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#1: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-14 06:33:06 by xDustinx

Recently I decided to really focus on Oolongs because as it turns out
they are my favorite (so far at least). I've been drinking "light"
Oolongs (Baozhongs mostly), and I'm not sure what to explore next.
Obviously it would make sense to try more medium and dark Oolongs, but
I'm not really sure which are or aren't. Many of the websites I buy
from don't break down their Oolongs to light, medium, or dark, and this
is why I'm asking here. What are some more prominent medium and dark
Oolongs that I should check out? And for that matter, what level of
oxidation and/or roasting determines if it is a light, medium, or dark
Oolong? I realize there aren't many set definitions with tea, and
that's part of the charm, but unfortunately my thought process demands
a little classification. Any help is much appreciated.

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#2: Re: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-14 11:52:23 by Michael Plant

[Dustin]
> Recently I decided to really focus on Oolongs because as it turns out
> they are my favorite (so far at least). I've been drinking "light"
> Oolongs (Baozhongs mostly), and I'm not sure what to explore next.
> Obviously it would make sense to try more medium and dark Oolongs, but
> I'm not really sure which are or aren't. Many of the websites I buy
> from don't break down their Oolongs to light, medium, or dark, and this
> is why I'm asking here. What are some more prominent medium and dark
> Oolongs that I should check out? And for that matter, what level of
> oxidation and/or roasting determines if it is a light, medium, or dark
> Oolong? I realize there aren't many set definitions with tea, and
> that's part of the charm, but unfortunately my thought process demands
> a little classification. Any help is much appreciated.

[Michael]
Well, if you think of Bao Zhong as an Oolong at the bottom
of the oxidation spectrum, another lovely tea also from Taiwan,
but at the opposite end is Oriental Beauty/Formosa Oolong, these
being one and the same. The sweet floral honey of this tea can
be astounding. You're gonna love it. On the high roast side, we
go to Fujian/Fukien where a traditional heavy roast provides
a carmel sweetness and a strength quite different from those
other two. Pan fired or charcoal fired makes a huge difference.
"Medium" oxidation gives a peachiness, but *I* really think
that must be hard to attain since so many makers produce it, and
most fail. Nevertheless, a reputable vendor should have a good
example. Jade Oolong, I believe, is also a very lightly oxidized
Oolong, but not of the long twisty leaf type such as Bao Zhong.
It produces more flower perhaps than Bao Zhong, which, to me,
is characterized by the wonderous essence of cucumber flowers.
Whatever you do, don't buy your Oolongs at Ten Ren; otherwise,
the field is a good one. Strange to tell, there is more to say
about Oolongs.

Best,
Michael

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#3: Re: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-14 16:17:38 by DPM

&quot;xDustinx&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:xcasper54x&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">xcasper54x&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:1152851586.815616.73870&#64;h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1152851586.815616.73870&#64;h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt; Recently I decided to really focus on Oolongs because as it turns out
&gt; they are my favorite (so far at least). I've been drinking &quot;light&quot;
&gt; Oolongs (Baozhongs mostly), and I'm not sure what to explore next.
&gt; Obviously it would make sense to try more medium and dark Oolongs, but
&gt; I'm not really sure which are or aren't. Many of the websites I buy
&gt; from don't break down their Oolongs to light, medium, or dark, and this
&gt; is why I'm asking here. What are some more prominent medium and dark
&gt; Oolongs that I should check out? And for that matter, what level of
&gt; oxidation and/or roasting determines if it is a light, medium, or dark
&gt; Oolong? I realize there aren't many set definitions with tea, and
&gt; that's part of the charm, but unfortunately my thought process demands
&gt; a little classification. Any help is much appreciated.
&gt;

One type of Chinese oolong are the Tieguanyin (TGY) oolongs. These are made
in an almost infinite variety of styles, from lightly oxidised &quot;jade&quot; types
to more heavily oxidised and roasted varieties. I've just taken a few steps
down this road myself, but I seem to prefer the jade style - they have a
lovely floral, sometimes fruity character. The better ones IMHO are
delicate and complex; otherwise they become heavy and one-dimensional. This
is also my criticism of the roasted ones also - the roasting seems to cook
out the complexity, unless I just have not stumbled on a good one yet.

The other type I've just discovered is the Dancong oolongs. These beauties
have, to my palate at least, a lovely spiciness (think nutmeg). I have two
currently, one from Teaspring and the other from Jing Teashop. Both are
delightful.

Lastly, try Darjeeling oolongs. On balance, I drink more Darjeeling than
any other tea - the combination of fruit, floral and astringency is, for me,
just about perfect. Darjeeling is cranky, I'll admit; keep the temperature
below boiling and steep times under control. Once you've got the formula
though, good ones deliver like no other.

Regards,
Dean

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#4: Re: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-14 16:42:40 by dominictiberio

DPM wrote:
&gt; One type of Chinese oolong are the Tieguanyin (TGY) oolongs. These are made
&gt; in an almost infinite variety of styles, from lightly oxidised &quot;jade&quot; types
&gt; to more heavily oxidised and roasted varieties. I've just taken a few steps
&gt; down this road myself, but I seem to prefer the jade style - they have a
&gt; lovely floral, sometimes fruity character. The better ones IMHO are
&gt; delicate and complex; otherwise they become heavy and one-dimensional. This
&gt; is also my criticism of the roasted ones also - the roasting seems to cook
&gt; out the complexity, unless I just have not stumbled on a good one yet.
&gt;
&gt; The other type I've just discovered is the Dancong oolongs. These beauties
&gt; have, to my palate at least, a lovely spiciness (think nutmeg). I have two
&gt; currently, one from Teaspring and the other from Jing Teashop. Both are
&gt; delightful.
&gt;
&gt; Lastly, try Darjeeling oolongs. On balance, I drink more Darjeeling than
&gt; any other tea - the combination of fruit, floral and astringency is, for me,
&gt; just about perfect. Darjeeling is cranky, I'll admit; keep the temperature
&gt; below boiling and steep times under control. Once you've got the formula
&gt; though, good ones deliver like no other.

All good advice in the realm of Oolongs from Michael and DPM,
definitely enough to get you started on some new roads. I'll just add
in my two cents, in that I would second the reccomendations of Oriental
Beauty and Tieguanyin - I prefer the &quot;jade&quot; style lighter TGY's too -
And I will add in a few wildcard picks: Osmanthus Oolong (better
quality here makes a difference) which is an oolong &quot;flavored&quot; with the
Osmanthus flower, Jasmine Oolong (bought it on a whim because it was
cheap and it is great, about $5/lb. at Kam Man in NYC), Silver Blossom,
and staples like Oolong Se Chung.

Oolongs are second to my heart behind greens, and it is an area of tea
where the more you spend equals the better the tea holds true
unfortunately :)

- Dominic

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#5: Re: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-14 19:39:17 by samarkand

&quot;xDustinx&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:xcasper54x&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">xcasper54x&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:1152851586.815616.73870&#64;h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1152851586.815616.73870&#64;h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt; Recently I decided to really focus on Oolongs because as it turns out
&gt; they are my favorite (so far at least). I've been drinking &quot;light&quot;
&gt; Oolongs (Baozhongs mostly), and I'm not sure what to explore next.
&gt; Obviously it would make sense to try more medium and dark Oolongs, but
&gt; I'm not really sure which are or aren't. Many of the websites I buy
&gt; from don't break down their Oolongs to light, medium, or dark, and this
&gt; is why I'm asking here. What are some more prominent medium and dark
&gt; Oolongs that I should check out? And for that matter, what level of
&gt; oxidation and/or roasting determines if it is a light, medium, or dark
&gt; Oolong? I realize there aren't many set definitions with tea, and
&gt; that's part of the charm, but unfortunately my thought process demands
&gt; a little classification. Any help is much appreciated.
&gt;

Are you looking at a systematic approach to this focus on Oolong? If you
are serious about this, I would suggest you take the aristotlean approach.

First before you set out and test every oolong in the market, do some
homework. Know your oolong background first.

Oolong is a tea from the Southern regions of China, broadly divided into 4
regions:

* Anxi, Fujian - also known as Southern Fujian
* Northern Fujian - of which Wuyi is a big part
* Guangdong, which is left of Fujian
* Taiwan

You have to know what types of 'signature' teas they produce in each of
these 4 regions, then go ahead and drink the oolongs from each region, get a
feel of their similarities and differences. There is no need for you to get
the very best oolong at this point if money is a concern as you will be
drinking lots of tea; your aim is to understand the teas from each region.
When you are more experienced and discerning with the oolongs, then
selective and go for the better ones.

You have tried Baozhong, next go for as many types of oolong as you can find
from Taiwan...before you focus on the next region.

Have fun

Danny

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#6: Re: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-14 20:47:45 by xDustinx

A lot of great advice and information here. Thanks a lot fellas!

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#7: Re: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-15 14:12:43 by joannepr

xDustinx wrote:
&gt; A lot of great advice and information here. Thanks a lot fellas!

i will add my 2 cents from a &quot; lady&quot;

i woul follow the previous approach by region- i also enjoy bao zhong
teas
some providers
www.imperialtea.com
www.shanshuiteas.com
www.thefragrantleaf.com
www.rishi-

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#8: Re: Oolong question.

Posted on 2006-07-16 23:14:56 by Melinda

&quot;samarkand&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:samarkand&#64;uk2.net" target="_blank">samarkand&#64;uk2.net</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:44b7d6c4$<a href="mailto:1&#64;news.starhub.net.sg..." target="_blank">1&#64;news.starhub.net.sg...</a>
&gt;
&gt; &quot;xDustinx&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:xcasper54x&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">xcasper54x&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
&gt; news:<a href="mailto:1152851586.815616.73870&#64;h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1152851586.815616.73870&#64;h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...</a>


&gt;
&gt; Are you looking at a systematic approach to this focus on Oolong? If you
&gt; are serious about this, I would suggest you take the aristotlean approach.
&gt;
&gt; First before you set out and test every oolong in the market, do some
&gt; homework. Know your oolong background first.
&gt;
&gt; Oolong is a tea from the Southern regions of China, broadly divided into 4
&gt; regions:
&gt;
&gt; * Anxi, Fujian - also known as Southern Fujian
&gt; * Northern Fujian - of which Wuyi is a big part
&gt; * Guangdong, which is left of Fujian
&gt; * Taiwan
&gt;
&gt; You have to know what types of 'signature' teas they produce in each of
&gt; these 4 regions, then go ahead and drink the oolongs from each region, get
&gt; a feel of their similarities and differences. There is no need for you to
&gt; get the very best oolong at this point if money is a concern as you will
&gt; be drinking lots of tea; your aim is to understand the teas from each
&gt; region. When you are more experienced and discerning with the oolongs,
&gt; then selective and go for the better ones.
&gt;
&gt; You have tried Baozhong, next go for as many types of oolong as you can
&gt; find from Taiwan...before you focus on the next region.
&gt;
&gt; Have fun
&gt;
&gt; Danny



Thank you for this advice Danny...I've been wondering myself how to go about
oolongs in a more systematic way. So far I've only thought about how
oxidised the leaf was but there is much more to it than that and that is
where I was bogging down. Thanks!

Melinda

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