Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea Production

Oolong tea, also known as Wu Long tea, is a popular traditional Chinese tea gaining popularity in the Western world. It is a partially oxidized tea that falls somewhere between green and black tea in terms of flavor and aroma. Oolong tea production is a complex process that requires skill and attention to detail to create the highest quality tea.


The first step in oolong tea production is plucking the tea leaves. The timing of the plucking is crucial, as it affects the quality of the tea. The best time to pluck the tea leaves is in the early morning when the dew is still on the leaves. This is because the tea leaves absorb moisture from the air, affecting the tea's flavor and aroma.


After plucking, the tea leaves are spread out on a withering bed or mat to dry. This process removes excess moisture from the leaves and reduces their weight by 30 to 40 percent. The withering process takes around 8 to 12 hours, depending on the weather conditions.

Tossing and bruising

After withering, the tea leaves are tossed or rolled to bruise the edges of the leaves. This process breaks down the cell walls and allows the essential oils to mix with the air, which starts the oxidization process.


The oxidization process in oolong tea production is a delicate balance that requires constant monitoring. The tea leaves are allowed to oxidize for a specific period, ranging from 30% to 70%, depending on the desired outcome. The length of oxidization is usually between 4 to 8 hours. During oxidization, the tea leaves will change color from green to brown, and the aroma and flavor will become more complex.


To stop the oxidization process, the tea leaves are heated to a high temperature, usually between 200 to 250 degrees Celsius. This process halts the oxidization process and sets the aroma and flavor of the tea.

Rolling and drying

After fixing, the tea leaves are rolled and dried. Depending on the tea variety, this process shapes the tea leaves into a tight ball or a long twisted shape. The tea leaves are then dried to remove any remaining moisture, which helps preserve the flavor and aroma.

Grading and sorting

The final step in oolong tea production is grading and sorting the tea leaves. This involves separating the tea leaves according to their size, shape, and quality. The best-quality tea leaves are reserved for loose-leaf tea, while the lower-grade leaves are used for tea bags.


Oolong tea production is a complex and time-consuming process that requires skill and attention to detail. From plucking and withering to oxidization and fixing, each step contributes to the final product's flavor, aroma, and appearance. The unique balance of oxidization in oolong tea results in a tea with a rich and complex flavor that is enjoyed around the world.

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