Oolong Tea is a type of traditional Chinese tea made from tea cultivars that only grow in certain areas in China and Taiwan. The unique processing methods and origin sets Oolong apart from other kinds of tea.
Processing starts soon after tea flushes are harvested. Oolong teas are dried in the sun at higher temperatures and for longer durations compared to green and black teas. After an initial drying phase, the flushes are bruised by tossing them in a basket, and left for a while to oxidize a little bit. Then the leaves are heated in a pan, rolled into pieces and dried further in a machine. Finally, it is heated briefly again to produce Oolong.
There are different varieties of Oolong tea depending on the processing methods used, cultivar used and region of origin. Though China is the traditional place for making Oolong tea, considerably high-quality Oolongs are also produced in Taiwan.
To brew a perfect cup of oolong tea, use 3 grams of Oolong tea per cup (equivalent to 2 teaspoons of dry tea). The temperature of the water must be 93-96 C. Higher quality tea is steeped for less time than lower quality ones; steeping times range from 3-10 minutes.
Oolong tea tastes great even when steeped multiple times. Unlike other kinds of tea, the taste and aroma of Oolong tea improves with repeated brewing times. Tea experts consider third and fourth brew the best. Oolong tea is best served on a specialized clay teaware, notably Yixing clay.
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