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Taiwan Oolong Champions

The Location

The island nation of Taiwan off the coast of China is very mountainous and seems to be just perfect overall for growing teas, most of which are processed as oolongs, despite the variable seasons. Generally, the higher the elevation where the tea leaves are grown, the sweeter the tea liquid. New cultivars are being developed all the time. Tea has been grown on the island for over a century and has rapidly expanded in the last 60 years.

The high variability of Taiwanese weather results in a lot of quality variability, too, from one season to the next. Altitudes and soil types are additional factors affecting the teas’ aroma, flavor, and even appearance.

Since elevation is so important, oolongs from Taiwan are often classified that way. The push to cultivate teas at higher elevations is driven by the belief that these teas are sweeter in flavor and command a higher price.

About Oriental Beauty

“Oriental Beauty” was a name given to this tea by Queen Elizabeth II in her enthusiasm over the outstanding quality of the tea. This is the most well-known Taiwanese Tea and this "Selected Premium" grade is considered the best grade of Taiwanese Oolong tea available for regular consumption by connoisseurs worldwide due to its limited production and rare availability. Competition grade Oriental Beauty is the only grade that exceeds this but only 20 kilos of this are generally produced making it beyond the price reach of most.

Features: There are fluffy, white-tipped leaves intermingled with red, yellow, green & brown tipped leaves; this characteristic makes the tea look like a magnificent mixed-color flower. After brewing, the color of the tea is a shimmering amber with a rich, honey aroma. While savoring it, the smooth and ripe-fruity flavors enrich the taste, just like a fine red wine.

Oriental Beauty Tea Garden

Unique Natural Environment: Sunny and highly humid in the summer season. This typical type of subtropical sea-island climate provides a tea garden where on the lee side of the hill, it is an optimum environment. Abundant organic soils provide the tea trees very nutrient-rich environmental conditions resulting in better production and richness of the tea bud and tender leaves.

Annual Production: Total account is 1200Kgs, Premium grade is around 150Kgs.

The average official auction price for the 1st place of Oriental Beauty Tea in Taiwan (Only 20Kgs each year) was around $3,300.00 per kilogram.

Some Taiwan Oolongs

tea-blog-giftwb-wenshanbaoz.jpgA few fairly well-known ones:

  • Dong Ding (Tung Ting, “Frozen Summit,” 冻顶, 凍頂) – Nantou County. Generally medium-oxidized oolong that is light- to medium-roasted, lightly floral with a touch of fruit character, robust, full-bodied flavor, and long-lasting.
  • Bao Zhong (Pouchong) Selected Premium Oolong Tea (包种茶, 包種茶) – An ultra lightly oxidized oolong (10-20%) that some classify as a green tea.
  • Formosa Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea Select Premium Grade (Bai Hao Oolong, Dong Fang Mei Ren Cha, 东方美人茶, 東方美人茶) – The dry leaves have a multi-colored appearance, from fluffy and white-tipped leaves to red, yellow, green and brown tipped leaves. The liquid is a shimmering amber with a rich, honey aroma and smooth and ripe-fruity flavors.
  • Ginseng Oolong (Ren Shen Wu Long, 人参乌龙, 人參烏龍) – Adding ginseng to tea has been a long-standing tradition. The tea base is usually a high quality oolong tea and makes a liquid that is supposed to nourish the body and replenish energy.
  • Muzha Tie Guan Yin Classic Roasted Taiwanese Iron Goddess Oolong – Glossy dark-brown color on the leaves.Rich, pure fruity fragrance with some roasted charcoal aroma.Clear, pure, reddish and deep orange-yellow color.Rich and smooth acid-fruity taste, no bitterness or astringent taste. Very mellow and lingering finish!
  • Shan Ling Xi – Tight leaf nuggets in a dark green color infuse a pale yellow liquid. The liquid has a light aroma and sugary quality.
  • Da Yu Ling Oolong (台湾大禹岭乌龙, 臺灣大禹嶺烏龍茶) - The leaves are lightly oxidized and have a reputation for its wonderful fragrance and taste. The liquid has a very light color but a wonderful vegetal/floral aroma. The mouthfeel is buttery and the flavor smooth with no bitterness and slightly sweet floral characteristics.
  • Wu Ling - From the Wu Ling mountain area in Taichung county, Taiwan. The flavor starts out very light, grassy with a hint of fruitiness and a touch of spinach quality and a thin watery mouthfeel. The fruity flavors are evident throughout each infusion and tend to linger.

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