Organic Formosa Red, Native Cultivar

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Creamy, Floral, Honey, Sweet
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Erik Dabel
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 32 oz / 946 ml

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From Red Blossom Tea Company

We are not certain how long the tea plants for our Formosa Red, Native Cultivar have been in existence. The varietal had grown wild in Taiwan and largely ignored until the colonial Japanese administration identified it as a potential candidate for black tea production in the early 1900s. Thereafter, the cultivar was planted in the hills surrounding Nantou County’s Sun Moon Lake in Yuchih Village, Taiwan.

Our Formosa Red, Native Cultivar comes to us from the same grower that harvested and crafted our #18 cultivar. It was harvested in late April 2010, days before we arrived. We acquired approximately 120 catties of this tea. As is the case with our #18, Native Cultivar is organically grown and produced. Each leaf is hand-picked in the morning before a two day period of wilting, rolling and enzymatic oxidation that produced the beautiful red orange liquor of this tea.

We found this tea to be remarkably non-astringent, even when forgotten and left to over brew. The brewed result is sweet and wonderfully floral, with the nose of more aromatic Formosa oolongs backed by layers of honey, rich cream and cognac. It’s pretty delicious.

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6 Tasting Notes

14 tasting notes

So so good… I can’t believe how naturally sweet this black tea is! I thought of sweet potates upon tasting and as described it has absolutely zero astringency.


DELETE about 2 hours ago
I definitely agree with you regarding the surprising sweetness found in this tea. I’m someone who is more into sweeter drinks, so it was a welcoming surprise. Definitely one of my favorites.

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12 tasting notes

One of my favorites. It’s a very naturally sweet tea, very balanced, not too many tannins.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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240 tasting notes

Another new one for me this morning. Nothing better than discovering new teas, that first steeping, watching the color form, getting that first whiff of a new aroma.

I had been craving new black teas recently, so this is the second of an order I received from Red Blossom a few days ago. Here we go!

This is one of three Formosa Red tea cultivars Red Blossom has to offer, four if you count the Three Cultivar Red, a blend of all three. I decided to start with this one because it’s the one native to the area of Nantou County, Taiwan. The others are Formosa Red Assam, brought to the area by the colonial Japanese in the 20th Century, and Formosa Red #18, a hybrid cultivar.

On first sight, the color is a beautiful, crystal clear dark, deep orangish red, or even a deep, dark amber.

The aroma is much more subtle than previous black teas. That may be due to using slightly less leaves, I did use the same 2.5-3 tablespoons in my 32 ounce Bodum Assam, but these eaves are long, thin, wiry, and rather spacious. Next brew I’ll use a bit more. The smell is still nice and sweet, with an earthy, floral overtone.

The taste is great. That first feel is smooth and creamy, followed by a nice and earthy, malty, sweet taste. Clean finishing, no bitter second taste, just a bit on the dry side.

I’m sure using more leaves will really bring all of those aspects out even more, and I can’t wait to try it, but even on the under-side, this is a really good, solid, simple black tea.

Definitely need to use more leaves next time. I should have this time, but I had never worked with a tea whose leaves were this spacious. Maybe this is a good reason to switch to a weight measurement instead of volume…


Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Honey, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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4 tasting notes

Definitely one of my favorite teas.
I’m a sucker for sweeter teas and this one really takes the cake with how naturally sweet it can taste.

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