Oolong Tea, a unique Chinese tea variety, is primarily cultivated in three provinces: Fujian, encompassing the regions of Minbei and Minnan, as well as Guangdong and Taiwan. Oolong Tea is categorized as a semi-fermented tea, carefully crafted through a series of processes including harvesting, withering, shaking, frying, rolling, and baking, resulting in an exceptional quality tea. With a history spanning over a thousand years, Oolong Tea is renowned for leaving a pleasant lingering fragrance and a delightful aftertaste.
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Furthermore, Oolong Tea exhibits medicinal properties, particularly in fat breakdown and aiding weight loss and beauty. Based on raw materials and the processing method, Oolong Tea can be broadly classified into four aromatic types: delicate floral and fruity aroma, floral and fruity aroma, aged roasted aroma, and aged roasted with coarse taste. Additionally, Oolong Tea can also be differentiated by regional variations: Minnan Oolong, Minbei Oolong, Guangdong Oolong, and Taiwan Oolong.
What are the types of oolong tea?
Minnan Oolong belongs to the Fujian Oolong tea category. Fujian Oolong can be further divided into Minbei and Minnan Oolong based on fermentation levels. Minnan Oolong is characterized by “light sunning, heavy shaking, minimal shaking rounds, and light fermentation.” During the fermentation process, it undergoes light fermentation and heavy rolling, resulting in a prominent floral aroma, a clean and mellow taste, and a golden-hued tea cup. Minnan Oolong is particularly famous for its aromatic properties, with Anxi Tie Guan Yin being notably elegant. Other main varieties include Huangjingu, Yongchun Foshou, and Minnan Narcissus.
Minbei Oolong is also part of the Fujian Oolong tea group. It is processed with heavy sunning and fermentation, without the wrapping technique. Its dry leaves exhibit a dark and glossy appearance, while the aroma is reminiscent of ripe fruit. The tea soup presents an orange-yellow hue, with a smooth and full-bodied taste, leaving a lingering sweetness on the palate. Renowned Minbei Oolong varieties include Dahongpao, Wuyi Narcissus, and Wuyi Rougui. Among them, Wuyi Rock teas, such as Wuyi Shuixian and Wuyi Rougui, grow in the rocky terrains of the Wuyi Mountains, giving the tea a distinctive “rock rhyme.” The tea’s fragrance is not only abundant but also stays submerged in water, creating a unique character, known as “submerged fragrance” in the tea.
Grown in the high mountains of Eastern Guangdong at an altitude of 1000 meters, Guangdong Oolong follows a process of heavy sunning and shaking with significant fermentation. It does not involve the wrapping technique, and its tea liquor carries a reddish-orange hue. What stands out most in Guangdong Oolong is its distinct aroma, setting it apart with its rich and fragrant bouquet. The more common aromas are: yellow branch aroma similar to gardenia, osmanthus aroma, honey orchid aroma, chi orchid aroma and so on. The main products are Phoenix Daffodil, Phoenix Single-Colony, and so on.
Taiwan Oolong originates from Fujian, but after the tea-making process was introduced to Taiwan, certain variations emerged based on fermentation levels and processing methods. Taiwan Oolong can be categorized into lightly fermented Wenshan-style Baozhong tea and frozen-top Baozhong tea, as well as the heavily fermented Taiwan Oolong. Well-known representatives include Frozen-Top Oolong, Jin Xuan Oolong, and Mi Xiang Oolong (Oriental Beauty).
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