5 Divine Chinese Oolongs

Wuyi Medium-Roasted Da Hong Pao
“Big Red Robe” Rock Tea

While Taiwan has a great reputation for oolongs, this type of tea originated in China, primarily from the Fujian province where it originated. The provinces of Yunnan, Guangdong, and Szechuan now also produce oolongs. One tea expert claims that there are about 100 different species for the “Oolong family.” Very famous origins are: Tie guan Yin, and most of the “Rock Teas.”

Oolong teas were more or less an accident, according to one legend. A tea master was processing his tea leaves and got interrupted when a deer bounded by. Since he pretty much depended for food on his ability to hunt, not having any grocery stores nearby, he left the tea leaves as they were, and went to hunt the deer. When he got back to the leaves, they had partially oxidized. Not being able to bear throwing them away, he continued processing them and sold them to his customers, who were delighted by the range of new flavors. Thus it is with many things we enjoy these days. They started out as accidents that turned out to be great ideas. Another example is glass, found at the bottom of campfire pits built on sandy areas such as beaches.

1 Tie Guan Yin (Ti Kuan Yin, Iron Goddess)

Of course, we have to start with this one. It has become legendary. A very special Oolong tea from the Fujian Province and one of China’s most sought-after teas. The stout, crinkly leaves unfurl in boiling water, revealing their green-brown lace-edged leaves. The liquid is brownish-green and has an aromatic flavor.

There are several versions, including these:

2011 High-roasted Anxi Tie Guan Yin
2011 Premium Spring Anxi Gande Traditional Tie Guan Yin Oolong
Grade B Dark Roasted Tie Guan Yin
Premium Anxi Old Tie Guan Yin – 10 years old

2 Wu-Yi 0olong

Wuyi tea gets its name from a beautiful mountainous region in the northeast area of China where the tea plant grows and is harvested. The Wuyi Mountains are located between Wuyishan City, located within the Fujian province of China and Wuyishan Town, located within the Jiangxi province. Wuyi tea farming has been going on for centuries. This tea is recognized as some of the best tasting tea available.

Some examples:

2009 Wuyi Shui Xian Rock Tea – Ban Yan, Spring Tea
2009 Wuyi Shui Xian Rock Tea-Zheng Yan
2010 Spring Ban Yan Wuyi Medium-Roasted Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) Rock Tea

3 Feng Huang Oolong

From Guangdong Province and unique to the tea gardens of Mt. FengHuang. Once a tribute tea, this oolong tea is one of the most famous Guangdong oolongs and wins accolades for its fabulous floral aroma and lingering finish.The full-flavored cup is best enjoyed in sips.

A version called Fenghuang Dancong comes from the Phoenix Mountain of Chao-an County at Chao-zhou City, Guangdong Province, China.

4 Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao)

A highly-prized tea and a member of Si Da Ming Cong (the four famous Wuyi Oolong tea bushes). It is also one of the most famous Chinese teas throughout Chinese history. This tea is famous for its unique floral fragrance and the characteristic Wuyi rock tea taste and a deep and heavy fragrance that you can feel after drinking the bright golden yellow liquid. Comprised of bud-and-two-leaves combos in a tight bar shape.

A gaiwan (120cc) or Yixing teapot (120cc) are best for steeping. Use about 5 to 7 grams and water heated to 98° C (209° F). Warm the vessel a bit first. Start with a first infusion of about 10-25 seconds. Add about five seconds for each subsequent infusion. You can get about nine infusions total.

A great version:

Wuyi Medium-Roasted Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) Rock Tea

5 Lady Orchid (Lan Gui Ren)

One of the most famous oolongs from Yunnan Province of China. Produced by tightly compressing the tea leaves coated with a thin layer of powdered American Ginseng and Liquorice Grass. After a few infusions the Oolong flavor of the tea will reveal its nutty flavor. The infusion yields an amber colored. Best steeped in a Yixing teapot. Put two grams (1-2 teaspoons) of tea leaves for every 225ml of water into the teapot. Steep in hot water at 95°c (203°F) for 1 minute for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing.

Truly divine!

About Janice and Stephen Shelton

Purveyors of Premium Teas
This entry was posted in Oolong Teas and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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