You Ji Bai Hao or You Ji Dong Fang Mei Ren (Organically Grown Bai Hao or Oriental Beauty)
Hsu Sheng Fu Dashi
One of the few high grade teas to be harvested in the summer, this tea, first known as “Bai Hao” in Taiwan, reminds us a bit of a superior second flush Darjeeling. We are not the only ones to think so; the story (certainly apocryphal) goes that Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, enjoyed this tea so much that, when she ran out of her Darjeeling, she dubbed this the “Oriental Beauty.” This was subsequently translated back into Chinese as “Dong Fang Mei Ren” It is a tall tale but don’t let that dissuade you from tryin this wonderful tea.
Multi-colored twisted leaves mixed with an abundance of silver furry tips gives this tea its visual appeal. The unique flavor profile results from the way this plant develops. The tea green leaf hopper attacks the young developing bud in the spring causing it to wither on the branch. The lower leaves are harvested in the summer with the withered “white tip” attached. This tea is organically grown in Emei, Hsinchu County in Taiwan. In late 2017 I deliberately took this tea off the market to allow it to benefit from additional ageing and the result of the 2 year wait is a wonderful, full bodied tea with aromas of honey and peach. The tea is firmly structured in the mouth and has a long finish and lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended.
Grower: Hsu Sheng Fu Dashi
Cultivar: Qing Xin Da Pan
Region: Emei, Hsinchu
Harvest: Summer 2016
To prepare this tea in the traditional gongfu style use a gaiwan or Yixing pot and 6 grams of tea per 100ml of water at 212°F. Steep for 15 seconds and then increase time with each subsequent steep.
For an 8 oz cup, use between 3-5 grams of tea. This is a wiry leaf so practice is required to get the correct amount (best to use a scale at first.) Pour 212°F (100° C) over the leaves and steep for 1 minute. Always remember to adjust steeping time depending on water temperature, amount of tea you have and personal flavor preference. Increase time and temperature slightly with each infusion.