Black Dragon in tea: Oolong

One tea that is getting the attention these days is Oolong (Wulong). Oolong has been long associated with weight management and digestive functions in Asia.

Let’s explore Wulong.

This is one of the folklore about Oolong tea:
A black dragon (Oolong) was found sleeping, coiled around the tea plant when the first brew of oolong tea was served by the tea planter to his neighbours. The tea had an astonishing good taste and so the tea planter decided to call the tea after the black dragon.

Oolong, in Chinese means “Black Dragon”.

Not a lot of people know oolong, but once you have a cup of oolong, you will be hooked! Not only by its astonishing good taste, but also its layering / complexity of flavour and aroma from one brew to the next. 

Besides its rather addictive flavour and aroma only Oolong possesses, Oolong is long reputed for digestion, skin toning, weight management and soothing allergic skin (see About tea/Is tea good for me section for more articles about the health benefits). Oolong has been very popular in Asia and top notch Oolong grown in high altitude or from ancient oolong trees can fetch 4 to 5 digit prices!

(By the same token because of its popularity there are some really poor grade oolong around, so it pays to shop around.)


alishan oolong

Alishan Oolong

Oolong is made from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis like other tea (black/green/white). The differences between these tea types are based on their production methods. For Oolong, which is partially fermented (black tea is fully fermented and green tea is unfermented), the process is comparatively complex to other tea types and the degree of fermentation will determine whether the tea tastes stronger (like black tea) or lighter (like green tea).

There are 3 major oolong producing areas – Taiwan, GuangDong and Fujian.
Generally speaking the beady ones (like all the oolong we sell) tend to be more floral with softer flavour while the stripy ones (such as Pao Chong and Dan Chong) tends to be a bit fruity and stronger in taste. Taiwanese oolong typically has lighter fermentation than Chinese ones, which means Taiwanese ones are greener in leaf colour and lighter in taste.
Currently we carry mostly Taiwanese oolong (we would say they are all above average quality in Australian market). White Dragon and Rose oolong are the most popular but there are definitely devotees to Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy).
Oolong typically yields about 3 good infusions and, like many good quality fine tea, is particularly vulnerable to oxidation – so once brewed, use it quickly as oxygen can turn the tea smelling and tasting somewhat “vegie-like” after a while. (If you want to make chilled oolong, store the tea covered in the fridge when it is still tepid. Don’t let it cool uncovered.)

If caffeine is a concern, ditch the first quick infusion and start drinking from second brew onwards to reduce caffeine content.

Oolong Teas are available on our website. Visit us Now!