New to Tea? Start Here (Part 3: Oolong and Black Tea)

Continuing my informal guide to selecting tea, we've come to black tea, the most oxidized of the tea types, and oolong, which falls between green and black tea in oxidation. If you've decided that the vegetal nature of green teas just is not for you, head for an oolong or black tea. Black Tea. Everyone … Continue reading New to Tea? Start Here (Part 3: Oolong and Black Tea)

The Quality of Tea Both Shapes and Reflects Social Standing

In this season of gift-giving, gift-giving itself can be filled with landmines. Will they like it? Will it demonstrate that I know what they like? Will it demonstrate that I have good taste? Because a gift can say as much or more about the giver than the recipient. Indeed, most, if not all, of what … Continue reading The Quality of Tea Both Shapes and Reflects Social Standing

Nepali Teas Come into Their Own

Although few knew it at the time, a seismic shift took place when botanist Robert Fortune spirited high-quality tea plants out of China in the mid-1800s. Transplanting them into Himalayan soil, he opined that “a boon will have been conferred upon the people of India” if that country’s poor could be provided with an affordable tea, … Continue reading Nepali Teas Come into Their Own

Unexpected Free Tea Sample Fun!

This came quite unexpectedly in the mail last night! I had totally forgotten that I had signed up for some free tea samples from the April Tea Industry Company, or AprTea. Their name refers to the first plucking in the spring because, as their website puts it: Tea in April means “the best tea.” This Chinese … Continue reading Unexpected Free Tea Sample Fun!

Milk Oolong Tea, Deliciously Creamy

Continuing the oolong theme here for a bit, let's take a look at a tea that is both an oolong and a specialty tea. Unique to China, it is also unique among teas. Milk Oolong: How It's Made This exquisite tea is produced in mountainous Fujian Province—the birthplace of oolong tea—located on mainland China's southeast … Continue reading Milk Oolong Tea, Deliciously Creamy

How to Brew Oolong Teas

Early in China's Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), Fujian tea producers began a new tea process, resulting in wulong—or oolong—teas. For these, three to four tea leaves are plucked along with the buds. These more mature leaves are able to stand up to the extensive processing steps that they undergo (see previous post).During this processing, the leaves are … Continue reading How to Brew Oolong Teas

What Is Oolong Tea?

Oolong Teas Black tea, white tea, green tea—they're all pretty straightforward. But then there are the oolongs. Where do they fall in the tea spectrum? And just what are they? Black Dragon Although the exact origin of oolong tea—with its time-consuming production process—is rather a mystery, we do know that it originated somewhere in China quite a few centuries … Continue reading What Is Oolong Tea?