Oolong Tea was first produced in the Fujian province in China during the Ming dinasty, around 400 years ago.
Oolong process requires a big amount of hand work. The tea leaves are handpicked during the morning in units of one bud and three leaves. The leaves are then left to dry in the sun, which begins the process of fermentation and oxidation. The fermentation stops when 30% of the leaves are red and 70% are still green. The leaves are then pan fried to create this semi-fermented Tea. The leaves look curly and crispy at the end of the process. At the final stage, an Honorary Tea Master grades the quality of each batch.
It is important to note that there are several types of Oolong Tea and the fermentation period varies by region. In China, Oolong is usually prepared to achieve a 20% fermentation which results in a lighter flavour while in Taiwan the fermentation period is longer achieving almost 70% of the fermentation and resulting in a much stronger flavour.
The flavour of Oolong Tea is typically not as robust as Black or as light as Green, but has its own extremely fragrant and intriguing tones. Oolong Teas are fully bodied in flavour and the aromas and flavours can range from green and flower to black and roasted. Oolong Tea is often scented with jasmine flowers.
Oolong Tea is highly rich in polyphenolic compounds, adding value health benefits. According to scientific experiments, Oolong Tea can help the treatment of skin disorders and protects against skin cancer, promotes a good bone structure and dental health and also helps control stress levels. Oolong is also very good for digestion and weight control as it reduces triglyceride and enhances the function of fat cells in the human body.
Tomorrow we will give you a step by step on how to brew the perfect cup of Oolong.
Happy Tea Break. 🙂