Bad quality Formosa Oolong?

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

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Bad quality Formosa Oolong?

by skywarrior » Sep 13th 07 5:37 am

Ok, I bought a Formosa Oolong recently from a tea company (not Adagio) around here and when I opened it up, I noticed that there were a lot of twigs in it and the leaves appeared broken. I was somewhat dismayed, but I forged ahead and made the tea.

Unremarkable would be a word I would use. It wasn't the best I've tasted. I went back to some Tikuanyin I had in a tin that I got in Chinatown and took a look at the leaves. The tea was whole. The aroma of the tea, even at this age was pretty darn good.

Now, granted Formosa Oolong isn't the same, but I have to wonder if the quality was, well, lacking. So, I don't know. Would you guess the tea company bought low quality tea?

What would you do? Mention it to the tea company? Or simply not order it?

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Re: Bad quality Formosa Oolong?

by Mocha Wheels » Sep 13th 07 12:59 pm

i think it would benefit the company and all of its customers if they knew why you did not by a second order. if you don't say anything they'll assume you just didn't like the flavor so they won't address that as a problem because different people like different teas- but quality is a different story. also, if this tea was of poor quality, there is a good chance other teas they sell would be of poor quality. lastly, unlike you simply not liking the flavor, this would be a good reason for you to request a monetary refund.

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by Chip » Sep 13th 07 2:03 pm

Twigs in Taiwan oolong is very common.

You will often receive a stem with 2-3 leaves attached.

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by Wesli » Sep 13th 07 3:17 pm

chip wrote:Twigs in Taiwan oolong is very common.

You will often receive a stem with 2-3 leaves attached.
Indeed, and if you don't like a certain tea, don't buy it again. But, just because a tea company has a tea you don't like, doesn't mean they won't have a tea that you will like!

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by skywarrior » Sep 13th 07 4:20 pm

chip wrote:Twigs in Taiwan oolong is very common.

You will often receive a stem with 2-3 leaves attached.
Ok, so this isn't uncommon?

I decided to make some of my Tikuanyin and it tasted better, at least to me. Maybe I just need to try the Formosa Oolong again before deciding that maybe I had a bad batch.

Or am I such a tea snob?

I thought I had had Formosa Oolong before -- I had gotten some Oolong tea that oddly enough was from a coffee shop. Just said Oolong on it, but the leaves and color looked like Formosa Oolong. It tasted pretty good, if my memory serves me right. But maybe it wasn't. Or maybe it wasn't as good as I remember?

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by scruffmcgruff » Sep 13th 07 4:37 pm

There are going to be differences in quality-- just because you didn't like this batch doesn't mean there aren't better ones out there, like the one you had before.

What does it look like? There is probably a much better batch of the same type of tea out on the internet.

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by Chip » Sep 14th 07 12:54 am

I would stress that certain Taiwan oolongs consist totally of a stems with several large leaves attached...which are then rolled into tight balls.

But not all Taiwan oolong is manufactured this way. Many of the high grown are though.

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by tenuki » Sep 21st 07 2:02 am

Could you post the tea info, ie what was it called, etc. Also, curious about brew times and water temperature. Oolongs are pretty sensitive to these parameters.

If the tin has tightly rolled balls, that unfurl to twigs with 2-3 whole leaves, that is ok. If the tin has twiggs in it before you brew it, that might be a problem.

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by ABx » Sep 21st 07 3:37 am

tenuki wrote:Could you post the tea info, ie what was it called, etc. Also, curious about brew times and water temperature. Oolongs are pretty sensitive to these parameters.

If the tin has tightly rolled balls, that unfurl to twigs with 2-3 whole leaves, that is ok. If the tin has twiggs in it before you brew it, that might be a problem.
I'm with Tenuki, there's really just not enough information to really say anything. It almost sounds like you're describing Bai Hao, and I don't think I've talked to anyone that thinks of Bai Hao as remarkable in any way. If you could describe the tea, both dry leaf and final infusion, it might help. If you can provide a link to the tea on the site you bought it from, that would definitely help.

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by skywarrior » Oct 9th 07 4:38 am

tenuki wrote:
If the tin has tightly rolled balls, that unfurl to twigs with 2-3 whole leaves, that is ok. If the tin has twiggs in it before you brew it, that might be a problem.
The tea is about 1-3 mm in length. Broken leaves. Appears to have occasional red tips with twigs. Twigs are longer than the rest of the leaves, None are tightly wound. Looks like a light brown black tea. I'll try to take picts of it.

It is simply called Formosa Oolong. No other designator.

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by ABx » Oct 9th 07 6:09 am

That sounds an awful lot like a bai hao. Bai hao is often made for westerners that are used to black tea. Those of us that like lighter and finer teas often find bai hao unexciting, to say the least. There's a very wide range of oxidation levels and flavors. You might try some of the jade (as in green) high-mountain oolongs.

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by skywarrior » Oct 9th 07 5:34 pm

ABx wrote:That sounds an awful lot like a bai hao. Bai hao is often made for westerners that are used to black tea. Those of us that like lighter and finer teas often find bai hao unexciting, to say the least. There's a very wide range of oxidation levels and flavors. You might try some of the jade (as in green) high-mountain oolongs.
I found Adagio's Wuyi to be very acceptable. I also have some Tikuanyin under the label "Golden Dragon" that has also been quite acceptable.

Don't get me wrong -- I love black tea. But when I want oolong, I want oolong.

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by jashnew » Oct 14th 07 2:12 am

Definitely notify the company. You never know they may send you another batch. Competition is fierce out there on the web for customers.

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by evilive » Nov 29th 07 2:41 am

As you said jashnew, you might get a free batch of something!
Formosa Oolong is one of the nicest teas I've ever had the pleasure of trying. It's a pity you got a bad lot really

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by skywarrior » Nov 29th 07 7:16 am

evilive wrote:As you said jashnew, you might get a free batch of something!
Formosa Oolong is one of the nicest teas I've ever had the pleasure of trying. It's a pity you got a bad lot really
I actually have some tea I think is a Formosa Oolong that I bought a huge package of. (Marked as oolong). The leaves and color fits, which suggests that it probably is.

I'm wondering if I brought it when I moved from Colorado. It was pretty old.

To be honest with you, there are a lot of very good oolongs, that are, IMO, better than formosa oolong. I'm not so worried about the tea I bought. I got 3 oz for about $4.