Luxury Ingredients: Oolong tea
Country of Origin: China
Region: Wuyi Mountains - Fujian Province
Shipping Port: Fuzhou
Grade: Oolong - 'green style'
Altitude: 400 - 1200 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Oolong
Cup Characteristics: Green herbaceous notes with fruity sweet characteristics
Infusion: Light, tending green. Leaves unfold beautifully
Oolong means semi fermented. They are manufactured very similar to black teas, but are given a much shorter withering period, a light roll (according to the type of oolong being made), and then allowed to ferment only until the edges of the leafs start to turn brown. The tea is then fired which arrests the fermenting process and captures the interesting character associated with Oolong tea. Se Chung Oolong has a shorter fermentation time than other Oolongs from Fujian province resulting in more subtle Oolong character. There are delicate notes of Ti Kuan Yin style flavor combined with a slight herbaceous green character. This is why this particular tea is sought after - delicate flavor notes of a top Oolong combined with green tea characters.
The best China oolongs come from Fujian Province - in the Wuyi Mountains area since Fujian province is the historical 'birthplace' on China oolongs. The method of production of Oolong teas is complicated. The tea maker brings all his skills to the fore to define 'his' oolong. His skills and abilities could create a commercial success or a total flop.
The defining moment for Se Chung Oolong is purported to have occurred in Fujian Province during the Ching dynasty. An elderly monk who was suffering from a 'cold sickness' was unable to be cured by the local doctors. It was known there was a tea maker whose special teas made people well again. The tea maker was summoned to bring his tea to the sick monk. The legend does not tell what became of the monk, nor for that matter what became of the tea maker, but the style of oolong has persisted through the decades and has become on of the predominant oolongs in China - noted for superb flavour and affordable price.
Hot tea brewing method:
Oolong teas are best enjoyed when the leaves are briefly infused with hot water which is then poured off. The tea is then reinfused and tea is poured to the lucky guests after about 1 minute. The leaves may be reinfused several times, with each resulting infusion yielding a different liquor from the proceeding cup.
Iced tea brewing method (makes 1 quart): Place 6 teaspoons of Formosa oolong into a heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.