|"The premium grade, like its greater counterpart, harbors a rich, smooth liquor characterized by a subtle creaminess and lasting sweetness."|
The premium grade, like its greater counterpart, harbors a rich, smooth liquor characterized by a subtle creaminess and lasting sweetness. I found the premium grade to be a bit thinner in its overall full-bodied liquor, which makes it more difficult to extract the highest of such a tea's potential. The differentiation between the two grades, however, is extremely small.
In both the pre- and post-infused aroma, the leaves of this Formosa are slightly sweet and bring to attention inviting notes of cinnamon and vanilla. The dry leaves are a deep chocolate brown and resemble a Baozhong in its twisted and slightly folded structure. Without hesitation, the leaves unfurl upon infusion, but their brewing power hold through several brews, especially when steeped under gongfu methods.
The faintest spot of astringency found in the competition grade of Cameron's Formosa is even fainter and almost altogether absent in the premium grade due to its wider leaves. On its surface, this serves as a positive, allowing for more leeway in steeping duration, but an absolutely perfect brew just isn't quite as feasible as it is with the frailer competition grade.
Minor negatives aside, this is a solid black tea with smooth and sweet notes akin to just about every other tea from Taiwan. For unparalleled mouthfeel and well-roundedness, Cameron Tea's Formosa black, whether premium or competition grade, is an essential buy.
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