Tea 101: Oriental Beauty Oolong (Bai Hao Wu Long)

Posted on November 14th, 2018 by Steepers

Oriental Beauty Oolong (Bai Hao Wu Long) also known as White Tip: cultivated around Beipu in the Hsin Zhu District of Taiwan.

This is a heavily oxidized oolong (50-70%) that is not roasted. What makes it special is an insect, the leafhopper (Jacobiasca formosana), that eats the leaves. This stems the growth of the leaves and also changes the color of the leaf to a parma-violet tint. After the leaves are dried, the edges turn white where the insect has gnawed on them. Because of the change in chemical composition, the resulting notes are woody and fruity after oxidization. It is possible to count dozens of notes.

The leaves are plucked only in summer, when the insect is active. No pesticides are allowed anywhere in the vicinity because of the value of the leafhopper. In 2006, a Jin (21 oz.) of Oriental Beauty sold for nearly 50,000 Euros!

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