Both China and Taiwan manufacture unique and fragrant oolong tea. These teas are highly regarded by Asian tea drinkers for their complexity, their terroir-specific individuality, sheer deliciousness, and ability to age and tranform into something more wonderful.
Oolongs are beginning to gain an appreciative audience with Western tea enthusiasts, too. Westerners who wish to be taken seriously in China and Taiwan about tea ( ie. if you want to move beyond the obligatory cups of jasmine tea that are offered to every Westerner ) would be well served to become fluent in the language of oolong tea.
Oolong manufacture is complicated and time-consuming. It requires an experienced tea master who understands the changing nature of the fresh tea leaf as it undergoes the lengthy steps of processing necessary to turn it into oolong tea. The tea master must be able to make adjustments to the processing to coax the best flavor and aroma from the fresh leaf.
Depending on the type of oolong being made, it can take three days from start to finish for a batch of fresh leaf to completely undergo the transformation into fragrant oolong tea.
Oolongs are made in a variety of styles, shapes and leaf colors. Some oolong can easily be mistaken for a green tea, and others for a black tea. As a collective whole, no other class of tea offers the diversity of flavor that oolongs do. Oolong tea is partially-oxidized, and the level of oxidization ranges from 15% to 80% in three different styles of this fragrant and delicious tea: semiball-rolled, strip-style and leafy style. During the steps of oolong manufacture - extensive withering, bruising and rattling the leaf, oxidizing, firing and re-firing - the finished leaf slowly developes the characteristic floral or fruit flavors and aromatics that distinguish it from all other teas.
Tea Trekker's oolong selection offers a stunning array of flavor: from sweet and floral to bold and woodsy, leathery and fruity, or spicy and roasted. If you add up all of the reasons why oolong teas differ, one can easily turn the study of oolong tea into a delightful lifelong obsession.
These reasons include:
- regional differences in oolong manufacturing styles
- how leaf style, shape and color determins flavor in the cup
- the unique flavor profiles and age of dozens of tea bush and tea tree cultivars and varieties
- the amount of roasting ( from none to very roasted )
- spring season tea versus autumnal tea
- aged oolong versus fresh oolong
At Tea Trekker we are oolong enthusiasts, and our selection of oolongs, both seasonal and aged, is exceptional. If you are not currently drinking oolongs, now is the time to try one or two.
- China Fujian Semiball-rolled style Tieguanyin and Se Zhong varietal Oolong Tea
- China Fujian Strip-style yan cha Oolong Tea
- China Guangdong dan cong Oolong Tea
View our Selection of Oolong by Style: