Family member # 4? Wulong ( Oolong)
- Wulong (oolong) Teas: partially oxidized and then twisted or rolled. There are two types of Wulong produced: 10-30% oxidation (slightly floral aromas similar to green tea) and 40-70% oxidation (woody, fruity, and sometimes carmelized notes). Wulong means black dragon. So this tea is basically the in-between of green and black.
Wulong teas are produced in the Fujian Province, especially the Wuyi Mountains and the Anxi District.
Picking: Black Wulong tea is produced from highly mature leaves. Three leaves are picked in addition to the bud.
Withering: usually carried out on cloths outside, though sometimes bamboo cloths are also used. They are left for about two hours depending on weather conditions.
Oxidation: The leaves are spread on racks and stirred regularly for 12-18 hours, breaking down the cell structure. Mechanically, the leaves are heated in rotating cylinders at temperatures from 77-87 degrees F for about 8 hours.
Heating: The leaves are heated to stop the oxidation process. Traditionally a vat is used (like for the green teas), while mechanically, a rotating cylinder is used.
Rolling: The same machine used for preparing green teas and black teas is used here. Traditionally the leaves were hand-rolled on bamboo mats.
Drying and Frying: Leaves are then dried in a rotating cylinder for 10-20 minutes ranging from 230-250 degrees F. The firing stage is the same for Taiwanese wulong teas. The leaves are usually fired twice with varying temperatures depending on the region. Mechanically, an electric machine is used to heat the leaves to higher temperatures. Sometimes leaves are fired several months after processing.
Teas I`ve tried: Earl Grey oolong, Vanilla Orchid, Quangzhou Milk Oolong, Tung ting Vietnam, Vanilla Oolong, The Skinny.
Till next time,
If you missed out the other posts, you can catch them here: