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Oolong

From Academic Kids

Alternate meanings: Oolong (disambiguation)

Oolong (烏龍 wūlóng in the Mandarin Pinyin romanization) is a traditional Chinese type of tea somewhere in between green and black in oxidation.

The term "oolong" means "black dragon" or "black snake" in Chinese; various legends describe the origin of this curious name. In one legend, the owner of a tea plantation was scared away from his drying tea leaves by the appearance of a black snake; when he cautiously returned several days later, the leaves had been oxidized by the sun and gave a delightful brew. Another tale tells of a man named Wu Liang (later corrupted to Wu Long, or Oolong) who discovered oolong tea by accident when he was distracted by a deer after a hard day's tea-picking, and by the time he remembered about the tea it had already started to oxidise. Others say that the tea is called "oolong" because the leaves look like little black dragons which wake when you pour hot water on them.

"Oolong" tea leaves are distinguished, when dried, by their black thread-like appearance.

Contents

Processing of Oolong

Oolong tea undergoes a few delicate processes in order to produce the unique aroma and taste. Typical Oolong tea is processed according to the following steps:

  • Wilting (萎凋 wěidiāo). Sun dry or air dry to remove some mositure.
  • Yao-Qing (摇青 yoqīng). To bruise the edge of the tea leaf to create more contacting surface for oxidization.
  • Rou-Qing (揉青 ruqīng). The tea leaves are tumbled for the next stage.
  • Sa-Qing (杀青 shāqīng). Process to stop further oxidization. Depending on the quality of the leaves, they will be fried either by hand (for premium tea) or by machinery.
  • Cooling
  • Drying. To remove excessive moisture.
  • Grading
  • Packaging

Classification and grade

Tea connoisseurs classify the tea by its aroma (often fragrant or flowery), taste and aftertaste (often melony).

Varieties

The following varieties are considered to be premium grade Oolong tea:

  • Wǔ-Yí mountain tea(武夷山茶). Fújiàn province,China
  • Tiě Guān Yīn (鐵觀音), 'Iron Guanyin' or 'Iron Goddess' tea (grown in Fújiàn province in China)
  • Dān-Cōng (单枞)
  • Dòng Dǐng (凍頂) Oolong, 'Freezing Peak Oolong' (grown on Dong Ding mountain in Nan Tou, Taiwan)

See also

External links

Resources on the Internet that have more information on oolong tea (history, brewing, health benefits, and/or offer it for sale):

  • BlackDragonTeas.com (http://www.blackdragonteas.com) (Health Benefits of Oolong tea and High Mountain Oolong Teas from Taiwan and Thailand)cs:Oolong

de:Oolong eo:Ŭulong-teo ja:烏龍茶 minnan:O-ling-t zh:青茶

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