Se Chung Oolong Tea
Infuse for 2 to 3 minutes with a water temperature between 80 and 90 degrees
Translated to broadly mean ‘colourful variety’, Se Chung Oolong Tea originates from the Anxi county of the Fujian Province, China. It is created using a shorter fermentation period compared with other Oolong Teas from the province, offering a slight herbaceous green character.
Although not as well known as other Oolong Teas such as Ti Kuan Yin, Se Chung (also known as ‘Se Zhong’) is especially popular in Hong Kong’s Chinese restaurants.
In fact, Oolong, as a whole, have been often dubbed as ‘Chinese Restaurant Teas’, accounting for their high demand in such establishments across the country! Se Chung is no exception, but is equally delicious from the comfort of your own home on a cold, rainy day!
There is a reason Oolong Tea is often described as a beverage ‘in-between’ Green Tea and Black Teas! When produced, Oolong Tea is slightly fermented and semi-oxidised, meaning it is quite literally reminiscent of flavours of both Black and Green Teas. The processing method involved in its creation is particularly intricate, and involves extreme care and precision.
First, the tea must be withered, which sees the leaves left out in direct sunlight. This is followed by what is known as the ‘bruising stage’ of processing. Traditionally, this step would have been done by hand, as workers shook their withered leaves in wicker baskets. Today, however, this step is more commonly done by specially designed machines.
Bruising is twofold; not only does it ensure the flavours are full and distinct, but also allows the leaves to begin oxidising. Next, another course of withering is carried out - this time indoors - with these early stages often repeated a number of times, depending on the desired result. Once this has occurred, a stage known as ‘Fixing / Kill-Green’, sees the tea leaves treated with heat to halt oxidation. The leaves are then rolled into long curl or small pearl shapes before being dried and roasted further.
Finally, you have the finished product, all ready for consumption! Se Chung Oolong is just one of many different categories of Oolong Tea. These different varieties range in oxidation levels from as low as 5% to as high as 90%!
The history of Oolong Tea is shrouded in great mystery! While many stories have been circulated, some dating from as early as the 10th Century, others as late as the 17th Century, there is no definitive answer as to how it came to be.
The oldest theory originates from the Song Dynasty (906 - 1279 C.E), when Chinese Emperors were presented with ‘tribute teas’. Oolong Tea was supposedly first produced in the Beiyuan Garden of the Fujian Province, and was originally known by the name, ‘Wu Long’ (or, ‘Black Dragon Tea’). Through ‘Chinese Whispers’, ‘Wu Long’ eventually became ‘Oolong’, and so a new tea was born (allegedly!).
Type of Tea: Loose Leaf Oolong Tea.
Origin: The Anxi County, Fujian Province, China.
Brewing Instructions: Use freshly boiled water left to cool to temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees. Following this, infuse for 2 to 3 minutes.
How to Serve: Here at the Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we recommend that you serve this beverage without any accompaniments. However, you may wish to add honey or lemon, depending on your personal tastes.
Tasting Notes: This floral delight is reminiscent of long, leisurely walks through countryside meadows. Delicate and smooth with every sip, Se Chung Oolong Tea has slight grassy undertones. It also offers a refreshing aftertaste long after you have drained your cup.
Colour in Cup: Pale golden-green liquor, light in tone.
Benefits of Oolong Tea: Part of the reason this beverage is so popular in Chinese Restaurants is due to its incredible ability to cleanse the digestive system. For those who are not sensitive to caffeine, the consumption of Se Chung Oolong Tea, as well as all other Oolong Teas, can help alkalise the digestive tract. It works towards reducing inflammation in those with acid reflux and ulcer issues, in particular. Further to this, the frequent consumption of this tea, when consumed as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, can help you to boost your metabolism! This in turn, can help with weight management.
Time of DayAfternoon, Evening