|Where green tea receives just a slight amount of oxidation, and black tea is at
the other end of the spectrum being fully oxidized, oolong tea falls between the
two and is semi-oxidized.
|Oolong teas are time consuming
and complicated to manufacture,
with a greater number of steps in-
volved in the processing.There are two classic types of manufacture for
oolong teas: Min Nan or “balled oolong,” requiring
ten steps, and Min Bei or “tieguanyin” which requires
a full 18 step process.
We’re going to look at Min Nan or “balled oolong,”
Oolong is produced after the spring green tea
|is picked in the early morning and rushed to the factory, the leaves used to make oolong tea are
picked mid-day. Once the leaf for oolong tea has been plucked, the process must continue
around the clock with no breaks, until the entire batch of tea is completely finished.
The 10 Step Process for Min Nan Oolong
|The first step in processing Min Nan or “balled oolong,” starts after the pluck, as the leaf is
spread out and withered in the sun or on ventilating screens for several hours.Withering generates internal heat within the leaves and is the beginning
of the oxidation process. When the leaf has done its work and wilted
the desired amount, it is brought inside the tea factory and allowed
to cool down.
The leaf must now be manipulated and rolled for the next seven to nine
Shajing gently ruptures the cell walls, triggering the chemical substances in the leaves
Because so much of the flavor and character
If the overnight work looks good and has
Shaping the leaves is done either by hand or
And, finally the last step is baking. Over the next eight hours the leaf is
oolong teas are more labor intense and complicated to