Gui Fei Oolong from Taiwan, winner of a 3-Star Great Taste Award in 2017.
What the Great Taste judges thought: “The liquor is stunning. A deep sugary flavour, clean and floral, but also delicious notes of dates or stewed plums.”
Gui Fei Oolong (貴妃烏龍茶) is a rather special oolong that is the finished (baked) version of our Mi Xian Oolong. Both of these are essentially the same tea 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 particular Gui Fei Oolong started life as the Mi Xian Oolong and then it underwent a three stage baking process by the tea master with several week-long mellowing breaks in between. This processing allows the flavours and aromas to stabilise and fully saturate the leaves. While altering and improving the flavour, it also acts as a stabiliser for the flavour allowing the tea to remain consistent over longer periods of time. It also brings out a more distinctive wild honey flavour, with sweet, floral and woody notes in this tea.
This tea is best brewed at 90°C for around 3-5 minutes and can be brewed multiple times.