This is my first Formosa Oolong, so mind you I have no point of comparison except Chinese green and roasted oolongs. The Tea Prosperity gift set was my last score from Teavana’s Heavenly Tea Sale on Sunday. At 50% I could not pass it up, though I had been coveting the set since it arrived in stores several months ago. I wanted this set not for the tins but because with the exception of Emperor’s Clouds and Mists they are teas not available on our tea wall.
I started last night with Oriental Beauty as I was excited to try a Taiwanese Oolong, having learned about them in training but Teavana didn’t carry one at the time. Upon pouring the tea from pouch to tin I was taken by its appearance, very dark long delicate leaves with silver streaks and a few broader brown leaves in the mix. It smelled very earthy with a hint of tobacco which retained its aroma after brewing with the addition of leather. The first sip was strong and reminded me of a Ceylon and my first though was “well the Queen’s taste in tea is rubbish”.
However the tea became more complex both in my mouth and in the cup and I was aware of my first experience with buttery mouth feel that lingers on the roof of your mouth and I love it! The floral and fruit notes are very mild compared to the rich leather, tobacco and butter, but it did remind me a tiny bit of Himalayan Splendor (a black tea from Nepal grown at the same altitude as a Darjeeling) only less light. I did try re-infusing though it was not specifically recommended. The second steep was certainly more mild though the butter quality was still there. The first steep was certainly more complex and I very much enjoyed this first foray into Formosa. Husband thought it was interesting and my two and half year old son chugged two small cups of it as well/