Oolong Teas

Semi-oxidized. Oolongs range from 15-80% oxidation. The leaves may be roasted over open fire, tumble dried to bring out floral qualities, or baked in bamboo baskets.

China

Tie Guan Yin Supergrade – The Iron Goddess of Compassion

Named for the Chinese Bodhisattva of Compassion Guan Yin, this favorite Chinese oolong has a transcendent flavor. A mouthful of dewy flowers, a heart-opening bouquet of floral forgiveness, its aroma is often likened to the scent of mandarin orchards in full bloom. A dark green-blue leaf pressed into a ball shape opens slowly, giving infusion after infusion of subtly changing flavor. A peace settles in the soul with every sip. We offer the best grade from the highest category of semi-oxidized teas in Fujian, a tea celebrated by poets, monks, and tea-lovers all over the world. Drink this tea before undertaking a solitary mountain ascent or simply to lift the spirit.

Wu Long Cha – Black Dragon

Dark green-brown leaves yield infusions of rich amber liqueur, with a bittersweet taste that boasts of rye-bread or roasted nuts. An aroma and aftertaste of caramel soothes the palette and makes this tea a suitable accompaniment to desserts and snacks. Thick and filling, this Fujian classic is reputedly named “black dragon” because the opening leaves look like little dragons swimming in the pot.

Feng Huang Dan Cong – Phoenix Bird

This dark oolong, grown amongst fruit trees, has a mysteriously sweet, fruity flavor comparable to grapefruit or apricot, though it is not a flavored tea. It is grown only in Northeast Guandong Province in the valleys below the Phoenix Bird Mountain, Mount Feng Huang. From the variety of Dan Cong teas, we chose this Mi (honey) Lan (orchid) variety.

Shui Xian – Narcissus

This tea is known as “water nymph” or “narcissus,” named after the narcissus flowers in the port of Quanzhou from where it was originally exported. This cheering drink has a distinctive, warming aroma and a voluptuous taste that leaves a slightly nutty sweetness on the lips. Long leaves are wilted and hand-rolled into murky dark green s-shapes, which then unravel to produce copper-colored infusions laden with the ephemeral playfulness of fairy spirits. Seductive, this variety will cause the tea-drinker to gaze off into the teacup in blissful meditation.

Da Hong Pao – Big Red Robe

We are proud to offer the most famous and legendary of oolongs from the Wuyi Mountains. This roasted, honeyed oolong has a flavor that lingers on the pallet long after finishing the last drop. It captivated our imagination and our intrigue immediately by way of its flavor, production, aging and taste. More oxidized than green teas or light oolong (but less than black teas), dark oolongs offer a smooth cup, richer than green tea, but without the malty quality of black tea. In the legend of Da Hong Pao, hundreds of years ago, a very ill nobleman was lost and wandering through the Wuyi Mountains when he came upon a village. The gracious villagers fed him a brew made from the leaves of a special tree. He quickly regained his health and strength and was so impressed by the healing properties of the tree that he took off his brilliant red robe and hung it on the tree to indicate its power. They say that same tree still stands and that all Da Hong Pao tea bushes can be traced back to the original.

Gong Fu Cha – Oolong Tea Ceremony

In Chinese, the words gong fu describe an activity that requires time and effort to master, a labor of love. On the southern coast of Fujian province, this applies not only to martial arts but also to a sophisticated way of brewing fine oolong teas that emboldens their taste and aroma. A special Yixing tea set is required, and only the best Oolongs can be used for Gong Fu service. An extra-generous amount of tea leaves is quickly steeped in a small amount of water, resulting in many flavor-rich infusions. In China, Gong Fu tea is served to old friends reminiscing about war stories, at family reunions, as well as to celebrate successful business dealings.

 

Taiwan

Bao Zhong

From the Pingling Gardens in Taiwan, this fine, lightly oxidized oolong is characterized by long, thin leaves. After a very short oxidation, it is wrapped in cotton fabric and dried by roasting. A comforting tea with a crisp, golden infusion and fresh green taste. Appropriate for drinking as a storm dies away.

Tung Ting (Formosa Jade Oolong) – Frozen Summit

A celebrated, very flowery, very slightly oxidized tea, squeezed when moist into little irregular oval shapes by a special pressing technique. In ancient times, the feet were used to shape the tea leaf. This vibrant and lilting variety dances with notes of lilac and juniper and is imported directly from the bright slopes of the Tung Ting Mountains. Suitable for drinking during contemplation as the shadows grow longer.

Ali Shan Jin Xuan – High Mountain Oolong

Our latest offer of Taiwanese Oolongs, this high-mountain oolong was discovered on our most recent journey. In the high mountain tea gardens, weather conditions offer plenty of fog and lower temperatures, which are ideal for producing the best oolong tea. The gardens are situated between 1000 and 2300 meters in altitude. Ali Shan oolongs offers a sweet fragrance with overtones of flowers and fresh tropical fruit. The Jin Xuan or milk oolong varietal of this tea lends a wonderful creamy complexity. Enjoy it as the sun is just peaking through the mountains on a fine summer morning.

Bai Hao (Formosa Fancy Oolong) – Oriental Beauty

Bai Hao is a darker oolong and, typical of this type, sweet and nicely rounded. A Taiwanese original, it is the superior class of semi-oxidized Fujian-type tea, with a higher degree of oxidation and a great abundance of white tips. Suitable for drinking while remembering the beauty of the East.

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