78
drank Oriental Beauty by Teavana
300 tasting notes

This is my first Formosa Oolong, so mind you I have no point of comparison except Chinese green and roasted oolongs. The Tea Prosperity gift set was my last score from Teavana’s Heavenly Tea Sale on Sunday. At 50% I could not pass it up, though I had been coveting the set since it arrived in stores several months ago. I wanted this set not for the tins but because with the exception of Emperor’s Clouds and Mists they are teas not available on our tea wall.

I started last night with Oriental Beauty as I was excited to try a Taiwanese Oolong, having learned about them in training but Teavana didn’t carry one at the time. Upon pouring the tea from pouch to tin I was taken by its appearance, very dark long delicate leaves with silver streaks and a few broader brown leaves in the mix. It smelled very earthy with a hint of tobacco which retained its aroma after brewing with the addition of leather. The first sip was strong and reminded me of a Ceylon and my first though was “well the Queen’s taste in tea is rubbish”.

However the tea became more complex both in my mouth and in the cup and I was aware of my first experience with buttery mouth feel that lingers on the roof of your mouth and I love it! The floral and fruit notes are very mild compared to the rich leather, tobacco and butter, but it did remind me a tiny bit of Himalayan Splendor (a black tea from Nepal grown at the same altitude as a Darjeeling) only less light. I did try re-infusing though it was not specifically recommended. The second steep was certainly more mild though the butter quality was still there. The first steep was certainly more complex and I very much enjoyed this first foray into Formosa. Husband thought it was interesting and my two and half year old son chugged two small cups of it as well/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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