Oriental Beauty (Dong Fang Mei Ren) is quite the unique oolong. This type of oolong is known for the fuzzy white hairs that run up and down the tea leaf (very few oolong teas have carry the trait of fuzzy white hairs). The body of the leaf is short and fat and is commonly known in Taiwan as Peng Feng Wu Long (fat oolong) or Bai Hao Wu Long (white hair oolong). In the cup, this year's Oriental Beauty Oolong- Fancy Formosa has a lovely caramel sweetness with a long lingering finish. The processing of of these particular tea leaves involves the bite of a green aphid by the Latin name of Empoasca flavescens. The bite of this incredible little insect will stimulate the production of a special ingredient in the tea leaf which in turn gives the oolong its lovely caramel flavor. The Oriental Beauty Oolong is cultivated in a tea garden located in Dai Yun Shan of South Fujian at an altitude of 1100 masl. Only the high mountain environment can produce the right setting for the green aphid to live. Because of this there is no need for the use of pesticides as they would disrupt the sensitive, naturally occurring ecological balance within the oolong tea garden.
Oriental Beauty Oolong was originated in Taiwan in the early 1900's. The story tells that once upon a time, the tea garden of a farmer Xinzhu of Taiwan was severely attacked by the green aphid in summer. The tea leaves were dying. But not being one who liked to waste, Xinzhu still harvested the tender, damaged leaves to make oolong tea. After the tea was made, it gave a kind of fascinating caramel flavor. The tea sold very well. Nowadays quite a lot of Oriental Beauty Oolong are produced in South Fujian and enjoyed around the world.