Bai Hao Formosa from The Fragrant Leaf in New Mexico.
I love Oriental Beauty. I have not yet tried an Oriental Beauty I did not love. It will be a long time, if ever, before I 'diss' an Oriental Beauty, I would wager. My palate is forgiving, my senses open and receptive and I would guess even a lower grade OB would be better to me than almost anything else. In other words, I'm no critic.
Fragrant Leaf's offering, is no exception though it was more pricey than some of the others I have purchased. Oriental Beauty has so many names and I am learning them all; Bai Hao Formosa, Dong Fang Mei Ren, Peng Feng cha meaning 'Braggert's Tea' and many others.
This purchase did not let me know anything on the package or the website about specific harvest so I am still inclined to like Floating Leaves Tea's Oriental Beauties better and the owner always makes sure I know if I am drinking a 2014, 2015 and other information to help me learn. The Fragrant Leaf might consider doing the same?
That being noted, Oriental Beauty is a perfect tea for the coming of fall, the leaves remind me of the changing leaves on trees this time of year, not in our case, in Southern California right now, where yesterday it was as high as 107f yesterday, but nonetheless I proceed with autumn imagery as I try to keep in mind regardless of the weather, it is indeed October!
This from Fragrant Leaf; Bai Hao originates from Xinzhu County in Taiwan. This area in northern Taiwan is especially humid and foggy and the natural environmental conditions help to create the special characteristics of Bai Hao. Unlike most high-quality Taiwanese oolong teas, which are picked in the spring or winter, the best grades of Bai Hao are harvested in June and July. Once harvested, the leaves of Bai Hao are processed to a greater degree of oxidation (around 50-60%) than other Taiwanese oolong teas. The result is a tea with a very smooth and sweet flavor, virtually no astringency, and a unique aroma of ripe peaches and honey.
There is little to disagree with in the last bit of their information. This tea is indeed, smooth and lightly sweet, there is not a hint of bitterness and to me it smells of fresh bread, and peaches warmed from the sun.