I recently launched an e-newsletter to my tribe.
I am sending it as an every-now-and-again newsletter. Tea stuff that I am working on, teas from Tea By Chase, and other tea stuff
So specific, I know! It is evolving and fluid.
If you want to signup, click here.
My most recent message was simple:
Ask Me Anything
Now, I do have tea experts in my tribe, but I also have some that are newer to tea. I was hoping to get some questions from the latter group, but I would take whatever came in.
2 came in!
what is oolong tea?
What a wonderful question. Thanks for asking.
So… let me start with… all tea (black, green, oolong, puerh, white) all come from the same plant, camellia sinensis.
The difference comes down to the way the tea leaves are processed once they are picked/plucked/harvested.
Oxidation is the key differentiator. Oxidation is the chemical process that takes place when exposed to air (oxygen). Think of an apple and how it starts to turn brown once it is sliced open. That is oxidation you are witnessing.
In tea, a black tea is a fully oxidized tea. It is allowed to go through a complete oxidation before being dried (heat kills oxidation enzymes in the leaf).
In green tea, the leaves are not allowed to oxidize at all… they are almost immediately heated prior to coming in out of the field.
So on the spectrum of oxidation, green is the least oxidized and black is the most oxidized.
Oolong is an interesting one because it fits right in between black and oolong on the spectrum. Oolong is a very broad category of tea though because you can have lightly oxidized oolongs that are closer to a green tea and you can have more oxidized oolongs which are closer to a black tea.
It’s a very interesting category!
Most oolongs come from China or Taiwan. Lighter oolongs are more fragrant and floral, with gentle flavors. Darker oolongs are more are more toasty with sometimes notes of cocoa and fruits. These flavor comments are a broad generalization, but I want to give you and idea. Depending on the terroir (just like wine) of where the tea leaves are from will directly influence the flavors.
Does this make sense?
I fell in love with lighter oolongs from Taiwan as I visited a few years ago. It wasn’t until recently that I began to appreciate the deliciousness of darker oolongs!
Let me know if unclear or if you have additional questions!
I also received:
Hey Chase, Excited to drink your tea! Would love to see a video of you showing me and everyone else how you would brew it yourself.
I recently added 3 videos showing different ways of making matcha.
Hi, I am Chase. Japanese tea is my biggest love, but I am a student of all tea. Tea The World is a collection of random tea stuff I want to share with the world. Tea started for me with a cup of sencha — I really fell in deep when I encountered my first really taste of gyokuro. In 2018 I was fortunate to get to spend 3 months volunteering on a tea farm in Wazuka, Japan with Obubu Tea. This was where I began my formal education in tea.