Oolong Tea Types
For many regular tea drinkers, oolong tea is a weird tea, or even entirely unheard of. Oolong is neither a black tea nor a green tea. It falls into its own category of tea. Oolong tea production is centered in China and Taiwan.
In addition, oolong teas vary in style based on the tradition of the region they come from. The mountainous terrain of southeastern China provides natural barriers between each region. Local tea varieties developed independently. So the most famous high mountain oolong tea growing areas give us four distinct divisions of oolong tea.
Tie Kuan Yin : The tea is commonly known as the ‘Iron Goddess’ and is very popular. The characteristic of Tie Kuan Yin is stout and has crinkly leaves. People tightly pellet this tea to make an unique form. China is also the first country to produce this tea
Pouchong : This oolong tea is highly fermented and has long black leaves. This tea is very light and is one of the most floral of the oolong tea types. This tea is also commonly grown in Formosa as well.
Tung Ting : This tea is one of the best teas from Taiwan. They lightly ferment this tea to have a light and gentle taste.
Formosa Oolong : The best time to pick Formosa Oolong is during the spring. This Taiwan tea has a delicate flavor.
Darjeeling Oolong : A rare first-flush oolong tea is from the Darjeeling region of India.
Effects Of Altitudes on Tea Quality
Throughout history, tea drinkers have appriciated teas at high altitudes. Altitude can mark the difference between a good tea and an incredible one. In Taiwan, it can even be the primary factor in determining quality. First Taiwan planting tea at 700 meters above sea level, and then 1,600, and finally at the highest peaks of the Lishan range. Da Yu Lin, the highest tea-growing peak, reaches nearly 2,800 meters.
The altitude of a plant impacts almost every facet of its growing process. The environmental conditions can also vary wildly with altitude, changing the terroir, and the quality of the tea. Overall, high mountain tea has more complexity to the flavor and less bitterness.
High Mountain Oolong Tea Types
High Mountain Oolong Tea is Taiwan’s most prized tea. You can find High Mountain Oolong Tea in other countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam. This high mountain tea has good taste at elevations of more than 1,000 meters. Amounts of humidity and natural precipitation of plantations in Taiwan are quite high. There are many types of high mountain oolong tea.
Ali Shan: This is the most common of all High Mountain Oolong teas. You can find Alishan tea gardens locating at 1000m to 1500m in altitude. Flowers and fruits are also great additions for this Taiwanese oolong tea.
Ali Shan LuZhu and Shan Ling Xi: The tea plantations of these teas are located at 1600m in altitude. These forested regions with rainfall the year-round produce teas with a clear taste and very little astringency.
Li Shan: The altitudes over 2000m give this tea the special flavor. So Li Shan is great teas with fruity notes. The consistently cool temperatures at this altitude range create the great production of this High Mountain Oolong tea.
Da Yun Ling Mountain: Premium tea grows in altitudes over 2500m. Typical Da Yun Ling tea is also a green oolong with minimal processing resulting in a sweet clean but distinct flavor.