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117 Galisteo St
Santa Fe, NM 87501


Luxury loose leaf teas, handcrafted tea blends and fine tea ware. ArtfulTea: where the ordinary experience of drinking tea becomes extraordinary.

Tea Wisdom

Formosa Oolong

Nick Rose

Formosa Oolong

East Asia is home to a wide variety of diverse and interesting tea cultures, and the small island of Taiwan is no exception. It boasts one of the world’s richest tea cultures as well as a long and distinguished history. Tea planting began there in the early 1700s, back when the island still had its original name, Formosa. Lots of Taiwanese tea produced today still retains the original name as a nod to the area’s rich and storied past.

When it comes to Taiwan’s best-known teas, Formosa Oolong enjoys worldwide popularity, and for good reason. Almost a quarter of all oolongs are grown in Taiwan, and tea enthusiasts around the globe are in agreement that it’s the best of the best, with some going so far as to claim some of the varietals to be “the Champagne of tea.”

Oolong, which translates directly to “dark green tea,” can vary in flavor depending on the elevation and climate in which it’s grown, and since Taiwan’s topography is extremely varied despite its small size, no two batches are alike. One of the most important parts of the oolong tea production process is that it spends a good deal of time curing in the sun, which is where the climate and temperature differences come into play. That leads to a wide variety of Taiwanese oolong being available on the market. Discerning palates will taste the differences between them. For example, oolong grown at higher elevation is sweeter and more mild, and rare oolong grown on a mango tree (by wrapping the vines around the branches) is golden in color and fruity in flavor.

Loose Formosa oolong tea is a bargain in addition to being delicious - the leaves can be steeped up to five times and with each steeping, the flavor improves, deepens and intensifies. It’s also an ideal tea to give as a gift - its classic tea flavor is a great introduction to the world of loose-leaf tea and tastes as great on its own as it does with milk and sugar.