Generally, when I think of a Formosa Oolong, I think of a very dark, deeply oxidized Oolong. I have a special place in my heart for Formosa Oolongs… to me, there are few teas that compare! However, this Oolong – Formosa Pouchong – was not at all what I was expecting when I first opened the pouch.
This is a very lightly oxidized Oolong. The leaves look like a Fancy Formosa Oolong tea with one significant difference, rather than being brown in color, these are a deep, forest green. They brew into a pale green liquor that is an absolute delight to sip.
The flavor is similar to a green tea – light in body, vegetative and a very fresh, lively taste. But the mouthfeel is not at all like a typical green tea – it has a very silky, smooth texture (imagine drinking velvet!) and a divine buttery aftertaste. There is very little to no astringency to the tea, and no bitterness. There is a very pleasant, natural sweetness to this cup – no additional sweeteners needed.
Yes – I like it! I like it a lot! I guess I should not be surprised, after all, it is an Oolong, and I do love my Oolong teas, even if they prove to be quite different than I first expect.
Narien Teas describes this Oolong as
Formosa Pouchong is a delicate oolong from the northern region of taiwan.
Its light oxidation process leaves it with green tea characteristics.
As this is a very green Oolong, it is important to watch the water temperature for this particular tea. I pulled the kettle as soon as it produces a good amount of steam and many tiny, rapid bubbles are forming at the base of the kettle, with only one or two of those bubbles managing their escape to the surface. I find that this is the perfect heat to extract a delicious flavor from the leaves without being so hot that it scorches them.
Another important factor to consider is your brewing device. As a steadfast rule, I do not use tea infusers. They almost always are too small and do not provide adequate space to allow the tea leaves to unfurl and expand fully. When you use one of these tools, you are almost always robbing yourself of a full-flavored cup of tea! Instead, you should place the tea leaves directly into the teapot or use a smart brewing system. This is especially important with Oolong teas such as this one, as the wet leaves are about five times larger than the dry.
Overall a very delightful Oolong tea – one that is worthy of a featured spot on this Oolong lover’s tea shelf!