Formosa Oolong


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Formosa Oolong

Postby zipp » Jun 27th, '07, 16:33

So on my daily commute to work sitting in traffic I started thinking about tea (wow in any other forum that phrase would get alot of interesting comments) and I started wondering if Formosa Oolong is Formosa because of both its location and its % of oxidation OR could any tea of a similar variety that is oxidized to the same % be called a Formosa??
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Postby Chip » Jun 27th, '07, 17:08

...well, if it says Formosa, it had better be from Taiwan.

But I have noticed most vendors seem to sell Formosa oolong as a more heavily oxidized Taiwan oolong, vs a greener oolong. I was just going through some "formosa oolong" the other day and there are even designated grades of this so called Formosa oolong.

I am not sure if this is some kind of official desgnation though.
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Postby Libertatis » Jun 27th, '07, 19:08

You might find it interesting to know that the country of Taiwan used to be known as Fermosa. Therefore any oolong grown in Taiwan can technically be called a "fermosa oolong". I think most stores now days call it fermosa oolong to emphasize the flowery and aromatic nature of taiwanese oologs (the most prized of which tend to be green with very low oxidation)




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan

In 1544, a Portuguese ship sighted the main island of Taiwan and dubbed it "Ilha Formosa", which means "Beautiful Island."
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Postby Chip » Jun 27th, '07, 21:44

...forgot to mention, my fav oolongs are the greener oolongs from Taiwan, formerly Formosa, but they are sold as Taiwan oolong. My more oxidized Taiwan oolong all are referred to as Formosa oolong. Very interesting food for thought on your commute to work Zipp... :lol:
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Postby zipp » Jun 28th, '07, 10:00

This thought came from a visit to a local tea shop not too long ago that sold a TGY as a green tea and the Oolong as a Formosa. The thing is that all there teas are sourced out of China.
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Postby Libertatis » Jun 28th, '07, 18:30

I too favor green oolongs from Taiwan over just about every other tea. Ali Shan, Li Shan, Nantou, Wenshan Baozhong... I love them all! :shock:
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Postby Chip » Jun 28th, '07, 18:45

Libertatis wrote:I too favor green oolongs from Taiwan over just about every other tea. Ali Shan, Li Shan, Nantou, Wenshan Baozhong... I love them all! :shock:


Sweet music to my ears...yep...love them all. :shock: :shock:
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oolong tea

Postby Benshe » Jul 1st, '07, 18:44

Libertatis wrote:I too favor green oolongs from Taiwan over just about every other tea. Ali Shan, Li Shan, Nantou, Wenshan Baozhong... I love them all! :shock:


I found a chinese store here (Arkansas) that sells 10.5 oz of Tiawan Green and Oolong tea. They are both very very good and a lot better than any I have paid much more money for. Only 8.99 per can. At first I did not like the heavily roasted Oolong.
But once I found out how to brew it, it is so so delicious. It does not say on the can what t ype of tea it is. But after reading on net I was able to Identify it. My wife and I love the Oolong the most. We have some higher priced AL Li Shon that I dont think is as good as the cheap stuff. I keep buying all of it they have as I know they will soon sell out. So im stockpiling. :D
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Postby Libertatis » Jul 5th, '07, 13:25

I am glad to hear you are enjoying oolongs from Taiwan! :)

A couple thoughts in regards to your Ali Shan (spelling tents to vary in America) experience. Ali Shan (like Li Shan, and other high mt green oolongs) tend to lose flavor as they get older and are exposed to oxygen. Roasted oolongs on the other hand retain much of their flavor and can even be aged to achieve a different flavor. Generally speaking, if the tea you are buying is lower in price you are probably better off buying a heavier roasted oolong.

Also, it really does depend where you buy your tea. Some stores really just do not know when their tea was harvested or from what region. I really only buy more expensive teas when i know exactly where they are from, when they were harvested, and from people/stores that specialize in such teas.

Finally though, it might be that Ali Shan really is not to your specific tastes. Many americans like the roasted oolongs better because they have a stronger flavor (which is also more familiar to them). This is not a bad thing, just a matter of taste.
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Postby Space Samurai » Jul 5th, '07, 18:45

Libertatis, you seem to know a lot about high mountain oolongs, do you have any suggestions on storing? High montain oolongs are my favorite, but even though I buy in small amounts (30-50 grams), and store in propper containers, they seem to go "bad" fast. The first cup or two knocks my socks off, but after that, the taste is never the same. I have the same problem with teas from different vendors.
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Postby Chip » Jul 5th, '07, 18:52

spacesamurai wrote:Libertatis, you seem to know a lot about high mountain oolongs, do you have any suggestions on storing? High montain oolongs are my favorite, but even though I buy in small amounts (30-50 grams), and store in propper containers, they seem to go "bad" fast. The first cup or two knocks my socks off, but after that, the taste is never the same. I have the same problem with teas from different vendors.


...diitto...some do and some don't.

I have a wenshan baozhong that I just found hidden that has been open over a year, and it is still remarkably aromatic and sweet, though not in its original glory.

But others fade somewhat within a few weeks. I have wondered how is this possible and is it just me?

Oh, I am refring exclusively to greener Taiwan oolongs.
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Postby tenuki » Jul 9th, '07, 02:38

my take on this 'freshness' problem is twofold.

1) you need to store them in gas impermeable containers (do not put them in tins). Most places ship in mylar bags that have been sealed, some with an additional 'thingy' that removes excess oxegen. The lightly oxidized green oolongs need this for obvious reasons. The easiest way is probably just putting a clip on the bag it came in after folding it down a bunch of times.

2) You can often 'wake up' a oolong with a short roast. If the tea is 'bad' already, just try roasting it, what's the risk. :)
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Postby tenuki » Jul 9th, '07, 02:40

and yes, my favorite teas are all high mountain Taiwanese oolongs too. :D
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Postby Space Samurai » Jul 9th, '07, 02:43

ok, I had them in a tin, now I know not to do that.
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Postby tenuki » Jul 17th, '07, 05:00

btw, ziplock bags aren't gas impermeable either... unless they are made of something like mylar.
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