What is Oolong Tea? Like Green Tea or Black Tea?

What is Oolong Tea? Like Green Tea or Black Tea? - ABoxTik 一盒精品 1

The fermentation degree of Oolong Tea (Qīng tea) is between green tea and black tea. The colour is yellowish-brown, and it is famous all over the world for its aroma. Additionally, you must have heard of “Oolong tea”, so sometimes it is not only called Qīng tea, but also called Oolong tea. Did you know that Tieguanyin is actually a type of Qīng tea? That’s right! Guanyin tea is only different in the degree of fermentation, but it is also a kind of Qīng tea.

Are you curious about this common type of tea? Wondering which teas are actually Qīng teas? In view of the love and doubts of many tea lovers regarding Qīng tea, today’s article will introduce the essential knowledge about Qīng tea for you. I believe that everyone will gain a lot after reading this article!

What is Oolong Tea? Like Green Tea or Black Tea? - ABoxTik 一盒精品 3

What is Qīng tea?

What is Oolong Tea (Qing tea)?

Qīng tea is one of the six major teas in China – green, white, yellow, Qīng, red, and black. Basically, it is called “Qīng tea” in China, but it is called “Oolong tea” in Taiwan. Because Oolong tea is also a kind of Qīng tea, the mention of Oolong tea refers to Qīng tea. Taiwanese Oolong tea is famous for its processing method, thus, it retains the world’s unique roasting technology, which makes the tea aroma of Qīng tea changeable.

Green tea is a partially fermented tea that originated during the Qing Dynasty in China, mainly in Fujian. In the process of producing green tea, complex withering operations are required to induce chemical changes in tea leaves. Then through stirring and enzyme action, combined with roasting technology, the tea brew can produce aroma and taste.

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“Ecstasy is a glass full of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.” – Alexander Pushkin

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Tea Classroom – Oolong Tea

How to classify Qīng (Oolong) tea?

When it mentions how Qīng (Oolong) tea should be divided, basically green tea is divided according to the place of origin. Different origins have great differences in the production process, so the characteristics of it produced in different origins are not the same. Qīng (Oolong) tea can be divided into Taiwanses Qīng (Oolong) tea, southern Fujian Qīng (Oolong) tea, Guangdong Qīng (Oolong) tea, Wuyi Qīng (Oolong) tea, and northern Fujian Qīng (Oolong) tea according to the place of origin. The following is a introduction in detail:

1. Taiwanese Qīng (Oolong) tea

Taiwanese green tea is produced in Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaosu, Yilan and other regions, and is mainly divided into Baozhong tea and Oolong tea. The fermentation degree of Baozhong tea is relatively light, including Dongding Oolong tea and Wenshan Baozhong tea; while the fermentation of Oolong tea is relatively heavy, including the common tea – Tieguanyin, and Baihao Oolong tea that often appears in advertisements.

2. Hokkien Qīng (Oolong) tea

It is mainly produced in Pinghe County, Anxi County, and Yongchun County in southern Fujian. Among them, Tieguanyin from Anxi County is a very famous representative of Hokkien Qīng (Oolong) tea. In addition, there are other varieties of Hokkien Qīng (Oolong) tea, including: Yǒngchūn fóshǒu, běnshān, máoxiè, huángjīn and so on.

3. Cantonese Qīng (Oolong) tea

The main producing areas of Guangdong green tea are Raoping County and Chao’an County in Chaozhou City, Jiexi and Puning County in Jieyang City, and Fengshun County, Dapu County and Mei County in the Meizhou area. The main Qīng (Oolong) tea varieties are Oolong, Dān Cóng, and Shuǐxiān.

4. Wu Yi Yan tea

Wu Yi Yan tea is mainly produced in Wuyi Mountain, as there are many rocks on Wuyi Mountain, and the tea trees grow on the rocks. The main types of tea are Wuyi Cinnamon, Wǔyí Shuǐxiān, and Dà Hóng Páo to name a few.

5. Northern Fujian Qīng (Oolong) tea

The main producing areas of northern Fujian Qīng (Oolong) tea are Shuǐxiān, Chong’an, Jianyang and Jianou, which are famous for Narcissus and Oolong tea. The main varieties are divided into northern Fujian Shuǐxiān and northern Fujian Oolong, among which the northern Fujian Shuǐxiān includes: Chong’an Shuǐxiān, Jianou Shuǐxiān, and Shuiji Shuǐxiān.

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Do you know Oolong Tea?

Qing / Oolong tea production process

The production process of green tea needs to go through sunlight withering > indoor withering > stirring > blanching > kneaking > drying, which can be said that it is quite a complicated tea production process. After the tea leaves are converted into primary tea, it is stirred after sunlight withering and indoor withering, in order to destroy the cells of the tea leaves so that oxygen can enter for oxidation.

At the time of oxidation, some odours can be eliminated, and finally the leaf veins can be destroyed by stirring, so that the water can be evenly distributed, and the high enzyme activity can be improved.

Once the process of blanching Qīng (Oolong) tea is complete, it will be rolled to allow the tea liquor to flow throughout the tea leaves, and finally, it will be dried. The production of Qīng (Oolong) tea can be completed by drying the water content to 3~5%.

“My dear if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.” – Charles Dickens, Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy

Why is Qing tea also called Oolong tea?

Why is Qīng tea also called Oolong tea? There are many versions of the origin of its name. As for which one is the genuine origin, it is now impossible to discover. Let ABoxTik introduce some common stories:

The story of Qīng / Oolong tea (1)

It is said that the word “Oolong” in Oolong tea originated from a hunter from Anxi County, Fujian Province. The hunter was very brown and strong, so the villagers would call him “Oolong” (in Taiwanese language). When Oolong went to pick tea during one spring, a large mountain deer suddenly ran over, so Oolong began to hunt down the prey. When he returned home, Oolong and his family indulged in the meat of the mountain deer and completely forgot about making tea.

In the early morning of the next day, the family members hurriedly came to make the investigation that was picked up the previous day. As a result, the leaves that were left overnight were already red-edged, and there were bursts of bitter tea fragrance. After that, they began to experiment with this tea method repeatedly, and finally made a tea of excellent quality, which was named “Oolong Tea”.

The story of Qīng / Oolong tea (2)

After collecting the green tea, a tea farmer put the Qīng (Oolong) tea in the bamboo basket and carried it down the mountain. Because the mountain road was very rough, the green leaves in the bamboo basket swayed from side to side due to the bumpy road during the process of going down the mountain. Afterward, the charming fragrance was produced.

At this time, the tea farmer suddenly thought of taking the tea leaves for processing, and this “shaking Qīng” craft became famous. This type of tea is called “Oolong tea”, which means confused tea. Since then, Oolong tea has become the popular name of Qīng (Oolong) tea.

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Brewing Oolong Tea: A Quick Guide

Oolong tea, one of Asia’s most popular teas, offers diverse aromas from fruity to nutty after brewing. For those seeking immersion in tea culture, oolong tea is an excellent choice. Brewing methods affect the taste, and by following traditional steps, you can enjoy the rich flavors and aromas in every cup.

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Step 1: Choose Utensils – Oolong Tea Brewing

Selecting suitable utensils is crucial for enjoying the complete, mellow experience of Chinese-style oolong tea brewing. Options include:

  • Chinese Tea Pot

Traditionally, oolong tea is brewed in a teapot and served in tea bowls. Due to the small Chinese containers, the leaves are steeped for a short time, repeating the process for multiple small cups.

  • Yixing Clay Teapot

Yixing clay teapots, made from clay in Jiangsu Province, China, are designed for brewing oolong tea and other teas. Each infusion imparts the aroma to the pot, forming a coating similar to tea leaves’ taste and color. Each Yixing teapot is dedicated to one type of tea to preserve and develop rich flavors.

  • Tea Bowl

The tea bowl, used for traditional Chinese tea, has no handle and is paired with a saucer. It evolved into different artistic forms, and using glazed surfaces can prevent flavor changes during brewing different teas. Using porcelain keeps the tea warm, while glass allows visual enjoyment of the tea leaves’ infusion. Correct usage involves placing fingers below the saucer and using the left hand to hold the lid while gently sipping with the right hand.

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Step 2: Prepare Tea Leaves – Oolong Tea Brewing

To brew a perfect cup of oolong tea, use the right amount of tea leaves. For premium quality, use 1 teaspoon of oolong tea per 180ml of water. Adjust the amount of water and tea leaves according to the teapot size. If measuring weight is inconvenient, AboxTik Premium Tea offers tea bags for convenient brewing anytime, anywhere.

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Step 3: Prepare Water – Oolong Tea Brewing

Using high-quality water is essential for obtaining superior flavors and aromas when brewing oolong tea. For optimal flavor, use water heated to 180 or 200 F. Warm the teapot by filling it half with water, rotating, and pouring it out before placing the tea leaves and filling the container for brewing.

Step 4: Waiting for Brewing Time – Oolong Tea Brewing

Oolong tea generally steeps for 1 to 5 minutes. Longer steeping times enhance richer, more intense tea flavors, but avoid excessive steeping. You can experiment to find the optimal waiting time for your preferred taste. Oolong tea is often consumed as iced tea, using the same brewing technique as hot tea, then cooling before consumption. Avoid steeping iced tea with cold water, as low temperatures won’t develop full flavors.


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ABoxTik enjoying Qīng / Oolong tea with you.

When the weather is hot, have a cup of Qīng (Oolong) tea ~ Qīng (Oolong) tea is mild in nature, with properties ranging from slightly cool to slightly warm. It has an effect on fat loss, weight loss, and beauty. Whether it is spring, summer, autumn or winter, it is always suitable, which is why Qīng (Oolong) tea is so popular.

ABoxTik will continue to bring everyone different tea knowledge, including history and various analyses of tea culture. In hopes for everyone acquires a better understanding of tea, please read through our articles. If you are interested in various tea cultures, as well as the history and knowledge of tea, you are welcome to explore more secrets of tea with ABoxTik products. Continue to follow our article updates, and visit our official website!