Discover the enchanting world of Taiwanese Oolong tea in our definitive guide. Unveil the rich history, diverse flavors, and numerous health benefits of this exquisite beverage. Learn about the unique characteristics that set Taiwanese Oolong tea apart, and master the art of brewing the perfect cup to fully appreciate its depth and complexity. Embark on a captivating journey through the landscapes, traditions, and tastes of Taiwanese Oolong tea.
I want to congratulate you on your journey to become a tea master.
It might seem very complicated and difficult. Don’t worry. It’s a skill you can develop with practice.
The very first step is to describe the flavors you are tasting and smelling.
Our Flavor Guide below serves as a good place to start.
So get yourself a cup of tea. Let’s begin.
Take a sip and ask yourself… Is it earthy? Is it sweet? Floral? Vegetal? Fruity? Nutty? Spicy?
Start with the big flavors you are tasting. There is no wrong answer. A tea can have many dominant flavors.
The tasting is subjective and is dependent upon the flavors and tastes you’ve experienced in your life. If you’ve never smelled an orchid, then you probably won’t associate this smell with your tea.
Draw from your past experiences. Does this remind you of a certain day or time in your life?
Maybe you smell “bookcases” or “a summer’s day”. Any description you can give to the tea is useful.
Just start naming smells or tastes that remind you of this tea without any judgment.
Say you're drinking a roasted Dong Ding oolong tea. You may identify vegetal, nutty, and floral notes.
Now refer to the guide. What type of nutty notes? Is it a roasted nut or not? Is it peanutty? Or like an almond? Personally I taste some nutty cocoa flavors.
Continue to delve deeper and try to further analyze the nutty flavor.
If you’re stuck there, you can try a palate cleanser. This is a neutral food or smell that allows you to more accurately assess a new flavor. Smelling coffee beans can help you if you need.
I hope you can have fun with this and learn to be more descriptive in what you’re tasting and smelling.
This is an important first step when drinking any tea. And it’s a skill that can transfer into cooking or eating a new meal.
If you need new teas to taste, see our selection of teas here.
We’ve been getting some of questions lately about the main differences between our oolong teas. So, I thought I’d take a minute to answer the big question…
What’s the difference between our different types of oolong tea?
First off let’s define oolong. Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized tea. It’s somewhere between green tea and black tea.
The main difference between our green oolong, dark oolong, and roasted oolongs have to do with oxidation and roasting.
Oxidation is a natural process. Tea leaves are agitated and oxygen interacts with the leaves. The more oxidation, the darker the tea.
Oxidation levels are roughly:
- White Teas: 0% - 5%
- Green Tea: 5% - 15%
- Oolong Tea: 15% - 85%
- Black Tea: 85% - 100%
Roasting removes all the moisture and “toasts” the leaves. It’s a very specialized skill that’s time consuming and labor intensive. Tea roasters seek to enhance the flavor profile in the roasting process.
Here’s a diagram to explain where green oolongs, dark oolongs, and roasted oolongs fit in:
Green oolongs have low oxidation and low roasting. They have flavors of pine, hibiscus, citrus, sweet pea, fresh cut grass, and jasmine. These are perfect for people who love fresh, light, aromatic, and hydrating teas.
>>>Click here to see our selection of green oolongs
Roasted oolongs are generally higher oxidation and higher roasting. They can be roasted under different woods for different flavors. These have flavors of honey, plum, chestnuts, cinnamon, caramel and chocolate. They are perfect for colder evenings. And a great choice for people who love woody, smoky, complex flavors.
>>>Click here to see our selection of roasted oolongs
Dark oolongs have higher oxidation and varied roasting. They are called “Red Oolongs” in the East. They have flavors of baked apples, grapes, molasses, honey, brandy, cocoa and walnut. These are perfect for those with a sophisticated palate, who also enjoy fine whiskey or dark chocolate.
>>>Click here to see our selection of dark oolongs
As you can see, not all oolong teas are created (or taste) equal. There are a wide variety of flavors.
I prefer dark or roasted oolongs during cold and rainy nights. And I love green oolongs during warm days.
I hope this clarifies any questions you had. If you have any other questions about our teas, just reply to this email and let us know!
>>>If you want to see all our teas, click here
Mountain Tea Co.
Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world, after water. The two most common types being Camellia sinensis and Camellia assamica. Humans around the world enjoy tea for its bright and energizing flavor, many health benefits, and have even elevated tea drinking ceremonies to an artform. Modern science has discovered various health benefits from drinking a variety of teas. Studies have also found that tea is rich in various compounds that are both antioxidants and anti-microbial, which might help prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes together with facilitating weight loss and lowering cholesterol. We would like to discuss two of the healthier teas in our collection, Ruby #18 black tea and Dong Ding, an oolong tea. Both are styles of tea that were crafted and perfected in Taiwan.
Taiwan has a great habitat for tea plants along with strong government support in researching and developing cutting-edge tea growing and production techniques. The country produce four types of tea: oolong, green tea, black tea, and white tea. Oolong is the main one famous in the world. Almost all Taiwanese tea are crafted from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the same species discovered in ancient China that is sometimes referred to as "original" or "true" tea. Raw tea leaves are harvested three to five times a year in Taiwan, harvesting time generally falls between April and December. The May and October flushes, known as the spring and winter harvest respectively, usually gain the highest grades.
Oolong tea is tea that is partially oxidized, which imparts a richer, darker, more complex flavor and hue. And we are here to discuss the Dong Ding oolong tea. The name means 'Frozen Peak' and is named after a mountain range in Taiwan with a reputation for producing top quality tea. Another way to spell Dong Ding is Tung Ting. Expect authentic examples of this now classic high mountain oolong to come from Meishan in Taiwan. The tea is made with the premium Qing Xin 'Green Heart' cultivar and has a much more complicated production method that includes "baking" multiple times. Since the oolong undergoes multiple complex baking processes it results in light gold-colored liquor with a toasty aroma and a lovely and refreshing floral flavor. The tea is best brewed at the temperature of 90 celsius for three to five minutes and can be resteeped three times or more according to one's preferences.
Black tea is a rich and heavy-bodied tea usually recommended as an alternative to coffee since it is the one that is most oxidized and thus the darkest in hue. Ruby #18 Oolong tea, also nicknamed Red Jade, is an extraordinary example of a new black tea invented and grown only in Taiwan. The tea comes from a tea tree varietal created from hybridizing Burmese and Taiwanese wild tea plants. Due to its bright red liquor, it is named Ruby tea. We consider this among the best of all black tea, displaying a sumptuously thick flavor with very unique aromas of cinnamon and mint. The tea leaves of Ruby black tea are produced in the twisted leaf style and are fully oxidized. We've found that storing this tea over a long period of time actually strengthens and deepens the flavors, making it a prime candidate for aging. The tea is best brewed at a temperature ranging from 95 to 100 celsius for less than two minutes at first. Subsequent steeps can increase the brew time to three or four minutes.
So drink tea and stay healthy.