|"The liquor infused to a bold amber. Like "the-kind-that-would-trap-a-prehistoric-mosquito", amber."|
I will confess that I'm new to Formosan (Taiwanese) teas. What I've tried have garnered a favorable reaction, but nothing particularly stuck out as awesomeness personified. I certainly haven't tried any that rivaled the best Darjeelings. Of course, that's from the oolong end. No Formosa black tea has hit my cup until this sitting.
The dry leaves looked quite similar to a roasted oolong; long, twisty and charred. It looked like American Tea Room's Big Red Robe offering. The aroma was the opposite; shades of earth, flower, and smoky sweetness. It actually smelled a bit like a Darjeeling of a lighter type, betraying its robust color.
Brewing instructions were on the cautious side - infuse for two minutes in 200F water. I went with a lighter temp of about 190F for two-minutes-thirty, 1 tablespoon-worth. No idea why, I guess because it was a hot summer night.
The liquor infused to a bold amber. Like "the-kind-that-would-trap-a-prehistoric-mosquito", amber. I went in to take a sniff, and it was like being punched with a pair of brass knuckles in the nose - said knuckles spelling out the word "MALT" in brandished gold. American Tea Room were also right about there being no astringency. I could find no tannic taste to it at all.
Black tea is many things, but "refreshing" is not one of 'em. At least not to me. I love it now. Granted, it took a few years, but I still rarely find it thirst quenching. Usually, I have a glass of water right after. This Taiwanese tea sated me. It also went straight to my head. Along with the malt punch, this also packs a caffeinated wallop. Looks are deceiving. I'm not sure it tops the best Darjeelings, but it's a great cup.
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