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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Food Articles >> Oolong Tea

Beginners Guide to Oolong Tea

by: Rob Jameson

Over the last few years green tea has become very popular and is available in most stores and cafés. It is also used in all kinds of products such as shampoo, face cream, candles and many other daily items. Oolong tea is produced from the same plant, which is called Camellia Sinensis. The difference is that Oolong tea is a semi-fermented brew whereas green tea is unfermented.

The fermentation process is carried out by a skilled worker who can ferment the oolong tea to many different levels to create different varieties. The leaves are stimulated until the oxidization process reaches the desired level and then cooked to finish the process.

The leaves are further processed after the fermentation to enhance the smell, texture and the flavor. This is done by rolling and rubbing the tea. It it possible to achieve many different levels of tea, and when the processing is over a knowledgeable master of Oolong tea will check the leaves and give them a grade.

The history of Oolong tea tells us that it was first produced in Fujian province in China. Some of the finest tea still comes from this area although it is now also produced in many other places including Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand.

One of the reasons that green tea has become so popular is that there are believed to many health benefits which can be obtained by regular drinking. These benefits are also reported to exist in Oolong tea and are retained even after the tea is processed. Some of the common benefits claimed are the stimulation of the metabolism and the ability to enhance the digestion. 

If you are interested in trying some Oolong tea then it is recommended to find a quality supplier. There are many sellers on the Internet who can supply good tea and many who can supply not so good tea. The stuff in the local Chinese store tends to be of very low quality and not worth buying. Look for a specialist tea merchant and try a few different ones to find the best quality.

Some of the more popular varieties include Gao Shan, Tie Guan Yin, Vietnamese Golden Buds and Formosa Oolong which comes from Taiwan. Don't be afraid to get stuck in and try a few varieties. I can tell you that a good Oolong tea is really a great tea so if you are not impressed with what you buy then shop around for another merchant because the good stuff is out there.

Places in Houston Chinatown that sells Oolong Tea:

TenRen Tea & Ginseng
10804 Bellaire Blvd. #G
Houston, TX 77092
Tel: 281-495-2833

Tea Source
9750 Bellaire Blvd. #168
Houston, TX 77036
Tel: 713-988-6528

Welcome Food Center
9180 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77036
Tel: 713-270-7789