Floating Leaves Tea Oriental Beauty — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #29

An Oriental Beauty from Floating Leaves Tea in Seattle. A nice casual tea.

19 responses to “Floating Leaves Tea Oriental Beauty — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #29”

  1. Do you have any matcha lying around for your next episode?

    If not you should totally do some pu. Maybe something you haven’t covered that’s tinned?



    • Hi bellmont,

      Thanks for the comment! Will be doing another tin-storage episode in three episodes. This time young tea. Frankly, I’m not sure how it’ll turn out.


  2. I really like these Beauty (bug-bitten) teas. A nice change-up.

    An idea for a future InBetweenIsode might be a side-by-side sampling of spring and fall productions from the same single-origin source of old arbor material. It could be interesting to compare the noticeable differences between the seasonal productions from the same year and to consider the different costs for these teas and the possibilities for aging. Yunnan Sourcing would be the obvious place to go for this type of comparison. My apologies if this has already been suggested or carried out.

    Also, have you seen the tasting samples for pesticide treated pu over at Essence of Tea:
    I wouldn’t ask you to try this since I am not sure I would do it myself…although I am curious to know what to taste for. Do you think you have ever noticed a pesticide residue in a tea?


    • Phil and others
      I have tried the EOT pesticide tasting kit. I found it very useful and informative. My understanding is that that the sample with pesticides is well under the EU limit for pesticides…that is, the pesticide sample is likely very much like most of the tea we are consuming. The samples with and without pesticide were different for other reasons (region etc.) which complicated the comparison. I think I could detect the pesticides after some practice (more of a body feel than taste per se.) and it helped me better understand what was ‘off’ in another tea I purchased sometime later. Anyway… all this to say I would recommend the kit.

      • I think that fertilizer might affect the tea taste more dramatically than pestcides, since it’s changing quite seriously the way that the plant is growing. And I personally don’t think that most pestcides residue themselves, under EU limits, can be tasted on food – though using or not pestcides might, again, affect how the plant conditions and how it is growing, and its taste as well.

        Comparing teas from different tea trees, soil, farms, farmers, growing conditions, etc. seems to me like comparing apples and oranges. I guess that even two different trees side by side under same conditions might deliver leaves with different taste.

        Just my 2 cents though – I don’t have any evidences or experience with this, so I am just thinking out loud… 😉

          • Hi Phil & Bef,

            No worries! Please discuss whatever you like here. Personally I find it very interesting.

            The one thing I will state with that post is that the residue they found was at very low levels well below EU limits.. I admire EoT’s desire to eliminate pesticides, but perhaps I’m just more willing to get dirty with my tea.


        • Hi Bef
          I think you are right to be skeptical about the ability to sense/taste pesticides in tea. I certainly would not bet very much that I could reliably distinguish tea with and without pesticides after working with the EOT samples and materials. Further, as you point out, it was easier to distinguish the EOT samples based on their taste and aroma rather than the pesticides (apples and oranges). However, the analogy I would use would be something like burnt or charred tea…this is a quality that can be noted over and above differences the base material; so I don’t think the fact that the with and without pesticide samples were different teas made the exercise inherently flawed.
          Your comments about water solubility are really important – thanks for the links and information.
          As a number of people have noted we are swimming in chemicals all the time so it seems a bit futile to get worked up about our tea. On the one hand I agree with this and I will continue to take my chances with untested tea. On the other hand I appreciate the efforts of vendors to raise these issues and to hold producers to a high standard. Further, just because I am swimming in chemicals already, if I have a clear, credible choice to pick a tea without chemicals why not chose it (assuming it is of equal quality and price)?
          I see a discussion of this topic has developed on TwoDog’s blog as well…so clearly this is a topic that people want to talk about.
          Thanks for your input and thoughts


      • Hi John,

        Thanks for lending your thoughts. The kit sounds very educational. I’m curious.. May try it if I order from EoT in the future.


    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for the comment. That’s a good suggestion! We’re actually meeting up with Scott next month, so maybe I’ll bring it up.

      I have not tried that pesticide kit. From EoT’s latest post I gather they are very sensitive to the pesticides, likely far moreso than myself.


  3. The fact that the leaves contain pestcides doesn’t mean that the tea (the liquor we drink) will. Camellia Sinensis had some of their teas tested in a lab. For those containing pestcides, the pestcides were not present in the liquor itself: http://camellia-sinensis.com/carnet/?tag=normes&lang=en

    An interesting read that I suggest – it’s in French but I guess you could Google Translate it – http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/2012/10/25/des-pesticides-en-infusion . It’s from a chinese newspaper. They state that 98% of tea is treated with pestcides in China. Some more interesting data in there… This website has an English version of the (almost) same text, though the French version is much more better…

    • Very interesting report. I’m catching up on much of Hobbes’s blog of late. I’ll look for that discussion. I think I will keep digging into this topic, as one whose average daily intake of tea is unusually high. Also, I ingest a fair amount of matcha.

      To bring this back around to the topic of the episode, I will give a shout out to Tao of Tea which offers my favorite Oriental Beauty (and I’ve tried a few). Gui Fei Mei Ren (the Concubine oolong offered by several vendors) is bug-bitten and very sweet, as is Baguashan Gui Fei Oolong from Taiwan Tea Crafts. Finally, I’ll recommend another bug-bitten tea that deserves some attention: Dong Ding Ming Xiang from Tea From Taiwan. A heartfelt thank you to all the bugs that nibble the leaves.

      • Hi Phil
        I have not had a ‘bug bitten’ tea of late and your post reminded me that I need to pick up some more soon! I have been pleased with the offerings at TeaMasters over the last few years. Also, if you want to try something unusual (and in my opinion very good). Check out this aged bug bitten baozhong:

        Here’s to bugs and (?possibly?) less pesticide!
        (Although RE the aged baozhong… who knows what they were spraying around in 1973).


        • Thanks for the link, John. That aged baozhong is too tempting for me to resist. Maybe others, like myself, would be interested in an aged oolong InBetweenIsode sometime.

          • Hi Phil,

            You bet. They’re coming eventually. One thing that’s made me hesitate is the lack of availability in the west. My stash of aged oolongs is entirely built up of stuff that isn’t available. Would kinda feel like teasing/taunting.

            Still, I do love a good aged oolong.


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