(The tea sold by Harney & Sons as Fanciest Formosa is more generically known as Bai Hao.)
I know it’s not the point, but I just want to begin by saying that this a really pretty tea. The dry leaves, which are rolled up into thin, wiry forms, range through several different shades of reddish-brown with the occasional greenish thread or long silvery bud. Imagine a chiffonade of autumn leaves.
The liquor itself is a deep golden color, and the aroma has rich notes of stone fruit and dark flowers. It’s especially powerful if you take a good whiff of the freshly drained leaves as professional tasters do. The flavor matches, with a nice medium body and a lot of sweetness (for an unsweetened beverage, anyway). In short, I really love this tea.
Oh, and did I mention how pretty the dry leaves are? This is a good tea to brew in a glass pot if you have one, because you get to see this twiggy leaves expand into beautiful medium-sized leafsets. This process wasn’t complete when I drained the first brew, but by the time I started the second (for three and a half minutes) it was pretty much set. They can give a third steeping as well (I give it four minutes) with nice flavor and aroma, though the peach notes are definitely reduced.