Formosa Pouchong oolong teas are closer to green tea–Red Tea

Oolong tea falls somewhere between black and green tea. It is fermented, but for a shorter period of time than black tea. Depending upon the length of fermentation, oolong teas can be closer to green teas in terms of color and flavor, or closer to black teas. In addition, oolong teas are traditionally made from the larger leaves of the tea plant. These are the leaves that grow further down the tea plant rather than the top leaves.

Formosa oolong teas are those produced in Taiwan, rather than in China. Next to China, Taiwan produces the largest quantity of oolong tea in the world. Formosa oolong teas fall into two categories, depending upon how long they’re fermented. True Formosa oolongs, like Chinese oolong teas, are fermented until about 30% of the tea leaves are red, leaving about 70% of the leaves green.

Formosa Pouchong oolong teas are closer to green tea. The leaves are fermented until just about 15% are red, leaving them 85% green.

To make Formosa oolong and pouchong teas, the leaves are plucked early in the day and then withered in the sun. Then the leaves are bruised lightly to cause the fermentation process to begin. Tea artisans will carefully watch the tea during the fermentation process, often shaking or tumbling the leaves regularly, until the leaves have fermented the required length of time and have reached the appropriate proportion of green and red leaves. It is ending the fermentation process at precisely the right time that makes a perfect oolong or Red Tea.

Next, the leaves are dried, often using charcoal before they are graded according to the quality and sent for packaging.

Imperial Formosa oolong teas are considered the most sophisticated tea flavors in the world. It brews to a golden color and produces a very crisp liquor. It’s an incredibly flavorful tea, often with significant notes of orange and nut flavors and sometimes with a very woody and sweet finish that lingers on the tongue.

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