Learn About Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea is the category of semi-oxidized teas. The process for making an Oolong Teas is different for each kind, but includes nuances from green and black tea production. Oolong teas are very much like wine in that geographical origin can signal a specific tea bush varietal, micro-climate, and tradition of processing.
To encourage and control leaf oxidation, the Tea Masters who make Oolongs employ various stages of withering, bruising (to encourage oxidation), roasting (to stop oxidation), rolling, and baking techniques. The amount that a particular tealeaf is allowed to oxidize before baking results in the range of oolong infusion color: from bright green or golden to amber or reddish infusions.
Oolong Teas that are more oxidized, as with black tea, have a darker, coppery, reddish-amber infusion. Less oxidized Oolongs have a greener or golden-green infusion.
Oolong Teas was first made in Fujian, China during the 18th century. Today Oolongs are produced in Guangdong and Fujian, China, Taiwan, Northern Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Oolongs can be made with spring, autumn, and winter leaves- with each harvest possessing unique characteristics.
Oolong teas have complex flavor profiles and there is a wide range of them. Some oolongs are processed into tightly packed pellets or pearls (pack rolled), while others are long and twisted (long rolled). These differences in appearance are created by distinct rolling techniques that vary from region to region.
Please see the Samovar Oolong Teas