Oolong is one of the traditional teas that come from China. It is harvested from the Camellia Sinensis plant and is produced through a distinct process. It includes drying under direct sun and oxidation before it is curled and twisted into shape. Most oolong products, especially those of the finer blooming tea balls quality, involved plant cultivars that are used for these higher quality ones. The degree of fermentation can vary from 8% to 85%. This usually depends on the type of Oolong and production style desired. This tea is very popular and is enjoyed by tea connoisseurs from south China as well as Chinese expatriates living across Southeast Asia. The tea processes that come from this area is gongfu tea-making, also called the gongfu tea infusion.
In the tea culture of the Chinese, oolong tea that is semi-oxidized is grouped as blue-green tea. The taste of oolong has a great range. It can be fruity with honey aromas and quite sweet, or give off a woody flavor that is thick with roasted scents. Oolong may also taste green and fresh with unique floral scents. All of this depends on the horticulture and techniques of production. Several sub-categories of oolong has cropped up, including those that have been harvested and made in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian as well as the central mountains of Taiwan. These are considered to be some of the most famous Chinese teas.
The different varieties of the oolong tea differ in their processes, and its leaves are shaped into two styles. Some are made into curly leaves, and others are wrapped and curled into tiny beads with a small tail. The former style of curly leaves is more traditional between the two. The name Oolong is derived from its Chinese name which means black dragon tea.
Oolong tea can be scented with jasmine blooms. This type of flower is hand-picked, then steamed with the tea leaves in order to hold the scent well. Green tea leaves are also used for this process, but the process of scenting lengthens the oxidation process, thus causing them to be oolong. Since Jasmine flowers bloom nocturnally, the picking is scheduled for early morning and mixed in with the tea in the evening, in time for their opening and scent releasing.