Blog - Art of Tea Vessels

The Story About Oriental Beauty Tea

Oriental Beauty Tea also called Dongfang meiren (Chinese: 東方美人eastern beauty’) or baihao (白毫), is a heavily oxidised long-bud type oolong tea originating in Hsinchu County, Taiwan. It is a tea produced from leaves bitten by the tea jassid, an insect that feeds on the tea plant.

  1.  Discovery form An Accidental Revelation

Oriental Beauty Tea was an invention by a unique technique in Taiwan. It was a beautiful mistake, initially. When a tea farmer once encountered insect problems, they picked the upper leaves and buds that are the finest parts of the trees bitten by the insects. Not wanting to waste the harvest, they took the tea to the tea laboratory and discovered that after the insects sucked the tea stems and buds juice, it started the oxidation process. The chemicals that the plant releases in response to the bug bites added natural sweetness and fruity aromas to the tea.  The farmer then sold this rare tea for a higher price as it was well-received by the world tea industry’s leaders and soon became popular.

2. Acquired Unique Plantation Technique And Growing Conditions

After this significant discovery, the farmer applied this skill to grow all types of tea by feeding the insect, Jacobiasca formosana. And for the need of the feeding, the tea must grow in warmer areas on the leeward side of hills in regions. It also requires sufficient humidity and sunshine at lower altitudes (300–800m) between the mountains and the plains. That’s why this unique plantation technique is only suitable to harvest in the middle of summer, and only about 40–50% of the leaves used. However, as the climate changes globally, Taiwan enjoyed warm winters almost every year now. That’s why some batches of Oriental Beauty tea can harvest in December, which made it incredibly unique.

 

However, the annual yield is still low because only the tips leaves will be used, and the price is relatively high. As a result, the Oriental Beauty Tea considered as one type of rare and SPECIALITY tea. Besides, the moisture content of Oriental Beauty Tea is higher than other teas; the withering process takes longer hence leads to the longer hydrolysis and oxidation processes. The longer time helped generates the typical sweet flavour and taste of this tea.

3. The Names

It thought to have been named Oriental Beauty by Queen Elizabeth the second.  When she tasted the tea, she was amazed by the beauty of the Asian delicious tea; then, she names the tea Oriental Beauty Tea. More recently, the term 白毫烏龍茶 (báiháo wūlóng chá), translated as ‘white-tip oolong tea’ has been used because the tea tips that are bitten by bugs appeared to be white.

How to Brew Oriental Beauty Tea

As the Oriental Beauty Tea only uses the tip of the tea leaves, that’s why it is so rare. Hence some people considered it as the champagne of the tea. To brew the delicate tea, the Oriental Beauty Tea expert suggested using up to 90 degrees instead of 100 degrees of water to brew for 5 to 8 minutes to get the best result of the flavours.

Are you intrigued by the story about Oriental Beauty Tea? If you are a tea lover, you can not miss this one. Go to our shop to check the offers!

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How to Use A Tumbler to Make Loose Leaf Tea?

People often asked how to make loose leaf tea tasty? Our theory is straightforward!  Let every piece of the loose leaf tea has the opportunity to steep in the water properly. Follow the simple steps, and the delicious tea is ready for you!

  • Step 1: We suggest you wear a Travel Mug Silicone Sleeve on the mug to prevent the hands burn. If you don’t have one, our double-wall travel mug should be able to keep you safe. Or, you can leave the mug on the table for about 5 minutes after adding the hot water and before you hold it again.

Transparent organic silicone sleeve for travel mug/ tumbler

  • Step2: Add 35g, approximately one full teaspoon bold pellets of loose leaf tea and one full tablespoon long-leaf bud loose leaf teas in the mug.
  • Step 3: Boil the water to the desired degree between 80-95 degrees, depending on the type of tea:
  1. 80-90 degrees of the water for long curly-leaf buds teas such as our Oriental Beauty and Red-Jade Black Tea.
  2. 90-95 degrees for bold pellets tea such as High-Mountain Oolong tea and Dong-Ding Oolong Tea.
  • Step 4: Pour the water up until 80%  full to the mug directly, so all the leaves have opportunities to immerse in the water.
  • Step 5: 5 minutes for the bold pellets tea to brew and 8 minutes for the long-leaf bud teas to brew. Re-steep at least 1 time after you finish this mug of tea.

Summary:

Tea Leaf Shape Water Temperature Brewing Time Re-Steeping Times Infuser or

Strainer

Long Curly Buds 80°C-90°C 5 mins 2-3 Usually no, only at the end of the package is there are some fine leaves left
Bold Pellets 90°C-95°C 8 mins 2-3 No
Blended 80°C-90°C 5 mins 1 Yes

Want a cup of Tea to go?

Get a Flip Top Infuser Lid so you can drink your tea in your car or on a move. But always drink slowly to prevent the mouth burn.

Flip-Top-Tea-Infuser-Lid

Why Taiwan Makes Better Quality Tea?

Taiwan is known for its world-famous teas and Taiwanese people considered tea as one of their great national treasures. Although its tea-making tradition began centuries ago from mainland China, Taiwan has developed its own unique tea varieties—most notably its High-Mountain Oolong Tea, Red Jade Black Tea and Oriental Beauty Tea. If you are a tea lover and you ever browsed around tea shops to look for high-quality tea, you may found that tea from Taiwan is usually more expensive. Specialist world-leading tea company, MARIAGE FRÈRES – French tea company in Paris since 1854, has identified Taiwan (Formosa was the name the Portuguese gave to Taiwan) as one of the four best tea origins globally.

. Mariage Frères

There are many factors affect the result of the tea. These factors include the climate, the soil in which it grows, the production techniques used related to tea makers’ experience, and its historical background. In this article, we will give you some in-depth insights into why you should try Taiwanese teas. 

 

Climate Matters 

It was in the high, steep mountains of Taiwan where the finest teas were being produced. The high-mountain region runs right down the geographical centre of Taiwan, spanning several counties, most notably including Nantou. The tea plantations in these central areas are at least 1000 meters in altitude.

 Taiwanese tea farmsTaiwan Tea Plantation

Lower amounts of oxygen in the air at these high altitudes means that the tea plants grow more slowly. And the slower the growing process, the more minerals are absorbed, so the tea leaves become thicker and a lusher green colour as a result.

Taiwan high mountain picture

The tea plants need to be thicker and sturdier as, being so high up on the mountains, they are exposed to higher UV levels and drastic changes in temperature between day and night. As you can imagine, weaker specimens simply don’t survive these conditions, but the plants that do survive are extra specialThe plants take longer to grow and are at higher risk but ultimately produce a tea that is less bitter and has a richer, smoother character. Each plantation and each mountain produce its own bouquet of flavours and potent health properties.

 

Skilled and Experienced Tea Makers 

There is a lot of knowledge, skill and pride that goes into the production of tea in Taiwan. A knowledge, skill and pride which gets passed down the generations. Tea farmers need to understand the exact moment to harvest the tea plant because they want to harvest it at its peak.

With the rarer, high-quality harvests, tea farmers will go to the trouble of gathering their crops by hand, even if that means being on the side of steep mountains in extreme conditions.

The next stage of the process is to wither the plants to reduce the water content gently. This process requires a great degree of skill and instinct; humidity and temperature must be monitored and controlled exceptionally closely. Racks of leaves are carefully rotated to ensure each layer receives proper airflow.

Special teas undergo a bruising process next. The bruising process includes rolling, twisting or crushing the leaves in a special way to break down cell walls. This is a demanding process as some leaves need to go through multiple rounds of bruising and oxidation, especially for handcrafted tea. This is one of the reasons these types of teas have mixed flavours.

The oxidisation process varies depending on the tea, and oxidising to precise levels purposefully impacts the aroma and flavour of the tea. The Oolong teas that Taiwan is known for can be oxidised anywhere between 10% to 90%, while the darker the tea and black tea are fully oxidised.

The roasting process only used when producing Oolong tea and Taiwan is well-known for this skill.  By adjusting the temperature of the heat and baking time, the tea quality can be fixed. The roasting process also allows the tea have different flavours and aroma. To end the roasting process at a precise time the great skill and experience are once again required.

 

Historical Impacts and Tea Competitions

In the late 18th century, tea plants brought over from the Fujian region of China were recognised to flourish in Taiwan. The Fijian’s were masters of tea making, and they soon realised that there was something special about Taiwan’s unique location.

As new Taiwanese settlers continued to arrive, they began to import more tea plants, including small oolong trees. These trees also thrived in their new Taiwanese environment. There was such excitement about the quality of the Oolong tea produced in Taiwan that a British entrepreneur (named John Dodd) invested heavily in Taiwan’s Oolong tea making. An enthusiastic Dodd then started to sell Taiwanese Oolong tea to the world under the name “Formosa Oolong.”

When Taiwan became a colony of Japan, investment in tea farming continued, but now with a new focus… Even more tea plant varieties brought to the country, and once again, these tea plants found to thrive and produce a superior beverage.

The Taiwanese learnt from the Japanese how to fully oxidise the tea plant to create a rich brown to black colour. Fully oxidising altered the flavour of the tea. These ‘black teas’ were cultivated in the ideal climate of the Sun Moon Lake area of Taiwan.

Historical influences meant that Taiwan was mainly known for certain types of quality tea. Once the export competition began to increase, the Taiwanese decided to focus on their quality tea production more.

As part of their focus on quality tea production, the Japanese government helped Taiwan set up the ‘Tea Research and Extension Station. Scientists and tea farmers began researching and experimenting in pursuit of the highest standards of tea making.

Taiwanese tea competitions have especially motivated the tea farmers to invest in developing the highest quality tea. Each year, there are at least ten tea competitions in different tea type organised by regional tea authorities. The winner tea products became invaluable, sometimes can be sold for more than £10,000 per kilogram. The tea competitions drove the tea farmers, makers, and brands to develop the rare, specialised best quality tea. 

Getting each of these stages precisely right is an art, a science and a passion for the Taiwanese.

Do You Want to Try Great Quality Tea?

Many countries have vast export amounts of tea, and these mass-produced teas were made for mass consumption.  Taiwan has concentrated on teas which are for an exceptional experience.

Even at the lower end of the scale, the Taiwanese made an experience out of tea with their now infamous ‘Bubble Teas’. At the top end, they produce rare teas which carefully cultivated, meticulously looked after and precisely processed by experts.

They are teas for the connoisseur and for tea lovers who enjoy better quality tea. Why not experience the quality for yourself by trying our special selection?

Order today and experience great quality teas that represent all this Taiwanese tea excellence. 

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Hi lovely people!

I hope you all stay well and safe. In a blink of an eye, we are in November already. Xmas is just around the corner. 2020 has turned out to be a bit different than we expected this year would be. We’ve been spending more time at home (with loads of tea) and our lifestyle and workstyle have shifted also. It’s been a challenging year but at the same time, it gives us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, cherish people and things that truly matter to us, and rethink our environment. This Xmas, give extra love and care to your loved ones and yourselves because you deserve it. And, relax, we’ve got your Xmas gifts covered. We are going to tell you why our tumblers are the best Christmas gift option. And, don’t forget to check out our special Xmas selections for this year!

Why our tumblers are the best gift option?

1. Its Hand – Crafted, Beautiful and Unique Design

The stunning and artistic design of the tumbler is simply eye-catching. By utilising ancient artisanship techniques, it is a beautiful creation combining unique aesthetics and internationally patented techniques for daily-use ceramics. No two tumblers are the same. This tumbler is just as unique as you are!

travel mug, ceramic art, art ceramic, tumblers, flasks

 

 

2. Its Sustainable and High – Quality Material

Every single tumbler is crafted with premium raw materials which is under multiple levels of quality inspection. Crafted with the highest quality, our sustainable products make you enjoy your daily routine with a whole new perspective. NO PLASTIC AND NO METAL- YOU ONLY DRINK FROM CERAMIC!

           

 

 

3. Its Special Glazed Tourmaline – Taste the Difference!

You must be wondering: “Ceramic and tourmaline? How does it work?” Our tumblers are made of ceramic-coated with white tourmaline, a semi-precious rare gemstone. This is the only mineral that carries a permanent electrical charge. Continuously releasing far infrared rays and negative (charged) ions, tourmaline breaks down large water molecular groups into subsets. That reduction provides for a more purified taste and improved absorption of water into the human body. Besides, liquids in tourmaline become softer and more favourable as they acquire an alkaline character that promotes a healthier lifestyle. It’s suitable for all type of drinks including tea, coffee, milk, and even beer!

 

 

4. Its Double Wall Insulation

The double-wall insulation design helps keep your drink warm/cold for up to 90 minutes.  Have your warm tea on hand whenever you go!

 

 

 

5. Its Leak-Proof Lid

The twist-off lid is BPA free. The outer cap is made of ABS and the inner cap is in TritanTM with a silicon cover that prevents liquid from leaking. So, you will feel safe to put your tumbler in your bag without worrying it might leak out!

 

 

2020 Xmas Gift Guide

 

 Happy Reindeer Selection

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Festive Red Selection

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Gifts For Him

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Gifts For Her

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Have you ever heard about Oolong Tea? “Oolong Tea is a traditional semi-oxidised Chinese tea produced through a process including withering the plant under strong oxidation”(Wikipedia) Among all the origins, Taiwanese Oolong Tea is famous for the premium high mountain Oolong Tea. As the weather in Taiwan is very variable with the high, steep mountains which have different temperatures, altitude and soil, these factors result in differences in tea leaves appearance, aroma, and flavour.

The most popular tea types from Taiwan are, Dongding, Dongfang Merien also known as Oriental Beauty, Alisha, High Mountain and Assam tea. Some teas are cultivated at ever higher elevations therefore it has a unique sweet taste but comes with a premium price. However, due to the high demand of the high mountain Oolong Tea, most Taiwanese tea is consumed domestically in Asia. Curious about the taste of the Oolong Tea? Stay tuned to see our offer!