oxidization levels of Oolongs
So, I’ve pretty much narrowed it down that oolongs are my favorite. I like how sweet they are of their own accord, and I like that you can brew them for multiple infusions. Mmm. Anyhow. I’m still trying to experience a good variety. So… can anyone pull apart some of the “descriptors” that accompany the label “oolong” for me?
Oxidization levels… light, medium, dark. This seems pretty straight forward, I suppose. Are certain levels named certain things? Like, I’ve noticed that “Pouchong” is always light. Any other names you can tell me?
How about some of these teas that are listed as “green oolongs?” Are these effectively lightly roasted oolongs?
Ti Guan Yin – this in my head is sort of a “subtype” of oolongs, but seems distinct to the others. Do these mostly tend to be low oxidization as well?
Theoretically any tea can be made at any oxidation level. But traditionally Pouchong/baozhong is made at light oxidation level. Tie Guan Yin was made at higher oxidation level than modern day’s green style Tie Guan Yin, and lower oxidation level than Wuyi yan cha most of the times.
Also some oolong can be made with medium/high oxidation but light roasting. But low oxidation with heavy roasting is not commonly seen.
I’ve had tieguanyins that are lighter and some that are darker. I guess it all depends on the producer. You can usually tell by the color of the leaves whether it will be light or dark. I don’t know if I said anything useful at all…
Tie Guan Yin is a kind of Oolong tea, which sits between the full oxidized black teas and un-oxidized green teas. At present, Tie Guan Yin Oolong tea can divide into light oxidization and moderate oxidization.
The characteristics of light oxidization one: its brewed tea leaves is green, and many of the brewed tea leaves are broken. While the brewed tea color is also green, to some degree, it like the soup of mung bean, and the dry tea has a distinct orchid fragrance as well.
The main character of moderate oxidization Tie Guan Yin: it was made through a traditional way, so when compared it to light oxidization one, the latter has golden tea color, mellow taste, also the leaves are very complete after brewing.