The dry leaf smells like roast and apricot jam. The warmed leaf is sweet, fruity and floral with notes of honey, burnt brown sugar, apricot, powdered sugar and daffodil.

Following a long rinse, the tea is strange in the first steep, light in flavor but it leaves a very strong buttered lima bean aftertaste. The second steep better shows the Oriental Beauty character. I can taste a gently sweet honey, orange blossom, minerals (silica?), grass seed, osmanthus and a light nuttiness. This steep still displays the buttered lima bean aftertaste but in the subsequent steeps it turns into honey, orange zest and vanilla with light cream.

For being a tea 6 years old, this is a serviceable oolong. I don’t have much experience with Oriental Beauty but I found this version from Thailand, while much less oxidized than a regular OB and without the autumn leaf taste, to be more true to that style of oolong than to a GABA oolong, which is what Leafhopper thought it resembled. Maybe it’s somewhere in between!

Thanks for the share, Leafhopper :)

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Butter, Char, Cream, Drying, Floral, Grass Seed, Honey, Jam, Lima Beans, Mineral, Narcissus, Nutty, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Osmanthus, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Georgia, Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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