Oolong Tea

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Oolong tea is made by allowing some modest enzyme transformation of leaf juices. The leaves are withered until they become significantly wilted and weakened. Then they are lightly agitated to bruise the leaf edges, allowed to rest for a few hours until enzyme action has turned the bruised edges red, pan-fired at a high temperature, rolled, and finally dried gently, at temperatures just below 212°F/ 100°C. Oolong tea brews to a light amber color with a distinctive fruity aroma.