The above was my first encounter with oolong tea, after recently receiving a can of real Taiwanese High Mountain oolong tea.
Generally speaking, there are three main tea categories: black, green and oolong teas.
What is Oolong tea?
With oolong tea the leaves are withered and then rolled, often by hand. The tea leaves are allowed to partially oxidize and then are fired in pan or basket to stop the oxidation process, ranging from 12-85%.
As oolong teas are semi–oxidized, it places them mid–way between green and black teas. This gives them the best qualities of both; the body and complexity of a black tea, with the brightness and freshness of a green tea.
Does Oolong contain caffeine?
The caffeine content and antioxidant level is also mid–way between that of green and black teas, making them very healthy and delicious. The difference comes mainly from the brewing temperature. A very favorite and desired tea amongst connoisseurs, all oolongs hail from either China or Taiwan.
Although they combine features of black and green teas, their flavor has little in common with either. Both refreshing and delicious, most oolongs show almost no trace of bitterness, and generally have a stronger aroma than almost any green or black teas.
In spite of all this, oolong tea is not easy to find in stores or restaurants although you will often find them in tea specialty stores.
Taiwanese or Chinese Origins
Although the island is not particularly large, it is geographically varied, with high, steep mountains rising abruptly from low-lying coastal plains. The different weather patterns, temperatures, altitudes, and soil ultimately result in differences in appearance, aroma, and flavour of the tea grown in Taiwan.
Due to high domestic demand and a strong tea culture, most Taiwanese tea is bought and consumed by the Taiwanese. Nonetheless, Taiwanese oolong tea accounts for almost one-fifth of the world’s production.
Besides Taiwan, China is also one of the world’s largest exporters of oolong tea.
Sources “oolong tea”http://www.taiwan.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=27668&ctNode=1913&mp=999 http://www.the-art-of-tea.com/publications/the-art-of-tea-publicmenu/menu-taot-01/article/10-the-varieties-of-formosa-oolong http://theteaspot.com/about-tea http://oolong.co.uk/tea/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oolong