The Eastern Beauty oolong tea, also known as Dongfang Meiren, Formosa, or Baihao, is a very interesting tea. In the past, this might have also been labeled Oriental Beauty, but the term is on the decline since the early 70s. This tea comes from Taiwan and is one of the most expensive oolongs in the world. It’s grown at high altitudes on family farms that have been cultivating this specialty tea for generations. Eastern Beauty has a sweet aroma with hints of flowers and honey. The cup color ranges anywhere from pale yellow to light green depending on how it was processed during cultivation which adds an interesting element to this already complex beverage.
How is the Eastern Beauty oolong tea?
I only got a small sample as a gift, this is why I wanted to use the opportunity to also write about it, so you can better understand if this type of oolong would be something that you might enjoy. Certainly, there might be variances based on the area and even the moment of harvest, so I want you to know that my review is based on a batch that was harvested in Spring 2020, in the Nantou County of Taiwan.
If you’re checking in books or on Wikipedia, for instance, for steeping a water temperature of between 80° and 85° is recommended. Though the instructions that were provided to me mentioned a water temperature of 100°, which is basically as hot as you can possibly boil water. The grade of oxidation of Eastern Beauty oolong tea is 70%, which is at the end of the range for typical oolong teas and bordering an oxidation grade of black tea (red tea).
Taste and pricing
I’m generally always grateful for samples and gifts of course, so I enjoyed trying this particular Dongfang Meiren out a lot. Knowing a variety of oolong teas, I was still surprised by this Eastern Beauty in many positive ways. I found that the taste was rich but very mild and pleasing. I felt a bit as if there were citrus notes and the first sips felt very fresh. Chinese tea culture oftentimes recommends having savory and salty snacks for tea time, but yet, I feel like the Eastern Beauty oolong would also go just fine together with a piece of cake.
What else is there left to say? I found this experience very nice and the taste of the Eastern Beauty / Dongfang Meiren oolong tea was very rich and enjoyable. If you can manage to find a place to try, you should definitely check this one out. The regular pricing starts at around $16 for 20 grams but certainly higher quality grades can be more expensive than that.
YouTube: Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea / Dongfang Meiren vs Alishan Oolong Tea 台湾东方美人 vs 阿里山乌龙