You want to buy high quality Oolong tea?
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The variety "Oolong" is one of the most versatile and interesting teas on the market. Oolong tea has its origin in the Wuyi region of the Chinese province of Fujian. In the meantime, however, Oolong tea has also found its way to other Asian countries.
We obtain our Oolong tea, for example, from Taiwan and Indonesia, where extraordinary Oolongs are produced at high altitudes. The most important varieties from Taiwan are Jin Xuan, Dong Ding Oolong, Formosa Oolong, or Jade Oolong.
The origin of Oolong tea
Oolong "烏龍" means in Mandarin as much as "black dragon". Legend has it that a tea farmer was chased away by a black dragon while picking his tea leaves, after which he dropped the leaves and ran away. When he dared to return to his field a few days later, the tea leaves had already oxidized in the sun.
You can think what you want about Chinese legends, but the Chinese certainly don't have a lack of creativity. The name probably comes from the black colour and the longish and rolled appearance of many Oolong tea varieties.
If you have to classify Oolong tea, it fits exactly into the niche between black and green tea, because the tea leaves are not completely oxidized. If the degree of oxidation is below 45%, the tea is called green Oolong tea. If the tea has an oxidation degree of 45 - 75%, then it is called medium or dark Oolong tea, which tends to taste like black tea. Oolong tea is therefore best described as "semi-fermented tea" .
Green Oolong is less grassy than pure green tea and has a rounder and often floral taste profile. Dark oolongs are probably more similar to black tea and often develop fruity and deep notes. It is also not uncommon for dark oolongs to be roasted to make the aroma softer and rounder.
The cultivation and production of organic Oolong tea
Just like black, green and white tea, Oolong is made from the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. Depending on the variety, there are separate subspecies, so-called cultivars, which have countless different characteristics. In Taiwan and Japan there are even state-funded laboratories whose only task is to breed new cultivars and to examine existing varieties!
While for the production of green tea sometimes very young leaves are plucked, Oolong cultivars wait a little longer until the leaves are riper and bigger. For Taiwan Oolong, for example, the first 4-5 leaves of the tea plant are plucked. Here, as with other teas, the best quality is achieved in Spring & Autumn.
The processing of Oolong tea
The first step after plucking is withering, where the Oolong tea leaves are spread out in the sun to lose water. The tea leaves are then placed on bamboo mats to oxidize, being regularly mixed and shaken by hand so that all leaves are regularly exposed to fresh air.
As soon as the desired degree of oxidation is reached, the oxidation is interrupted by heat in a climatic cabinet. Depending on the variety, the leaves are rolled to obtain the desired shape, as is the case with the Taiwanese Oolong, for example, which is the typical spherically rolled leaf.
Depending on the variety, an Oolong can also be roasted to extract further aromatic substances and a deeper complexity.
The storage of Oolong tea
As long as you store Oolong dry and cool, it can be stored for several years and develops more complexity, similar to a good wine. However, it is very important to seal the tea aroma and not to let it oxidize further through the air.
The correct preparation of Oolong
Oolong tea is traditionally prepared in a Gaiwan, a special vessel for the tea ceremony, and infused at 85°C to 95°C. It is particularly exciting that Oolong tea can be infused several times and unfolds different taste nuances with each infusion. h2>strong