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Oolong tea varieties

Oolong teas are grouped by their regions of production. 

Fu-Jian Oolong teas:

The Fu-Jian province of South-eastern China is the predominant Oolong tea producing region.  There are two main classes of Oolong teas produced here: 

  1. Wu-Yi Rock teas including: Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao); Rou Gui; Shui Xian; Gold Turtle (Shui Jin Gui); and Iron Monk (Tie Luo Han). 
  2. Tie Guan Yin is predominantly produced in the An-Xi area. Tie Guan Yin is an Oolong tea with a low degree of fermentation (about 20%).  It has an appearance close to green tea green, a refreshing aroma, but Oolong tea’s smooth texture.  It is a tea that is used most during the Gong- Fu tea ceremony and is widely consumed in south-eastern China and other Asian countries.

Guang-Dong Oolong tea:

The Guang-Dong province is adjacent to Fu-Jian.  There is quite an overlap of climate conditions and diet traditions between the two provinces.  Not surprisingly, the tradition of Oolong tea consumption has also been adopted there.

Phoenix Single BushPhoenix Single Bush (Phoenix Dan Cong) is the main Guan-Dong Oolong tea.  Dan Cong refer to a botanical term describing the way the tea plants typically emerge from the ground as single trunks and branch further up, while most of the other tea bushes emerge from the ground as clusters of branches.

Taiwan high mountain Oolong tea:

Taiwan’s Oolong tea production started in the 19th century and originates from the Fu-Jian An-Xi Oolong tea.  The Taiwan Oolong tea has since developed its own scope and made its own fame among tea drinkers around the world, Known as Taiwan High Mountain Oolong.

Taiwan Oolong tea making is similar to An-Xi Tie Guan Yin in many aspects:

  • Relatively green compared to other Oolong teas
  • Rolled into tight pearl shapes
  • Refreshing aroma and smooth texture

The differences are:

  • Different growing conditions: being on an island, the premium Taiwan Oolong tea plantations are situated on high altitude mountains.  The climate conditions are different from those of their mainland cousins.
  • Different plant species.  The Taiwan Oolong tea leaves are bigger, fuller and stronger compared the Tie Guan Yin varieties.
  • Taiwan Oolong teas are more fermented than An-Xi Tie Guan Yin.
  • An-Xi Tie Guan Yin has more of a floral aroma while Taiwan Oolong is well known for its lingering long lasting after taste.

The Taiwan High Mountain Oolong tea production is quite limited due to the restricted farm land on the island.  The teas are generally consumed by locals and are rarely exported.

Other Oolong tea:

Limited Oolong teas are also produced in some other Asian and African countries.

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