Oolong Tea Processing Questions

by S.M. Changoiwala
(KOLKOTA, India)

Hello to Dear Julian Tai, thanks a lot for this educative news letter! I will be obliged if you kindly let me know the following, with reference to Oolong Processing - A Beginner's Guide


Your article part is put in quotation marks.and questions are put as Q1, Q2 etc

Oolong Tea Processing #1:

Harvesting (Caiqing)

Oolong tea leaves are picked 3 to 4 times a year in spring, summer (once or twice) and autumn.

Autumn tea is also known as winter tea.

It is made from more mature leaves consisting of one bud with 3 or 4 leaves.

They are picked when buds at the top of bushes mature to half the size of a fully grown leaf."

Questions

Q1 in general, what are the starting dates and finishing dates for spring, summer and autumnal harvests?

You said spring teas are harvested 3-4 times.what is the plucking days interval betrween 1st and 2nd harvest, 2nd and 3rd harvest, and 3rd and 4th harvest.In Darjeelng we follow a plucking round of 4-7 days.

Q2-Plucking days interval in 1st and 2nd harvest of summer ?

Q3- any skiffing or pruning operation done to the tea bushes after harvesting spring, summer and autumnal teas.

Q4- are the tea bushes pruned annually or bienally? what is the pruning cycle ?

"Oolong Tea Processing #3: Bruising (Zhuoqing or Yaoqing)

This shaking-resting process is then repeated several times. "

Q1 How many times , in general, the shaking and resting is done

"Wonder why oolong tea lasts many more infusions than green tea? Slow baking makes oolong tea lasts longer."

Q1- Are you sure that " the slow baking process is responsible for more infusions" ?

Thanking and looking forward to hear from you,

S.M. Changoiwala

Director,

Gopaldhara Tea Co Pvt Ltd.

KOLKOTA

India

Comments for Oolong Tea Processing Questions

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Oct 06, 2007
Reply from Julian
by: Julian

Please find my replies below. I have to apologise that my answers are patchy.

I am still in the process of my selecting an oolong tea garden to work with. When I gained additional info, I will certainly provide a more detailed answer to your questions.

***

Q1 in general, what are the starting dates and finishing dates for spring, summer and autumnal harvests?

***

I copy below an extract from my tieguanyin tea article:

Spring tea (Chun Cha or Jade) from mid April to mid May

Mid summer tea (Xia Cha) from mid June to mid July
Late summer tea (Shu Cha) in August

Autumn tea (Qiu Cha) from mid September to mid October

I understand that the above dates are sketchy. This is because practices vary with climate and tea gardens.

I have came across a tea garden in Wuyi Mountain that harvests intermittenly once a year from April to June.

***

Q1 How many times , in general, the shaking and resting is done

***

It is 3 times for Wuyi oolong tea.

***

Q1- Are you sure that " the slow baking process is responsible for more infusions" ?

***

I am not saying that. It is far more likely that higher quality fresh leaves last longer. All I am saying is that the process of slow baking increases the quality of the tea, of which durability is one factor.

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