What’s So Special About Oriental Beauty Tea?
Oriental Beauty Tea was an invention by a unique technique in Taiwan. It was a beautiful mistake, initially. When a tea farmer once encountered insect problems, they picked the upper leaves and buds that are the finest parts of the trees bitten by the insects. Then, they took them to the tea laboratory and discovered that after the insects sucked the tea stems and buds juice, it started the oxidation process. Hence, this process added natural sweetness and fruity aromas to the tea.
After this significant discovery, the farmer used this skill to grow the tea by feeding the insect, Jacobiasca formosana. And for the need of the feeding, the tea must grow in warmer areas on the leeward side of hills in regions. It also requires sufficient humidity and sunshine at lower altitudes (300–800m) between the mountains and the plains. That’s why this unique plantation technique is only suitable to harvest in the middle of summer, and only about 40–50% of the leaves are used. However, as climate changes globally, Taiwan enjoyed a warm winter in 2019. And this batch of Oriental Beauty tea was harvested in December 2019, which made it especially unique.
However, the annual yield is still low, and the price is relatively high. As a result, the Oriental Beauty Tea is considered as one type of rare and SPECIALITY tea. Besides, the moisture content of Oriental Beauty Tea is higher than other teas; the withering process takes longer hence leading to the longer hydrolysis and oxidation processes. The longer time helped generate the typical sweet flavour and taste of this tea. It was thought to have been named Oriental Beauty by Queen Elizabeth the second when she tasted the tea.
Oriental Beauty Tea Brewing Guide:
- Tea to water ratio: 1g tea:80ml water; use filtered water and ceramic teaware to enhance the flavour.
- Water temperature: 80-90°C
- Brewing time: 8 minutes. 1-3 re-steeping