When it comes to Taiwanese tea, we must mention Tongding Oolong tea. Tongding is the name of the area, located in Lugu, Nantou, Taiwan, which has more than 100 years of history. It is mainly made of semi-fermented tea leaves from Qingxin Oolong tea. Dongding Oolong, Wenshan Baozhong, Oriental Beauty, Pine and Cypress Evergreen, Muzha Tieguanyin, Three Gorges Longjing, Alishan Zhulu, Taiwan High Mountain, Longquan and Sun Moon Lake Black are collectively known as “Taiwan’s Top Ten Famous Teas”.
Tongding Oolong tea can be said to be the most popular tea among Taiwan’s diplomats. Taiwan’s tea-making technology has reached a state of purity and perfection, especially Taiwanese Oolong tea uses semi-fermentation techniques, which is different from Japanese green tea or fully fermented black tea. Semi-fermented tea is a quality test of tea cyanine and tea-making techniques, and Tongding Oolong tea is famous all over the world for this.
What is Tongding Oolong?
Where are the main producing areas of Taiwan Tongding Oolong Tea?
The main producing area of Tongding Oolong tea is in the “Tongding Mountain” in Lugu Township, Nantou, the centre of Taiwan. The origin of the name Tongding is said to derive from the Hakka dialect “dōng dǐng”, which means the top of the mountain. The reason is that in the early days, there were no shoes to wear, so much endurance was needed to overcome freezing bare feet to be able to tiptoe up the mountain in winter, hence the name Tongding Mountain.
Another feature of Tongding Mountain is the yellow silver soil. The characteristics of yellow silver soil are good for drainage, and superior quality for planting. In addition, the warm climate and sufficient sunshine can give Qīng Xīn Oolong tea trees a good opportunity to grow in this area, and the tea leaves produced naturally have quite a good flavour.
There are three settlement villages near Tongding Mountain: Fenghuang Village, Zhangya Village and Yonglong Village. These three areas are the main producing areas of Tongding Oolong tea, with an altitude ranging between 600 and 1200 metres.
The efficacy and introduction of Tongding Oolong tea
- The link between Tongding Oolong Tea and Qingxin Oolong
The Qingxin Oolong tea tree was brought from the Wuyi Mountains in China to the Lugu Valley in Taiwan. Qingxin Oolong tea is a small-leaf late-growing species, and the production period of each place varies with altitude and climate latitude. Qingxin Oolong is the tea tree species with the largest planting area in Taiwan.
- Tongding Oolong Summer Tea – Tongding Royal Concubine Tea
After experiencing the “921 earthquake” (AKA Sep 21) in the central region of Taiwan, Nantou Lugu set up the “Empress Tea Production and Marketing Class”. With high-quality tea essence and the spirit of continuous experimentation, they developed different flavours of Tongding Oolong tea. Among them, the middle-fermented and heavily roasted Tongding Empress tea is the most distinctive, which has a faint honey fragrance, thus, it is also known as a sweet Oolong.
- “Baozhong in the north, Tongding in the south”
The famous Wenshan Baozhong tea in the north and the famous Dongding Oolong tea in the centre are often used as representatives of different tea characteristics for the Taiwanese tea market. Both have different characteristics and flavours, and a diversity of loyal drinkers, but regardless of which tea, they are all from Taiwan.
In the misty mountains of Taiwan, where the clouds kiss the peaks, grows the exquisite Tongding Oolong tea. As I sip this fragrant tea, I’m transported to a world of serene beauty and tranquility, where every sip is a journey to a new horizon.
Tea Classroom – Tongding Oolong Tea
Features of the Tongding Oolong Tea Tree
Tongding Oolong tea is grown in Lugu, Nantou, where the annual average temperature is mild, the humidity is relatively high, and the rainfall is abundant, ideal conditions for the growth of Oolong tea. Tongding Oolong tea is formed from “one tender bud and two leaves” and mature leaves as the tea picking standard. After blanching and drying, a special tea cloth is used to wrap the tea cyanine into a ball and then rolled. This step is to form the tea into a hemispherical shape, which is the famous “cloth kneading tea” process of Tongding Oolong tea.
In order to be able to use “cloth kneading” repeatedly, mature tea leaves must be picked so that the tea leaves are not damaged. The Tongding oolong tea leaves made of excellent tea cyanide will appear dark green in colour, the inner leaves are turquoise, and the slightly edged leaves are red, which is the characteristic of Tongding Oolong tea “green leaf red border”. Using high-quality roasting techniques to preserve the freshest tea greens can prolong the shelf life of tea leaves.
The difference between the production process of Tongding Oolong tea and other Oolong teas is that the tea leaves of Tongding Oolong tea are relatively mature, the indoor withering time is slow, and they are medium-fermented.
The taste and colour characteristics of Tongding Oolong tea
- Rich taste that soothes the throat
- Intense and full-tasting tea
- The tea brew is bright clear amber-gold
- The aroma is fruity and floral
Recommend Tongding Oolong tea
The reason why Tongding Oolong tea is so popular is that it is made of high-quality hand-picked tea leaves, so it can be stored for a long time. In addition, the degree of brewing resistance is compared with that of ordinary tea. After brewing 2-3 times, the tea will still retain aroma and flavour, so it is sometimes called “elder tea”.
The Qingxin heart Oolong tea trees planted on Tongding Mountain require high altitude, dense forests and good soil quality to allow the tea trees to grow lush. Under the addition of many natural conditions, the appearance of the picked tea leaves must be fresh and green in colour in order to produce high-quality 100% Taiwanese Tongding Oolong tea. The golden colour of Tongding Oolong tea is also very popular among many people. In this era of rapid changes in time, Tongding Oolong tea is like a time stopper, concentrating the best time essence in this cup of tea.
How to Brew Tea? ABoxTik of Tea Series
As the steam rises from my teapot, the scent of Tongding Oolong fills the air, taking me on a journey to the misty mountains of Taiwan. Its rich, buttery flavor and silky texture are a testament to the delicate balance of art and science that goes into producing this exceptional tea.
Taiwanese Tongding Oolong tea price
The price of Tongding Oolong tea is generally higher than that of black tea and green tea due to the influence of artificial collection in the process and the limitation of picking conditions. Other critical factors include the organic fertilisers used, the craftsman’s tea making technique, and the storage time. Award winning tea names also normally fetch increased prices, and in the case of Tongding, the price ranges from TWD1,000 to TWD10,000 per catty (600g); however there is potential for prices to raise up to TWD300,000 per catty after claiming competition titles.
Where to buy Tongding Oolong tea? ABoxTik gives you the best quality tea series
When buying Tongding Oolong tea, you must know the source of origin – only by selecting the tea produced by the local tea farmers in Lugu, can you legitimately drink this first-class tea. ABoxTik provides tea produced by small farmers, and regularly visits the tea production area every year to check the first-line source to ensure that you are consuming 100% Taiwanese tea, with no added tea leaves of unknown origins. We welcome you to visit our website to access reputable and high-quality tea gifts.