Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tea Side: Dong Fang Mei Ren (Oriental Beauty) Oolong Tea #AAA, A Tea Review

It is a bit chilly at the moment, but I am sitting happily with my windows open listening to the song of rainfall. Plus I live in the age of modern conveniences, specifically an electric heating pad which soothes my creaky old joints (fun not actually true fact, joints age 3 times as fast as the rest of you.) In fact the other day I was reminded how lucky I am for electric heating pads, back in the day I would have used a warming pan, basically a metal cannister on a stick you fill with coals and stuff under a cushion...or if my feet were cold I would have used a metal box filled with coals. In theory I would not be using either, since according to a doctor from 1709, the noxious fumes of the coal were detrimental to people with health problems, though I can admit I was sorely tempted to buy the (most likely) reproduction I saw at the thrift store the other day, not that I would use it. Personally the biggest me danger with one of those is a double whammy of being accident prone and having cats, both of these things and fire really do not mix.
Today we are looking at another tea from Thai tea company, Tea Side, specifically their Dong Fang Mei Ren (Oriental Beauty) Oolong Tea #AAA. This tea is one of those glorious bug-bitten Oolongs, and you know I owe it an apology, the first one I ever had (several years ago now) was pretty bland, so I kinda ignored it til about a year ago, and now I can't seem to get enough of it...in fact I am debating getting a Yixing pot just for Oriental Beauty, or just mixing it with my Concubine pot...decisions decisions. Forgive me all those beautiful Oriental Beauties I ignored in the meantime, I was dumb. The leaves of this particular Dong Fang Mei Ren is delightfully fuzzy and fairly small, lots of little buds and small leaves. The aroma is a bouquet of citrus tree blossoms, grapefruit blossoms, tangerine blossoms, and orange blossoms, along with those are notes of fresh juicy white grapes, bee balm, honey, and the most delicate hint of autumn leaves at the finish. The bee balm citrus notes give it a sharpness, but the honey mellows it out.

Gaiwan time, and the aroma is intense, it totally fills the room with with intensely sweet floral note of grapefruit blossom and orange blossom, grapes, bee balm, honey, and zest. I am very amused by the levels of refreshing citrus. The liquid is zesty and sweet, with notes of grapefruit flowers, actual grapefruit, and lots of honey and grapes. I might be drooling just ever so slightly.

The first steep is entertainingly velvety in texture, due in part to the fuzzy trichomes, but also the texture is bouncy and smooth, I have no qualms saying it is sensual. The taste starts out a touch autumn leaf pile, not loamy, just like a pile of dried leaves, this moves pretty quickly to a sweet honey drenched grape explosion.  The finish is a sweet and delicate blend of zest and grapefruit blossoms, the sweetness lingers for quite a while.

Onward to the second steeping, and the aroma intensifies along with the color darkening to a rich amber (like it looks exactly like a melted piece of amber, where the first steep liked a bit like copal...I am a dork) the aroma is sweet and filled with zest, honey, grapefruit, and the oh so wonderful grapefruit blossoms. The taste, oooh, not only it is aromatic, it is very tasty, definitely one of those teas that has a strong 'taste in the nose' starting with intense grapefruit blossoms and honey. This moves to zest, grapefruit, white grapes, and a lot of honey. This steep is immensely sweet and the aftertaste of honey lingers for sooooo long.

The third steeping is still quite aromatic, strong notes of zest and honey, grapefruit and more honey, and did I mention honey? Yeah, it is very sweet, the citrus notes and floral notes add a fascinating depth that I really like. This steep is smooth and sweet, the grapefruit and zest notes are mostly diminished, this steep is all about grapes and honey, it is mellow and so sweet, and that sweetness sticks around for a long time after the sipping. I really, really, enjoyed this tea, and foresee myself buying a nice stash of it when I run out of my sample.

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