A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

2016 Qi Lai Shan Oolong from Jade Leaf is a stunner that won't be around for long.

Sometimes a tea is so good I actually don't want to write about it. But I don't want to be selfish, so I come clean with you, dear readers, and this is one of those times. This is an amazing tea. This is THE tea to turn people onto teas who have never had a good tea. Its simply, clearly, astonishingly delicious. Every single steep.
(I am only writing this after literally just leaving paypal where I bought 4 ounces of this. I had to make sure I was covering my naturally selfish little monkey-butt.)

This is a tea to watch and from the moment you do it starts putting on a show. Pretty, pretty leaves, look at them swell, opening for you but not too fast, making the steeps last, six, seven times. Oh my. I never knew.

Here is a link to Emilio's blog post about this tea, a must read!
I will let the post speak for itself and just add we, as a tea community are blessed to have this man in our midst. Find the tea here!


Located in a remote, pristine high elevation garden on the edge of a national forest Qi Lai Shan is close to Li Shan. Even in Taiwan, Qi lai Shan is a still largely unknown growing region. This is because this area is relatively new to tea cultivation. Only locals who know where the best tea in Taiwan is know about Qi Lai Shan. This tea is grown at 2050m. The dry leaves have a clean fragrance of high mountains. The taste is pure and buttery with a long smooth aftertaste. This year it snowed in Qi Lai Shan during the winter, making this spring's tea "snow tea". Because of it's rarity, snow tea is renowned for it's excellence. If you are a high-mountain lover tea we highly recommend this tea.

So many ways to make good tea! None of them involving a bag!

Da Jin High Mountain Oolong but a different experience thanks to trying out new kinds of brewing devices!

If you, Dear Reader remember reading my post called 'Smacha Whacha Wow!' (and honestly I don't even remember writing it, I was so tea-drunk)  then you know I really liked Smacha's Da Jin High Mountain Oolong. Maybe too much. I believe my gushing might have taken on new spectral heights in that 'review'. I will not apologize. Enthusiasm is a gift, people, a gift!
Today I had the Da Jin again and once again had a series of wow moments, but in quite a different vein. Oh, I still loved it, its just this session is a low and slow, passionate yet playful science experiment playing with parameters, temperatures and so forth and all with my Smacha auto-brewer instead of a gaiwan. I followed Smacha's written advice and used almost 8 grams of tea as I filled and refilled the 12 ounce pretty white porcelain infuser over and over. I went from 205f to 190, all the way down to 170, and all with different tones coming out of this sweet Oolong.
It is not an overly complex tea, I am learning from complex with my huge stash of shou Puerhs, but it has depth and personality and wonderful floral notes and nuanced sweetness, it has earthiness and nuttiness and all sorts of things you want from a good high mountain Oolong!

Time to find a new batch of Oriental Beauty Tea! I've finally run out!

Oriental Beauty.Bai Hao. My favorite tea(s) ever. Thanks, strange little insect!

Oriental Beauty Bai Hao Premium Oolong is the highest quality handpicked whole leaf Oolong tea recognised as “Top Super Fancy” on its native island of Taiwan.
With its distinctive floral aroma and smoothly sweet taste, Oriental Beauty is a top quality premium Oolong that has a low annual yield, which is highly sought after and valued accordingly.
Hand picked at a ratio of one bud for every two leaves, Oriental Beauty Bai Hao Premium Oolong can only be produced from leaves that have been bitten by the Jacobiasca formosana leaf insect, whose chemical signatures react with the chlorophyll present within the leaves to produce a unique, sweet flavor and aroma. Processed with mid-fermented light fire baked technology in the tradition manner, Oriental Beauty Bai Hao Premium Oolong is produced without the use of any insecticides so as to allow the Jacobiasca formosana leaf insects to thrive. As a result of this, the premium tea gardens that produce Oriental Beauty become totally natural and organic as well.
Renowned for its bright amber coloration, subtle honeyed aroma and pleasantly lingering aftertaste, Oriental Beauty Bai Hao Premium Oolong also enjoys notes of apricot and stone fruit.