This tea derives its fruity flavor and floral bouquet through a special process; the elegant and plum-sweet character actually originates from before plucking. When the tea green leafhopper insect nibbles on the buds, the tender leaves are exposed to air and begin to oxidize while still growing on the plant. The natural aroma of tea repels the leaf hopper which jumps onto another bush. We then carefully monitor and handpick each bitten bud and leaf at just the right moment, which forms the base for our Oriental Beauty.
The 2015 harvest has introduced more floral notes in the roof of the mouth, while still retaining the full-bodied mouthfeel and pit fruit sweetness that envelopes each sip. The aroma is spicy and recalls dates, while the palate of ripe plum and grapes are is mingled with rose hips higher up. We’ve also noticed that the steeped leaves this year are slightly smaller than the 2014 vintage, which some tea enthusiasts call tippy.
Because the lush, fruity flavors depend on the leafhopper's visit to the gardens, this tea is very rare and exceptionally difficult to harvest in consistent quantities year by year. It is also grown organically, as sprays and other types of pesticides would actually lower the harvest.