Almost every tea you enjoy comes from the same plant known as the Camellia Sinensis, with the exception of herbal tea, this is the same for Oolong tea. The skillful methods used in making the tea leaves define the unique characteristics of Oolong tea.
How is Oolong tea made?
Oolong tea is very refine and full of complex flavours, this makes Oolong tea leaf the most complicated tea to process and it ranges from 10% to 70% oxidised. To give you a comparison, Green tea is unoxidised. Black tea is fully oxidised. Oolong tea is semi-oxidised. Oxidation occurs when fresh tea leaves react with the oxygen molecules they come into contact with.
Oolong teas are considered leaf tea. They are made from more matured tea leaves. Once the tea leaves are picked, they are laid out to air dry, then hand rolled the whole leaf to release the various enzymes that will create the specific flavour of Oolong, oxidised and finally roasted.
What is the flavour of Oolong tea?
There are few different types of Oolong teas depending on the oxidation level and roasting time, these two factors allow Oolongs to range from light and floral to dark and roasty.
The colour of a Light Oolong looks a lot like green tea, just slightly darker in a rolled-ball shape. This type of Oolong is full of floral characteristics, rich, rounded, airy quality and buttery mouthfeel that lingers on your palate. The Taiwanese High Mountain Milk Oolong will give you the perfect start to the Oolong journey.
The more oxidised and roasted Oolong develops a deeper mellow body. The flavour is nutty, slightly toasted and honey like. The low temperature roast brings out the sweet and mellow taste, produces a smooth body with fruity flavour notes. The Taiwanese High Mountain Jade Oolong is one of the classic mellow Oolong that will delight the tastebuds.
The most intense Oolong that is oxidised moderately and roasted heavily. A good roasted Oolong makes a complex layered brew, with nutty sweetness, floral aroma, a nicely balance baked character mouthfeel. Iron Goddess Oolong is a great example of this rich brew.
Benefits of Oolong Tea
- Oolong tea releases a lot of theine, which offers a stimulating effect slowly over a long period of time. This helps to increase energy level and improve metabolism.
- Oolong tea is full of antioxidants, which are essential properties for radiant and youthful skin.
- The polyphenols and amino acid found in Oolong Tea help reduce stress. Have a cup of Oolong at work to help release stress.