Text by Bruce Richardson • Photography by John O’Hagan
Oolongs, with their full-bodied brews and fragrant aromas, have inspired the Chinese and the Taiwanese for centuries. These teas are partially oxidized and thus fall between the blacks and the greens in the four tea families. Oolongs, depending on their origin and the skills of the tea master, can be light and fragrant or deep and roasted. Chinese oolongs generally tend to have a darker roast and a fruitier nature than Taiwanese oolongs, which are generally greener with a more floral aroma. Fine oolongs are meant to be infused several times, with different flavor notes released during each steeping. Oolong teas generally should be consumed without the addition of milk, lemon, or sweetener.