Oolong Teas

Referred to as semi-oxidized, Oolong teas are made by combining elements of green and black tea processes with some additional steps. There are many kinds of Oolongs with many processing differences. In most cases there is an initial short sun-withering followed by longer indoor withering. After withering, the usually larger, older leaves are skillfully rolled around on large rattan trays in order to "bruise" their outer edge. The black outer and green inner parts of the leaf give this tea its characteristic qualities. Alternatively, some Oolongs are wrapped in large cloths and rolled around to impart shape and soften the leaves. Some can be rolled into tight little pellets while others remain long and twisted. The liquor can range from a greenish yellow to a golden brown or a deep amber-red. Oolongs are prized for their complex aromas and tastes. Greener Oolongs offer more floral attributes and darker Oolongs often reveal slight fruity or minerally characteristics. Some high grade Oolong leaves can even be brewed 10 times or more. Some Oolongs can improve with age. It is said that the true tea connoisseur will eventually find Oolongs to be their favorite. Infuse Oolong teas between 180 and 200 degrees, depending on type.

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