Oolong tea, also known as dragon tea, is made from leaves of Camellia Sinensis and is considered to fall between the green tea and black tea. This is because it requires partial oxidation and fermented at 12-70%. In this article, you will learn about the different types of oolong tea and the processes in which they are made. Most of these different types of oolong tea have names hailing from China and Taiwan because their origins are from these countries. You can find all the kinds of oolong tea mentioned in this article, available at Kent & Sussex Tea Company: an online tea and coffee company that also operates as a tea bag online shop.
Types of Oolong tea
Iron Goddess of Mercy (Ti Kuan Yin)
It is said that years ago, the leaves of this oolong variety were found behind the temple of the Goddess of Mercy. It is referred to as “iron” because it needs sufficient labor while still on the farm. This tea is widely grown in Fujian province, China. The leaves of Ti Kuan Yin are light and have a floral taste.
Phoenix tea (Dan Chong)
It is produced in Guangdong province, China. “Dan Chuong” means a single bush. It is harvested in such a way that you only collect the individual plant. One unique thing about Phoenix oolong tea is that each bush has its different flavor and taste. Its leaves have a curly appearance that unrolls when steeping. These leaves have a rich, full-bodied feel. Some phoenix leaves have a spicy flavor, while others have floral flavor.
Da Hang Pao
It is produced in the Wuyi Mountains in China. This oolong tea has sweet, fruity, earthy, mineral taste. It can be drunk with milk and is fantastic as morning coffee. Other names used to refer this tea include Da Hong Pao, Big Red Robe, and Scarlet Robe oolong. The leaves have a shiny appearance with fat strips on them. Da Hong Pao has a lot of health benefits.
Jin Xuan (Milk)
This is a Taiwanese tea. This variety of oolong tea is very creamy hence the name “milk.” It has a smooth texture and a light floral flavor with the aroma of sweetened cream. It flourishes at higher altitudes. When oxidized for some time, it produces milk-like flavor.
High Mountain oolong tea
Grown in the high altitudes of central Taiwan, this oolong tea can also be referred to as Gaoshan. The plant was brought to Taiwan in the 17th century by the Chinese. It has a sweet and fruity flavor that could be influenced by the thick clouds covering the mountains, which prevent the sun rays from heating the leaves.
How oolong tea is made
Before the oolong tea is ready for consumption, it undergoes different processes for the perfect taste. Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company observe these processes diligently to ensure the production of high quality oolong tea. The production process begins from cultivating, harvesting, withering, oxidation, fixing, rolling and drying, roasting, and finally, packaging.
There are types of oolong tea that do well in high altitude while others do well in low height. The oolong tea is harvested 3-4 times annually, though, it is possible to have up to 6 harvests in a year. Spring harvest comes with both quality and quantity. In winter, there is little harvest but of good quality. In fall, it is excellent produce while in summer, they are left to grow again. The oolong plants can either be harvested by hand or by a machine.
After the harvest, the leaves’ enzymes begin chemical reactions in them to create flavor and aroma. Through a process called withering, the farmer can control how much moisture the oolong leaves lose. This stage requires attention to achieve the desired taste for any online tea and coffee shop.
Oxidation implies more chemical reactions. The cell walls of the tea leaves are broken to allow entry of oxygen. This process aids in adding flavor to the tea. Oxidation also changes the color of the tea leaves, in that, the more the oxidation, the darker the color.
After oxidation, the next step is fixing or kill-green. It helps to stop oxidation by deactivating the enzymes, which is done by heating the leaves. The fixation process is among the reasons why various tea bags online vendors end up with similar products but of different aromas and taste.
Rolling and drying process
In this stage, the oolong tea leaves are rolled and dried. They take on a ball-like shape after the rolling. The leaves are put in tightly bound sacks, then placed into a rolling machine. After rolling the leaves for about 12 hours, they take a ball-like shape, after which they are placed into low heat conveyer belt machines.
Roasting is done depending on the type of oolong tea being made. It is done to remove all water content, change the flavor and consistency of the brewed tea. This process is among the most critical steps in the making of oolong tea. Roasting is among the reasons why various tea bags online vendors have products with different aromas and taste.
Now that the roasting process is over, the next step is packaging the loose leaf tea to different packages. This stage plays a critical role in product branding; for example, Kent & Sussex Tea Company have bulk and small loose-leaf tea-sealed packets and tea bags.
Where to purchase quality oolong tea online
Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company is an online tea and coffee shop that not only sells loose leaf tea and tea bags online, but also gives tea bag offers without compromising on quality. We offer you varieties of oolong tea for your liking. For enjoyable oolong tea experience and tea bag offers, visit our tea bag online shop.