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Buy Best Oolong, Wu Long Tea in Dubai
Simply put – the Oolong Tea (Wu long) is a semi-oxidized tea leaf.
From a processing standpoint oolongs (Chinese – black dragons) – are somewhere between green and black tea. Oolong is the most labor intensive of the types of tea, and the most highly prized oolongs are processed only by very experienced tea masters. The specific varietals of the Camellia Sinensis (tea plant) used in traditional oolong teas come from Fujian and Guangdong provinces in mainland China, and largely from Taiwan.
Simplified description of processing of oolongs comprises of the following steps:
Tea leaves are picked and withered about like green teas that makes fresh tea leaves flaccid and pliable.
2. Bruising/Shaking & Oxidation:
After withering, the tea leaves are rolled or shaken to bruise the edges of the leaves and to release some of the enzymes – peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase in the leaves. The release of the enzymes triggers the oxidation process. When polyphenols mix with enzymes and are exposed to oxygen they begin to turn brown in color, much like when an apple is cut open and the flesh begins to turn brown when exposed to the air. This process of oxidation in oolongs is what really brings out their unique flavors and requires the experience of the tea masters to judge when the teas are actually ready. A complex process of further rolling or shaking along with slow and low temperature drying steps takes place until the tea master decides that the tea has oxidized to the point that tea master deems appropriate to the style being produced.
3. Sha Qing (Kill Green):
Once the desired oxidation level is achieved, the tea is then heated up to 65 Degree C to neutralize enzymatic activity thus stopping the tea from oxidizing further.
The number of oolong tea styles is huge because of many variables used in processing. They can be very green in color or look almost like a black tea. They can be very tightly rolled little balls or long twisty stripe shaped leaves.
5. Roasting (Hong Pei):
Roasting of oolong teas performs several functions. Primarily, roasting acts as a way of preserving the tea leaves for future consumption. At its most basic level, roasting simply forces the moisture out of the leaves which could otherwise facilitate spoilage through fungal or bacterial growth. The happy byproduct of this purely functional aspect of roasting is the creation of complex flavor compounds through the modification and/or “caramelization” of proteins in the tea leaves. Greener style oolongs can be roasted for a short amount of time simply to create a balance between flavor and aroma or emphasize desirable flavors and aromas in the tea leaves. In contrast to their light roasted counterparts, darker roasted oolongs can undergo a multi-step roasting process that takes many days, weeks or even months to create the desired flavor profiles. Famous Da Hong Pao dark oolong is the perfect example of multi-step roasted oolong tea.
6. Aging (Optional):
Some tea masters will age a portion of their teas, and aged oolongs are some of the most prized and hardest to find teas around. Best aged oolongs are of 20-25 years old.
Aging is performed the same way as roasting once in a year or every 2-3 years. Longer the tea is aged more mineral notes come about bringing its taste close to that of aged green Pu Erh.
But aging oolongs is very different from aging Pu Erh teas because the oolongs are kept in tightly sealed jars and are low temperature roasted periodically to drive out any moisture that accumulates in the leaves.
Nowadays it is hard to find aged oolongs as high market demands of oolong teas leave no extra quantities of the material for several years’ long production cycles.
Health benefits of oolong teas
Being somewhere in between green and black teas oolongs inherit health benefits of both. Antioxidant content of oolongs is second to green tea. It eliminates free radicals that are the main cause of different forms of cancer. Oolongs contain more iron, vitamins and catechins than black tea.
Consumption of 4-5 cups of oolong tea promotes weight loss and improves fat
Oolongs have relaxing, soothing, and stress reducing effect that is due to high concentration of essential oils extracted from the leaves during rolling process.