M.T.W. Formosa Keemun

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Black Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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13 Tasting Notes View all

From Mark T. Wendell

“This tea from the island of Formosa was one of Mr. Wendell’s personal favorites. Its long, silvery leaf gives an attractive appearance. He referred to it as “the burgundy of teas.” Its mellow brew is full-bodied with a superb bouquet.”

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13 Tasting Notes

1220 tasting notes

Thanks TeaEqualsBliss!

I’ve had a pretty full day, going to the allergist, mailing stuff, picking up a prescription, eating a $10 lunch (!!! never again), buying a couple dresses for my Halloween costume to only find I might have an even better dress at home already, and then learning that if you walk around Goodwill with a hockey stick, people get the hell out of your way! That’s for my boyfriend’s costume, not me, don’t think it works with a dress. I’m gonna be a Bond girl gone zombie.

And then best of all someone bought SIX lip balms from me, someone I don’t even know!!! YAY the ads work! So that was thrilling.

Now it is tea time. I should have probably got out a regular keemun since I’ve been wanting one for days, and the other day I had one that was more like lapsang because it wasn’t made properly (not by me!). This looks a lot like a Taiwanese oolong instead.

I steeped it in my gaiwan, 3 steeps of 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and 25 seconds and put all those steeps in one mug.

This is…weird.

It doesn’t taste like Keemun at all, it tastes like a roasted oolong. And when it comes to Taiwanese oolongs, I’m just not a fan of those types. Baked wood chips. That’s all I get. I think I’m going to add honey to it.

It’s such a pretty color though. I wish I could paint with it.

Well, honey makes it better but it’s still not my type of flavor underneath it all. I wish I could get into it but I just can’t.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I was also really confused and disappointed in this one. Definitely doesn’t smell, look, or taste anything like keemun. :(


Yeah, that’s why I added honey. Didn’t really help, but now to the actual keemun!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m really confused why the name keemun is on it in the first place, being as it has no keemun qualities and doesn’t come from the Qimen County. I’m gonna have to experiment with it and not think of it as a keemun and maybe I can like it. Haha…but please, go brew yourself some real keemun! :D


Bond Girl gone zombie – what a fun costume!


I’m SO freaking jealous of that costume! pics after Halloween, pretty please? You will be amazing!


Oh yes! My friends are DJs haha so they are throwing their party this year as their Friday night party, and are having professional makeup artists there so I am hoping they can do it for me and make it even more awesome!

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4847 tasting notes

Thanks again to Geoffrey for sending me some of this tea.

I really do love this tea. It has a beautiful flavor – very rich and flavorful. I love the warm spicy undertones and the hint of sweetness that hits around mid-sip. It is not quite as bold as an authentic Keemun, but, that’s OK… sometimes different is good, and in this case that’s very true. A very pleasant, deep, complex flavor that I’m enjoying immensely.


so with formosa being the old name of Taiwan, is this a Taiwanese varietal leaf (traditionally used for oolongs) that was then made following a Keemun traditional oxidation practice? Any idea how it was manufactured?

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242 tasting notes

next to the last cup. I must be the only one with this on Steepster. Maybe I ought to save the last bit for a Traveling Tea Box. Is it acceptible to only have a 1 (generous) serving sample?
Did you know if you put things between less-than and greater-than signs, they don’t show up in the notes? I had a note about a picture of my tea shelf at work and if you could see it, you’d wonder how I get anything done, what with having to make a decision about what tea to drink in the morning. We need to get the next TTB moving along.

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300 tasting notes

Oh hey, this was actually on my shopping list! It caught my eye again on the SWAPs board, thank you momo for sending this to me. I find it amusing that three of the five people reviewing this tea (not including myself) passed it on to each other until it came to me over the last two years. Which explains why as soon as I brewed it I got a familiar odor that I have a very hard time describing but comes from teas that have been passed along or perhaps been in plastic bags too long, no matter if they are green, oolong or black. Sigh.

The dry leaf smells better than the wet, the second infusion is better than the first (which I had to toss, so lets just consider it a rinse shall we?) and the tea tastes much better cool than it does hot or warm. If I let it go cold I get a nice powder sugar/tree lichen/mushroom taste/feel that lingers on the tongue and that’s about the only nice thing I can say. I get “mellow brew”, but not the full body or bouquet, there’s a bit of spice and the weird age notes are sharp at times. ::shurg::

Tis not Keemun and has lost the majority of it’s former Formosa oolong mojo that other tea drinkers took note of. So Taiwanese Assam: win, Formosa Keemun: loose. Could be the age but I’m unlikely to acquire a new batch. I also don’t know it this was fine cut to begin with or if I just got the dusty bottom of a bag of full leaf, but tis something to consider. Oh well, thanks for letting me try it momo. The good news? I have two Keemun’s from Butiki to try!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ugh. I couldn’t do this tea at all. It was weak and tasteless :(

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1965 tasting notes

I’m glad the review for this one posted when it did … this is perfect for the change of seasons:


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348 tasting notes

I could geekily nitpick that it can’t be a Keemun unless it’s actually produced in Qimen County, but I’m not in a purist mood this morning. The fact that it was a Formosa-borne black tea was merit enough for sipping. Unlike Chinese Keemun, it doesn’t possess the bitter foretaste. In fact, none of its flavor characteristics match up with Keemun. There’s no sweetness and no “orchid”-like comparison. What it does offer is an aged pu-erh’s earthiness coupled with a Formosa oolong’s nutty and pinecone-like flavor. It’s no Keemun Gongfu or Mao Feng, but it still does pretty well.

Full Review: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/1985/tea-review-mark-t-wendell-formosa-keemun/

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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