|"Sort of a drama queen. She has many personalities!"|
Oriental Beauty is an odd tea. The flavor bouquet can be so… floral, it reminds me of soap or bath gel. In other words, it is not one of my favorites. Which is surprising, because it is so highly oxidized that it is quite close to being a black tea, and black teas ARE my favorite.
On the other hand, Oriental Beauties tend to be SO fragrant and flavorful, you can get many, many, pots of tea from one batch of leaves. And each batch is a little bit different. For these reasons, OB’s can be pricey. (Dachi sells about 2.7 ounces for 42 dollars!)
In general, a good OB can be identified by two things:
-the slightly sour aroma and flavor lent to it by parasitic leaf-hoppers. They chew on it good and long before farmers ever begin picking;
-a full, honey-like quality.
Dachi’s No. 7 scored high on both counts. Granted, the sweeter, less floral notes didn’t emerge for me until the second and third infusions, but what infusions they were!
During the second infusion, No. 7 revealed a rather cinnamon-like characteristic, just like Dachi promised. I was skeptical, but when it appeared, I was smitten.
The third time around the leaves were at their sweetest and fullest. Only the tiniest bit of leaf-hopper tang remained-just enough to remind me that I was indeed drinking an Oriental Beauty.
My relationship with Oriental Beauty is a melodramatic one. I start out hating those soapy, first dates, but I don’t break up with her. By the time I’ve put her through enough hot water, I’m glad I stuck around. I rate her an 8.
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