Friday, November 25, 2016

Origins Tea: Oriental Beauty, A Tea Review

Happy Black Friday everyone! May your shopping be excellent, may all your favorite shops have sales, may everyone who is going out only be met with polite fellow shoppers, may your Thanksgiving leftovers taste even better, and of course...if you are a business, especially a small one, may you cut a fantastic profit today! I only partook of one sale, it involved tea cups of course, since I still needed to get myself a birthday present after my last attempt was a mess, and now I wait...the really hard part!

Today I am looking at Origins Tea Oriental Beauty, one of my favorites of the bug-bitten teas that come from Taiwan, to me this tea embodies autumn, as I think I have said the many other times I have looked at an OB! So onward to sniffing the colorful leaves, the first thing I notice is this tea is super fruity! Notes of cooked apricots and plums with a touch of toasted almonds as the undertone giving it a fruit tart quality. There is a bit of an autumn leaf pile note, along with distant notes of plumeria blossoms and very faint pecans. It is a very sweet aroma, with the sweet not becoming overwhelming thanks to nutty and leafy notes.

Into my little shui ping the tea goes, this teapot is much happier in its new role as my OB pot! Ooh the leaves smell so fruity after their soaking, strong notes of grapes, plums, apricots, and lychees blend with orange blossoms and a distant nuttiness. I can see why a lot of people compare an OB to a Darjeeling, they are similar sharing muscatel notes, though I have to admit OB blows Darjeelings out of the water with their sweetness. The liquid has a slightly creamy note, like someone made a wonderful fruit compote of plums, apricots, and grapes and drizzled a tiny bit of heavy cream on the top, and I want to drink it NOW. I have no impulse control when it comes to naturally sweet goodness in tea.

The first steep is light in both mouthfeel and taste, silky, much like a silk scarf in the breeze...and ooh boy it is going to be one of THOSE blog posts where I get all 'poetic' hopefully I just got it out of my system. The taste is fruity, notes of fresh very sweet apples (if I actually ate apples more I could tell you what type, but I don't like eating them, just drinking their sweet juice) with ripe plums and grapes. It then moves to delicate lilies (not the spicy kind, more the heady lily of the valley type aroma)  and a touch of autumn leaf pile. The finish is a lingering sweet dried apricot that hangs around for a while, this pleases me because I adore dried apricots.

Amusingly the second steep's aroma is sweeter and also leafier, like I took a mouth full of stone fruit compote and cream and then jumped into a pile of leaves...see, very autumnal!  The taste and mouthfeel is warmer, silky in texture with a warm Qi in my mouth and belly, it flows quite enjoyably making me very relaxed. Ok the taste is really ramping up the autumn! Plums and grapes take a back note while persimmon and pumpkin takes the reins, it is sweet but not as sweet, it is now richer and starchy. The finish is a blend of lilies and autumn leaves with a finish, again, of sweet dried apricots.

You are probably wondering if I had another steep...well yeah, I did...and several more, because I love OB and will steep it until is is slightly golden sweet water. I could tell by the third steep that it was going to be a long lasting tea, the taste has similar notes to the second steep  but is even richer. With an almost malty quality, the sweetness of pumpkin and persimmon dance with plums and a distant subtle raisin note. As the later steeps continue on the fruit becomes the dominant notes, specifically plum and apricot with a long lasting aftertaste. I greatly enjoyed my session with this tea.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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