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Guide is developed by The SmartFactory (http://www.smartfactory.ca), a division of INBOX Solutions (http://inboxinternational.com)


OOLONG TEA is a partially-fermented tea. This tea is unique to China and Taiwan is one of its most representative areas of production.

Oolong tea comes in three degrees of fermentation: lightly fermented, moderately fermented and fully fermented. The identifying features of lightly fermented Oolong tea, such as Paochung, are a full aroma, clarity, and a golden color.

Moderately fermented types such as "Iron Buddha" (Tie Kuan Yin), and "Frozen Peak" (Dong Ding), have a brown color, a full "mature" flavor that appeals more to the sense of taste than that of smell, and a vaguely sweet aftertaste. Tea infused from moderately to heavily fermented tea leaves like "White Tip" Oolong (Oriental Beauty) has a red-orange color and a fruity aroma.

The fresh leaves are withered for one to two days and the leaves are then rolled to release enzymes (needed for the next step). Then the tea leaves are allowed to oxidize although for a shorter period than for black tea and the process is stopped before it is completed. The tea is fired (heated) to prevent further oxidation and to dry the tea. Oolong teas can vary significantly in flavor depending on when the oxidization process is interrupted having more of a green tea character if interrupted early in the process and more black tea character the longer oxidation continues.
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