As always, it is important for me to satisfy my thirst for knowledge. This week, I enjoyed a couple of oolong teas – until this point, I never had the opportunity to brew and taste an Oolong. So, as I am sure you tea connoisseurs already know, I set out to discover, What is Oolong?
According to Wikipedia, Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea somewhere between green and black in oxidation. In Chinese tea culture, semi-oxidized oolong teas are collectively grouped as qīngchá (Chinese: 青茶; literally “blue-green tea”). Oolong has a taste more akin to green tea than to black tea: it lacks the rosy, sweet aroma of black tea but it likewise does not have the stridently grassy vegetal notes that typify green tea. It is commonly brewed to be strong, with the bitterness leaving a sweet aftertaste. Several sub-varieties of oolong, including those produced in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian and in the central mountains of Taiwan, are among the most famous Chinese teas.
Oolong tea leaves are processed in two different ways. Some teas are rolled into long curly leaves, while some are pressed into a ball-like form similar to gunpowder tea. The former method of processing is the older of the two.
The Fanciest Formosa Oolong I drank earlier this week contained long curly leaves and did have a lighter taste. However, the Apple Oolong I enjoyed later this week was pressed into ball-like forms similar to gunpowder tea. I have to say that I noticed a distinct difference in the flavor – there was a distinct smokey taste identified in the Apple Oolong. Whether it was the processing method used or the quality of the Oolong, I cannot be sure. As I am new to drinking Oolong, I cannot opine. For those of you with Oolong experience, how can I tell the difference in Oolong quality?
Happy Tea Drinking!
Reference: Oolong. (2008, May 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:35, May 19, 2008, fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oolong&oldid=209490367