Sunny M’s Formosa Ruby

Formosa Ruby by Sunny M
Oolong Tea / Straight
$34.00 for 100g

Sunny M has provided me with Formosa Ruby for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

Formosa Ruby comes in a shiny black pouch, it’s sealed and resealable. I really do like the fancy valve that Sunny M has in the packaging that allows you to push all the air out of the packaging – very handy feature! Formosa Ruby is an oolong tea, described by Sunny M has being artisan roasted, hand picked and from a micro lot.

Formosa Ruby comes from the Charm of Hearts tea estate in Taiwan, and is described as being ethically sourced. This oolong is tightly bunched leaves in varying shades of brown. There are some nice floral, apricot and malty aromas coming from the leaves. I think it’s quite inviting.

Preparation

Sunny M recommends steeping Formosa Ruby in 85℃-95℃ (185℉-203℉) water for 4 to 6 minutes, so I opted to heat my water to 93°C (200°F) and steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Formosa Ruby steeps to a lovely golden orange colour. The aroma is a mix of fruity and floral. The flavour of the tea itself is a smooth floral, light sweetness, some apricot mingling in the background, and a touch of malty that just makes itself known at the tail end of each sip. A bit of a roller coaster of a taste experience, that’s for sure, but truly delicious.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped the leaves for Formosa Ruby a total of seven times (so eight steeps total with the same leaves). As always, I added an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the colour continued to deepen as I steeped, especially for the first three resteeps, and the flavour stayed fairly consistent, just getting stronger and then weaker, accordingly with the colour of the tea itself.

My Overall Impression

I loved Sunny M’s Formosa Ruby. This oolong does so great in steeping and resteeping, I found the flavour stayed really nice as I resteeped it and it was just a pleasure to drink over and over again. Definitely one to be resteeped, and you can always steep and pour into a pitcher for some iced oolong later if you don’t have time to drink all that hot tea when you’re in the process of steeping. That’s my tea tip for today!

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Sunny M’s Formosa Beauty

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.

First Impressions

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.

Preparation

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.

First Taste

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!

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Sunny M’s Formosa High Mountain

Formosa High Mountain by Sunny M
Oolong Tea / Straight
$48.00 for 100g

Sunny M has provided me with Formosa High Mountain for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

Formosa High Mountain comes in a sealed, resealable pouch. There’s a thin almost fishing-wire like seal that is easy to pull in order to open the pouch. There’s a funny little disc on the back to allow you to push air out of the bag – what a fun feature to help maintain the freshness of your tea! This is one of the teas that I was able to taste at the 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival and I was super stoked when Sunny M offered some of this lovely oolong tea to me to review.

Formosa High Mountain is an Taiwanese oolong tea that is exclusive to Sunny M, which I found interesting. It’s roasted, whole leaf, and natural (no additional flavouring). The leaves are gorgeous – a lovely mix of light and dark green shades and you can see the details in the leaves, so beautiful. The dry leaf has a nice aroma – it smells roasted, floral, and grassy.

Preparation

Sunny M recommends steeping Formosa High Mountain in 85-90°C (185-194°F) for 20-40 seconds. I opted to do an initial steep with 85°C water for 30 seconds.

First Taste

Formosa High Mountain steeps to a pale yellow colour. There’s a light roasted aroma. The flavour is a mix of nutty, floral, and sweet. The packaging suggests a chrysanthemum-like flavour and I can taste it – although how much is the power of suggestion? I like the lightness in the flavour, it’s pleasant and easy to drink.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Formosa High Mountain five times (six steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the colour got more golden yellow, with a nice flavour to it. The flavour got more sweet, with hints of vanilla as I steeped it – it made for such a pleasant steeping session.

My Overall Impression

I loved Sunny M’s Formosa High Mountain. This oolong tea was a treat from dry leaf to steep to just admiring those pretty leaves after being done with them. While the tea itself is on the more expensive side, it’s nice to know that it holds up really well to being resteeped and has some great flavour. It’s definitely one that you’ll want to resteep over and over again until you get all of the flavour from the leaves, and just enjoy the floral and sweet notes that mingle with the nutty flavours. It’s a well-balanced oolong and it’s just nice to know how nature just creates a nice flavour from tea leaves.

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