pics showing a leaf that must have been a feast at some point, judging by the clear chunks missing:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/9111047673/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/9111047535/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/9111047765/lightbox/

This is a beautiful tea inside out. Oolongs are so exciting, they are the Rockstars of teas.

I almost missed on this one, having placed a Butiki order seconds before It became available for sale. But with her usual courtesy, Stacy fixed everything and I got my precious supply. I’m afraid it won’t last very long…

Bonnie

Love your walk in the rain with doggie…and I’ll write you back tomorrow my friend!

Alysha

This tea sounds and looks amazing! Same goes for the hike. There’s nothing like fresh forest air to cleanse your body, mind and spirit :)

TheTeaFairy

I just love and need alone time, (the doggie doesn’t count, he just goes wherever I go and he’s very quiet company!) And you don’t have to write tomorrow, take your time :-)

TheTeaFairy

Alysha, yes the tea is great! And right you are about the hike, I came back rejuvenated!

Terri HarpLady

I love this review!
When I drink oriental beauty that spicy taste you refer to always manifests as ‘coriander’, or similar to it, for me. :)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Terri! Coriander makes sense! It could also explain that cooling freshness I get, will keep that in mind for my next tasting…which should be…how about right now?? Looks like I’m not going to bed tonight!

Butiki Teas

Wow, your morning sounds absolutely wonderful. I love to go trail running and my absolute favorite time to go is in the morning when its raining. No one is around and there is something very special about the woods while its raining and the greens seem even greener.

Fantastic pictures! I love the one with the lone leaf propped up. The leaf hoppers must have loved that leaf. This tea does use young tea shoots compared to other oolongs that typically use more mature leaves. Younger leaves tend to have more antioxidants.

Bonnie

Walking through rainy woods is a great prep for liking puerh. I think this influenced me because I lived in the Sierra Nevada’s in the 1990’s. Wet mulch leaves, dirt and mud. Sweet wood.

TheTeaFairy

@Butiki: Exactly! The trail was deserted. On a saturday, I met only one guy and his german shepherd. Makes it easier with dogs as they tend to want to sniff each other all the time! Never understood why people in general hate rain so much… So true the greens do seem greener.
My favourite pic is the leaf in the dark, it’s like blinking at us, did you notice?
Good that this tea is loaded with antioxidants, I’ve been drinking it non stop :-)

@Bonnie: I think my review of Butiki’s mini tuocha was actually inspired by the excact same thing!!

Butiki Teas

I did not notice that but you are so right, it does look like its winking at us. Hahaha.

TheTeaFairy

Argh! I always say «blink» instead of «wink», thanks for understanding what I meant Stacy!

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Comments

Bonnie

Love your walk in the rain with doggie…and I’ll write you back tomorrow my friend!

Alysha

This tea sounds and looks amazing! Same goes for the hike. There’s nothing like fresh forest air to cleanse your body, mind and spirit :)

TheTeaFairy

I just love and need alone time, (the doggie doesn’t count, he just goes wherever I go and he’s very quiet company!) And you don’t have to write tomorrow, take your time :-)

TheTeaFairy

Alysha, yes the tea is great! And right you are about the hike, I came back rejuvenated!

Terri HarpLady

I love this review!
When I drink oriental beauty that spicy taste you refer to always manifests as ‘coriander’, or similar to it, for me. :)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Terri! Coriander makes sense! It could also explain that cooling freshness I get, will keep that in mind for my next tasting…which should be…how about right now?? Looks like I’m not going to bed tonight!

Butiki Teas

Wow, your morning sounds absolutely wonderful. I love to go trail running and my absolute favorite time to go is in the morning when its raining. No one is around and there is something very special about the woods while its raining and the greens seem even greener.

Fantastic pictures! I love the one with the lone leaf propped up. The leaf hoppers must have loved that leaf. This tea does use young tea shoots compared to other oolongs that typically use more mature leaves. Younger leaves tend to have more antioxidants.

Bonnie

Walking through rainy woods is a great prep for liking puerh. I think this influenced me because I lived in the Sierra Nevada’s in the 1990’s. Wet mulch leaves, dirt and mud. Sweet wood.

TheTeaFairy

@Butiki: Exactly! The trail was deserted. On a saturday, I met only one guy and his german shepherd. Makes it easier with dogs as they tend to want to sniff each other all the time! Never understood why people in general hate rain so much… So true the greens do seem greener.
My favourite pic is the leaf in the dark, it’s like blinking at us, did you notice?
Good that this tea is loaded with antioxidants, I’ve been drinking it non stop :-)

@Bonnie: I think my review of Butiki’s mini tuocha was actually inspired by the excact same thing!!

Butiki Teas

I did not notice that but you are so right, it does look like its winking at us. Hahaha.

TheTeaFairy

Argh! I always say «blink» instead of «wink», thanks for understanding what I meant Stacy!

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Bio

I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect!

My relationship with tea in a nut shell:

I’m married to straight Blacks. I have torrid love affairs with Oolongs. My BFF are Greens. I socialize more and more with Pu’erhs. I have distant White acquaintances that I visit once in a while. I party with Flavored!

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others…

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who and what they want to be and expect the same in return.

Books! I love French and classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

As tea and books, music is something I can’t live without! From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Art is food for the soul…I consume lots of it.

Animal and nature lover, I will never let a fury friend in needs.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. But since I’v joined Steepster, my tea knowledge has emancipated exponentially.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

As for my rating system, well it’s pretty much inexistent…Since I don’t write many reviews, I try to focus on the good stuff and will usually review teas that left a big impression on me.

Not a big «swapper» but if we do get to swap together, you’ll remember me, I live up to my Fairy reputation :-)

I love taking tea pics, here’s my Instagram:

http://instagram.com/theteafairy

Location

The Laurentians, Canada

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