Formosa oolong tea
Formosa Oolong or Taiwanese Oolong is any oolong (烏龍茶) tea that is grown and produced in Taiwan. Taiwan is also known as Formosa from the Portuguese “Ilha Formosa”, meaning “beautiful island”. Some companies have given the name Formosa oolong to mean Pouchong Oolong, High Mountain Oolong, or White Tip Oolong also called Oriental Beauty Oolong tea.
History of Taiwan Oolongs
The earliest record of tea trees found in Taiwan can be traced back to 1717 in Shi Sha Lien (水沙連), present-day Yuchih (魚池) and Puli (埔里), Nantou County.
According to Lien Hen, in the late 18th century, Ke Chao (柯朝) brought some tea trees from Fujian, into Taiwan and planted them in Jie Yu Keng (櫛魚坑), currently known as Ruifang District, New Taipei City. However, transaction records indicated that tea business in Muzha (木柵, Taipei 台北市) area started as early as late 18th century. Thus we can believe that tea has been merchandised in Taiwan for more than two centuries.
In 1855, Lin Feng Chi (林鳳池) brought the Qing Xin Oolong (青心烏龍) plants from Wuyi Mountain (Fujian Province, China) (武夷山，福建，中國) into Taiwan and planted in Dongding Village (Lugu, Nantou, Nantou County, Taiwan) (凍頂鄉，南投，台灣). This is said to be the origin of Dong Ding Oolong from Taiwan.
In 1867, English tea trader Jon Dodd started a tea company in Wanhua, Taipei Taipei city(萬華，台北市), and started to sell Taiwanese oolong tea to the world under the name "Formosa Oolong", and the Pouchong oolong was considered to be more flowery than Baihao Oolong, Pouchong was exported under the name "Formosa Pouching". Formosa Bai Hao Oolong is very fruity in taste.
Dongding Oolong (凍頂烏龍茶), White Tip Oolong (白毫烏龍茶), Pouchong Oolong(包種烏龍茶), and Alpine "High Mountain" Oolong (高山茶) all are teas which are categorized as Oolong teas. The best known include "Formosa Dongding oolong", "Formosa Alishan Oolong", "Formosa Wenshan Pouchong", "Formosa Shanlinxi Oolong" and "Formosa Jade Mountain Oolong". According to tea lore, another popular variety, "Formosa Oriental Beauty", received the name from either Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth though no definitive source seems to exist to support either claim.