Happy 2016! We launch Tea Ave in early 2015, and the last year has been a whirlwind of oolong-related activity. First, we immersed ourselves in Taiwanese oolong tea to bring you the very best, traveling to Taiwan more than once in order to meet with tea farmers and taste their tea. Then we built Tea Ave from the ground up, always challenging ourselves to make everything we do better, more fun, and yummier. We attended several events – we even went to the Emmys!
In 2016, we want to continue having tons of fun and bringing you lots of tasty oolongs. Our first idea? We’re launching a Tea of the Month feature, where we’ll focus on one tea every month, telling you about how it’s made as well as the qualities of the tea itself, including fragrance and flavor.
Our First Tea of the Month: Oriental Beauty
We picked Oriental Beauty to feature first because it’s what you’ve told us you love best. Tea Ave’s best seller, Oriental Beauty is grown and harvested only once per year, usually June, after the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival holiday. Tea leaves are actually bitten by grasshoppers where the tea plant grows on the mountainside, causing them to curl up and become withered and yellow and lending them a sweet, honeyed aroma. The more the leaves are bitten, the better!
After it’s picked, Oriental Beauty is processed entirely by hand: It is dried out in the sun, with the enzymes from the leaves triggering the oxidation process, occasionally moved to the shade to avoid becoming sunburned. After that, they’re withered indoors to continue the fermentation process. They are tossed in order to intentionally bruise the leaves, and exposed to air to help the fermentation process. After that, they’re pan-fired in a delicate, precise process – the temperature can’t be too high or too low, or the quality of the tea will suffer – and then rolled into soft buds.
Did you know?
Oriental Beauty is a highly prized oolong tea – so exquisite that it made its way from Taiwan to Queen Elizabeth II, who gave it its name.
Oriental Beauty tea leaves are a colorful mix of green, white, yellow, red, and brown. It has a naturally sweet taste, with a fruity flavor and subtle honeyed notes. Yum, indeed.
We’ll be back in February with our next Tea of the Month. (PS: Shop Oriental Beauty in the month of January and receive 15% off!)