Review: Honey Beauty Oolong

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Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The complex flavor includes fresh honey, vegetal, and fruity elements. It is sophisticated and I can't help but see similarities between this oolong tea and a good Darjeeling tea. "
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 8.4/10, CJ gave it 9/10
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This offering of Honey Beauty Oolong tea comes from the same tea varietals used to produce the more common Oriental Beauty oolong teas. The difference here is that these leaves are left 100% natural (aka no pesticides) to allow leafhopper insects to bite on the leaves. As they bite the leaves, the insects inject a small amount of saliva into the leaves, which eventually translates into a sweet honey flavor in the finished roasted tea leaves. The dry leaves are dark in color and appear very similar to black tea leaves except that where most black tea leaves are thin and wiry, these leaves are large and fluffy. The dry leaves have a wonderfully complex aroma that includes notes of honey, fruit and hay. The aroma is potent and exudes freshness; it actually reminds me very much of the aroma of a first flush Darjeeling. Because these leaves are so fluffy and voluminous, I used two heaping teaspoons of leaves per 8 ounces of water, just to be sure I was getting an adequate leaf-to-water ratio. I used just under-boiling water and infused the leaves for three minutes. The tea brews up to a dark caramel brown color. By all indications so far, this tea is about as close as oolong tea can get to black tea. The flavor is very pleasing. The freshness of the aroma transfers well into the flavor, as this tea is just about bursting with flavor. The honey sweetness is readily available, but it does not over power the natural plant flavor of the tea. While sharing some qualities of black tea, this oolong distinguishes itself from black tea with its rather light- to medium-bodied. The complex flavor that includes fresh honey, vegetal, and fruity elements is sophisticated and I can't help but see similarities between this oolong tea and a good Darjeeling tea. I found this to be a great tea to enjoy throughout the entire day. Overall, this is a highly satisfying tea that I will happily recommend to others.

— To purchase Honey Beauty Oolong, 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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