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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Traditions, Society >>

Taiwan Oolong Tea

High Mountain Oolong
Oolong tea is referred to as semi oxidized tea resembling a ball-like form produced from Qingxin Oolong varietals. Plantations located in The Central Mountains of Taiwan are major areas of production for the world famous oolong. Oolong gives off a strong unique varietal fragrance and tastes rich, smooth and is enjoyable. In addition, it carries a strong pleasant aftertaste.

Dayuling oolong mostly comes from plantations located between 2300 and 2600 meter above sea level. The plantations are located at one of the highest tea regions in Taiwan or arguably in the world. The unique growing environment allows Dayuling oolong to be rich and smooth in taste and is predominantly one of the finest teas in Taiwan. Li Shan oolong is harvested from plantations between 2000 and 2400 meter above sea level. This growing environment also makes Li Shan oolong a first grade tea. Alishan oolong comes from plantations 1200 meter above sea level. It is one of the most famous oolongs in Taiwan and it is extremely popular especially among foreign tourists from mainland China.

Milk Oolong (Jinxuan Oolong)
Milk Oolong refers to semi oxidized tea with ball-like form made from Jinxuan varietals. It comes with an unique delightful creamy fragrance and light refreshing milky taste. In addition, it leaves a satisfying milky aftertaste and it is highly recommended to be a great initiation to quality teas.

Milk Oolong is produced from both high and low altitude plantations. High altitude milk oolong has a richer and smoother taste, but the low altitude allows the tea to be fresher and more economic. Milk oolong is particularly popular among female local drinkers in Taiwan and it is definitely a great choice for everyday drinking.

Four Season Oolong (Sijichuan Oolong)
Four Season oolong refers to semi oxidized tea resembling a ball-like form made from Sijichun varietal. It carries a smooth, floral and mild taste without any bitterness or dryness and it is also highly recommended to be a great initiation to Taiwan tea.

Most of Four Season oolong comes from low altitude, 1000 meter below sea level, plantations. It is fresh, tasty, economic and available in large quantities. All of these characteristics make it a great candidate to be an everyday tea to enjoy with friends and family. In fact, it is one of the best selling teas in Taiwan. The Mingjian region is where the majority of the production of the fresh Four Season oolong occurs.

Jade Oolong (Cuiyu Oolong)
Jade oolong refers to semi oxidized tea resembling a ball-like form made from Cuiyu varietals. It gives off a jasmine fragrance and tastes refreshing, mild and smooth. In addition, it leaves a sweet pleasant aftertaste. Jade oolong is highly recommended to be a great initiation to Taiwan teas.

Similar to Four Season oolong, the majority of Jade oolong are produced from low altitudes plantations ,1000 meter below sea level. The tea is fresh, tasty, economic and available in large quantities. It is highly recommended to be a perfect everyday tea.

Pouchong tea is slightly oxidized and mostly produced in the Pinglin Township near Taipei, Taiwan. It is processed and rolled into stick-like form in contrast to oolong tea which appears in ball-like form. Pouchong is a popular and excellent choice of quality Taiwan oolongs. It gives off a floral fragrance and tastes rich, mild, smooth and pleasant. In addition, it carries a great reputation for its strong pleasant aftertaste.

Pouchong is known as wenshan pouchong among locals in Taiwan. Wenshan tea region has been one of the most important ones for over a hundred years and it is still a popular and major tea producing region.

Wenshan pouchong is prepared by strictly following old fashioned tea processing methods. Local farmers make sure every step of the tea processing is fully completed before moving on to the next step to ensure that the tea produced can be at its highest quality.

Wenshan pouchong is old-fashioned in almost every aspect even when it comes to pricing. On the rest of regions in Taiwan, tea is sold mostly according to place of origin, season, and reputation. There is no doubt that these three can almost guarantee that the tea has to reach a certain level of quality. However, taste affects just slightly on its price. If the tea harvest came from a bad season of weather, customers may still have to pay the same price to enjoy the tea; simply because it is produced from a region with an excellent reputation. In contrast, wenshan pouchong is mainly sold according to its taste and quality. You may see wenshan pouchong teas coming from the identical place of origin and seasons are sold at different prices. Sometimes ten times the difference!

Many varietals are produced in the Wenshan region, such as Qingxin Oolong, Jinxuan, Sijichun and Tikunayin. After years of tea production experiences, local tea farmers realized that Qingxin Oolong is by far the best to make first grade pouchong due to its unique fragrances. Qingxin Oolong has now become the most popular candidate in producing pouchong tea.

When the attention is placed on oolong, do not overlook the pouchong as well. The fragrances are preserved which allows the local farmers to enjoy the old fashioned methods of producing this type of tea. Give it a try for yourself and you will understand why pouchong is popular among the locals in Taiwan!

Ray Lee is the founder and webmaster of For more detailed information on Taiwan teas, please visit