Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
I first became acquainted with Grand Crew when they generously offered to do a giveaway for my Instagram followers. They included a couple of samples for me with the shipment. It had been a while since I had an Oriental Beauty, so I was super excited to give their White Tip Oriental Beauty a try. You might also know this tea as Dong Fang Mei Ren or Bai Hao. It was produced in Hsinchu Beipu using the Chin Shin Da Pan variety. The unique taste of this tea comes from the leaves being bug-bitten before harvesting. I promise that is tastier than it sounds!
The dry leaves were beautifully whole with a curled shape. This type of tea is sometimes called ‘five color oolong,’ and I could see why. There were several shades of black and brown along with requisite silvery tips. Grand Crew provided gongfu-oriented directions, so I opted to use a porcelain gaiwan. White Tip Oriental Beauty unfurled to reveal full bud sets that I couldn’t resist digging through to find the perfect ones. Am I the only one who plays with my leaves?
White Tip Oriental Beauty brewed up a beautiful orange-tinged shade of amber. The taste was smooth and sweet with notes of juicy white peaches and honey. Earthy floral notes reminded me a bit of Darjeeling. There was a hint of spice in the background that, combined with the sweetness of the tea, left an aftertaste of cinnamon raisin bread. Yum! There was just the slightest bit of astringency but only enough to balance all of that honeyed sweetness. It was full-bodied and aromatic across multiple infusions.
Have you ever tried White Tip Oriental Beauty from Grand Crew? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!