• Taste: floral, sharp, pleasantly astringent • Aroma: floral • Mouthfeel: creamy
• Taste: sharp, honey-sweet, floral • Aroma: honey & orchid • Mouthfeel: creamy
The production of oolong tea requires some of the most artisanal and sophisticated skills of tea making. Oolong tea artisans are much like boutique winemakers. Try these four excellent oolongs to discover your favorite bouquet of taste and aroma.
About Oolong Teas [+]
Oolong is a category of semi-oxidized teas that fall between un-oxidized green teas and fully oxidized black teas. The production of oolong requires some of the most artisanal and sophisticated skills of tea making. Oolong tea artisans are much like boutique winemakers. Experts categorize and understand oolong by its region, age, bush variety, and harvest season, just like wine. Only a few regions in the world know the production methods for this type of tea. Today, the main production regions are Fujian, Guangdong, and Taiwan.
Oolongs are produced from larger, more mature leaves, and production includes five main steps:
First whithering – the step during which the tea-maker is getting rid of the moisture inside of the leaves. Then oxidation. During this step, the tea-maker shakes leaves and leaves the leaf edges to "bruise." The actual amount of oxidation depends on the tea's desired finish and the tea maker's skill. Next comes the step called "kill green", when oxidation is halted by high temperature. During rolling, juices captured in the leaves and responsible for taste are being 'activated'. Different regions have different styles of rolling that may vary significantly. In some regions, oolongs are rolled into a tight ball, while in other areas, leaves get twisted. The last step is roasting. This step alone is an art in itself. Farmers roast their oolongs in multiple cycles, using special types of charcoal and various intensity levels, depending on the style of oolong. This is where the taste goes through its final transformation.
Oolong is the kind of tea that is easy to fall in love with as it suits everyone's taste – a beginner's and an expert's alike.