Leaf Type: Black & Oolong Teas
Where to Buy: Grey’s Teas
A most unusual tea combining the earthy characteristics of Formosa’s oolongs with the pinewood aromas of Fujian Lapsang Souchongs. The typically coarse yet deep brown leaf produces a wonderfully balanced and subtly smokey tea that is most appealing.
Learn more about this tea here.
When I first opened the package of this Formosa Lapsang Blend from Grey’s Teas, it smelled much smokier than I expected it to. The Smoky tones are really strong!
I brewed this for three minutes in 195°F water following a quick 15 second rinse, and I’m really delighted with the results. The smoky tones mellow out a bit after brewing (and rinsing!) … this is not nearly as smoky tasting as I anticipated it being based on the aroma I was experiencing when I opened the package.
This is really quite nice! It is smoky, yes, but, the smoky tones are more subtle than I expected them to be. The Formosa Oolong offers a smooth, almost buttery kind of texture to the sip, which when united with the smoky notes … becomes this very soft, smooth, sophisticated kind of smoky note that is actually quite enjoyable to sip. I think that if this was the first smoky tea that I ever tried (and provided I brewed it correctly!) … I might not have been so anti-Lapsang Souchong for so many years! This would be an excellent “gateway” kind of smoky tea for those of you who fear the strong, smoky overtones of Lapsang Souchong!
It has a richness to it, although it’s not quite as sturdy or bold as, say, a black Lapsang Souchong. The Oolong lightens the cup up a little bit, while adding a nice texture to the body of the cup … so I would still categorize this as a full-bodied tea, but, just not quite as hefty as the typical straight black tea might be. It has a very pleasing flavor, especially to me, as I tend to be not so crazy about the overtly smoky teas. I like the subtle approach of the smoke here.
In addition to the smoke, I also note lovely floral notes and fruity tones in the background … like a smoked peach, if you can imagine such a thing! Delicious hints of caramel undertones. A real delight, and a very pleasant surprise, this Formosa Lapsang tea from Grey’s! I like it.
Editor’s Note: I have edited this review based on the input provided by Mr. Grey (see the comments!). When I originally reviewed it, I believed it to be a blend of Lapsang Souchong black tea and Formosa Oolong tea, and have since learned differently. It is a very good tea – regardless!