Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oriental Beauty also known as Bai Hao Oolong 白毫烏龍茶 also known as Dong Fang Mei Ren 東方美人茶
The name Oriental Beauty is said to come from Queen Elizabeth I of England who reportedly remarked, "What an oriental beauty?" upon first tasting the tea. This is a summer harvest tea that relays on a tea leaf eating aphid that transfers pollen from nearby flowers to the tea leaves, resulting in the classic Oriental Beauty honey taste. This is a heavily oxidized tea leaf that results in a reddish liquor that is especially sweet and intoxicating. In Southern Taiwan, where I lived in Taiwan, most if not all of the rain would happen in the summer. The summer rains were part of the course when a typhoon that was passing through the area. I always welcomed the typhoon's ability to cool the area considerably, but later I learned that typhoons can wreak havoc on the tea growing mountains as landslides cover plantations and viliages under their massive rubble. The tea fields are in part to blame but often more heavily criticized are the bing lang plantations that cover vast hillsides, providing only the most shallow of roots. It was on these rainy days that I loved drinking Dong Fang Mei Ren. Production of this tea is in Xin Zhu County's Bei Pu.

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