Oolong Teas are slightly more complicated to process than many other types of tea – the result though is unique and complex flavours that put certain Oolong Teas amongst our favourites at the Wee Tea Company.
In it’s most basic form, Oolong Tea is tea that has been semi or partially oxidised. Oxidation is stopped somewhere between that of Green Tea and Black Tea. China is the largest producer of Oolong Tea, and the many varieties each have their own wonderful aromas and characteristics. Because there is no set time to stop oxidation (it can be anywhere between 8 and 85%) it means there is no limit to the flavours that can be produced.
One of the many theories surrounding the discovery of Oolong Tea, is that a man called Wu Long, was distracted by a deer while starting to process his tea – by the time he returned, his leaves has started oxidising. Like many wonderful foods – a new creation born from an error.
Taiwan is also famous for it’s Oolong Tea, and Formosa Oolongs are certainly amongst the worlds most famous Oolong Teas. Other Oolong producing countries Vietnam, India and even New Zealand!
As Oolong tea is rarely sold in teabags, it is more often that case that Oolong teas are the product of tea plantations looking to create unique and special teas. Many Oolong teas carry diverse flavour profiles and the leaves are often large and unbroken. Rolled into fabulous shapes, they can be a joy to inspect after brewing, once the leaves have unfurled.
When brewing Oolong tea of any kind, be careful again with the temperature of the water. Up to 85C is hot enough. You should only need to brew the tea for a couple of minutes, and many Oolong leaves can easily be brewed a couple of times.
If you have never tasted Oolong Tea, it’s about time you did. Highly respected amongst tea connoisseurs, some of the worlds most unique flavours are held in Oolong Tea. Expect complexity and surprise, and let your Oolong Tea journey begin!