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**Origins of Oolong Tea**:
– Tribute tea theory and legend of Wu Liang as possible origins.
– Chinese term ‘wulong’ and Taiwanese term ‘qingcha’ for oolong tea.
– French term ‘thé bleu’ synonymous with oolong tea.

**Varieties of Oolong Tea**:
– Fujian varieties like Da Hong Pao and Tieguanyin.
– Guangdong’s Dancong teas imitating floral and fruity flavors.
– Taiwanese oolong teas like Dong Ding, Dongfang meiren, and Alishan.

**Production Process of Oolong Tea**:
– Stages including withering, rolling, shaping, and firing.
– Importance of timing and temperature control in manufacturing.
– Range of oxidation levels from 8% to 85% for different flavors.

**Popularity in Southeast Asia**:
– Common in southeastern China and among ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia.
– Gongfu tea ceremony in Fujian as a common preparation process.
– Different flavor profiles in various styles of oolong tea.

**Characteristics and Preparation of Oolong Tea**:
– Light flavor notes with complexity, not as strong as black tea.
– Various flavor profiles like sweet and fruity or woody and thick.
Brewing techniques, including gaiwan or Yixing clay teapot, and recommended water temperatures.

Oolong (Wikipedia)

Oolong (UK: /ˈlɒŋ/, US: /-lɔːŋ/; Chinese: 烏龍茶 (wūlóngchá, "dark dragon" tea) is a traditional semi-oxidized Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a process that includes withering the leaves under strong sun and allowing some oxidation to occur before curling and twisting. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. The degree of oxidation, which is controlled by the length of time between picking and final drying, can range from 8% to 85% depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular in southeastern China and among ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia, as is the Fujian preparation process known as the gongfu tea ceremony.

Oolong tea leaves
Oolong tea
"Oolong" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese烏龍茶
Simplified Chinese乌龙茶
Literal meaning"Dark dragon tea"

Different styles of oolong tea can vary widely in flavor. They can be sweet and fruity with honey aromas, woody and thick with roasted aromas, or green and fresh with complex aromas, all depending on the horticulture and style of production. Several types of oolong tea, including those produced in the Wuyi Mountains, Nanping of northern Fujian, such as Da Hong Pao, are among the most famous Chinese teas. Different varieties of oolong are processed differently, but the leaves are usually formed into one of two distinct styles. Some are rolled into long curly leaves, while others are "wrap-curled" into small beads, each with a tail. The former style is the more traditional.

The Chinese term wulong (oolong) was first used to describe a tea in the 1857 text Miscellaneous Notes on Fujian by Shi Hongbao. In Taiwanese Chinese, oolong teas are also known as qingcha (Chinese: ; pinyin: qīngchá) or "dark green teas" since early 2000. The term "blue tea" (French: thé bleu) in French is synonymous with the term oolong. Oolong teas share some characteristics with both green and black teas – they have light flavour notes but are often more complex in taste than green teas, and not as strong as black teas.

The manufacturing of oolong tea involves repeating stages to achieve the desired amount of bruising and browning of leaves. Withering, rolling, shaping, and firing are similar to the process for black tea, but much more attention to timing and temperature is necessary.

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