Wu Long Chinese Tea

Folks all over the globe take pleasure in drinking wu long chinese tea, which is also known as wu-long, wulong or oolong tea, for its distinctive flavour and natural health benefits. There are numerous varieties of this aromatic beverage, each one with a slightly different flavor, color and fragrance. Amongst the better-known varieties are Formosa, Tie Guan Yin, Shui Xian and Da Hong Poa.

Wu-Long tea is grown in the southern regions of China, Taiwan, Guangdong and Fujian. It comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, as does green tea and black tea, but it is the diverse production methods, specifically the amount of oxidation, that makes them all so different.

Wu Long Chinese Tea Leaves

Green tea is not oxidized. The tealeaves are steamed or dried immediately after being picked.

Black tea is oxidized. Following picking, the leaves are withered and then oxidized.

With Wulong tea, the leaves are semi-oxidized, so it has the properties of both green and black tea. The leaves are left to dry in sun until they are twenty to eighty percent oxidized, after which, the leaves must be roasted.

The customary manner to make oolong tea is known as the Gong Fu method. This involves using a small teapot, sometimes called a yixing teapot, which is made from unglazed clay.

The teapot is filled with hot, lightly boiled water and then is emptied. Tealeaves are then put in the teapot - about one quarter to one third of the volume of the teapot, and the pot is filled about half way with hot water. This is the first infusion and is not meant for drinking. Instead, it is designed to ‘awaken’ the tea leaves and allow them to unfurl. In addition, it also removes any dust or impurities from the leaves.

This tea is then poured away and the teapot is re-filled with hot water and left to steep for about thirty seconds to a minute, before being poured into miniature cups for serving.

Once the teapot is empty, it can be re-filled with hot water for another infusion. The steeping time should be slightly longer than the previous. With a good quality, tea you can get five or six infusions before the tea loses its taste. Gong fu teapots are only ever rinsed with water and are never washed with detergent.

Wu long tea can be brewed in a normal teapot and unless you are a tea connoisseur, it will still be delicious and nourishing!


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