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In 2016, we could not purchase any Oriental Beauty Oolong from Taiwan. It was due to the quality that was unsatisfactory.

Continuous rain during harvesting season of Oriental Beauty

Oriental Beauty tea is made of specific tea cultivar in Taiwan called Qing Xin Da Mao (青心大冇). In ordinary tea garden, the pests are not welcomed at all. However, the specific tea garden for producing Oriental Beauty must not use any pesticide in order to encourage a common pest called the tea green leafhopper.

The tea plucking season of Oriental Beauty starts in June. This is the very timing when a lot of green leafhoppers called “Empoasca onukii” appear and attack tealeaf. These green leafhoppers suck the phloem juices of the tealeaf. Once tealeaf is under this particular insect attack, it produces a substance in order to get rid of those insects. These substances produced by the plant against insects or bacteria are called phytoalexin. Coincidently, the flavor of this substance produced by tea plants gives muscatel-like flavor when it undergoes oxidation.
Actually, these green leafhoppers appear throughout the year. However, during cooler season in winter and early spring, very less number is seen in tea garden. In summer like mid of July or August, the base quality of tea is not very good. That is why the high quality Oriental Beauty is generally plucked in June.

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We could not purchase Oriental Beauty in 2016

In 2016, it was continuously raining in Taiwan during the plucking season. Due to too much rain, growing speed of tea was too fast and the aftertaste as well as muscatel flavor became very light. After trying many batches of Oriental Beauty, we decided not to purchase this year. Our stock of oriental beauty will finish as soon as 2015 crop is sold out. Hopefully there will be less raining this year in June.

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