Chinese vs. Taiwanese Oolong
Hey there fellow tea drinkers! We just published an article on the differences between Chinese and Taiwanese oolongs.
What are your opinions on this topic? Have you ever compared the same oolong type but from these two different countries? Any favorites? Would love to know.
I have compared oolong types from China and Taiwan several times. I’m pretty comfortable with Wuyi Shui Xian, but I also recently tried a Taiwanese Shui Xian processed in an approximation of the Wuyi style. Cheap Wuyi Shui Xian can sometimes be awful, but for the most part, I find that Shui Xian is usually a good tea. I have enjoyed most of the Wuyi Shui Xian I have tried on one level or another. The Taiwanese Shui Xian was softer and smoother. It was not as spicy as most of the Wuyi Shui Xian I have tried, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I have tried roasted Tieguanyin from both China and Taiwan as well. I like that the Taiwanese producers tend to favor a heavier roast. Roasted Tieguanyin is one of my things, and I find that getting good heavier roasted Tieguanyin from China is getting more and more difficult for me. I have to agree on the Jin Xuan milk oolongs produced in China. I have had a couple from Fujian Province that were very nice, but I have had several others that I loathed. I also remember trying one from Guangdong Province that struck me as being particularly vile. Then again, though, I have had a number of Taiwanese Jin Xuan milk oolongs that I have hated too.
I agree with you. There is something special about a heavily roasted Tieguanyin. Sometimes I find a heavy roast TGY that almost resembles a strong barley tea… Strong yet mellow. Very interesting flavor profiles. The Chinese counterparts are surely different. However there are some very good TGYs with lighter roasts (compared to Taiwan’s) that have amazing flavors of their own.
Haven’t encountered yet a particularly bad Taiwanese Milk Oolong and hope it stays that way! haha
Good article. As someone who prefers lightly oxidized teas, I have to give the nod to Taiwan for its exquisite high mountain oolongs. I used to like Chinese TGY, but I don’t find it as interesting anymore and it lacks some of the refinement of the better green oolongs from Taiwan.
I do however like the dan cong and wuyi oolongs from China for which there isn’t really a Taiwanese counterpart.