Gradually, I have moved away from Jasmine scented green teas to teas that emit fragrances as a result of fermentation. Why? The fragrances are longer lasting and the drop in the aromatic intensity between brews is less steep. I must say that the Oriental Beauty oolong tea is a good example. I regard this as sort of red tea because of its relatively higher oxidation level compared to other teas in the category of oolong. Check out the variations in colour. I see furry white tips, orange gold, dark green, light green and a few other undefined shades.
The infusion is a deep and dark golden orange hue that one can easily mistake for a red tea. A sweet floral aroma travels from the root of my tongue to my nostrils. Quite similar to inhaling perfume through your mouth and very much like a muscat wine without the overwhelming sugary taste. The insect bites and saliva that these tea leaves have been exposed contribute a lot to this unique flavour that reminds me of a chemistry lab that produces esters.
Despite the strong colour of this tea, bitterness and astringency do not dominate the taste buds as much as a Darjeeling. A tea that I prefer to prepare with shorter infusion times or longer infusions but paired with a rather sweet dessert. Perhaps a sweet and mild tasting candy will be more fitting for this oriental beauty.
This is a type of cuboid Turkish candy affectionately known as the Padishah sweetie. I like it for its slightly crunchy and crumbly qualities. Made from flour, sugar and vegetable fat. I enjoyed this sweet with afternoon tea that day. Neither is overpowering the other. Just the kind of balance I was looking for.