Wuyi Oolong Tea
How It Is Made

Harvesting and making process explained.

wuyi oolong teaA standard pick is one bud with 3 or 4 leaves when the buds at the top of a bush reach half the size of a mature leaf.

Harvesting can take place three times a year in spring, summer and autumn. But high grade tea grown in the "Middle of the Mountain" is only harvested once a year in spring.

Leaf selection is the most important determinant of quality. Another 5 steps follow:

  • Withering (Weidiao)

Freshly picked leaves are left in the sun to dry from 0.5 to 2 hours to remove moisture then moved indoors to cool.

  • Bruising (Zhuoqing or Yaoqing)

Shake and rub using hands or machines to bruise the surface of the leaves. This exposes tea juices to air and enhances the oxidation process.

  • Fixation (Shaqing)

Pan-fry leaves at high heat for a short period of time to kill enzymes and stop the oxidation process.

  • Rolling (Rounian)

Roll the leaves to shape them into the desired form. The roasting-rolling process is then repeated a second time to further stimulate the flavors.

  • Baking (Hongbei)

Apply initial high heat for 10 to 15 minutes to dry. Then apply low heat for 1 to 2 hours to increase the floral aroma and mellow taste

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