My True Love - Oolong Tea
My favorite teas are oolongs. There. I said it. This is not to say that I don’t like other teas or that I would ever want to limit myself to one type of tea. But, the complexity and diversity of flavors available keep drawing me back.
Oolong are known as “partially oxidized” or “semi-oxidized” teas. Some oolongs are oxidized very little, so their flavor profiles are more like green teas. Others are oxidized significantly, so their appearance and flavor is nearer that of a black tea.
The best known oolong teas originate in China and Taiwan. China’s best known oolongs are likely those from the Wuyi Mountains, the origin of teas called “rock oolongs.” Among Taiwan’s most famous are the Alishan oolongs. Debate will rage among aficionados as to the origin of the best of the oolongs.
Alishan oolongs are grown at the highest elevation of any tea produced in Taiwan.
Da Hong Pao
Da Hong Pao also known as Royal Red Robe, true versions of this ancient tea is quite rare. There are three tea trees in the Wuyi Mountains dating back to the Song Dynasty from which this tea is produced.
Dan Cong Chinese oolongs are recognized for their floral notes.
Formosa Oolongs are the darkest of all the oolongs, Formosa Oolong has a bold flavor profile.
Oriental Beauty or Bai Hao - The creation of this tea requires the help of an insect called a “leaf hopper.” While the leaf is still attached to the tea plant, these leaf hoppers feast. Their biting breaks cells in the leaf, allowing oxidation to begin before the leaves have even been plucked. A lovely honey-like flavor results.
Pouchong or Baozhong
Pouchong or Baozhong is the most lightly oxidized of the oolongs. This tea is delicate and creamy.
Tieguanyin or Ti Kwan Yin or Iron Goddess of Mercy
This is probably the one oolong that nearly every tea lover has heard of. It’s smooth and gentle taste is very popular.
Tung Ting or Dong Ding
Tung Ting is a lightly oxidized oolong from Taiwan. The tea leaves are rolled into non-uniform balls.