Oolong tea

Oolong tea, originating from China, derives its name from the combination of two words, meaning “black” and “dragon” in English. This name not only describes the inherent meaning but also reflects the unique shape of the oolong leaves in their semi-oxidized state.

The production process of oolong tea involves a distinctive semi-oxidization process, which can range from 1% to 99%. After harvesting, the leaves are first withered and then exposed to sunlight for partial oxidation before being shade-dried. Following this, they undergo a process of basket-tossing to disrupt the surface cells, followed by wok-firing to halt the oxidation. The heating process, often conducted through meticulous hand-roasting over multiple stages, typically occurs overnight. Oolong leaves are frequently roasted over charcoal or wood, imparting a unique flavor to the final product.

The leaves are ultimately curled or rolled into shapes resembling tiny black dragons, hence the evocative name. Due to their more mature state, oolong tea leaves are harvested later in the spring, typically from late April to early May, compared to green or white teas.

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