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How Is Imperial Formosa Oolong Different From Other Teas?
Many tea drinkers are unfamiliar with Imperial Formosa oolong teas. Oolong teas, in general, are not as well known in the Western world as other teas, but they are certainly worth investigating.
Oolong teas are those that are fermented for a shorter period of time than black teas. This shorter fermentation period creates a tea that is a bit blacker than green tea, but a bit greener than black tea. This “middle ground” that is oolong tea produces an extremely fragrant cup of tea, with slightly more complex flavors than other teas.
Oolong teas originated, like most other teas, in China many years ago. Formosa oolongs, however are different than these traditional Chinese oolong teas. Formosa oolong teas are produced in Taiwan. They are referred to as Formosa oolong teas because Formosa was the original name for Taiwan.
Oolong teas are different from other teas in the special attention that they require for proper processing. Oolong leaves are plucked by hand, and then allowed to wither and dry. Chinese oolong teas typically wither in sheds while Formosa oolong teas are withered and dried in the sun.
Then the tea leaves must be bruised slightly to begin the oxidation process. During this process, the leaves are often shaken or tumbled on a regular basis. Once the leaves are appropriately fermented, they are fired to end the oxidation process. All of these steps must be attended to by a skilled tea artisan to ensure that the oolong tea is properly prepared.
Because of the care required to make a good oolong tea, they are typically made by hand in small tea gardens. High yield, mechanized tea production doesn’t produce fine quality oolong teas.
Oolong teas have a different flavor than white, black or green teas because of their shorter fermentation period. Oolong teas are typically milder than black teas with less of a grassy taste than green teas. They are typically fragrant with distinct floral notes and have a fruity flavor, often slightly peachy.
Formosa oolongs are some of the most fragrant and fruity of all oolong teas. The peach notes are typically very noticeable in both the aroma and flavor, but it is often blended with woody and nutty notes. Many people describe Imperial Formosa oolong teas as having a chestnut flavor. Many people consider oolong teas to have the most sophisticated and complex flavor of any variety of tea.
Formosa oolong teas are graded differently than Chinese oolong teas. The government of Taiwan imposed a standard grading system for its teas that makes if easy to ensure that you’re receiving a high quality tea. The best grade of Formosa tea is called “Finest to Choice” and the second highest grade is called “Finest”.
In fact, Formosa oolong teas are some of the easiest to judge, as the grades really speak to the quality of the tea. By choosing loose Formosa teas of one of the highest grades, you’ll ensure that you’re getting the best quality for the money.
Formosa oolong tea, like other oolong teas is different, too, in the way that it’s brewed. Tradition calls for you to “awaken” the oolong tea leaves before brewing them. To do this, prepare your water by boiling it and letting it cool to about 180°F.
Pour a bit of the hot water over the tea leaves, rinsing them and then quickly pouring off the water. This brings the flavor and aroma of the tea to life. Then pour more water over the leaves to actually brew the tea.
Formosa Imperial oolong tea should be brewed only about one minute. Over brewing this mild tea can cause it to be bitter. Brewing Imperial Formosa oolong tea with spring water that is high in mineral content will yield the best tasting tea. The mineral content in the water brings out the flavor of the tea.
Formosa oolong tea leaves can be used to produce several infusions of tea. Each infusion will taste just a bit different. You’ll notice that different flavors are prominent with different infusions. Though each infusion is different, each will be delicious if you’ve selected a good quality tea.
Formosa Imperial oolong tea is a very healthy drink. Like all teas, oolong tea has a very high anti-oxidant content. The partial fermentation that oolong tea undergoes ensures that it is very high in the anti-oxidant polyphenol. Polyphenol is a very powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown, in particular to have strong powers to prevent heart disease and cancer.
In addition, all oolong teas have been found to be an effective weight loss supplement. Oolong tea helps speed the metabolism and oxidize fat, both of which enhance weight loss.
So, Imperial Formosa oolong tea is good and good for you. You’ll find this sophisticated blend of nut, flower and fruit flavors to be especially pleasing to the palate. Combine this with the fact that it has the power to prevent disease and help you live a longer and healthier life and you must agree that Imperial Formosa oolong tea is one smart choice in beverages.
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