This oolong tea begins to wither while still on the bush because of a unique natural process: small insects bite the edges of the leaf, causing a change in the plants’ chemical composition that results in an intoxicating fragrance that makes this oolong so prized. Originally developed to emulate Darjeeling tea, it’s well known for this distinctive honey-sweet aroma, high level of oxidation, and its completely organic production—any pesticide use would disrupt the process.
This lot, which hails from our favorite award-winning producer in northwestern Taiwan, boasts tropical notes of passionfruit and cherry wood. Take the rich brown leaves through several steepings, using water slightly below boiling; the dense, smooth flavor will linger.
Region: Hsinchu County
Tasting Notes: honey, rose, raspberry
Harvest Season: Summer 2020
I'm in constant pursuit of great Oriental Beauties, and this year's IPOT is lovely. If I could give 4 1/2 stars I would, but rather than settle for 4, I had to acknowledge how much better this spring/summer 2019 OB is over others I am currently tasting. And quite an improvement over 2018 OB's. The aroma and shape/color from dry leaf to brewed cup is worth gold; the taste, even with five or six infusions, is characteristic of this gorgeous cultivar on the tipping point between the best of greens and the richest blacks. Perfect balance.