Darjeeling oolong


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Darjeeling oolong

Postby Oni » Mar 30th, '12, 01:31

I read it at wikipedia, that all darjeeling teas are oolongs, because they are only less than 90% oxidized, so that qualifies them as oolong, but they are marketed as black tea; but recently they produce Darjeeling oolong, I assume they oxidize it even less so that it becomes like I assume a chinese oolong.
Can anybody further inform me about Darjeeling oolong, maybe in comparison with chinese oolong, what are the similarities, what are the diffrences, how can I brew it, does it respond well to gong fu style of preparation, and where can buy some high quality Darjeeling oolong.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby Tead Off » Mar 30th, '12, 02:14

Oni wrote:I read it at wikipedia, that all darjeeling teas are oolongs, because they are only less than 90% oxidized, so that qualifies them as oolong, but they are marketed as black tea; but recently they produce Darjeeling oolong, I assume they oxidize it even less so that it becomes like I assume a chinese oolong.
Can anybody further inform me about Darjeeling oolong, maybe in comparison with chinese oolong, what are the similarities, what are the diffrences, how can I brew it, does it respond well to gong fu style of preparation, and where can buy some high quality Darjeeling oolong.

Darjeeling oolong is not like other oolongs. It is processed very similarly to the black teas and really doesn't taste significantly different. I have a first flush oolong that is very fragrant and full of hairy buds. I have white teas and black teas that are also fragrant and full of hairy buds but the blacks are darker in color. I'm not sure if one can tell the amount of oxidation from visual inspection alone. They do claim that the blacks are fully oxidized.

Darjeelings are unique due to their varietals, terroir, and, high altitude. Each type of Darjeeling, green, oolong, black, are distinctly Darjeeling in flavor and aroma. There are no corresponding Chinese teas that I would compare them to. You might occasionally notice a certain flavor in a dancong that might remind you of something in a darjeeling or a red tea that might have a certain note to it similar to some Darjeeling but they are really apples and oranges. Even though Darjeelings are high mountain grown like Taiwan oolongs, there is no similarity between the 2 except both use boiling water and are brewed for different periods of time. Darjeelings are not pan fired.

You can brew the oolongs like the blacks. Use western or gongfu style brewing techniques. The experience is its own. Darjeelings are one of the great teas of the world regardless of its classification, green/white, oolong/black. They are generally less expensive for grade tea than in China and other countries. Just dive in and drink. Now, first flush teas are here.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby chado.my.teaway » Mar 30th, '12, 03:58

I think these oolong are in the experimental phase. You can see that they did not quite manage, and production techniques, and selection of leaves. For the same leaves from which they do with black tea - tiny tips of type 1 +1 or 1 +2 - try to make oolong with a strong structure. Exits from this middle grade black tea, Darjeeling, - a lower degree of oxidation, but without the flavor and structure appropriate to the real oolong. I think the problem is the type of leaf, and the vulgar way of processing.

I emphasize that this is my personal subjective opinion, but as for me, these teas have only cognitive-interesting value. And because they are usually expensive, I want buy some form Taiwan or China.

Like I have an opinion about the green and white teas from Darjeeling
Last edited by chado.my.teaway on Mar 31st, '12, 02:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby MIKE_B » Mar 30th, '12, 18:37

I ordered a Darjeeling oolong from Upton's once. I am guessing over 10 years ago. It was pretty cheap and I don't remember being too impressed.
I enjoy a good Darjeeling and I love a good oolong. I don't remember this to be either.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby Tead Off » Mar 30th, '12, 23:27

MIKE_B wrote:I ordered a Darjeeling oolong from Upton's once. I am guessing over 10 years ago. It was pretty cheap and I don't remember being too impressed.
I enjoy a good Darjeeling and I love a good oolong. I don't remember this to be either.

Things have changed in Darjeeling. There is much more awareness of global market and production values with influence from other tea producing countries. But it is impossible to compare an oolong from Darj with Taiwan or China.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby Chip » Mar 31st, '12, 01:37

Darjeeling is different like Japanese teas are different like Chinese teas are different. I am certainly happy about this!

AS TO mentioned, my experience though limited as of late, Darjeeling oolong is often remarkably similar to Darjeeling "black" and often even green and white counterparts. Yet another differentiation from teas from other regions.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby Oni » Apr 1st, '12, 05:20

This year I will try to order some darjeelngs from thunderbolttea, I am very curious about these teas, as of all teas.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby TwoDog2 » Apr 5th, '12, 04:54

I had some Darjeeling Oolongs (specifically produced as Oolong, not 'black') in '09 and remember thinking it was not very good when compared to Taiwanese of Chinese Oolongs. However, the same estate had some quality 'black teas', so perhaps it was just out of their area of expertise.

The difference was the amount of oxidization. The Oolong I had was probably under 50% (just tossing a guess out there, I have no idea), where as the blacks were more like 80%-90%. The oolong leaves were still slightly greenish and the liquor was golden, and I remember it being harsh and not comparable in quality to their black teas, which were dark in color and produced a deep liquor. By contrast, the blacks were floral and smooth.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby Tead Off » Apr 5th, '12, 07:31

TwoDog2 wrote:I had some Darjeeling Oolongs (specifically produced as Oolong, not 'black') in '09 and remember thinking it was not very good when compared to Taiwanese of Chinese Oolongs. However, the same estate had some quality 'black teas', so perhaps it was just out of their area of expertise.

The difference was the amount of oxidization. The Oolong I had was probably under 50% (just tossing a guess out there, I have no idea), where as the blacks were more like 80%-90%. The oolong leaves were still slightly greenish and the liquor was golden, and I remember it being harsh and not comparable in quality to their black teas, which were dark in color and produced a deep liquor. By contrast, the blacks were floral and smooth.

You can't generalize like that. Take 5 gardens who produce blacks and you will have 5 different tasting teas. Same with oolongs. They share certain characteristics. You can't compare Darjeeling Oolongs with Taiwan gaoshan. The Darj oolong I have here is very good. Not harsh and comparable in quality to the better black teas. But it is nothing like a Taiwan oolong. Which do I prefer? Taiwan, hands down.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby teaisme » Apr 5th, '12, 14:28

Oni wrote:This year I will try to order some darjeelngs from thunderbolttea, I am very curious about these teas, as of all teas.


Keep the arya ruby 1st flush on your mind, very good, and a great one to convert those who say 'they don't like tea'. Also had better endurance then the other darjeelings I have tried so far. It's also an interesting contrast to the greener first flushes, the middle of road between 1st and 2nd flush kinda.

I am very excited to try darjeelings 20-40 years from now when the plantations have had some more time to mature.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby chado.my.teaway » Apr 5th, '12, 16:04

yeah Arya is very good garden, but in this year, they have so high price;/ 100gram - 50$.

Try North Tukvar, Castletoon, Namring and Giddapahar.;)
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby teaisme » Apr 5th, '12, 17:09

How do you know the ruby is going to be 50? Are you looking at the arya pearl (white)? Cause that is the only arya out for 2012 so far which would be 40/100g. So far they only have 3 first flushes.
I really don't see them charging more then 30-35/100g for the ruby. (talking thunderbolt tea here)

Boy are the prices rising... Getting to the point where I would rather buy a fine chinese or taiwanese oolong, green, pu, or black. Though I do have a slight longing for those unique fruity flowery explosions.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby chado.my.teaway » Apr 5th, '12, 17:26

Damn. Now I cant find this site. That was one of the first site offering this tea. Sorry.

I recommend this year's Rohini. Beautiful whole leaves. Almost all green.
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby Tead Off » Apr 6th, '12, 00:33

Gentlemen/women, may I remind you all we are talking about Oolongs here, not Darjeeling black, green, or white. The black tea area needs your posts on these other Darjeelings. It is feeling left out. :D
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Re: Darjeeling oolong

Postby teaisme » Apr 6th, '12, 13:23

sorry for the side track :mrgreen:

Tead do you know any good vendors for darjeeling oolongs? Or opinion on vendors who sell that you have tried?
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