Oolong tea is a delightful mix between green and black tea, and has often been called “blue-green tea.” It is harvested when the leaves are partially photosynthesized, anywhere between 10-70%. Thus it generally has a darker, richer flavor than green tea, but a lighter flavor than black tea. It is a familiar taste to anyone who frequents Chinese restaurants, as it is the most frequent tea choice served along with meals.
Oolong tea comes in various grades, and is often considered the most desirable of Chinese teas. Some oolong tea is served after being dried and packaged. Other variants are aged, producing complex flavors and greater expense to the consumer. Most varieties of oolong are roasted after air-drying. They then go through a further drying process before being packaged.
In loose form, oolong looks like little green balls. The term oolong, taken from the Chinese word Wulan means dragon. Some say that the balls of oolong tea unfold like dragons exposed to heat.
Since the 1800s Taiwan has also produced numerous excellent oolong teas. These include Dong Ding and Pouchong. Dong Ding is extremely fragrant and will entice any lover of tea. But one enjoys it at a price. 21 ounces (595.33g) of the tea can cost up to 100 US dollars (USD). One can also buy oolong grown in India and in Vietnam. Darjeeling oolong from India is highly prized.
Oolong tea/ Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea Oolong tea(Wu Long Tea,or WuLong Tea) is a semi-oxidized tea, occupying the middle ground between green and black teas. Combining the best qualities of green tea and black tea.
Oolong tea are to produce a full-bodied beverage, the leaves for oolong tea (also called Wu Long Tea,or WuLong Tea) must not be picked too early or at too tender a stage, but just when they reach their peak. They must be processed immediately. Unlike leaves for green tea, those destined to be oolong are wilted in direct sunlight. Then they are shaken in tubular bamboo baskets to bruise the leaf edges. This bruising is what makes the edges oxidize faster than the center. The leaves are alternately shaken and spread out to air-dry several times until the veins become transparent and the leaf surface yellows. The edges become reddish as a result of oxidation, while the center remains green, and the leaves give off an orchid-like fragrance. The fermentation is arreste halfway through by firing. The temperature for oolong is higher than for other teas. The final product contains less moisture, which enables it to keep longer.
Oolong tea is produced in Fujian , the province of its origin,China, and some othersincluding Taiwan and Guangdong province. The technique for processing it was taken by Fukienese(Fujian) migrants to Taiwan, and that island's Tungting (Dongding) oolong (This tea is gown in Tung Ting Mountains at an altitude 600 meters, located in central Taiwan famous tea growing region, Nantou Luku) is well known. There may be some difference among mainland and Taiwanese oolongs is taste and medicinal function, due to different soil, processing, and fermentation time. Oolongs from the mainland are said to have more body, the result of longer oxidation, than those from Taiwan.
Oolong tea was actually shown to increase metabolism even more than green tea. Oolong tea increased resting energy needs by 10 percent compared to 4 percent for green tea. At first glance it might seem like drinking Oolong tea would be better than the green tea, but researchers found that the teas work for different reasons. Green tea is high in catechins and caffeine, while Oolong tea is high in polymerized polyphenols. The research suggests that by taking both teas, an even greater fat-burning effect can be achieved.
Processing Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea
After Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea leaves are picked, they are left to wither for several hours (usually 8 - 24 hours). The next stage is rolling the tea leaves. Sometimes instead of rolling, shaking is done to bruise the outer edges of the leaves. After the leaves are rolled, oils from the leaves are brought to the surface. These aromatic oils aid in the oxidation process, which last for several hours. Once the veins become clear and the edges of the leaves become reddish brown, while the center remains green, the oxidation process is stopped by firing. For oolong tea, the leaves are heated at a higher temperature (higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit) so that they can be kept longer, due to the lower resulting water content. After that, a final drying takes place. From there, it goes off to be sorted, graded, and packaged.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea
Made in the semi-fermented process, oolong tea contains a wide variety of polyphenolic compounds (commonly known as tannin) and these different nutrients are probably integrated to bring great benefits to our bodies. Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea has much greater amount of polyphenolic compounds compared to green tea and black tea.
Polyphenol in oolong tea is effective in controlling obesity. Specifically speaking, it activates the enzyme that is responsible for dissolving triglyceride. It has been confirmed that the continuous intake of oolong tea contributes to enhancing the function of fat metabolism and to controlling obesity.
Polyphenol in oolong tea is also effective in reducing triglyceride and removing free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for adult diseases, such as arteriosclerosis and diabetes, as well as dark spots and wrinkles on the skin.
According to the Department of Dentistry, Osaka University, consuming polyphenol found in oolong tea contributes to the reduction of tooth decay significantly and is effective in preventing the occurrence of such decay. The Department of Dermatology, Shiga University of Medical Science carried out research into its effect on atopic dermatitis and discovered that 64% of sufferers of atopic dermatitis reported an improvement in their skin condition. This indicates that oolong tea is very effective regarding atopic dermatitis.
What is Tea Processing?
Processing tea is generally considered the art of tea. It is where many of the subtleties in taste, body, and overall character are created.
In its most basic form, it is taking the raw green leaves and deciding whether or not, and how much oxidation (or fermentation) should take place before drying them out.
Tea leaves have enzymes in their veins. When the leaf is broken, bruised, or crushed, the enzymes are exposed to oxygen resulting in oxidation. The amount of oxidation depends upon how much of the enzymes are exposed and for how long.
The Processing of Oolong Tea:
The processing of oolong tea requires only a partial oxidation of the leaves. After the leaves are plucked, they are laid out to wither for about 8 to 24 hours. This lets most of the water evaporate.
Then the leaves are tossed in baskets in order to bruise the edges of the leaves. This bruising only causes the leaves to partially oxidize because only a portion of the enzymes are exposed to air.
Next, the leaves steamed in order to neutralize the enzymes and stop any oxidation. Oolong tea can have varying degrees of oxidation. Some are closer to black teas, and some are closer to green.
After that, a final drying takes place. From there, it goes off to be sorted, graded, and packaged.
Of course, Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea also have medical benefits that comes with any Chinese tea
reducing harmful effects from cigarettes smoking
stimulating nerve centre and the process of metabolism
In general Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea contains less Caffeine per serving than black tea, but more than green tea. Please note that in the table below, coffee refers to brewed coffee, not instant coffee. The Caffeine strength of instant coffee is only half that of brewed coffine, i.e. slightly stronger than black tea. Decaffeinated tea is widely available in the United States. \
Caffeine Content Comparisons
The following is the approximate caffeine content of various beverages
Milligrams of Caffeine
Average per serving
Coffee (5 oz. cup)
40 - 170
Cola (12 oz. can)
30 - 60
Black Tea (one tea bag)
25 - 110
Oolong Tea (one tea bag)
12 - 55
Green Tea (one tea bag)
8 - 30
White Tea (one tea bag)
6 - 25
Decaf Tea (one tea bag)
1 - 4
Herbal Tea (one tea bag)
*Assumes 8 ounces of water per tea bag
Famous of Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea / Wu-long Tea
Da Hong Pao - Also known as Big Red Robe, a highly prized tea and a Si Da Ming Cong. This tea is also one of the two Oolongs that make it to the list of Chinese famous teas.
Shui Jin Gui - Also known as Water Turtle, a Si Da Ming Cong.
Tieluohan - Also known as Iron Warrior Monk, a Si Da Ming Cong.
Bai Ji Guan - Also known as White Cockscomb,a Si Da Ming Cong. A special light tea with very distinctive lightly colored leaves.
Rou Gui - Also known as Cinnamon, a dark tea with a spicy aroma.
Shui Hsien - Also known as Water Sprite, a very dark tea, often grown elsewhere.
Jin Fo - Also known as Golden Buddha this is a very new tea that produces a light brew.
Huang Guanyin - Also known as Yellow Goddess of Mercy, this is a very new but already famous tea. Guan Yin is a goddess of mercy and the household.
Huang Mei Gui - Also known as Yellow Rose, this is a very new tea that produces a floral infusion with a very light taste.
Qi Lan - Also known as Rare Orchid is a popular light tea.
Jin Suo Chi - Also known as Golden Key.
Ban Tian Yao - Also known as Half Day Perish.
Fo Shou - Also known as Buddha Hands.
Bu Zhi Chun - Also known as Not known in springtime.
Tie Guan Yin - Also known as 'Iron Goddess' this is a tea from Anxi in South Fujian. It is very famous, in fact a Chinese famous tea and very popular, hence there are many other teas that resemble its tight pelleted form.
Huang Jin Gui - A tightly curled tea from Anxi in South Fujian.
Pouchong - The lightest and most floral Oolong, originally grown in Fujian it is now widely cultivated and produced in Taiwan.
Place one tea bag in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minuter.Drink it either warm or cold.
How to brew a perfect cup of Oolong Tea
1. Preheat the teapot. 2. fill the teapot 1/4 full of Oolong Tea;if it is High Mountain Oolong Tea, please fill it 1/5 full. 3. The first brew is used only for warming up the teacup. (The first brew is poured into the cups immediately. ) 4. For the second brew, let the boiling water drops between 90 .and 95., and then pour it into the teapot with high and slow way. 5.Wait 25 to 30 seconds then pour it into the tea pitcher. 6.Pour the tea from the tea pitcher into smelling cup and wait for a couple of seconds. 7.Pour it into the drinking cup and enjoy the flavour of tea from empty smelling cup. 8.Enjoy the color, fragrance, taste and essence of the tea.