Tea Classics: Formosa Oolong, or Oriental Beauty

by Jason Walker on August 17, 2009

in Member Content

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Oriental BeautyPart VI of X in a series on classic teas you need to taste

Origin: Taiwan, most notably Hsin Chu County

Harvest: June to Aug, after the leaves have been bitten by the leafhopper or jassid

Dry leaves:
• Dark browns, sienna, and deep rust red leaves. Depending on the quality, these oolongs can also have lighter colored silvery tips
• Aromas include a faint baked biscuit smell with the sweetness of pipe tobacco blends.

Wet leaves:
• Higher qualities will include higher quantities of tips
• Smells consistent with the dry leaf

• Rust red color
• Light briskness in some. Overall, a smooth, silken texture in the mouth
• Aromas of peach, honey, and sweet pipe tobacco

Formosa Oolongs and Oriental Beauty came along at a time when Indian teas were developing. The teas provided an option to Darjeeling teas.

Those classified as Formosa Oolong are often divided into categories of Fancy and Fanciest. While these teas can offer much of the flavor and aromas of more fully oxidized oolongs, Oriental Beauty often contains more delicate tips.

These teas have an interesting history of development. They have overcome some significant obstacles to arrive in our cups today. They may have never existed in the first place unless some had been willing to experiment with the later summer leaves that had been attacked by insects. In addition, the arrival of Japanese forces during World War II curtailed production for several years. In modern times, the rising cost of labor and land threaten to reduce the size of crops in Taiwan.

Compare teas with others on the Scoresheet.
Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings.
Want to see a tea reviewed? Contact me: jason@walkerteareview.com

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