|"This is offering is far from being my favourite Oriental Beauty oolong. At its best, it’s very light and fruity. Overall it’s lacking in taste, especially the honey tones characteristic to the genre."|
This tea has been harvested from wild, large leaf trees, growing in the Wuliang Mountains, in China’s Yunnan province. Looking at my sample, the fluffy burgundy coloured leaves come in various shapes and sizes, from dust to full leaf. They are very uniform in colour for an Oriental Beauty. Perhaps this tea has been roasted more than others I’ve come across before? Their mild aroma is vaguely tannic and woody, with a hint of honey.
I brewed this tea gongfu style based on the package directions, infusing 4 grams of leaf in 200ml of water heated to 85 degrees Celsius for 15 seconds. The copper coloured cup is scented with an aroma mixing toasted bread, currants and tobacco notes. Very light, the tea has just a touch of tannins, currants and honey flavours. The feel is generally smooth but the tannins give it a bit of a wine-like feel. It’s interesting but not stellar. I hope the best is yet to come.
I brew a second cup for 30 seconds. The results are very similar to the first infusion. Some of the flavours are a bit deeper, especially once the tea has cooled a little. However, the profile is still strangely muted for an Oriental Beauty.
I try two more steeps, following a 45 and a 90 second long brew. Both cups are smooth, no unpleasant element emerging. Taste-wise, the tea is again rather bland, featuring watery bread, oak and tobacco notes.
This is offering is far from being my favourite Oriental Beauty oolong. At its best, it’s very light and fruity. Overall it’s lacking in taste, especially the honey tones characteristic to the genre. I would be inclined to brew this tea Western style, hoping the longer infusion time would pull more flavour from the leaves. This tea is available in a variety of formats, so it’s easy to sample it without breaking the bank. However, it’s rather pricey for the quantity you get and I can’t really recommend trying it in the first place.
— To purchase Tea Setter Wild Arbor Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
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