This Formosa Red Oolong features leaves that are tightly rolled and well roasted. After the initial sip, one is perhaps reminded of a Da Hong Pao, but much less mineral. It unrolls many layers throughout the cup that include biscuit, warm bread, honeysuckle, wildflower honey, cocoa, apricot, and a hint of lychee. With an even silkier mouthfeel than roasted Ti Kuan Yins from Fujian, we find it to be most impressive.
First seen around 2008, Red Oolong was developed in Luye, Taitung County. Inspired by the existing black (or red) tea plants around the area, red oolong adapted the fermentation process and combined it with the frying methods used for traditional oolongs. The resulting brewed tea takes on a darker color similar to black tea and the smooth, sweet fruitiness of oolong.
Oolong Tea | High caffeine | Steep at 195° for 2-3 minutes.
Birthplace of "red oolong", Taitung is a county in Taiwan located along the southeastern coast. The third-largest country in Taiwan, Taitung is also one of the most isolated regions as well and home to the largest and most diverse group of aboriginal cultures. Due to its mountainous geography, Taitung has escaped mainstream urbanization and colonization, remaining sparsely populated and under-developed. This isolation has helped to keep the area's traditions intact, including its tea production methods.