Oolong Tea Review: English Tea Store Formosa Oolong

ETS Formosa Oolong

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Formosa Oolong

Tea Category: Oolong Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: Taiwan

The Leaves: The leaves appear dark brown to black in color, with the occasional greenish-looking leaf. Upon closer inspection, I found many stick like steams among the leaves.

Additions: None

Flavor: A grassy tasting tea that has a slight roastiness to it, reminding me of how the leaves might smell as they are being heated during processing.

Overall: 3.6/5

I just couldn’t get excited about this tea; I found myself feeling bored and craving to move on to something more remarkable. On the plus side, this oolong does have a simple taste profile that could be pleasing if you’re looking for an unpretentious thirst quencher.


My samples were shipped in plain, black bags that appeared to be thick-plastic. On the label was just the name of the tea, no steeping instructions were included; I ended up going to the website for brewing instructions. The tea pouches are re-sealable, which does make them quite convenient.

The Formosa Oolong was part of an Estate Teas sampler pack I had ordered. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive all the teas in the collection. However, the web page does stipulate that substitutions may occur and I did receive duplicates of two teas to make up for the two that were missing.

Not to mention that the sampler packs are a great value; I received 8 ounces of tea for about eight bucks. So, this sampler pack was a great way to start my loose tea drinking experience without breaking the bank!

Tea Review:

The English Tea Store website describes this oolong tea as: smooth and slightly sweet, with a touch of dryness. I would agree that it is definitely smooth tasting, mellow in fact. But, I really couldn’t detect the sweetness.

When drinking the Formosa Oolong, the thought that kept coming to mind was that it’s flat tasting. The tea seems to have only one constant flavor, thereby creating a taste experience that lacks depth and character. If only there would have been a hint of any other flavor, this tea could have been quite interesting.

However, I did experience some curious imagery when sipping this tea. I found myself laying in a lawnchair on a lazy sunny afternoon. I am surrounded by the smell of lush green grass being cooked by the sun’s rays, which I find somewhat stifling rather than relaxing. And there perhaps, is my issue with this oolong tea—I find that I have a hard time relaxing!

Preparation Tips:

I ended up following the tea preparation recommendations from the English Tea Store, which included steeping the tea for 1-3 minutes in water that has reached a light boil or about 165 to 190F.

To steep the leaves, I used a T-Sac paper filter. It was a little tricky getting the leaves into the bag, but once there in, they tended to stay. I’ve also found these filters to be a nice way to transition from tea bags to loose leaf tea.

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.


Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

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2 comments on “Oolong Tea Review: English Tea Store Formosa Oolong

  1. Marlon September 6, 2010 3:37 AM

    I’ve never had a Formosa oolong before but I have had some good Taiwanese oolongs like dong ding and baozhong. I usually try to brew then gong Fu style in a Gawain where I go a little heavy on leaf but quick on the infusions (< 30 secs to begin).

    It's easier to hone in a tea when you brew it gong fu style.

    Keep brewing


    • a girl with tea September 8, 2010 1:17 PM

      Thank you for the comment about trying a Gawain for tea tasting. I’ve been meaning to get one…once I do I will definitely try the Formosa Oolong again. I haven’t given up on this tea quite yet!

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