Oolong is the tea type found on the tea continuum between green and black. We visited our Taiwanese tea source to learn about oolong. Taiwan’s wet, steep, mountainous regions make for prime oolong growing environs. In conjunction with topography and talent, Taiwan has a reputation in the tea world as the producer of the finest oolong in the world. In Taiwan (formerly Formosa) we learned that growing tea is a family affair. Everyone has a role – tea master, marketer, tea house manager, local and and international distribution, and public relations.
We drove up the steepest road I’ve ever been on in my life to get to the tea farm where the bulk of our oolong is grown. We stayed at the high mountain tea farm where we learned the oldest brother of this family started the tea farm. Other brothers then joined him and they expanded their tea operations. Soon more family members fell in line to distribute the tea. We slept where the tea pickers sleep, and walked the rows and rows of camellia sinensis. The views were endless and revealed tea farm after tea farm on the steep slopes. As you might know, oolong can withstand multiple steepings, and we sipped steep after steep of mouthwatering oolong.