Oriental Beauty

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Apricot, Dry Grass, Grapes, Hay, Honey, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Citrus, Orange
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Sannetea_Lulu
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 oz / 96 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

  • “The dry leaf is dark, curly, and multicoloured, with yellow and white flashes throughout; it smelled of plums and honey. However, after I steeped it, the sweet smell deepened into something closer...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is a review for the 2015 Oriental Beauty. The leaves were picked in August in Pinglin, New Taipei (Taiwan), by Mr. Chen Shi Yi (http://www.sannetea.com/about-our-partners/) and it’s 100%...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is the 2015 Summer Tea. This tea is beautiful! I love Oriental Beauty simply because of its wild assortment of leaves. They look like the autumn leaves around my house, and I just adore that....” Read full tasting note
    93
  • “Had this one today – a free sample from Sanne Tea that Lulu sent. There was also a free handmade tiny soap that was a nice surprise. Thanks Lulu. This tea was perfect for an autumn day. The tea...” Read full tasting note
    80

From Sanne Tea

Oriental Beauty is also known as Bai Hao (white tips) Oolong, or Champagne Oolong. The beautiful name, many people believe, is from Queen Victoria. When brewed, the leaves generally spread in water, like a graceful lady dancing with gorgeous finery.

To make Oriental Beauty, farmers have to grow tea trees without pesticides, so Jacobiasca formosana, a type of green leafhopper insect, can feed on the leaves, stems, and buds. This leads to the tea plant’s production of monoterpene diol and hotrienol which gives the tea its unique flavor. Tea leaves bitten by the green leafhopper insect lose their green color and appear bronzed or washed out, eventually becoming atrophic and curly. It is why the high quality Oriental Beauty shows five different colors: white, red, yellow, green and brown.

The tea leaves are only harvested and made in summer, when the green leafhopper insects are most active. What makes Oriental Beauty more precious is that the unique sweetness is produced when the leaves only bitten by Jacobiasca formosana. Tea leaves, infested with other insects, like Ectropis oblique and Toxoptera aurantii, won’t produce honey flavor. This uncontrollable eco system makes Oriental Beauty one of the rarest teas in the world.

The tea comes from Cuku, Pinglin Dist, near Feitsui Reservoir area. All tea leaves have to be handpicked to ensure that each leaf has been bitten by Jacobiasca formosana. Because of the difficulty involved in harvesting this tea, a professional tea picker can only harvest 0.7 to 1kgs each day.

This tea has natural ripe fruit and honey flavors with a smooth texture and multiplayer floral finish. When brewed, the tea liquor has a clean and bright golden color. The full-bodied, mellow, and aromatic flavors will bring you ultimate luxury experience.

About Sanne Tea View company

Sanne Tea is the place where you can find high-quality and pesticide-free Taiwanese tea. The founder came from a Taiwanese family that loves and drinks tea for several generations. We want to share our enthusiasm and passion for Taiwanese tea and natural farming with the world. As our commitment, we source and sell 100% natural, zero pesticide teas. We are very excited about the teas that we have to offer, and are very much looking forward to meeting other tea lovers here.
 
 We worked hard to find the Taiwanese tea that is 100% grown in Taiwan and build the relationships with local farmers, not to mention that the tea has to be affordable. We, along with several tea farmers who we trust, would like to promote true Taiwanese tea to the global market. 
 
 Thank you for visiting us and please go to our website:www.sannetea.com

10 Tasting Notes

987 tasting notes

The dry leaf is dark, curly, and multicoloured, with yellow and white flashes throughout; it smelled of plums and honey. However, after I steeped it, the sweet smell deepened into something closer to tobacco.

The first steep was for 60 seconds, and resulted in a cup of light amber liquid with sweet, papery, and woody overtones. On my tongue, it was sweet and woody, and there was also a flavour slipping along the bottom that made me think of birch bark — dry, cool, wispy, papery. The mouthfeel was thick and it coated my tongue, providing a metallic aftertaste and a syrupy sweetness similar to Thompson raisins.

The second steep was much darker than the first, with a deeper amber colour like beer. The flavour also intensified, with notes of raisins, honey and birch bark coming to the fore. I noticed that the quality of the leaf was very high; I found very few broken leaves, leaf fragments, or dust in my strainer or cup.

The third steep was even darker and stronger-tasting than that, although the honey flavour receded. Instead of sweetness, I tasted metal. The fourth steep was fairly similar to the third steep. However, as I continued to steep (I did 7-8 in total), I noticed that the mouthfeel became thinner, dryer, and woodier.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2016/01/sanne-tea-samples-oriental-beauty-and-bao-zhong-oolong/

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27 tasting notes

This is a review for the 2015 Oriental Beauty. The leaves were picked in August in Pinglin, New Taipei (Taiwan), by Mr. Chen Shi Yi (http://www.sannetea.com/about-our-partners/) and it’s 100% organic tea. In fact the green tea leaf hopper is encouraged to eat from the leaves, as the reaction of the tea plant leads to the release of some natural chemicals that lead to the taste of Oriental Beauty (see wikipedia for the more detailed story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongfang_Meiren).

The dried and curled leaves have a wide variety of colors, from black over all kinds of browns to white, and they smell wonderful. The tea itself tastes great: very smooth and fruity, with some honey-like sweetness. After a few steepings a much more floral, fresh green tea taste emerged. The tea never had any astringency in it. I really liked the flavor profile.

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93
506 tasting notes

This is the 2015 Summer Tea.

This tea is beautiful! I love Oriental Beauty simply because of its wild assortment of leaves. They look like the autumn leaves around my house, and I just adore that. I opened the package and took a sniff of this fall foliage. These leaves carry a dry hay scent with a very slight sweet grass tone. I placed what I had in my warmed gaiwan and let it sit for a bit. The scent deepened to more intense hay aroma with some brief honeysuckle in the background. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The initial sip is of the “wow” nature. The taste begins with nectar, hay, and a smooth grape that lingers. Then, it evolves into a crisp apricot tone. Last, it finishes with an intensely sweet honey aftertaste that fills the mouth. This honey tone is as identical to actual honey that I’ve ever tasted. The honey flavor even has the mild tang all too familiar with wild raw honey. The brew progresses to become alike liquid nectar, except minus the floral tone. This brew is sweet, syrupy, and a light bronze color. The brew lasts for about six steeps, and it grows mildly astringent while it leans more towards grass and hay tones. This was a very enjoyable brew, and it was a brief reminder why I love Oriental Beauty so much. I’m so happy to have been able to experience this!

https://instagram.com/p/9dpNnqzGTu/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://instagram.com/p/9drHkATGXs/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Apricot, Dry Grass, Grapes, Hay, Honey, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Rasseru

Ah nice. I love ob, especially when there is a sweetness to balance the south aroma. I will have to try it

Rasseru

South?damn spellchecker spicy. I meant spicy

Haveteawilltravel

hahah i was wondering what you meant by that ;)

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80
661 tasting notes

Had this one today – a free sample from Sanne Tea that Lulu sent. There was also a free handmade tiny soap that was a nice surprise. Thanks Lulu.

This tea was perfect for an autumn day. The tea leaves when infused look like autumn leaves and it almost has that autumn leaves taste to it. It brews up light with a light mouth feel. There’s a honey sweetness & stone fruit taste that stays with each infusion (I did 3) Very enjoyable!

I loved hearing about the farmer too. This is what Lulu told me:

“Our Green Tea and Oriental Beauty are from Mr. Chen Shi Yi. He is an Organic farmer. Organic agriculture is still developing in Taiwan. He is currently one of only 22 organic tea farmers in the Pinglin area, New Taipei City. To become a qualified farmer, he has to put incredible efforts into making sure that his teas have zero pesticide residue.
The Taiwanese organic certification is typically not recognized by many Westerns, but the Taiwanese organic standard is, in fact, amended from similar regulations in the USA and Europe. Some standards may even be stricter than the US’s, like the fact that 5% pesticide residue is allowable in the USDA certification, but zero residue is allowable in the Taiwanese organic standard. Some farmers are eager to push the government to broaden the zero residue standards to include an allowable amount of pesticide residue, but, right now, most Taiwanese still believe that any organic product should have zero residue.
I would love to share more about Mr. Chen Shi Yi and his family. 10 years ago, he found his neighbor, another tea farmer, had fainted on his tea farm from breathing in too much pesticide. This accident made him rethink the danger of pesticide. He intended to gather his neighbors and get everyone to practice the new cultivation methods together. Unfortunately, his neighbors declined. They worried that the profits would not be enough to support their families. He had once told me “I am lucky that my only son has a secure job, so I only need to take care of my wife and myself. My wife and I agreed that we should put our health first, and make only the teas we love for the rest of our lives”.
Mr. Chen has a soft heart and strong will, as do his teas. His teas are very elegant, smooth, and capable of many brews. When brewing, his teas have a clean smell that lingers long after drinking, which is achieved from a time-consuming process method. He believes that a soft fire makes sweet malt. When making his teas, he takes extra effort to make sure that every process is fully completed before going on to the next. There are no regular working hours. He, Mrs. Chen and his daughter-in-law have to take turns working through the night to make sure everything is done at the correct times and nothing is processed too long or too quickly. "

It’s a wonderful thing when someone puts that much love into their tea.

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921 tasting notes

If you missed my post earlier today, I am doing a fun direct comparison between Sanne Tea’s 2014 and 2015 Oriental Beauty Oolong harvests. I do not often get to do a side by side look of two harvests where the only thing that separates them is a few hours of my sipping time, with mostly the same tea gear (same steeping vessel, different cups) and the previous harvest very fresh in my mind. I had to jump on the opportunity to do this, and instead of making one MASSIVE blog, I divided it into two, also so you can look at each tea in a vacuum. Wee!

So without further ado, time for 2015 Summer Oriental Beauty, a bug bitten Oolong from Taiwan, sporting fluffy leaves with silvery hairs and a veritable rainbow of tea leaf colors. The aroma of these light leaves starts with autumn leaf loam (not wet forest loam, a nice fluffy pile of leaves) subtle spices, sweet raisins, wildflower honey, and cooked apples and pears. The sweet fruity notes and warm spices put me in mind of an autumnal fruit bake, while being surprisingly delicate.

Brewing the leaves brings out the sweetness, I mean it was already sweet, but now it really resembles the honey sweetness and fresh fruit. Juicy pears, crisp apples, and ripe grapes. There is a tiny hint of spice and loam at the finish. The liquid is quite fruity, blending honey, apples, and pears baked with spicy for a gentle and juicy sweetness. Again, it is reminding me of an autumnal fruit bake…maybe a pie but no crust?

The first steep starts out very light, the mouthfeel is smooth and a touch delicate. Tasting notes start with gently spiced wildflower honey and quickly moving into dried apples and white grapes. There is a touch of pear at the finish but mostly this steep is light and all about the grapes and apples. For the aftertaste, oddly enough, is very gentle loam, adding a touch of earthiness to the light tea.

To the second steep, the aroma is light and sweet, notes of apples, pears, honey, and grapes with a nice spice note. Up until now the spice was hard to nail down, fleeting, but it is definitely a nutmeg note, warm and a touch earthy. The mouthfeel is still pretty light and smooth, a bit of thickness compared to the first steep, but overall it is still light compared to other Oolongs. The taste starts out with honey sweetness and baked apples, this moves to grapes and cooked pears, and the finish is loam and spice. The loamy finish and lingering spice has the earthiness to keep this light tea from floating away.

Before you ask, yes, yes I am quite tea drunk. The aroma of this steep still has the sweet notes of honey and apples, with a touch of grape, but the real powerful note is loam, it is earthy and with a slight spice that lingers in the nose. Mmm nutmeg. The taste is light and smooth while also heavy, the notes of cooked apples and pears (drizzled with honey, of course) very quickly get overtaken with loam and nutmeg, it is a heavy finish, one that cuts down the sweetness just a touch. Seeing the subtle differences between years was epic…I need to do this more often!

Blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/10/sanne-tea-2015-summer-oriental-beauty.html

TeaExplorer

Did you like one year a little better than the other?

TeaNecromancer

I actually liked the 2014 one just a little bit more, I think because it was less loamy…and even though I LOVE loamy notes, I never run into apple and pear notes so I really liked the purity of it from the 2014.

TeaExplorer

I’ve never had these notes in an oolong … sounds tasty! They have small samples, so I’m going to give these a try. Thanks :D

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90
1 tasting notes

This is a delicious tea that manages to be tannic enough for a citrus flavor but without bitterness. I detailed more at https://nomcha.com/first_tastes/oriental-beauty/

Flavors: Citrus, Orange

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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84
150 tasting notes

Very nice, particularly the first cup. Silky smooooth and clean mouthfeel. The flavor is all softness, predominantly lychee. Also some ripe stone fruit and (hate to name it this but who knows what else to call this flavor?:) Juicy Fruit Gum.

Tastes elegant, flavorful and balanced, good to serve company.
Thank you for the sample, Lulu!

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424 tasting notes

I opened the package and took a deep breath. The leaf smelled roasty and hearty, like it was fresh and still full of flavor. The leaves were long and unbroken. I always like it when you can actually see two leaves and a bud still together.

I brewed the tea in a little clay gaiwan that I only use for oolongs, but it doesn’t photograph well and it’s impossible to see the color of the tea in it, so I transferred the tea to this neat little antique set that I found online. The mountain on the picture makes me think of Taiwan.

I was all set to go six steeps since that’s the number on the package but after five both the tea and I were done. I love the first steep of an oolong, and this one was no disappointment. The tea had a light mouth feel – not coating at all. The flavor was pure nectar: sweet and lightly floral/fruity. Really lovely. The aftertaste was long lasting and sweet. Even the color was like honey.

Full review and photos: https://tealover.net/2015/07/sanne-tea-oriental-beauty/

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371 tasting notes

Thank you so much for the sample, Lulu!

Brewed with the gongfu method, using a ceramic gaiwan. Steeping times: 60, 120, 90, 120, 150, 180.

This is my fist Oriental Beauty. As I waited for the water heat, I took the time to look at the dry leaf sitting in the bowl. Short, slightly twisted leaves, medium and dark brown (lovely shades), with a few having white-ish or golden fuzzy tips.

I didn’t know how to take in the dry leaf aroma. Freshly dried flowers perhaps. The wet leaf aroma after the first infusion was very fruity – starfruit and grapes. Following the other infusions, I smelled freshly dried flowers again, mostly lillies.

The liquor golden yellow. Beautifully clear in my white cup. The liquor also has a thick texture, a medium-body, and consistent very sweet notes. The first infusion is juicy, and there is an apricot aftertaste.

An explanation to the weird steeping times: I MADE AN ERROR. My oven timer can only be set by the minute, so I had to put it for 2 minutes instead of 1 minute and 20 seconds. I lost track of the time while think of the aroma so the leaf steeped for two minutes! I had intended to strictly follow Lulu’s instructions…. Luckily (phew), the second infusion turned out to be more than fine. Pure, unadulterated, organic clover honey. It was an enjoyable cup! Going back to a shorter steep, the third infusion is fruity sweet with prominent mineral note and nutty aftertaste. The fourth is similar, except the liquor becomes even more sweeter as I let it sit in my mouth, allowing the thick sweetness of honey to return. The fifth and final infusions also drip with honey.

A mellow qi. I began to feel like the golden yellow color sitting in my cups towards the end of the session.

This was a good first experience with Oriental Beauty!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
Sannetea_Lulu

Thank you for your wonderful tea review! Can I post the review on our FB page? :)

Lulu

KiwiDelight

You’re welcome! Please go ahead.

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