Green tea is said to be the most natural type of Chinese tea. It is usually picked, naturally dried and fried briefly to get rid of its grassy smell. Unlike the other types, green tea skipped fermentation process. Oolong Tea a type of Chinese Tea that is halfway between green tea and black tea in a sense that it is half fermented.
According to some experts, green tea has the most medicinal value and the least caffeine content of all Chinese tea classes. The aroma of this type of Chinese type range from medium to high, while the flavour is usually light to medium. Today, about 50% of China’s tea is green tea.
What is Oolong Tea
This is how Wikipedia described Oolong Tea:
“Oolong ( /ˈuːlʊŋ/; simplified Chinese: 乌龙; traditional Chinese: 烏龍) is a traditional semi-oxidized Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a process including withering the plant under strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. The degree of oxidation, which varies according to the chosen duration of time before firing, can range from 8–85%, depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular in south China and among Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia as is the Fujian preparation process known as the Gongfu tea ceremony.”
Chinese call Oolon Tea “Qing Cha” and its typical leaves are green in the middle and red on the edges as a result of the process to soften tea leaves.
Over the last few years, green tea has become very popular and is available in most stores. It is also used in all kinds of products such as shampoo, face cream, candles and many other daily items. Oolong tea is produced from the same plant, which is called Camellia Sinensis. The difference is that Oolong is a semi-fermented brew whereas green tea is unfermented.
Oolong tea leaves are basically withered and spread before undergoing a brief fermentation proces, then, it is fried, rolled and roasted.
The fermentation process is carried out by a skilled worker who can ferment the tea to many different levels to create different varieties. The leaves are stimulated until the oxidization process reaches the desired level and then cooked to finish the process.
The leaves are further processed after the fermentation to enhance the smell, texture and the flavour. This is done by rolling and rubbing the tea. It is possible to achieve many different levels of tea, and when the processing is over a knowledgeable master of Oolong will check the leaves and give them a grade.
The history of Oolong tells us that it was first produced in Fujian province in China. Some of the finest tea still comes from this area although it is now also produced in many other places including Taiwan, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Benefits of Oolong Tea
One of the reasons that green tea has become so popular is that they are believed to have many health benefits which can be obtained by regular drinking. These benefits are also reported to exist in Oolong and are retained even after the tea is processed. Some of the common benefits claimed are the stimulation of the metabolism and the ability to enhance the digestion. Oolong Tea has been used for Weight Loss, for Eczema, for Type 2 Diabetes, possible Cancer Prevention and for Stress.
If you are interested in trying some Oolong, then it is recommended to find a quality supplier. There are many sellers on the Internet who can supply good tea. The stuff in the local Chinese store tends to be of very low quality and not worth buying. Look for a specialist tea merchant and try a few different ones to find the best quality.
Some of the more popular varieties include Gao Shan, Tie Guan Yin, Vietnamese Golden Buds and Formosa Oolong which comes from Taiwan. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in and try a few varieties. I can tell you that a good Oolong is really a great tea so if you are not impressed with what you buy then shop around for another merchant because the good stuff is out there.