Formosa Bai Hao (Oolong #40)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Astringent, Bitter, Honey, Tannic
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Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 oz / 130 ml

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51 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Drinking a cup of #40 before heading out to lunch. And where am I going… I took my mom here for her birthday and we did the Royal-tea lunch. It was pretty cool, and...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is my first oolong, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s very mellow. Soft and sweet. I’m getting just a bit of the fruity flavor, and the flavor of the tea is fairly delicate. That being...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sipdown no. 108 of the year 2014. The peachy note came out really nicely tonight, during multiple short steeps in the gaiwan. I did the first three at 30 seconds and the rest at 45 while watching...” Read full tasting note
  • “I keep thinking I’ve reviewed this tea and I keep being wrong! So here it finally is. The bottom line for me is that I like this much better than Adagio’s other oolongs. That said, it is not...” Read full tasting note

From Adagio Teas

Oolong tea from Taiwan. Formosa, meaning ‘beautiful’ was what the Portuguese explorers called this island. The oolong tea grown here continues to be called as such. The intense pungency and exquisite bouquet of Formosa Oolong tea is regarded to be the finest in the world. However, only the finest of Formosa teas warrant the label of ‘fancy’ grade. This is such tea. The ‘Oolong Symphony no. 40’ has dark, silver-tipped leaves and produces a mesmerizing cup of delicate peachy notes and warm, soothing flavor. Well deserving its nickname as the true champagne of teas.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

51 Tasting Notes

8 tasting notes

Smell in the pouch: Sweet and smoky.

Smell in the cup: I know this is going to sound inappropriate as all hell, but it smells like the air at an ACDC concert. I was not expecting that at all.

Taste: Very smoky, not getting any real sweet at all. There has got to be a problem with either the water temperature or the steeping time here. It tastes better than the smell might suggest, but I can’t get over how it smells.

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19 tasting notes

Finished my session for today. Used my new rat yixing teapot. Will have some later

195 °F / 90 °C

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11 tasting notes

Tasty middle of the road Oolong. It’s good to prep the leaves and open them up by pouring some hot water and discarding before steeping.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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20 tasting notes

Really enjoyed this tea. It has become my special friends tea when my tea liking friends come over.

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921 tasting notes

Well, I think I have my fill of No Man’s Sky let’s plays, after many days of watching them. I will probably feel different if I ever get to play it, but from what I can tell it seems like a bit of a let down. I was under the impression it was going to be focused mainly on exploration, that grinding for resources was secondary and that there was not going to be a plot…well, either I was wrong or the advertisement was misleading. Having seen a player reach the conclusion of the ‘plot’ well, I am glad I was never invested in the story because wow, it is anticlimactic!! In a way I am glad I do not have the right system to play it.

Today I am looking at another tea from Adagio Teas, their Formosa Bai Hao. You may know this tea by its other more famous name, Oriental Beauty, though there is a bit of a movement to change that name to one of many other names, since OB is deemed by many to be culturally insensitive. I will probably always call it OB, not a shortening, but like Bob without the ‘b’ mainly because it makes me think of Magic character Ob Nixillis, because that name is hilarious. This tea, other than a very slight name similarity has nothing in common with Ob Nixillis, because he is a jerk and this is a tea, teas can’t be jerks. Well, that got rambling quick, let is go straight into the aroma before I get side-tracked again! The aroma of the leaves is very light, I really had to shove my nose in them to get much, though the notes that were present were quite pleasant. Autumn leaves blend with distant grapes and light honey. It smells autumnal and mildly sweet.

Only one thing to do since sniffing isn’t giving me much, time to brew it up! Once steeped the leaves liven up a bit, notes of apples and grapes blend with squash and autumn leaves, I swear OB is always autumnal to me, like the best parts of autumn distilled into tea. The aroma of the liquid is a fruity blend of crisp apples, juicy pears, a bit of honey, and a touch of grapes. It is very sweet and nectar like.

The first steep is really quite light, in both taste and texture, it is almost airy in its lightness. It blends notes of light and slightly crisp apples with sweet pears and very gentle grapes at the start. Around the middle the fruit takes on a baked quality being reminiscent of fruit pie with a slight crust quality. The aftertaste is sweet like warmed wildflower honey, though it does not linger over long.

For the second steep the aroma is a fruity blend of apples, pears, and a touch of distant citrus, it is light and sweet, again reminding me of fruit nectar. The taste is much like the first steep, but with a bit more oomph. Notes of apples and pears dance with grapes and gentle wildflower honey and autumn leaves. It has a slightly citrus note that pops up towards the finish and lingers for a short while in the aftertaste. Sadly there really wasn’t much to steep three, it was greatly faded by that point. This tea did not really wow me, there was nothing wrong with it, just nothing jumped out and grabbed me as being spectacular.

For blog and photos:

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42 tasting notes

This smelled great, sweet smelling, almost like honey, but the taste was very bitter, tannic and astringent. I think I used too much leaf, not realizing how oxidized this tea was. I’d probably cut it down to ⅓ of what I used the next time.

Eventually I pulled out half of what was in the gaiwan but by that point the damage to my palate had been done so this ended up being a fairly disappointing evening of tea. But, I don’t think I can blame the tea in this case but rather the woman between the chair and the gaiwan.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Honey, Tannic

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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8 tasting notes

This tea was a different oolong than I’m used to— much more delicate and floral. However, I prefer a ‘meatier’ oolong with more body. It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t get it again.

It also may not have steeped long enough, since I bought a cup of it at the Adagio store.

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4 tasting notes

I had forgotten about this one – been sitting on my shelf for the last 10 months. Hopefully that didn’t affect the quality but was airtight. Used the last of it tonight. Lovely smoky flavour – a bit bitter at first but gradually changes to a lingering, complex richness that fills your whole palate. Definitely a strong tea – perhaps not one for late at night like I just did. Would be very nice as a midday tea.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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49 tasting notes

Very Darjeelingesque

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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353 tasting notes

A very nice, solid oolong. I grabbed a sample bag of this with my last order and was very impressed with the flavor of this tea.

3 min, 45 sec

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