What Makes An Oolong Tea Distinguished?

This is a question we get a lot on this site. Probably more than any other question. We’re constantly being asked what, exactly, makes oolong tea distinguished. We also get asked why we focus specifically on oolong teas and not on other teas. Can’t other tea types be distinguished as well? We will answer some of these frequently asked questions today.

distinguished loose tea leaves

Let’s get to the last one first. Yes, other tea types can be distinguished as well. There are distinguished black teas and green teas and white tees and yellow tees and pu-erh, just like there are distinguished oolong tees.

The reason we focus on oolong on the site is that it is, apart from pu’er, the most delicate and expensive of all the tea types. There are oolong tees that come from one of four famous bushes. Those bushes have since been cloned and are grown in a lot of places in China, but they are also just clones of the same four famous bushes. And tea from on of those special four bushes is insanely pricey. As the bushes are used to grow only oolong tea, no other tea has this distinction.

Oolong tea is also the variety with the most depth of flavor. The flavor profile is much more complex than the other tees. This is due to the fact that oolong tea is kind of in the middle between green tea and black tea. It combines qualities of both.

And because it is in the middle, there are a lot of different varieties of oolong tea in terms of flavor. Much more so than with the other teas. Some oolong teas can be very close to the black tea end of the spectrum, while others are much closer to the green tea end. We’ve covered this before when we talked about greenish teas like tie guan yin and very black oolong tees like da hong pao.

In fact, we have a whole separate article just on big red robe tea (dahongpao). The reason for that is that it is perhaps the most distinguished of all the oolong teas. Read the article to find out why that is.

Tea growing region, of course, plays a large role in how famous and distinguished a tea becomes. Tea from the more famous regions is naturally much more sought after and much more expensive.

And when I mentioned growing my own tea in an indoor garden using artificial grow lighting, as I did in the past few articles, this is the kind of tea I intend to grow. I don’t just want to grow some generic tea. I want to take all the advantages of growing indoors, where you can control basically everything, and use them to grow an extremely distinguished tea. I want to eventually grow the best tea in the world. Wouldn’t that be something? If tea snobs all over the world were drinking a tea that was grown under my LED grow lights? That would be hilarious.


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