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Formosa oolong teas
Formosa Oolong Tea: slightly more oxidised oolongs from Taiwan.
Formosa oolong tea is amongst the best oolong tea (wu-long). These are from Taiwan which lies off the south eastern Chinese coast opposite Fujian Province. They are oxidised 60-70%, and are therefore closer to black teas than Fujian oolongs. They are highly acclaimed for their complexity. Taiwan has produced Formosa oolongs for the past three centuries.
These may be either open or closed leaf styles. The mountainous area to the north of the island known as the Ali Shan is famous for its distinctly fragrant oolongs which have a scent reminiscent of orchids. They have a rich and mellow taste with notes of honey, leather and sandalwood.
The Ali Shan mountains have great beauty and form a protected national park popular with tourists. The famous principal peak rises to 8,500 feet. Teas are produced at several gardens at an altitude of 2,300 to 5,600 feet in an environment that is tropical at the foot, to ideally cool and humid with high rainfall at higher elevations.
These high-grown teas are more aromatic and darker leafed through having less sunshine – much being masked by fogs. These fogs also improve the suppleness of the leaf which have a higher amino acid and nitrogen content, adding to the complexity of their flavours.