Formosa is a dark oolong from Taiwan. Full of nutty, roasty, malted notes, this oolong is about 75 % oxidized, bringing it closer to the characteristics of a black tea than other oolongs. Generally, oolongs are enjoyed throughout the day, without the addition of dairy or sweetener. The nutty flavor of Formosa Oolong pairs well with berries and soft cheeses, as well as making it an excellent tea to enjoy after a large meal.
This tea contains caffeine.
Teas are like people, each is different and there is no one way to prepare a cup. Use this as a starting point for brewing this tea as you explore its unique characteristics. You may find different times of day or moods, you like to use more or less tea, brew it for a different amount of time….Whatever you do, have fun discovering your perfect cup!
1 tsp/6 grams
8 oz/237 ml
4-5 minutes, add 15 seconds for each subsequent infusion.
Some teas are recommended for brewing with boiling water, while others are brewed at lower temperatures. Even when brewing a tea at a lower temperature, it is recommended that you first boil the water (to kill bacteria etc.) and then allow the water to cool to the correct temperature (ice cubes speed up the process). While you can certainly brew any tea with boiling water, it will change the flavor of the tea.
Grown in China.
What’s In A Name?
There’s a short story/history lesson behind the name of this tea. Between 1542-44 Portuguese sailors saw the island now know as Taiwan, impressed by the islands beauty and scenery they had the original idea to name it. Ilha Formosa, or Beautiful Island. Ilha Formosa became the most commonly used name for the island in European literature up until the early 20th century, and was largely accepted as the Western name for the island.
While it was an uncharted island for the Portuguese sailors, there are Chinese records referencing the Island of Taiwan from 238 C.E. In the language of the mountain people who originally lived on the island, ‘Taiwan’ means ‘terraced bay’. The natives used this to refer to the area where Chinese ships landed, misunderstanding, Chinese sailors thought this was their name for the Island as a whole, and began to call it Taiwan.
There is one more time that Formosa was employed by a group of people to reference a specific aspect of this island. On April 17th, 1895, the leaders of Japan and China ended months of fighting by signing the Treaty of Shimonoseki, in which the Chinese agreed to the cession of Taiwan to Japan. Chinese citizens on the island were agitated by their home being transferred to Japanese control. On the May 23rd 1895, they declared independence, establishing what they called the free and democratic Republic of Formosa. Unfortunately because of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, Western Governments felt they could not recognize The Republic of Formosa, and many felt this was a maneuver to return control of the island to the Chinese. Within 5 months, most of which was spent fighting the Japanese, The Republic of Formosa fell.
Occasionally someone will still refer to Taiwan as Formosa, but generally everyone recognize it as Taiwan now.