Loose Leaf Tea: Formosa Fancy Superior Choice Oolong
Tea Company: TeaGschwendner
Tea Company Description: Each year only a few hundred kilos of Bai Hao Wu Long attain such heights. The mist-shrouded highlands of Hsinchu County are the ideal growing environment for a masterpiece such as this. Painstakingly produced in several dozen steps, the Fancy Superior Choice is a glorious amber with rich, mineral notes of wet stone, sandalwood and dried apricot. Multiple infusions are possible and recommended.
Brewing Instruction: Two heaping teaspoons per 8oz cup of filtered, boiling water. Allow to brew 3 minutes.
Dry Leaf Assessment: The dried leaves display assorted greenish to brown shades with presence of fewer tips covered in fine silver hair-fuzz. The leaves are long, wiry and well-formed and neat. The aroma of the dry leaves is reminiscent of a dry sweet fruit, like dates, combined with sandalwood and flowery overtones on the background. This Formosa Oolong is “amber” style, which means that tea leaves were allowed to oxidize slightly more. The prolonged oxidation process results in a range of various hues of brown in color.
Infused Leaf Assessment: Infused leaves completely unfurl and the structure of the whole leaf is clearly noticeable after the infusion process. The aroma of the wet leaves is smooth and sweet, intense flowery with a definitive sandalwood nuances. After steeping, the green center and the fermented edges of the wet leaf are well noticeable.
Liquor: The infusion is medium-dark sparkling amber in the cup, full-bodied, complex in flavor and highly aromatic without astringency. Well pronounced dry apricot notes contrast with malty, earthy depth of taste and slight spiciness that lingers on the palate for a prolonged time.
Recommendation: Oolong is a remarkable type of tea. A variety of colors and shapes are feasible, all depends on skills, experience and the creativity of a tea master. Processing of Oolong is considered an art. The flavor and characters are developed by artisanal vision of the master. Taiwanese (Formosa) Oolongs are considered the best in quality and the most affordable and can be steeped multiple times without losing the flavor profile. Regarding brewing tips, I will recommend using filtered water instead of tap water; otherwise the taste will be affected.
Score: 95 – Excellent.