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.