|"A velvety nature maximizes the creaminess of what is paradoxically a bold liquor and even a touch astringent when brewed for the strongest of flavors."|
Having tried every tea available from Cameron as well as greatly enjoying them, I found myself fortunate in the opportunity to sample what ended up being my favorite black tea of their lineup, an aptly albeit generically named Formosa black tea hailing from Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake. (As a quick aside, Cameron would do well to provide a bit more background on their teas, especially considering that their Assam and Formosa, for example, display identical profiles)
The leaves of this competition grade crop are slim, so much so that scooping them out of their container feels too dangerous a task. Nevertheless, the tea is overall quite sturdy and the slenderness only contributes positively to the tea’s tasting notes. Slightly sweeter in fragrance than Cameron’s Assam, this attractive black tea is not so prominently earthy, rather possessing a more delicate though still pungent aromatic profile.
Upon infusion, the leaves unfurl beautifully and release even stronger essences of notes akin to those aforementioned. The liquor is silky with significant sweetness, and notes of chocolate and even warm vanilla fall on the back of the tongue. A velvety nature maximizes the creaminess of what is paradoxically a bold liquor and even a touch astringent when brewed for the strongest of flavors. Despite the pronounced latter in this apparent discrepancy, Cameron Tea’s Formosa black delivers more than the forceful Assam, boasting an elevated sweetness, smoothness, and overall complexity in comparison.
The difference between the Formosa black’s competition and premium grades, though not arbitrary, is minimally distinguishable. Given its more slender leaves, the competition grade is more prone to unpleasant astringency, but proper brewing of the tea yields a more flavorful result than any from the premium grade. Frankly, money would be better spent on the premium grade in light of the near irrelevant difference in taste and aroma.
Cameron Tea’s Formosa black was my definite favorite of their black tea line, providing a sweeter and overall more well-rounded composition. One couldn’t go wrong with any of their selections, but this variety is to me the most enjoyable.
— To purchase Cameron Tea Formosa, Competition Grade, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
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