Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Mark T. Wendell
This tea from the island of Formosa was one of Mr. Wendell’s personal favorites. Its long, silvery leaf gives an attractive appearance. He referred to it as “the burgundy of teas.” Its mellow brew is full-bodied with a superb bouquet.
When I first tried this tea, I must admit that it confused me. It looked like a Formosa Oolong, it smelled like a Formosa Oolong. And even the taste is quite reminiscent of a fine quality Formosa Oolong tea.
But, it isn’t an Oolong. It also isn’t – technically – a Keemun, since it was grown in Taiwan and not in the Qimen County of China.
So, this is what led me to my state of confusion. But, that’s OK, because I like it when I find a tea that challenges me, and this one does. And you know what, sometimes its good to color outside the lines and to think outside the box. This tea is brilliant and daring, and I like that.
As I mentioned before, it does have a flavor that is quite similar to a Formosa Oolong – and it also does have some tastes that represent a fine Keemun as well. This tea is like the best of both worlds in one teacup.
This tea is considerably lighter than a typical Keemun. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft and quite like the mouthfeel I’d experience with a Formosa Oolong. It has a supple flavor that is woody with hints of smoke and a deep fruity undertone. There are intriguing spice notes to this cup as well, similar to that which I would taste with a Keemun. It has a wine-like finish to it, but without the bitter taste I would experience with a Keemun.
While this tea is a bit confusing – I am certainly not confused when I say that I really like this one. It’s delicious!