Derived from ‘wu long’ the Chinese term for black dragon. A type of tea that is semi-oxidized resulting in a brew that is between a Green and a Black Tea. These teas are renowned for their complex tastes and aromas.
Oolong tea is gently rolled after picking allowing the essential oils to react with the air and slowly oxidize. This process turns the leaf darker with time and produces distinctive fragrances. When the leaf has reached the desired oxidation the leaf is heated, in a process called 'panning', to stop the process. It's then rolled to form the tea into its final shape. The resulting tea can be anywhere between a green and a black, depending on the processing method. This tea is handcrafted, undergoing a labor intensive process. The tea maker must carefully balance many elements in the critical few hours after the leaf is picked including weather conditions, quality of the leaf, and the time the leaf oxidizes. The finest Oolongs are often prepared and enjoyed Gung Fu style to savor their complex tastes and fragrances. Please visit our selection of Oolongs .
This tea, grown in the Phoenix Mountains of the Guangdong Province of China, was once a tribute tea to be presented to the emperor each year. In a cloudy and misty climate, ancient terraced slopes support moss-covered tea trees, some dating back to the Sung Dynasty. Phoenix Oolongs are still grown in the traditional manner on tea plants that have matured into small trees. Pickers use ladders to complete their harvest. We are undecided about whether its woodsy, fruity flavor derives from the age of the trees, the ancient earth in which it grows, or the shroud of mystery which hangs in the air around it.
We found this Oolong in the Thai corner of the Golden Triangle. This tea is a Chin Shin varietal tea leaf, with the original plants imported from Taiwan. The style is that of a Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong. The tea is grown by a Chinese man who fled the communists in 1949 and who is working hard to put Thailand Oolongs on the tea map. We are confident that in a few years, he will do just that. It has a fresh green taste characteristic of lesser oxidized Oolongs.
Once a tribute tea reserved for the exclusive enjoyment of the Emperor, Tieguanyin is perhaps the most fabled tea from China. Today the term 'monkey-picked' denotes the highest quality. Legend has it that monkeys were trained by monks to collect the leaves from the branches of the wild tea trees growing on steep mountainsides. In actuality, our 'monkey-picked' was cultivated, picked and processed by masterful human hands using techniques at least two centuries old. Try brewing 'gung-fu' style using a small clay pot and lots of leaf; this tea will yield 8-10 infusions.
Kuki cha is Japanese for twig tea, but this tea is all Taiwanese Tong Ting Oolong. In fact, our Kuki Cha is made from teas submitted to the Lu Ku farmers' collective for the annual Oolong competition. Each farmer submits two kilograms of their best spring production for the competition. Since competition teas must be flawless in appearance as well as taste, all stems and lower leaves are removed. These are brought to the collective and become kuki cha. You can enjoy the taste of the finest Tong Ting Oolong for a fraction of the cost. Also makes great iced tea.
Wen Shan (Mountain of Scholars) Pouchong is grown exclusively in the Wen Shan district, Taiwan. This area is renowned for its cool, moist climate, and its rich soil. The hills of Wen Shan have produced some of the finest light Oolong teas over the past 200 years. Slightly fermented, Wen Shan Pouchong is rolled long and tight. Once steeped, the deep green leaves produce a beautiful Jade liquor which yields a subtle flavor and aroma, followed by a sweet aftertaste. Of the Wen Shan Pouchongs we tasted recently, we liked Yunsen the best.