Whilst still related to the original camellia sinensis plant that is the basis of all tea, oolong is in a whole different world! Somewhere between green tea and black tea, but with an aroma and flavor profile all of its own, this tea type is sure to impress you if you've never tried it - the taste is really something special.
Also known as "wuyi oolong" the oolong tea plant is grown by tea producers in China and Taiwan usually at high altitudes, which is why it is known as "high mountain tea". Originally a Chinese tea, Taiwanese Oolong is by far the most faous and loved by tea drinkers all over the world.
The tea farmer is a master artisan and the tea processing methods used to make oolong is very unique and results in the flavor that is especially pronounced in loose leaf tea, the oolong tea leaves can brew multiple times. Oolong is also available in tea bag form and some especially those we sell here at Lupicia (LINK) are almost the same as our loose tea.
One of the most famous teas in the world, oolong tea is renowned for its incredble taste, aroma and flavour profile, not to mention its many health benefits.
The perfect drinking tea for all occasions
Green tea is undoubtably good for your health but Oolong tea is considered the most healthy of all teas and is recommended as everyday tea consumption for the best health benefits. fortified with compounds called catechin (also referred to as "EGCG" (epigallocatechin gallate).
The polyphenol content of Oolong is well known and another major health benefit.
There are many studies showing the tea also helps with blood pressure.
Oolong has lower caffeine content than most other teas, especially black tea. This is due to a variety of factors, one of which are the tea production methods used, especially the oxidization method.
These are potent antioxidants that neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals which, if left unmonitored, can create illness and disease.
Caffeine intake is markedly lower than green and black tea, a major benefit for those who don't want to be too stimulated. Studies have shown oolong tea can have a very positive health benefits upon blood sugar which mean it is good for diabetes as well as many other health complaints.
The question that has always puzzled scientists is how well these antioxidants work when digested. Are they able to be absorbed by the body when digested, and if so, do they still work at their most optimal? A study conducted by scientists at Newcastle University in the UK and published in the journal Phytomedicine answers that question with a firm, "yes."
It turns out that by drinking oolong tea on a regular basis means that the the compounds in oolong tea become even more powerful when enhanced by post-digestive enzymes in the stomach. Overall, a superior health profile compared to green tea, and lower caffeine content as well.
Taiwan is an island located east of China and south of Japan. It has a large mountain range in its central area with its highest mountain being Yushan at 3952m. Areas located in the foothills of the mountains between 500m - 1000m experience a wide range of temperatures and 4 distinctive seasons. This geographic feature produces superb Taiwanese Oolong tea with distinct seasonal flavors: Spring tea, Summer tea, Autumn tea and Winter tea.
Taiwan is one of the most popular tea-producing regions in the world having produced tea for home use since ancient times. Later, immigrants from Fujian province (where Wuyi mountain is located) in China started producing oolong tea using imported methods.
From 1895-1945, under Japanese rule, several tea testing centres were established, more variatels were imported from Fujian and full-scale production and export of different types of tea began. After WWII, some tea plantations were destroyed, but in the 1970s - 1980s, overall improvement of tea species, cultivation and factory facilities helped establish the "Taiwan Oolong brand" with its sophisticated quality and flavour and a tea leaf tightly rolled into little nuggets that can be infused (brew) many, many, time. The taste of a quality Taiwanese is something to behold!
Nowadays there are many that hold the title "Taiwan tea master" tea producers producing incredible teas, very unique oxidation level factors, and very impressive taste and aroma! Taiwanese tea is no doubt the pinnacle of teas when you consider all the Today, Dongding Oolong and other "high mountain oolongs" tea trees produced in the alpine regions (over 1000m altitude) now surpass mainland Chinese oolong teas.
Please refer below for characteristics of each seasonal tea:
Spring oolong tea
It truly tastes like newly-picked tea with a full body and spring vitality.
Summer oolong tea
As abundant leaves can be harvested, its price is very reasonable. Suitable for everyday tea.
Autumn oolong tea
The season when high-quality tea can be obtained at a relatively reasonable price.
Winter oolong tea
The most popular, highest quality tea, but with the lowest level of supply since it can be only moderately harvested. Winter oolong has a superior balance of taste.
The main tea producing regions in Taiwan are Nantou Xian, the mountainous areas in the centre of the island and Taipei Xian, the lower altitude areas in the north around Taipei and its hinterland.
Nantou Xian Region
The most famous Nantou Xian teas are Dongding Oolong, Mingjian and Meishan all of which are high altitude, high quality teas. Other high quality high mountain Nantou Xian oolongs produced at over 1000m include Alishan and Lishan.
Taipei Xian Region.
Maokong, South Taipei, is well-known for Mu Zha Tie Guan Yin, and Pinglin, East of Taipei, is famous for Wen Shan Bao Zhong.
The names of Taiwan oolong tea are generally indicated by "place name + species name".
For example, "Alishan Jinxuan" means a tea of Jinxuan species produced in the Alishan mountain region.New species with a distinctive aroma are specified and include Jinxuan (milky aroma), Sijichun (refreshing flavour), Cuiyi (slightly lighter aroma of Jinxuan). In contrast, the traditional Qingxin specials has the characteristic of a long lasting aroma and is commonly referred to as simply "oolong" in the local Taiwan industry.
Oolong tea can also be enjoyed as an iced tea, especially our famous flavoured oolong teas here at LUPICIA
Names of Famous Chinese Oolong teas
Iron goddess, Tekuanyin, and White Peony (white/oolong hybrid) are just some of the famous Chinese Oolongs, all which have their own unique flavor profiles and aroma.