About Our Oolong Teas
Oolong tea, otherwise known as Wu Long or “Blue-green” tea, is a family of tea that falls in between oxidised green tea and fully oxidised black tea. Oolong teas undergo a combination of the green tea and black tea processing methods as they are withered, oxidised & fired before being rolled, dried and packed.
Withering – Fleshy leaves containing few tannins are plucked and left to wither in the sun for half a day before being cooled in a damp room. On some occasions this process may be repeated multiple times to tenderise the leaves.
Oxidation – Leaves are semi oxidised (or sweated), a process that sits in-between unoxidised green teas & fully oxidised black teas. This is a skilled process as the planter regularly inhales the scent of the leaves to judge when the process has reaches the correct point. Depending on the style required the leaves can be oxidised from between 10% – 70%.
Firing – Once the correct level of oxidation has been reached the leaves are quickly fired in pans (max of 5 minutes) to kill the enzymes and stop the oxidation process.
Rolling – Immediately after firing the leaves are rolled to bring essentials oils to the surface. Depending on the variety of oolong tea leaves can be crumpled or in other cases they are shaped and twisted into balls.