Please don’t be fooled by appearances, because Blue Beauty is an ugly duckling in the tea world. This tea may look like little blue rocks, but once they expand in hot water they create a graceful swan of a tea.
Oolong teas are often rolled into ball-like shapes, though rougher in appearance than the smooth tea pearls. This is so they open up slowly in the water, creating the opportunity and desire for several infusions. Blue Beauty is no exception to this rule. It is so tightly rolled that I get 4 or 5 steepings of the same scoop of leaves, each one a little different.
Blue Beauty, Herself
Hailing from the Fujian province of China on the southeast coast, an area known for its oolongs, this tea is rarely seen outside of China. It also goes by the name of Ginseng Oolong. Blue Beauty is sprinkled with ginseng and licorice root, giving it a mild ginger flavor that strangely and simultaneously mellows and deepens with each steeping. The brew is not blue, but a lovely golden amber color.
Side note/soapbox: Licorice root is not used to flavor black licorice; that’s anise seed. So if you don’t like black licorice then don’t worry. This tea will not have that anise flavor.
I turn to Blue Beauty when I want a tea that is captivating, but not bold. When I’m in the mood for cup after cup after cup of tea, and when I can really enjoy the flavor variances between steeps. I turn to her those days I’m curled up with a book I just can’t put down, or when I’m neck deep in a project and need to take somewhat frequent breaks to change the scenery and reflect. She meets me in all those places.
So don’t leave this wonderful tea to wander alone. Invite her to your tea cabinet where she will find her bevy of swans and soon become one of your favorites.