I have often bought the Oriental Beauty tea from the Ten Ren store in
Rockville, MD. Although their catalogue lists several grades available
as loose tea, the store only stocks one, and I like it. It's got a very
spicy sort of salicylate odor to it, and that comes out in the cup. Big
black, irregularly-shaped leaves.
BUT, this time rather than go to the Ten Ren store, I picked up some
pre-packaged Oriental Beauty tea at the nearby Maxim Market. It's in
a white can holding 30g, with a painting of some flowers on a rock and
the Ten Ren Logo on the front.
On the back it says "Oriental Beauty Tea is selected from off spring leaves
of tea plant and is made with two leaves one sprout to create the precarious
honey taste. The name 'Oriental Beauty' is concluded from the radiant shape
of tea leaves, the vibrant orange tea color, the mellow sweet taste, and
fruitiful fragrant." No mention of insects at all.
Anyway... this tea is marked "exp: 2020218" on the bottom so it seems to be
fresh, I would think. But it is totally, totally different than the regular
Ten Ren OB from the store. It's less tannic and it is totally without the
spicy odor. It's like drinking a mid-grade tikyanyin. It's not offensive,
and the leaves are the right shape, but this is not the OB that I have known
and loved. What is up?
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
email@example.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:
Not to mention that the Chinese for Oriental Beauty (Dongfang Meiren)
specifically refers to a beautiful *woman*.
Huh? You mean, because they say it has nearly 10 years of shelf life
remaining it must have been manufactured very recently? That's kind of
Lew Perin / firstname.lastname@example.org
I couldnt get a good picture of the color. The top dry leaf is white
bud and dark leaf. The bottom wet leaf shows two leaf and a bud with
faded greenish brown color.
I wouldnt disagree with the packaged TenRen description. I have a
previous post comparing it to Darjeeling. It was sold in the US as a
Darjeeling prior to WWII. The story goes the same aphid eats both
leaving it saliva behind for similar taste. Also from a previous post
since the Taiwan draught of the mid nineties any bug eaten tea is sold
as OB. One tea shoppe in town sells some Taiwan green rolled nuggets
I prefer Taiwan TenRen retail over their exports. Every time I am in
SF Chinatown I walk in and out of their store without buying
anything. I cant get anybody to give me the time of day.
Space Cowboy writes:
I very much doubt it's the bug saliva. There was a Japanese study -
sorry, I don't have a citation handy - in which they mechanically
perforated tea leaves and got the characteristic OB aroma compounds as a
Lew Perin / email@example.com
"The story goes". Also I dont see any evidence of chomp marks. I
hate to think of what else could be left behind. I have seen a
picture of the so called aphid. I have it in a picture archive
somewhere. I lost my link. It was a Chinese page. I couldnt get it
to pop up with Google. One last note on the picture. The dry leaf is
wilted not twisted.
...eaten by a bug...
my understanding of Oriental Beauty from Taiwan is it's from spring buds +
(i'm not sure if it's _always_ true for all varieties of OB tho)
Pam's Ode to Spammers & Telemarketers
May all spammers & telemarketers die an agonizing death; have no
burial places; their souls be chased by demons in Gehenna from one
room to another for 1000 years while listening to Bartok microcosmos +
Scriabin playing together.