Processing of Oolong
Oolong tea undergoes a few delicate processes in order to produce the unique aroma and taste. Typical Oolong tea is processed according to the following steps:
Leaves are freshly picked.
Wilting: Sun dry or air dry to partly remove moisture.
Cooling: Cool off in shaded area.
Yaoqing: Gently tossing leaves to bruise their edges, creating more contact surface for oxidation.
Cooling and Yaoqing are repeated multiple times.
Shaqing: A procedure to stop oxidation with high heat. Premium leaves are usually stir-fried in a large pan over high heat. Large productions are done by machine.
Rouqing: The tea leaves are rolled into strands or nuggets before dehydration.
Roasting: Roasting with low heat to dehydrate tea leaves, this step can be repeated with temperature variations to produce flavors of choice.
There are two main divisions, lightly oxidized at 12—26% and approximately 70% oxidized. The lightly oxidized will vary from vegative in taste to very floral & yield five plus infusions of a yellow liquid. The heavily oxidized will yield one excellent cup and a very good second cup of a light brown liquid.
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