Oolong Tea Classification

Different locations and diverse tea tree types produce different qualities having unique tastes. Oolong is generally classified as:

According to the shape: Bar, hemisphere and granular oolong.

According to the location: Fujian Oolong(North Fujian Oolong, South Fujian Oolong), Guangdong Oolong and Taiwan Oolong.


North Fujian Oolong 闽北乌龙

North Fujian Oolong is more fermented. It mainly grows at Mout Wuyi in north Fujian. There is a small yield from Jianou, Jianyang,Nanping,Shuiji-three crops per year.The picking and processing start from late April.

It has two sub-categories:

1---Wuyi Yan Cha 武夷岩茶 (Wu Yi Rock Tea or Cliff Tea)

Wuyi Mingcong (The famous bushes), Wuyi Qizhong (The rare variety), Wuyi Shuixian(Daffodil, Narcissus or Water Faery) and the recent Wuyi Rougui(Cinnamon)

Da Hong Pao(Big Red Robe), Tie Luo Han(Iron Monk), Bai Ji Guan(White Comb), Shui Jin Gui(Water Golden Turtle) are considered the Four Famous Wuyi Yan Cha.

2---North Fujian Shui Xian 闽北水仙(Daffodil, Narcissus or Water Faery).

South Fujian Oolong 闽南乌龙

South Fujian Oolong tea is lightly fermented,mainly produced is south Fujian countries, such as Anxi,Yongchun,Nan'an,Pinghe,Hua'an,etc.Anxi Oolong is the best know.

Anxi tea has a variety of breeds, including the most popular"Four Elites":

Tie Guan Yin(Iron Goddess of Mercy), Huang Jin Gui(Golden Cassia or Golden Osmanthus), Ben Shan and Mao Xie(Mitten Crab), toghther with Mei Zhan, Qi Lan(Orchid) and Large Leaf Oolong, each unique on it's own.

Among them, Tie Guan Yin is the most popular one.
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Guangdong Oolong 广东乌龙

Guangdong is one of the main Oolong tea production areas in China. The oolong production area in east Guangdong cultivates various types of tea trees, among which Feng Huang Shui Xian(Phoenix Daffodil, narcissus or Water Faery) in Chaozhou is the best.
Shiguping Oolong tea and Lingtou Dan Cong(Single Bush) are also unique.

Dān Cōng (单枞)

A family of stripe-style oolong teas from Guangdong Province. The doppelganger of teas, Dancong teas are noted for their ability to naturally imitate the flavors and fragrances of various flowers and fruits, such as orange blossom, orchid, grapefruit, almond, ginger flower, etc.The name Dan Cong is often misinterpreted as meaning the tea is all picked from a single bush, grove, or clone. This is not correct. Dan cong is a botanical term that refers to the morphology of the tea plant. Most tea bushes emerge from the ground as a cluster of branches, however, the uncommon Dan Cong variety emerges as a single trunk that branches off higher up the stem.


Taiwan Oolong 台湾乌龙

As the weather in Taiwan is highly variable, quality of tea may differ from season to season. Although the island is not particularly large, it is geographically varied, with high, steep mountains rising quickly from low-lying coastal plains. The different weather patterns, temperatures, altitudes and soil ultimately result in differences in appearance, aroma and flavour of the tea grown in Taiwan. In some mountainous areas, teas have been cultivated at ever higher elevations to produce a unique sweet taste that fetches a premium price.

Some of the famous Tai Wan Oolongs are:

Dòngdǐng (冻顶) Frozen Summit or Ice Peak

Dong Ding is a mountain in Nantou County, Central Taiwan. This is a tightly rolled tea with a light, distinctive fragrance.

Dōngfāng Měirén (東方美人)  Oriental (Eastern) Beauty

This tea is tippy (the leaves frequently have white or golden tips), with natural fruity aromas, a bright red appearance and a sweet taste.

Ālǐshān chá (阿里山茶)

Grown in the Alishan area of Chiayi County, this tea has large rolled leaves that have a purple-green appearance when dry. It is grown at an elevation of 1,000 to 1,400 metres. There is only a short period during the growing season when the sun is strong, which results in a sweeter and less astringent brew. It produces a golden yellow tea which has a unique fruity aroma.

Líshān chá (梨山)

Grown in the north-central region of Taiwan, this tea is very similar in appearance to Alishan teas, but is often considered to be one of the best teas from Taiwan. It is grown at an elevation of above 1,000 metres with Dayuling, Lishan, and Fusou being the best known regions and teas of Lishan.

Pouchong (Bāozhǒng chá) (包種茶)

Also romanized as Bāozhǒng, the lightest and most floral oolong, with unrolled leaves of a light green to brown color. Originally grown in Fujian it is now widely cultivated and produced in Pinglin Townshipnear Taipei, Taiwan.


Others-Reprocessed Oolong Tea

Reprocessed oolong, such as Dahua Oolong and Xiaohua Oolong, is made by reprocessing the final product oolong with gardenia (Dahua, literally "big flower"), Guihua-osmanthus (Xiaohua, literally "small flower"), etc.,that is, adding the fragrance of flowers to middle and low grade oolong.

Ginseng Oolong is a special kind of reprocessed oolong, made by processing tea leaves with ginseng leaves or crushed ginseng,together with some other ingredients. Good quality ginseng oolong has medical functions.

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