Oolong tea is named after its creator in China. It is a Chinese tea with matchless and unique individuality, produced mainly in Fujian and Guangdong, as well as Taiwan. It is slightly oxidized and hence the taste and aroma lies somewhat between green and black tea. It depends on the type of oolong tea, as some taste more like the green tea while others like the black tea, depending on the degree of oxidation during processing. The most famous Chinese teas include Tieguanyin, Dahongpao, Phoenix Narcissus, White Crest, Phoenix Bush and Iron Lohan, while the most well know of Taiwanese Oolong’s include Dongding, Wenshan, Pouchong and Oriental Beauty.
The Oolong Story
Oolong tea has a long evolution history and it originated during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) in the Beiyun region of Phoenix Mountain (Fenghuanshang) in Fujian Province. It was first known as Beiyun Tea and because of its fine quality and unique flavor. It was the first tea to be given the name of the “tribute tea” in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). During that time there were various tea regions which were being selected by the Emperor to produce tea to be offered as a gift to the royal court, which was a great honour and good for business. With time the tea became famous in China as government officials, monks and scholars began visiting and emigrating to the Fujian area. They liked the “earth-stone” taste of the teas from the Wuyi Mountain region as they were different from the typical green tea.
Hearing of this wonderful new tea, the Emperor sent a sample of an un-fermented compressed Green Tea cake to Wuyi and asked for tribute tea. What he received was Dragon Phoenix Compressed Tea which was made from a mold which imprinted the tea cake with the design of a dragon and a phoenix. This tea became very famous as a result. The fame of this tea lateron spread to the Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644 – 1911). It was in the late 1725 that Oolong tea was then developed in the Anxi region of Fujian and in 1796, Oolong Tea was introduced to the Northern Fujian region and to Taiwan.
How to Prepare Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is simply a tasty cup of beverage which relishes your palate evenly. The characters of oolong tea fall between black and green teas in terms of strength and caffeine levels. Oolong tea has powerful antioxidant knock that can be enjoyed any time of day. In general, you should use about 2 teaspoons of tea per 8 oz. (236 ml) of water with water temperature should be between 90 and 95ºC (194-205ºF). The tea has a steeping time of 2 to 3 minutes and is best made when a ceramic or clay vessel is used. The ideal ceramic vessel is a traditional gaiwan.
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