Dragon shapes come to life as oolong tea leaves unfurl whereas steeping. Thus the Chinese which means of oolong is understandably “black dragon”. As the most important class of tea, it’s surprisingly probably the most tough to provide.
After harvesting, leaves are wilted earlier than being rolled. This bruising exposes juices to the air, beginning oxidation. Oolong has many variations as a result of oxidation ranges can vary anyplace from eight to 85%. That’s fairly a swing!
Teas on the decrease finish of the spectrum have a light-weight, floral taste whereas these on the increased finish will probably be a lot darker. Originally a product of China, it may now be discovered in lots of different areas. Often thought-about the connoisseurs’ tea of alternative, they’re finest identified for his or her lingering floral aromas.
Chinese Oolongs typically fall into three leaf-model classes: rolled, strip and damaged.
- Rolled oolongs reminiscent of Tie Guan Yin are processed by machine or by hand till the leaves tackle a ball-like form.
- Strip model oolongs are often discovered within the Phoenix Mountains. They’re rolled utilizing a distinct course of that enables them to take care of a skinny, wiry look.
- Broken model leaves are generally discovered within the Wu Yi Mountains.
Taiwanese oolongs often come rolled. High mountain oolongs, particularly Alishan, are among the many most prized. Oriental Beauty is a well-known Taiwanese oolong utilizing leaves bitten by a leaf hopper insect. This slowly begins oxidation whereas the leaves are nonetheless on the plant.
Brewing Style: Eastern
Oolong is historically brewed both utilizing gaiwans or small clay teapots. A better ratio of leaves to water is used to attain concentrated taste and aroma. Depending on the variability, water temperatures are often round boiling or simply below. Infusion occasions are brief, often now not than 30 to 45 seconds. This model of brewing is commonly known as the gongfu methodology and it permits the leaves for use many occasions over.
Brewing Style: Western
Making oolong tea utilizing a teapot or teacup may be difficult enterprise as a result of the leaves broaden when brewing. Tea balls or novelty infusers usually are not advisable for that reason. If the leaves are too restricted, the total taste received’t be achieved.
Gravity steepers work properly as a result of they’re simple to make use of and supply plenty of room for the tea to unfurl. Water temperatures will often be close to boiling or simply below, with infusion occasions between three and 5 minutes.
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notice that this text was beforehand printed on October sixth, 2014
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