Yongchun Fo Shou (Bergamot) Oolong Superior Grade

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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10 Tasting Notes View all

From Life In Teacup

The origin of Fo Shou tea cultivar is a mystery. Many people say it was obtained by engrafting tea tree with Fo Shou (bergamot) tree. The engrafting theory of Fo Shou oolong has never been proved. But the characteristics of this tea do remind a drinker of fragrance of Fo Shou fruits.

Brew method:
1a. Oolong, ball-shaped dry tea leaves

  • Vessel: gaiwan or small teapot
  • Water temperature: newly boiled water (above 95 °C or 203 °F)
  • Amount of leaves: 5 gram for every 120ml total volume (Or reduce the amount to 3 gram for some heavy oxidation and/or heavy roast products)
  • Warm-up infusion: pour hot water in the vessel, and immediately drain it. Wait for about 1min. before starting the next infusion.
  • Time for each of the first 3 infusions (after warm-up): 20sec. (Or reduce the infusion time to 10-15sec. for some heavy oxidation and/or heavy roast products)
  • Extend infusion time based on taste for later infusions. Most oolong tea can well last for at least 5-7 infusions.


  • Vessel: mug
  • Water temperature: (same as “1a”) newly boiled water (around 95 °C or 203 °F)
  • Amount of leaves: 15-20 grains of dry tea leaves
  • Steep time: 1-2 minutes
  • Re-steep: when there is 1/3 liquor left in the vessel, add hot water to re-steep.

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10 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes

Plain and Simple…I LOVE THIS.

Okay, so you want a more detailed reason as to way…here goes…

This smelled like sweet-floral and mellow yet juicy fruit…of the citrus variety. The Infusion color is a light-oolong type. The taste is out of this world! A pure delight! It’s very pure and crisp and thirst quenching. It’s juicy yet floral. You can tell it’s an Oolong by taste but it’s so much more than that…it’s incredible! I really, really like this! The flavor of the oolong is one thing but the Bergamot is another. I’ve never tasted a bergamot flavor like this and I must say after tasting it – all Bergamot should taste like this! Very nice!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Oh my WORD, that sounds incredible!

Geoffrey Norman

Bergamot-scented oolong? I’m sold…


i MUST have this…..*drool

Jim Marks

Is this a toasty kind of oolong, like a dim sum tea, or the greener, more floral varieties?


inbetween toasty and green/floral…I do have the roasted/charcoal version coming up soon too so stay tuned!

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4846 tasting notes

Brewing method: Gaiwan. Temperature = 180 degrees F. 45 seconds first infusion, adding 15 seconds for each subsequent infusion.

First two infusions: It is a lovely Oolong, but I keep waiting for the bergamot flavor to emerge. I taste very subtle hints of bergamot essence, but, is is ever-so-slight. The flavors develop very slowly, as I near the bottom of my cup, I taste a little more bergamot. This is a delicious, satisfying Oolong, however, it is not for the Earl Grey lover looking for an Earl Grey Oolong … instead, it is for the Oolong lover looking for something a little different … or perhaps for the lover of both Earl Grey and Oolong who is not expecting this to be the Earl Grey Oolong.

Third and Fourth Infusions: Ahh… there it is. The bergamot is much more apparent now. It is still not a strong EARL GREY kind of flavor, but, instead, it is a subtle innuendo of the tangy citrus flavor of bergamot and a hint of the floral aspect of bergamot as well. It lingers into the aftertaste. It’s very nice.

Fifth and Sixth infusions: this is where the true beauty of the bergamot emerges. It never becomes a strong EARL GREY-like bergamot, but, instead, this offers a different taste and perspective of bergamot that is tangy, citrus-y and floral… but, still different than I am used to. I like it.


Just to re-iterate: Oolong lover looking for something a little different … were I this, would like it.

My taste palette does not recognize bergamot. I am sorry. I thought it was a hair product but truly to do with tea as well…specifically Earls and I think Assam possibly.

No pun, I do not understand; kind of like ethnicity in teas…I mean tea regions/principalities.

And then I wonder why folks prune at me.

Some what confusingly good review for a Oolong.


Woah – I just had Life in Teacup’s Fo Shou Oolong (not the superior one). Now I’m truly wishing that I would have waited to try it at home with proper steeping equipment/ability. Now I’m sort of intimidated to do my own review considering how awesomely epic yours is :)

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1884 tasting notes

Another little sample I’m using up. I’ve always found it interesting how teas can naturally take on flavour like sweet cream or lilac flowers without any flavouring being added at all.

The first steep at 1.5 minutes had the initial flavour of a typical green oolong – slightly sweet and floral but there’s also a fresh, fruit-like juiciness that doesn’t quite come across as a citrus tangyness but hints at something like it.

The second steep (2.5 mins) turned the liquor a bright yellow shade. It was less floral but there was more a citrus taste and the tea as a whole had a fuller body and more rounded flavour.

The third steep (3.5 mins) was a bit lighter in colour and flavour but the bergamot flavours seemed like they were a bit stronger.

I could go on longer but it’s late and I don’t need a bunch of caffeine in my system keeping me awake. This was a fun tea and an interesting deviation from a traditional green oolong.

195 °F / 90 °C

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91 tasting notes

Second time around, I enjoyed this even more than the first! There was the same bright green, hay aroma and the astringency to mark the first few sips. But the astringency and associated bitterness slip into a smooth, almost sweet after taste that sits well on the tongue – mildly malty! That’s how I would describe the after taste after the first few sips.

After giving this another try, I am increasing my rating on it and planning on ordering more for the future.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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251 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea. When I requested my sample, I thought it would have bergamot added to it, but after I did some reading, I realized that this tea has a citrusy flavor and aroma on its own. It doesn’t have that kind of Earl Grey slap in the face bergamot that I love so much, so don’t compare it to an Earl Grey. It has a citrusy aroma and a green refreshing taste. It’s a grassy kind of flavor. It reminds me of picking citrus on an unseasonably warm day in February. You’re not eating the fruit, but you know it’s there.

I’m having a little trouble explaining this tea, but I’m enjoying my sample a lot.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Have you tried your other samples yet? Mine came on Thursday but I haven’t tried them yet. The Spring Yunnan Green and two surprise samples.

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Today I continue my exploration on mug brewing, and use my lovely glass mug to brew this tea. I will post some mug brewing photos on my blog in several days.

This tea is one of my favorite varietal, partially because of its unique flavor, partially because it took me a long time to find it. It used to be a very popular tea in its producing region, as well as in southeastern Asia. But in recent years, it’s not commonly seen, when most efforts are put in cultivating and selling Tie Guan Yin, the “popular” varietal.

Overall, I do believe Tie Guan Yin has more prominent characteristics and can usually yield more infusions with rich flavor. But this tea is unique. It has very pleasant aroma and flavor of green fruits, a little bit of citrus taste, actually quite comparable to the aroma of bergamot (Fo Shou, or Buddha Hands).

This is the first time I’ve used a mug to brew this tea. I counted 15 grains of dry tea to put in the mug, and pour in newly boiled water. The green fruit fragrance comes out immediately. It is very pleasant, but also makes me somewhat worry what if all the fragrance escapes before I drink the tea. What’s great about gong fu brewing is, the teapot or gaiwan retain the fragrance to the maximum degree and doesn’t allow it to escape. In the glass mug, it takes the leaves around 2 minutes to expand and sink to the bottom. The first a few sips taste rather light. The flavor is not as strong as the fragrance suspending in the air. After a short while, when less water is left in the mug and the tea leaves further expand, flavor gets richer, with hints of green fruit and some metallic cool. The aftertaste is slightly grassy. The second and third infusions taste stronger than the first one. Sweet aftertaste appears from the second infusion and lasts till the end.

Overall, I think in mug infusion, the characteristic aroma of this tea is only weakly expressed, while in gong fu brewing, it can be better experienced. In mug brewing, the flavor is still very pleasant, and the tea tastes very close to green tea, but with more interesting fruity notes than what most green teas have. I guess this tea will be favored by some green tea lovers. I personally will choose gong fu brewing to get the most aroma from this tea. My usual dose in gong fu brewing is 5 grams tea in 2oz. gaiwan. In mug brewing, it will be only about 1-2 grams tea in 9oz. mug. The tea is more diluted in mug brewing. If someone likes green tea but doesn’t like prominent floral fragrance in tea, then mug brewing may be a better choice. And of course, mug brewing is always convenient and easy.

I have charcoal roast version of this tea too, and have a feeling that mug brewing may works better for charcoal roast oolong. Will try it next time!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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247 tasting notes

This tea’s scent is beautiful from start to finish. When I opened the pretty little vacuum sealed bag, the smell of the tea leaves reminded me of a preserved bouquet. It was very pretty, yet grassy. Not overdone or overpowering. Just pleasant.

195/2 min

Now, the fragrance of the tea is much more evident. I’m picking up on the bergamot scent, reminiscent of Earl Grey, but not scent the room strong. The taste is really subtle. I can taste the bergamot, but I don’t feel it as in the Earl Grey where it permeates all of your senses. Instead, it’s comforting and delicate. This tea is fairly light and other than a hint of toasty oolong flavor, it really does resemble more of a roasted green tea. I’m not picking up too much of a fruity flavor, just a gentle floral infusion.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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