Formosa Amber Oolong (TT55)

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From Upton Tea

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The dry leaves of this oolong tea from Taiwan have only a weak aroma, and unfurl somewhat, but not a great deal, upon brewing.

When made into tea, which is amber in color as the name suggests, the aroma is nutty and warm, not overpowering, and with a hint of a skunkiness to it. There is only a hint of bitterness and tanginess in the flavor...the tanginess sinks to the bottom of the cup. I found the aroma of this tea to be an acquired taste. I am glad I ordered a 100g pack of this and not just a sample, as I found my appreciation of this tea to grow greatly upon drinking it. Something about the aroma I initially found mildly tasted a little bit like stale wood to me. However, as I drank this tea more, I came to really like the aroma, although I still do not like it quite as much as Se Chung: ZO10 from Upton Tea, which has a similar wood-like aroma, is easier to brew, and was easier to appreciate initially.

The brewing instructions are important for this one. I prefer to use well over a teaspoon of leaves per cup, and brew for five minutes. At too high a temperature this tea becomes very bitter, but at too low a temperature it is too weak. I find stirring this tea to be important, especially if you let the cup sit for a while before drinking it...the sourness at the bottom of the cup makes for an unpleasant final few sips, but is a welcome addition when distributed evenly throughout the tea.

This is a decent tea. It is quirky and a bit of a nuisance. It actually has grown on me considerably, and I think it is a bit of an acquired taste. But even with this, it's not my favorite Oolong. Bottom line? I am not sure. It's inexpensive, but I've also had Oolongs that are equally reasonably priced that are less difficult to appreciate.

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