Formosa Beauty by Sunny M
Oolong Tea / Straight
$18.00 for 20g
Sunny M has provided me with Formosa Beauty for the purposes of writing an honest review.
Formosa Beauty comes in a sealed, resealable gold foil pouch that has the bonus of a little one-way valve in the packaging. What I like about this one-way valve is that you can push out all of the air from the bag after you reseal it, which helps keep the tea from getting stale – pretty neat feature!
The packaging has labels on the front and back. So it describes Formosa Beauty as being handpicked, leaf hopper bitten, it’s a hybrid ea (called Taiwan No. 12) from the Charm of Hearts tea estate from Taiwan. It’s a direct trade tea which means that Sunny M gets it directly from the tea estate itself – which I think it’s pretty awesome. It is really nice to be able to get all the information that you consume, and it’s something that unfortunately you don’t get from a lot of tea available in grocery stores that are more easily accessible.
Formosa Beauty is a roasted tea with no additives or additional ingredients. The leaves are a lovely mix of brown and deep reddish brown, all bunched up. There are some nice honey floral note from the dry leaf that is inviting.
With no steeping instructions on the packaging, I went over to the Sunny M website to find out what I could find. Sunny M recommends steeping Formosa Beauty in 85-95°C (185-203°F) for 4-6 minutes. I opted to use 93°C (200°F) water and did an initial steep for 5 minutes.
Formosa Beauty steeps to a golden yellow – just look at that colour! It’s got a nice sweet floral aroma to it, and the flavour? There’s a thicken mouthfeel to the steeped tea, coupled with a sweet, honeyed sweetness and strong floral notes – but not so strong that you feel like you’re drinking a bouquet.
A Second Cup?
I resteeped Formosa Beauty five times, adding an additional 30 seconds of steep time for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour remained fairly true to the initial steep, with a more subdued floral flavour with each steep, but still balancing well against the sweetness that’s naturally coming from the tea leaves.
My Overall Impression
I loved Sunny M’s Formosa Beauty. I’m a sucker for an oolong that’s got some great flavour and resteeps well, and Formosa Beauty ticks those boxes for me. At almost a dollar per gram, it’s not one of the cheapest teas that I’ve ever reviewed, but it has a lovely quality to it that allows you to resteep it over and over again, which really enables you to get all of that flavour out of those handpicked leaves – which is just economically smart practice when you’ve got an expensive tea! Bonus, it even tastes good too (which helps justify that price tag). The sweet floral notes are just delicious and would make for a good cup of tea both hot or iced – and iced oolong in the summer is just tasty!