Oolong Tea (Semi-fermented)
There are many types of oolong teas including Tieguanyins, Wuyi teas, Taiwanese oolongs and dancongs. Oolongs are produced by special processes which often result in green leaves with red edges. The colour of the leaves also determine the colour of the brewed tea. The aromas and tastes of oolong teas vary from fruity to floral.
Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized tea, occupying the middle ground between green and black teas. It is also referred to as “semi-fermented” tea. Oolong tea is produced by withering the leaves (softening), followed by tumbling or bruising the surface of the leaves to break down the cells. This releases enzymes which darkens when exposed to air. Once the tea has achieved the desired colour and flavour, the leaves are then rolled or twisted. Then the leaves are dried to halt any further oxidation.
Combining the best qualities of green tea and black tea, oolong tea may be as clear and fragrant as green tea, but can also be fresh and strong as black tea. Oolong embraces a wide variety of leaf styles and flavours and the colours may range from bright green to nearly black. The finest olongs are said to produce teas with a “peach” like aroma, and many oolong tea-makers strive for this result. If you drink oolong tea, the natural aroma may linger in your mouth and give a long lingering effect that pleases the palate.