Organic Formosa Red, Native Cultivar
We are not certain how long the tea plants for our Formosa Red, Native Cultivar have been in existence. The varietal had grown wild in Taiwan and largely ignored until the colonial Japanese administration identified it as a potential candidate for black tea production in the early 1900s. Thereafter, the cultivar was planted in the hills surrounding Nantou County’s Sun Moon Lake in Yuchih Village, Taiwan.
Our Formosa Red, Native Cultivar comes to us from the same grower that harvested and crafted our #18 cultivar. It was harvested in late April 2010, days before we arrived. We acquired approximately 120 catties of this tea. As is the case with our #18, Native Cultivar is organically grown and produced. Each leaf is hand-picked in the morning before a two day period of wilting, rolling and enzymatic oxidation that produced the beautiful red orange liquor of this tea.
We found this tea to be remarkably non-astringent, even when forgotten and left to over brew. The brewed result is sweet and wonderfully floral, with the nose of more aromatic Formosa oolongs backed by layers of honey, rich cream and cognac. It’s pretty delicious.