2017 Winter Top Oriental Beauty from Hsin Chu
The Queen of Formosa Oolong
Cultivar: Qinxin Dapang
Harvested by hand: October 26th, 2017
Origin: Guanxi, Hsin Chu county, Taiwan
Process: Jassid bitten buds, high oxidized, in stripes.
The color of these winter dry leaves is slightly lighter than that of summer leaves. This is a sign of a slightly lower oxidation. But their small size, the variation of colors and the presence of white buds that distinguish Oriental Beauty are all there. The clarity and transparency of the brew are very good. The open leaves are very firm and full of energy thanks to the organic farming used.
The dry fragrances are sweet and smell of ripe fruits and molasse. It has also a dry component due to its recent roast. The brew has very high notes and an intensive fragrance that are less honey like, but more perfume like. This is especially the case for the first and shorter brews. It is a very pleasing scent.
This winter OB comes from a single harvest and was produced in a single batch. This explains why the tea has such a pure taste. It has a lot of sweetness thanks to its high oxidation, but also a dry finish due to its recent roast. I don't call it 'traditional' because it's from winter and OB is traditionally made in summer, but its process can be described as traditional. This type of OB already tastes heavenly, but will continue to improve if it's well stored. At this young stage, I don't recommend long brews for this tea, but I also don't recommend using many leaves. While summer OB are luscious, warm and full of honey aromas, this winter OB is all about lightness, finesse and purity! In terms of Western Beauties, it's like Marilyn Monroe (summer) vs Audrey Hepburn (winter)!