Oolong – The Complex Tea

Oolong means “black dragon tea”.

Tales: Teas originally discovered in Wuyi mountains of Northern Fujian Providence of China.  First evidence was found from Qing Dynasty poems such as Wuyi  Tea Song.  It was a direct descendant of Dragon-Phoenix Tea Cake tribute tea which was found in Sung Dynasty.   According to Anxi Version, a man called Sulong (Wulong or Wuliang) discovered this oolong tea plant and harvested it in Anxi, Fujian.

Oolong teas are the most demanding teas to manufacture.  In addition to drying or roasting the tea leaves, oolongs are typically put through multiple cycles of drying and storing, and the final product is tightly rolled into small balls.

Oolongs may be classified into three main types of tea, depending on their level of oxidation.

  1. Low Oxidized.  8-10%. Closer to a green tea. Examples, Wenshan Baozhong, Jade Oolong.
  2. Medium Oxidized, 20-30%. Examples: Iron Goddess of Mercy.
  3. High Oxidized, 40-80%. Closer to a black tea. Examples, Phoenix Mountain oolong, Alishan oolong.

    Unique growing technique with some of teas in this category: insects! The tea jassid (Jacoblasca formosanaana) eats tea leaves, inducing secretions that changes the tea leave’s taste.

Té Oolongs

Connie loves to drink oolong, so they are our most favorite teas in our household. Here are some high quality oolongs in our shop that we always keep around:

  1. Guifei Cha  Small farm, single estate oolong from Taiwan. Uniquely processed from Jassid-bitten tea leaves, this stresses the plant to release more polyphenols. Medium oxidation, around 70%.
  2. Tung Ting high mountain tea from Formosa, winter harvest. Smooth, floral aroma, and sweet aftertaste. Also check out our Roasted Tung Ting.
  3. Wing Chun Oolong from the Song Bo region of Taiwan. Unique, blossom-like fragrance