Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a unique process including withering the plant under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting.
Originating in Wuyishan (Fujian), Oolong or Wulong (“dark dragon”) is one of China’s six categories or types of tea, like Lucha (green tea), Hongcha (“red tea” i.e. black tea), Heicha (“black tea” i.e. Pu-Er tea), etc. Oolong tea falls between the green and the black tea categories, with degrees of oxidation ranging from 7% to 70%. Oolong has been produced since the end of Ming Dynasty. China’s principal production areas include Minbei (North Fujian), Minnan (South Fujian), Guangdong and Taiwan.
Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. The degree of oxidation can range from 8 to 85%, depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular with tea connoisseurs of south China and Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia, as is the Fujian preparation process known as the Gongfu tea ceremony.