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What is Oolong Tea?

What is Oolong Tea?

Oolong Tea is known to have originated from the Wuyi Mountains of Northern Fujian province, China, giving them the name Wulong Tea or Oolong Tea which is translated as “Black Dragon” due to the long, curly leaf which resembles the long twisted silhouette of the mystical Chinese dragon.

 Formosa Oolong Tea Formosa Oolong Tea

You may have also heard of Oolong Tea being referred to as Formosa which is a Taiwanese manufactured Oolong. It is also named Semi or Half Fermented Tea, this is because unlike Green Tea which is not oxidised at all and Black Tea which is fully oxidised, Oolong Teas are oxidised to 12-80% depending on which the type being produced. The small ball like, rolled leaves give the appearance of a blue leaf, therefore Oolong can also be called Blue Tea.

The production of Oolong Tea incorporates all the fine techniques used in tea production, which makes them unique and requires great skill, using intricate manufacturing methods.These teas can be labour intensive and challenging but the results are rewarding. Teas full of striking flavours and aromas of Melons, Apricots, Honey, Leather, Wood, Spice and Orchids.

Bai Hao or Oriental Beauty is Taiwan's best known and loved Oolong. The picking season is very short and takes place in the the summer months, no pesticides are used, in fact a small cricket- the Tea Jassid is encouraged to nibble on the leaf, this produces an enzyme in the leaf which can be tasted within the tea as sweet, stone fruit flavours of Apricots, Peaches and Honey. With a 65-75% oxidisation, this is a clean tasting tea with a pale liquor.

The Chinese Wuyi Mountains has a long history of tea cultivation. The most famous is Da Hong Pao or Big Red Robe, also known as Wuyi Rock Tea which is highly oxidised at 80% which produces large, dark leaves and an earthy, rich aroma. It is said that a mother of a Ming Dynasty Emperor was cured of illness by this tea and the emperor sent great red robes to clothe the four tea bushes that the tea originated from, which grew on a rock in the Wuyi Mountains. This Tea’s high oxidation is more in the style and character of Black Tea than that of the famous Chinese tea; Ti Kuan Yin or Iron Goddess of Mercy, grown in Anxi county of Fujian province, which has a 25-40% oxidation level producing slightly more Green Tea with a curled ball like appearance.

Oolong Tea Oolong Tea

But as Oolong Tea rises in popularity, other tea growers around the world are producing high quality Oolongs, such as; India, Assam tea and Darjeeling Tea are producing more Oolong inspired teas, Thailand and Vietnam. We also stock a flavoured Oolong from Malawi Mango and Orange Oolong with African Cape Gooseberries, this is a high oxidised Oolong and has the appearance or a Black Tea.

Oolong Teas have been linked to health benefits due to the antioxidants that they contain. Studies have shown that the process of Oolong Tea keeps more EGCG in the cell than in Green Tea and the polyphenols content was also higher in Oolong Tea than it was in Green Tea. It is these polyphenols that help burn fat during exercise while reducing the absorption of carbohydrates and fat.

As well as containing caffeine that raises the metabolism, Oolong Tea is also one of the main ingredients in most weight loss beverages! It can also help skin allergies such as eczema, lowering blood sugars and helping people who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes and lower blood pressure.

We have a wide range of Oolong Tea Article from China, Taiwan, Thailand, India, Africa and Vietnam.

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