What is Formosa Oolong?
Formosa oolongs are a signature range of Taiwanese teas – with a Portuguese name. This is hardly an anomaly, though. ‘Formosa,’ meaning ‘beautiful,’ was what Portuguese explorers named the island of Taiwan in the 16th century. Here, misty mountains lined with tea gardens churn out some of the most popular teas on the market today, oolongs accounting for over 90% of the total yield. Formosa oolongs are harvested both in spring and in winter and undergo minimal to moderate fermentation finished with slow roasting.
Formosa Oolong varieties
Varying levels of oxidation (ranging between 10% and 30%) lead to various types of Formosa oolongs. Pouchong (Bao Zhong) is the lightest and “greenest” of them all, while Taiwanese Oriental Beauty (Bai Hao) represents the other end of the oxidation spectrum. Other well-loved varieties include High Mountain Oolong (Gao Shan) and Milk Oolong (Jin Xuan).
What does Formosa Oolong taste like?
Formosa oolongs are fragrant and complex, with a range of leafy, floral, and fruity notes. Most dry leaves have a “green fragrance.” They make “amber-colored,” “smooth textured” infusions, with a “subtle earthy taste,” and a “lingering sweetness” that gets further enhanced with every steep. Depending on the type of Formosa oolong you’re drinking, you can expect “toasty,” “raisin-y” or “woodsy” notes. Spring harvested versions are “creamy” in texture and have floral notes, while winter oolongs are “light and aromatic” with a thicker, “mulcher” mouth feel. Being easy to prepare and “sweet enough to be perfectly enjoyable without sugar,” Formosa oolongs generally work well as everyday teas in hot and cold versions.
How to properly make Formosa Oolong?
There’s isn’t a single recipe you can follow for all Formosa oolongs, and there definitely isn’t a single flavor profile that you can expect from all of them. From well-oxidized Oriental Beauty to creamy and rounded Milk Oolong to greener Pouchong, Taiwanese oolongs are a world in themselves. Following the specific instructions accompanying your batch of tea is the best way to sample a given Taiwanese oolong. Generally speaking, most Formosa oolongs should be steeped in filtered water that is just below boiling point. 190-200°F is a good thumb rule. To get the best aroma and flavor, it’s best to remove the tea leaves after 2-3 minutes of steeping.
High-quality Formosa oolong leaves can be identified visually. Upon unfurling in hot water, they should take the shape of a stem with a tripe leaf cluster. You should typically be able to get multiple infusions from a good quality oolong.
Where to buy the best Formosa Oolong online?
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Pouchong, also known as Baozhong, is a very green oolong tea hailing from Taiwan. Pouchong is the most lightly oxidized of all oolongs - just 8-10%. This creates a beautiful balance of green tea freshness and heavenly floral notes found in darker oolongs. In Taiwan, pouchong tea is all about the aroma. In the cup, you'll find a buttery sweet and uplifting floral aroma that lingers on the palate long after your last sip. Our fine quality Pouchong displays a soft, succulent texture and a clean, refreshing finish.
Milk Oolong is a relatively new cultivar in the delicious world of Taiwanese teas and is prized for its inherent cream and butter notes. Lower quality versions have these notes enhanced through aromatization but the finest, true Milk Oolongs offer lightly roasted, rolled leaves that yield a light-bodied cup with sweet buttery texture and delicate floral aroma. Also called Jin Xuan or Golden Lily, it is ideal for multiple infusions and a dedicated Yixing teapot.
Superfine Taiwan Qing Xiang Dong Ding Oolong Tea
Sweet, floral and fruity. In Taiwan Oolong Tea, Dong Ding Oolong Tea is an excellent kind highly praised by tea lovers all over the world. Dong Ding Oolong Tea is named after its production place, Dongding Mountain, Nantou. This Dong Ding Qing Xiang Oolong Tea is made of the tea leaves from Qing Xin Oolong tea tree. This tea has thick and soft leaf, refreshing tea liquid, with osmanthus scent. Meanwhile it has strong sweet aftertaste, which makes High Mountain tea more excellent.
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Isabelle is a freelance writer, self-taught tea nerd, and tea blending enthusiast. She is a herbalist with a strong interest in Ayurveda. Each year Isabelle travels extensively, returning with tea samples from around the world. She is a big fan of handmade teaware and Japanese green teas.