tea is an ancient Chinese tea, with a history dating back over 400
years. Originally developed in the Fujian province of China during the
Ming dynasty, Oolong translates as black dragon or black snake. Oolong tea is primarily produced in three regions: China, Taiwan and Sri Lanka.
tea lies somewhere between green and black tea. As a result, the taste
spectrum can be quite broad - anywhere from the delicate, nearly-green
pouchong, the subtler, richer tiguanyin to the nearly-black varieties.
Generally speaking, Oolong tea has a refreshing and aromatic taste.
Oolong tea leaves are distinguished by their black, thread-like appearance when dried.
History of Oolong tea
There are various legends that describe the origin of Oolong tea.
legend attributes the origin of Oolong tea to a man named Wu Liang.
According to this legend, Wu was picking tea one day. As he was
leaving, he spotted a river deer, killed it and took it home.
Distracted by the preparation of the deer, he forgot to dry his tea.
day or so later, when he finally remembered, the tea had changed color.
Wu was worried that the tea was spoiled, but not wanting to waste good
tea, continued with his drying.
the tea was dried, he made a cup and was pleasantly surprised by the
taste. The tea was mellow and aromatic. He made some for his neighbors
as well, and very soon his name spread throughout the province. The tea
eventually became known as Wu-Loong, or black dragon.
Production of Oolong tea
Oolong tea undergoes several stages of production to produce its taste.
leaves are usually harvested in late spring to summer, although
sometimes the leaves are harvested in winter. After harvesting, the
leaves are sorted and dried.
the drying is completed, the leaves are withered by shaking them
vigorously in baskets. The action bruises the edges of the leaves, thus
starting the oxidation process. Oxidation is when the leaves are fully
exposed to the air - including its internal parts.
oxidation process determines the character, taste and caffeine content
of the tea, as well as its color - tea that has been oxidized for
longer periods are known as dark oolongs, while tea with less oxidation are known as green oolongs.
a period of oxidation - usually 15% to 75% - the leaves are fired to
halt the process. The tea is then rolled, producing their distinctive
appearance, and then is finally dried using charcoal.
Health benefits of Oolong tea
tea has several health benefits, the main benefit being cancer
prevention. Oolong tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols - or
tannin - which help prevent cancer. Tannin is known for its ability to
help DNA cells reproduce accurately, thus preventing abnormalities from
health benefits of drinking Oolong tea include reduced heart disease,
better digestion and lowered cholesterol accumulation. In short,
drinking oolong tea can improve a drinker's life on several levels.
Varieties of Oolong tea
- Formosa Tea
was the original name for the island of Taiwan, and of all the teas
produced there, Oolong tea is the most famous. Read all about the taste
and varieties of Formosa Tea.
tea refers to tea produced in Taiwan. Formosa was the original name of
the island, but while the island is called Taiwan, tea from the island
is still called Formosa tea.
currently produces black, green and oolong teas, but it is the oolong
tea that Taiwan is most famous for. Formosa Oolong tea is one of the
world's finest teas and makes up a good proportion of Taiwan's economy.
cultivation in Taiwan began in the 1950s, as immigrants from the
Chinese province of Fujian searched for a way to recapture the region's
Oolong tea that they had lost.
Oolong tea is described as rich and refreshing with a peach-like
flavor. Most Formosa tea of the Oolong variety are light and lean
towards the green tea spectrum, but there are some stronger Oolongs
Varieties of Formosa tea
most important varieties of Formosa tea are Formosa Oolong tea. There
are several varieties of Formosa Oolong, which include:
San, a variety of Formosa tea grown in the mountainous regions of
Taiwan. It is a green Oolong, which means it has been mildly fermented.
This Formosa tea has a pale golden color, with a taste reminiscent of
honeysuckle and fruits.
Hao, a famous Formosa tea variety noted for the white tips on the tea
leaves. It has a deep amber color and a smooth, honey-sweet taste. Bai
Hao is made using bud and the first two leaves. Bai Hao is a strongly
oxidized Oolong that leans towards the black tea spectrum. The tea is
Pouchong, which is a Formosa tea noted for its fruity, light taste and
strong aroma. It is a very light Oolong tea that borders on the green
tea spectrum, and therefore appeals to both Oolong and green tea
drinkers. The tea is 18% oxidized.
of Formosa green tea include Jein Mei, a light green tea with a
thread-like appearance, and Pi Lo Chun, known for its strong fragrance.
Formosa black tea is not as common, as most tea growers focus on Oolongs and, to a lesser extent, green tea.