Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #30 - Formosa Oolong

Finally, I got to find out if Formosa Oolong differed very much from Fanciest Formosa Oolong!

Category: Oolong Tea

Purveyor: Harney and Sons

Dry leaf appearance: Tightly rolled dark tea leaves, with some lighter brown and whitish gray bits scattered about.

Wet leaf appearance: Dark (almost black), small tea leaves.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 3 minutes.

Scent: The dry tea smelled like tree bark. The wet leaves smelled of something woodsy and vegetal.

Color: Golden brown.

Flavor: I have been looking forward to rediscovering the black teas I'm most familiar with, and this one, though an oolong, was pure delight! It reminded me not of a *weak* black tea but what I'd call a *light* black tea. A very smooth taste, very nice mouth feel, only slight astringency afterward. And I cannot *wait* to cold brew these leaves overnight!

Additional notes: Michael Harney notes that this tea "was once considered the Champagne of teas and the standard for oolongs in the United States." Interestingly, he also notes it is used mostly as a base in Harney's Earl Grey tea and other blends that call for "a mild, dark oolong."

Next week's tea: Jun Shan Yin Zhen


  1. This does sound like a good oolong. I have really enjoyed the Fanciest Formosa Oolong and look forward to trying this (not so fancy) one. It was interesting to learn that it is used as a base for Harney's Earl Grey.

    I like how you described it as a "light" black tea. This might suite me for a late afternoon or evening cuppa. Thanks for the review.

  2. As ajoy reading your descriptive tasting comments. Thanks

  3. That is supposed to say "As Always I Enjoy...."


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