Alas! I have reached the end of my box of China Oolong Tea, a treasured gift from a while ago which I have eked out to make it last for as long as possible.
According to the box, oolong tea was first produced near the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). There is something extraordinary about being able to enjoy a drink that has such a long history.
For those used to drinking only either black tea or green tea, a taste for oolong is probably an acquired one: it is something in-between. I prefer mine with milk, yet others would raise their teacups in horror at the thought. Each to our own.
Oolong tea grows in the Fujian Province of China. After picking, the leaves are semi-fermented under carefully controlled conditions; placed in muslin sacks and gently rolled in order to avoid breaking the leaves. It is this process of oxidization that gives the tea a slightly rusty tinge.
I find it a pleasantly fragrant, light, tea with a distinctive aroma and a slightly bitter after taste. It is best appreciated when sipped slowly in peaceful surroundings – my garden is perfect for that!