Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?


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

Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 14th, '11, 09:25

http://theformosa.com/yushan-oolong-tea.php

It seems they're a source for everything Gao-Shan. :D

Li Shan, Yu Shan . . . all the good stuff.

Too good to be true?

Christian
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby bagua7 » Apr 14th, '11, 19:15

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Last edited by bagua7 on Dec 13th, '11, 03:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby edkrueger » Apr 15th, '11, 10:14

Winter is the best for Gaoshan IMO and there have been some great teas these last 2 years. That said, the prices are too low. Cheap and free shipping... Gaoshan is typically pretty commoditized; so, you get what you pay for. There are good deals with other teas, but not Gaoshan.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 15th, '11, 20:48

Hmmm . . .

Where's the best place to get Gao Shan from (especially Li Shan and Yu Shan)?

Another question:

Just for kicks, I recently tried an oolong from Teaopia. I promised myself I wouldn't get any from there, but I had a bit of cash to blow so what the heck.

I tried this:

"Sumatra Highland Chin Chin"

http://www.teaopia.ca/products2.cfm/ID/ ... WuLong-Tea

I have no idea what sort of oolong this is. It's greener than most and has a bit less of a roasty flavour, but not as light as high mountain. I tried it in a gaiwan and was pretty bored with it.

Crestfallen, I figured I wasted money once again on Teaopia stuff. Just for kicks I tried it in my little Zhuni pot sent to me by Stephane Erler of Teamasters, and . . . what can I say, I made it sing. Very impressed with the results. Scent of fresh bread and cinnamon, which is what I tasted as well. It went from deep and cinnamon-bun like to light and floral after a few infusions. It was incredibly robust and complex. Well, to be fair, it was the impression it left on me as a tea-noob, so there's your full disclosure. ;)

My question is, how would one categorize this? It's *allegedly* an Indonesian oolong (Sumatra?) - if such a thing exists. Do we throw it in with the Gao Shans, or is this something of a mid-roast oolong? I've got this particular pot devoted to lighter, but non-Gao Shan oolongs. I'm wondering what other Indonesian oolongs are out there and what everyone else thinks of them.

Christian
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby bagua7 » Apr 16th, '11, 00:06

As far as I know, Indonesia is also volcanic, and whatever teas they produce in there as long as they are semi-fermented and made from tea plants living 1000m above the sea level should be considered high-mountain oolong.

But I am not en expert in the matter and let alone Indonesian oolongs.

Here's another vendor of high-mountain Taiwanese teas:

http://www.oolong-tea.org/shop/shopdisp ... Oolong+Tea

Not sure about their quality though.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby edkrueger » Apr 16th, '11, 11:18

I'd stick with Teamasters and Hou de. Both have delivered the one or two mediocre or even bad teas, but the quality is usually quite high. Also, both vendors are very efficient and friendly.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby bagua7 » Apr 16th, '11, 16:19

Have you ever tried tea from "oolong-tea.org"?

Also the vendors you mention don't offer many of the best oolongs like Da Yu Ling and Long Fen Xia.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby edkrueger » Apr 17th, '11, 10:59

Shan Ling Xi is a different romanization of Shan Lin Xi. Teamasters offers 4 different types of Shan Lin Xi. I don't know where you get the idea that Da Yu Ling is the best. Shan Lin Xi is often well hyped, but Its really not a good idea to judge tea by the mountain. If I had to play the mountain rating game, I'd go with Alishan –which is so last season– and Dong Ding –which only old people drink–, but, I think that is simply because the tea masters are generally better at roasting. Dong Ding is know for its roasting skill and a lot of Dong Ding masters went to Alishan when the high mountain craze was just starting.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby fire_snake » Apr 17th, '11, 11:58

This is overwhelming. And exciting, of course. ;)

So really, I'm looking at only a few "safe bets":

Teamasters
Hou De
The Tea Gallery

What I find most challenging is classifying/categorizing oolongs. Which are high mountain? Are all high mountain oolongs typically from Taiwan? What is Wu Yi and how does it compare to my favourites so far (Li Shan, Yu Shan, Indonesian mountain oolongs)? Which ones are dark roast, medium roast, light roast/"green" oolongs? I know Li Shan is typically a very light roast, almost "green" oolong from higher altitudes. I know Yu Shan is typically a little more oxidized (roasted?) and not as green as Li Shan, but also a higher altitude oolong.

What characterizes the following:

Phoenix
Anxi
WuYi Cliff
Taiwan

Are there any sources that lay out and break down various oolong characteristics? I'm hungry for education in this area.

Thanks,

Christian
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby wyardley » Apr 17th, '11, 13:41

edkrueger wrote:Shan Ling Xi is a sub category of Shan Lin Xi of which Teamasters offer 4 different types.


You will see lots of different romanizations of 杉林溪 (shan ling hsi, sha lin shi, etc), but I've never heard of a subcategory or specific mountain which has a similar name, though of course it's possible (do you have a reference for this?). Shān lín xī (something along the lines of 'pine forest creek' is the literal meaning) is the proper hanyu pinyin. Note that it's not 'shan' as in mountain (山), though it's the same sound / tone. It looks like '杉' can mean either fir or pine, depending on whether you say 'shā' or 'shān'.

http://j-tea.blogspot.com/2006/10/shan- ... g-tea.html

Da Yu Ling is pretty definitely the most rare gaoshan tea from Taiwan, though whether it's the best or not is of course a matter of opinion. As I understand it, Da Yu Ling is the plantation at the top of a specific mountain in the Lishan range, and could sort of be considered a sub-category.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11513
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby wyardley » Apr 17th, '11, 13:55

fire_snake wrote: Phoenix
Anxi
WuYi Cliff
Taiwan

These represent the 4 main traditional areas for oolong production. They're all in a (relatively) compact area.

Fujian province could probably be considered the birthplace of oolong tea, and both Anxi and Wuyishan are areas in Fujian, in the Northern and Southern regions, respectively. Anxi county is where Tieguanyin is from, and the Wuyishan area is where all the hundreds of Wuyi yancha ("rock" or "cliff" tea) are from. There is also tea production in the surrounding areas, as well as in other parts of Fujian. "Phoenix" refers to the Phoenix Mountain (Fenghuan Shan) area in the Chaoshan region of Guangdong province ("Canton"). This part of Guangdong province borders on Fujian, and there are some cultural and linguistic connections between the two areas (the Chaozhou / Teochew language is closely related to the Min languages of Fujian, rather than the languages of most of the rest of Guangdong, i.e., Cantonese).

There are lots of maps online which can give you a better idea visually of this. A few are linked from http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/to ... geography/

See also:
http://www.norbutea.com/images/super/WuYiShan_Map.jpg
(Shantou is another city in the Chaoshan area).

Without getting into the complex geo-political distinctions, Taiwan has multiple tea producing areas, producing quite a few different types of oolongs from different varietals, though the modern style of gaoshan (high mountain) teas are probably their most popular now. So-called 'Formosa [i.e., Taiwan] oolong' (oriental beauty, dong fang mei ren, etc.) is also very famous. Most of the varietals in Taiwan originally came from Fujian (right across the straight), though there has been some work over there to create new hybrids of these varietals as well.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby edkrueger » Apr 17th, '11, 14:10

wyardley wrote:
edkrueger wrote:Shan Ling Xi is a sub category of Shan Lin Xi of which Teamasters offer 4 different types.

ut I've never heard of a subcategory or specific mountain which has a similar name, though of course it's possible (do you have a reference for this?). Shān lín xī (something along the lines of 'pine forest creek' is the literal meaning) is the proper hanyu pinyin. Note that it's not 'shan' as in mountain (山), though it's the same sound / tone. It looks like '杉' can mean either fir or pine, depending on whether you say 'shā' or 'shān'

Oops. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote sub-category. I meant a different romanization.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 17th, '11, 14:12

wyardley wrote:
Da Yu Ling is pretty definitely the most rare gaoshan tea from Taiwan, though whether it's the best or not is of course a matter of opinion. As I understand it, Da Yu Ling is the plantation at the top of a specific mountain in the Lishan range, and could sort of be considered a sub-category.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11513


What I see from maps is, Li Shan and Da Yu Ling are both high peak areas in Zhong Yang Shan (or Central Mountain Range).

But indeed they are very close to each other. "He Huan Shan" and "Wu Ling" are very close to them too, and I've seen products named after these areas in recent years. I don't see significant differences in processing methods among products of these areas and they are geographically all close to each other. I wonder if the name divisions are mainly because these areas were developed into tea farms in different time periods, and each time a newly development area wanted its own name.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby wyardley » Apr 17th, '11, 14:42

gingkoseto wrote:What I see from maps is, Li Shan and Da Yu Ling are both high peak areas in Zhong Yang Shan (or Central Mountain Range).

But indeed they are very close to each other.

Hm. This makes sense, and agrees with a lot of what I've heard.
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Re: Oolongs from theFormosa.com: yea or nay?

Postby bagua7 » Apr 17th, '11, 16:44

edkrueger wrote:Shan Ling Xi is a sub category of Shan Lin Xi of which Teamasters offer 4 different types.


Care to edit that because it is rather confusing. Thanks.

edkrueger wrote:I don't know where you get the idea that Da Yu Ling is the best. Shan Lin Xi is often well hyped, but Its really not a good idea to judge tea by the mountain.


I do simply because I look at the health properties of the tea FIRST and FOREMOST, flavour aroma and all that jazz comes second in my list.
Last edited by bagua7 on Apr 17th, '11, 22:57, edited 1 time in total.
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