What is Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea: Oolong (Wu long tea) is a semi-fermented tea that is always whole leaf, bruised but not broken. The leaves are processed immediately after plucking. First they are dried, then shaken in baskets to lightly bruise (oxidize) the edges. Next, they are dried and fired - with the methods and amounts of times varying. The oolong leaves are usually rolled into balls or long curly leaves. Most oolong comes from China and Taiwan (Formosa).
Good Oolongs are among the more expensive teas because of strict processing (some processing methods are kept secret by producers).
Pouchong tea is another variety of semi- oxidized tea that undergoes an even shorter fermentation than oolongs and could almost have a class of its own.
Caffeine: All true tea has some caffeine. The caffeine
content in oolongs is at the mid-range among teas, with
an average of about 30mg. per cup.
Brewing: If brewed correctly, oolong is one of the smoothest teas in flavor. It is less bitter than black tea and less grassy than green tea. Water should be at a temperature of 203F (95C) - just after a rolling boil. Steep 3-6 minutes. Leaves are good for a few infusions. Also, Oolongs are best brewed and served in a Yixing teapot.
Milk, sugar, Lemon: Oolongs are best on their own. Don't use milk as it spoils the flavor. Sweeten very lightly and add lemon if desired.
Oolong Varieties: Some examples include Tung Ting, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yin, and the famous Wu Yi tea leaves.
Tea and Food Pairings: Serve with light savory meals, spicy foods, fish, poultry,
after a meal and of course, tea time.
Benefits of oolong: The health benefits of tea have long been touted as being
excellent and oolongs are no exception, with a high rate of polyphenol, an antioxidant, which helps your body fight diseases. Oolong is also famous for the reports of its effectiveness at weight loss. Read more about oolong tea benefits.
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