Mi Xian Oolong is pretty much a ‘raw material’ tea that is used to make our rather special award winning Gui Fei Oolong. The difference between them is that the Mi Xian Oolong has not undergone any finishing (baking in this case), while the Gui Fei Oolong is the fully finished article that has been baked by the tea master to her specifications. As such this Mi Xian Oolong is a very rare opportunity to purchase an unfinished tea. Tasted side by side with our Gui Fei Oolong, you can appreciate the changes that are introduced during the finishing process by the tea master.
Mi Xian Oolong is essentially the same tea as our Gui Fei Oolong during different stages of processing. They come from Yunlin County of Taiwan, are classed as ‘beauty teas‘ and thus share a unique growing story. Beauty teas are extremely unique for their honey-like flavour that occurs due to presence of little green leaf hoppers that nibble the tea leaves during growth. The tea plants react to this attack by producing more polyphenols, which during processing give the unique ‘beauty tea’ flavour. Most of these, such as the well-known Oriental Beauty Tea are more heavily oxidised oolongs, which some people even class as black teas. This offering is quite unique as both of these oolongs have undergone a medium level of oxidation (around 40%) so they are much lighter than the standard Oriental Beauty Tea. As presence of green leaf hoppers is essential for development of the unique ‘bug bitten’ taste, these teas are produced to organic standards.
This Mi Xian Oolong is from a supremely good crop that has developed a particularly pronounced ‘beauty’ flavour. The leaves are tightly rolled and are greenish-brown in appearance. Once brewed they unfurl and produce an amber liquor with a wonderful aroma. When tasting this tea, it has a milder wild honey flavour, with lighter sweet and floral notes. It is particularly interesting to taste this Mi Xian Oolong prior to tasting the finished Gui Fei Oolong to fully appreciate the work the tea master undertakes in producing a finished product.
This tea is best brewed at 90°C for around 4-5 minutes and should be brewed multiple times.
This Taiwanese Mi Xian Oolong tea was first featured as a special Christmas extra in our December 2015 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.