It is important to store tea leaves away from air, light, moisture and odors from other foods. It is best in a cool dry place in an opaque and airtight tin. Refrigeration is not recommended.
Each type of tea requires its own unique brewing procedure to draw out its characteristic delicate nuances or strong flavors or even medicinal qualities; and so, we’ll now address the best method of preparing your Oolong Tea. You already have your tools at the ready (if not, please click back to our main Tea page).
Like Black Tea, Oolong is one of only four true teas (Oolong, Black, Green and White), and all derived from only one tea plant – the Camellia sinensis – with many varieties included. The leaves are oxidized under controlled temperature and humidity, and it is only the level of oxidation that determines the type of Tea. Oolong Tea undergoes the very same delicate processing as Black Tea in order to produce its unique aroma and taste. However, the leaves are oxidized for less time. Oolong Tea contains about twenty-five percent of the amount of caffeine found in Black Tea. Read more about the differences in caffeine content among different teas. Oolong Tea ranks somewhere in between Green and Black in oxidation, and although it has a flavor more closely allied to Green Tea than to Black, it does not have the strong, grassy vegetal notes that typify Green Tea. Oolong Tea ranks somewhere in between Green and Black in oxidation, and although it has a flavor more closely allied to Green Tea than to Black, it does not have the strong, grassy vegetal notes that typify Green Tea.
The best Oolongs have a nuanced flavor profile. One legend tells of a man named Wu Liang (later corrupted to Wu Long - or Oolong) who discovered Oolong Tea by accident when he was distracted after a hard day's tea-picking, and by the time he remembered about the Tea it had already started to oxidize in the sun, giving the world a delightful brew.
The following steps will guide you through the preparation of your Oolong Tea:
Assuming that you have already pre-heated your teapot (or cup), by swirling boiling or nearly boiling water around in the empty pot and then pouring it off, we will now put the proper amount of tea leaves into the pot – using one level teaspoon of tea per eight-ounce cup of water as a guide – although some old-timers like to add an extra spoon or “one for the pot.” It’s all a question of taste.
It is also considered important to brew tea in a vessel that matches the quantity one is preparing. Brewing a single cup in a large teapot will never taste quite right because there is too much room for the heat to dissipate if the pot is only partially filled with hot water; this is the time for a smaller teapot or a covered cup.
Now for the water: When steeping Oolong Tea, heat the water to steam - but not to the boil. If your water does come to the boil, remove the kettle from the burner and allow it to cool for one minute. Lower temperatures help protect against bitter taste. Pour the water over the tea and steep Oolong for only one to two minutes (at most three minutes) at between 180 and195 degrees Fahrenheit. Add more tea leaves to produce a stronger brew instead of steeping longer. Allow the leaves to steep;
do not stir. Watch the clock, not the color, as many teas brew to a quite light color. Never reheat your brewed tea.
Finally, it’s time for you to sit down, relax and sip your tea. Delicious? Relaxing? Just what you needed: The Perfect Cup of Tea and You!
These are guidelines for reference only. Experimentation will yield the perfect cup of Tea.