Oolong tea (乌龙茶, Wū Lóng Chá) also called Qing Cha is a kind of half-fermented tea and is one of the six main types of Chinese tea. The pronunciation of oolong is similar to Wulong. Wu means “dark” and Long means “dragon”.
Oolong tea is mainly native to the Fujian Province and Guangdong Province in China. Compared with other teas, it has distinct Chinese characteristics.
Oolong tea is also called “slimming tea” and “bodybuilding tea” because it has a good effect on weight loss.
Table of Contents
- History of Chinese Oolong Tea
- Types of Chinese Oolong Tea
- Benefits of Chinese Oolong Tea
- How to Make Chinese Oolong Tea
- Legend of Chinese Oolong Tea
History of Chinese Oolong Tea
The predecessor of oolong tea is called “Beiyuan Tea”, which originated in Fujian Province more than 1,000 years ago.
Beiyuan tea is the earliest tribute tea in Fujian Province, which is enjoyed by the emperor and nobles in the Royal Palace. According to relevant historical records, the processing of Beiyuan tea is similar to that of oolong tea, and it is also a kind of half-fermented tea.
Around 1725, the Anxi people first created formal oolong tea. The successful creation of oolong tea had further enriched Chinese tea culture, and tea books and poems about oolong tea often appeared and were praised.
In the 1970s, Japan started the “oolong tea craze” and oolong tea became popular all over the world. Some production areas of green tea regions in Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hunan, Hubei, and Guangxi Province started to introduce the processing technology of oolong tea from Fujian Province.
Fujian Province has the longest production history, the most types, and the best quality of oolong tea. Especially the Tieguanyin tea, Da Hong Pao tea, and Wuyi rock tea are famous all over the world.
Nowadays, Anxi County is the largest area producing oolong tea in China, honored with the title “The Hometown of Oolong Tea”.
The name “oolong” comes from the shape and color of the tea. The oolong tea leaves are dark. After brewing, its shape is curled, which is like a dark dragon diving into the water.
Types of Chinese Oolong Tea
According to the tea name, the common types of Chinese oolong tea:
- Tieguanyin Tea – Iron Goddess, one of the top 10 famous tea.
- Da Hong Pao Tea – Big Red Robe, belongs to Wuyi rock tea, king of Wuyi rock tea, one of the Si Da Ming Cong.
- Wuyi Rock Tea – one of the top 10 famous tea. There are five main types of Wuyi rock tea.
- Rougui Tea – belongs to Wuyi Rock tea, also called Wuyi Rougui tea.
- Tie Luo Han – belongs to Wuyi rock tea, one of the Si Da Ming Cong.
- Bai Ji Guan – belongs to Wuyi rock tea, one of the Si Da Ming Cong.
- Shui Jin Gui – belongs to Wuyi rock tea, one of the Si Da Ming Cong.
- Dancong – Fenghuang Dancong, Phoenix Dancong, or Phoenix oolong tea.
- Ya Shi Xiang – belongs to Dancong tea.
- Mi Lan Xiang – belongs to Dancong tea.
- Shui Xian Tea – there are three types of Shui Xian tea.
- Huang Jin Gui – its fragrance is similar to that of Osmanthus.
- Fo Shou Tea – Buddha’s hand tea.
- Hairy Crab Tea – Mao Xie tea. Its origin place is the same as Tieguanyin tea.
- Ben Shan Tea – a famous oolong tea in Anxi.
According to the peculiar characteristics of tea, there are four famous teas in Wuyi Mountain, which is called Wuyi Si Da Ming Cong: Da Hong Pao, Tie Luo Han, Bai Ji Guan, Shui Jin Gui.
Benefits of Chinese Oolong Tea
Oolong tea contains more than 450 kinds of organic chemical components and more than 40 kinds of inorganic mineral elements. These components and elements contain many nutrients and effective components.
The main organic chemical components are tea polyphenols, alkaloids, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, pectins, organic acids, lipopolysaccharides, sugars, enzymes, pigments, etc.
Inorganic mineral elements mainly include potassium, calcium, magnesium, cobalt, iron, manganese, aluminum, sodium, zinc, copper, nitrogen, phosphorus, fluorine, etc.
Benefits of Chinese oolong tea:
- Weight loss
- Help digestion
- Eliminate fatigue
- Improve hearing
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood lipids
How to Make Chinese Oolong Tea
- Tea set: porcelain cup and purple clay teapot.
- The ratio of tea leaves to water: 1:20-30. For example, 5g of oolong tea leaves require 100-150ml of water.
- The temperature of the water: 100℃ is best, otherwise the flavor and fragrance of oolong tea will not come out thoroughly.
The above criteria are not absolute. It should be brewed according to the characteristics of the tea.
Legend of Chinese Oolong Tea
According to a legend, during the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), in Anxi County, there was a retired general called Su Long and he was good at hunting. Because his skin is dark and his body is strong, the villagers called him “Wulong”.
In the spring of one year, Wulong hung a basket on his waist to pick tea in the mountain. At noon, a deer suddenly slipped by. Wulong held a stick and then followed it closely.
Finally, he caught the deer. When he got home, it was night. Wulong and his family were busy cooking the deer and tasting the wild meat, and they forgot to process the fresh tea.
In the morning of the next day, the family was ready to process the tea. Surprisingly, the tea leaves placed overnight turned red. They continued to process it. When the tea was finished, it had a strong fragrance and no bitter taste. Finally, they named it Wulong tea.