Friday, November 30, 2007

Beautiful Concubine Teas

Remember Guei Fei Cha (Concubine tea)? It's a rather new Oolong creation inspired by Oriental Beauty. I had written that its quality was uneven in 2005, got better in 2006 and I feel that 2007 was even better. That's the reason why, while selecting my winter Oolongs, I chose to add these 2 summer 2007 Guei Fei Cha:

- Lightly roasted Guei Fei (on the left). This Guei Fei smells very much like the 2007 Summer Oriental Beauty from Hsin Chu. Still, it is not an Oriental Beauty imitation: the leaves are rolled 'Dong Ding' style. Just, thanks to the same method (pesticide-free, tea jassid bitten, highly oxidized and lightly roasted summer leaves) the result is very similar. What are the differences? The aroma of the luanze Oolong leaves (for the Guei Fei) is not as clear and fragrant as the Hsin Chu Oriental Beauty (which grows on Da Pa Oolong trees). The taste is also a little less mellow, stronger. But the aftertaste is at least as long. Also, the price level is lower than the Oriental Beauty (It remains same as last year and is packed in 100 grams).

- Roasted Guei Fei (on the right). The color of the brew is slightly darker than the less roasted Guei Fei. The leaves unfurl less after their standard 5 minutes brew. This one is very similar to the 2006 Guei Fei I had in my selection until very recently. It takes more advantage of the long aftertaste characteristic of roasted luanze Oolong. For me, this Dong Ding style is how Concubine tea distinguishes itself from Oriental Beauty, by adding the traditional roasting of Dong Ding Oolong to a tea very similar to Oriental Beauty. (Same price and packaging as the 2006 Guei Fei).
The Feng Huang plantation where my Guei Fei Cha is harvested.

PS: I forgot to take note of the exact harvest dates of these 2 summer Oolongs. I will update this information in the coming days.

4 comments:

Michel said...

Stéphane

How did you brew this tea?

thanks

Stephane said...

Michel,

For all the new teas I select, I always use the same method. Same here. So, I brewed both teas in a standard tea tasting fashion: 4 grams, 5 minutes in a tea competition set of white porcelain.

Unknown said...

Stéphane,
i love this tea, but my stock of roasted 2007 guei fei is slowly decreasing. Which of your current tea's is similar to that one? I was very much surprised by your 2011 Lu Shan Concubine Oolong, which was a pure delight to drink, but tasted completely differently than i was expecting (because of the concubine in the name).

David

Stephane said...

David,
The Concubine Oolongs I have now don't come from the farmer who made this tea. That's one of the reasons why they are different.