Oollo Tea’s Oriental Beauty

Oriental Beauty by Oollo Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$10.00 for 25g

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First Impressions

I bought Oriental Beauty at Oollo Tea’s booth at the 2016 Vancouver Tea Festival, back in November. This was one of the teas that they were sampling at their booth and I pretty much fell in love with it. The packaging that Oollo Tea uses is simple and effective – a textured card stock box with information on either end about the company is printed in metallic silver.

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The front has basic information about the tea, along with a circular sticker that lets me know that it is a dark oolong, direct trade and single origin from Pinglin, New Taipei, Taiwan. The back of the box has a sticker that tells me the name of the grower (the Zhen family), as well as when it was harvested (May 2016) and steeping instructions. The tea itself is contained in a resealable white, foil lined bag. The packaging overall from Oollo Tea is nothing short of beautiful – I quite like it as it is simple, pretty and (most importantly) functional.

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Oriental Beauty has dark wiry leaves, I love that I can see the soft downy feathers on the leaves. This is always a sign to me that there’s a lovely cup of tea waiting for me. There’s very subtle fruity fragrances in the dry leaf. It reminds me a lot of stone fruit – plums, apricots, with just a smidgen that reminds me of peaches.

Preparation

Oollo Tea recommends steeping Oriental Beauty for 2-4 minutes in 95°C (203°F) water, and suggests that it can be steeped five times. My initial steep of Oriental Beauty was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

After the two minute steep, Oriental Beauty is a nice light yellow. It has a fruity smell to it, which was expected based on the dry leaf smell. My first taste of this tea and I note the stone fruit flavours in it – plums, apricots, peaches. There’s a sweet vanilla taste to the tea that I wasn’t expecting, but it’s quite welcome. The vanilla flavour adds a nice creaminess to the tea. The tea itself is quite smooth and easy to drink, with zero bitterness when steeped for two minutes. I found that the leaves opened up a little bit, but not quite all the way.

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A Second Cup?

The second steep (2 mins, 30 secs) had the addition of floral notes, the same stone fruits, and apple. The packaging suggests that there are grape flavours, but I don’t taste them in the second steep. Overall, I did a total of 7 steeps (6 resteeps) of Oriental Beauty. I found the third steep had the richest, deepest flavours with the apple and stone fruits, the sweetness of the vanilla flavours mingles well with the floral. After the third steep, I lost the apple flavours first (in the fifth steep), and by the seventh steep I was left with primarily flavours of vanilla and plum in my mouth.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Oollo Tea’s Oriental Beauty. I really enjoyed steeping the leaves again and again to discover changes in the flavour profile. From the unexpected creaminess of vanilla to the addition of apple and floral notes, I think this tea does incredibly well with being resteeped and it is definitely a tea to sit down and savour each sip because of the complexity and ever-changing flavours with each steep.

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