Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dachi Tea Co. Oriental Beauty Oolong

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: varied green and brown with silver tips
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 40 seconds
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: amber

Oriental Beauty, aka Bai Hao oolong, is one of my favorite types of Taiwanese teas. It's one of the few teas that is organic by necessity (at least in the summer) because it requires that the leaves be bitten by leaf hopper insects. I know that might sound a bit gross but bugs chewing on your tea is a very good thing! It starts a slow oxidation process before the leaves are even picked, creating unique flavors and aromas. The leaves of this particular bug bitten offering from +Dachi Tea Co. were big and beautiful. I couldn't resist a quickie photo shoot in between infusions. Immediately after taking my first sip I couldn't help but exclaim out loud, "Holy crap, that's good!. The body was delicate yet very complex. Notes of raw sugar and cinnamon danced around a juicy grape-like quality. It wasn't quite a Darjeeling level of muscatel but it was very close to it. The mouthfeel was relatively thick and viscous, especially on the first two rounds. The finish had a pleasant sweetness balanced by just the slightest hint of astringency. One of the things that I like most about Dachi Tea Co. is the depth of information that they provide about their teas. Everything from basics like elevation and level of oxidation to profiles of the tea producers. I think that is something every tea company should strive for.

Oriental Beauty Oolong sample provided by Dachi Tea Co.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on