Oriental Beauty is also known as Peng Feng Cha, or Bai Hao Oolong because of the mixture of many white hair coated young buds. It is the most heavy fermented Oolong in the Oolong tea family, the fermentation level is between 75-85%. It has unique honey flavor and taste without any astringent or bitter taste. Oriental Beauty is one unique Grand Cru tea selection mainly from XinZhu and Miaoli regions in Taiwan. The competition result of 2016 Oriental Beauty has just been announced today.
Due to the abnormal weather this year, the production of Oriental Beauty in Taiwan is much less than last year. The biggest winner in the 2016 Oriental Beauty competition this year is the family of Zheng Xiao-Xian from ErMei County, besides won the Grand Prize, their products have also won another three (3) prizes from the range of Superior No. 1 to 10. Mr. Zheng is only 45 years old this year but he has already have more than 35 years of experience in tea farming and production. Today the years of hard working, devotion and team work from the family paid off.
Once in a workshop in Brussels, people asked me which tea considered as black caviar in tea; I first asked them to define the meaning of black caviar. If it’s about the taste, then I am afraid no one can really tell you which tea is the best black caviar because each person has his/her own preference for flavour and taste. If it is about the price, then perhaps we can consider this as the black caviar of the year. Even though the price for the competition range has reached 34,000-35,000EUR per kilo before the competition started, but Mr. Zheng they will keep the same price as last year +/-25,000EUR per kilo.
Why Oriental Beauty is unique and expensive? Because it is not just about the unique characters of QingXin Da Mao tea tree cultivar, but most importantly is the organic growing micro-environment and bites from the leafhoppers (Jacobiasca formosana) under the influence of right weather conditions which goes beyond what human can predict and/or control. For example this year, it first rained very hard and then followed with extraordinary heat climate, it impacts to the tea tree growing, the picking quality and quantity seriously due to the influenced by the number of leafhoppers.
Whether the tea farm has the organic certificate is not important, because the tea itself is a hard confirmation of organic micro-environment, hand-picked and traditionally semi-manual processed. Don’t be scared off by the price mentioned above, because there are very limited quantity for such super Grand Cru quality grade. There are still many authentic pure and good quality to satisfy the needs of many tea hoppers around the world.