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A World of Ceremony In A Cup: The Ceremonial Nature of Oolong Tea

Sep 30, 21 | Adrian Constantin

A Cup of Thoughts

Relaxation. Spirituality. Tradition. Revered across Asia, oolong is more than a simple cup of tea; it’s an invitation to a soulful tea experience. Also known as Wu Long which literally means ‘Black Dragon’ and refers to the dark and curled nature of the dried leaves. This poetic name paints a picture of the role that oolong tea plays in Chinese culture. Oolong stands as a symbol of mastery over tea that translates into an aromatic cup with smooth and complex tones, making it one of the most sought-after tea types among tea lovers.

The Craftsmanship of Tea Masters

Considered to be one of the most time-consuming and demanding styles of teas to produce, it’s a semi-oxidized tea that heavily relies on the skills and experience of the tea master. It is neither a black nor green tea, but rather falls into its own unique category in between the two. 

An oolong may feature more green tea characteristics or lean towards black tea characteristics depending on the direction the tea master takes in the processing of the tea. The end result is a beautifully balanced tea that evolves with each brew, revealing layers of flavor from subtle to dark, rich and smoky; much like the mystical dragon that the tea is named after!

The World Through A Cup of Tea

The widespread consumption of tea can be attributed to the Silk Road and its spice trades, which helped tea to spread from China to the rest of the world, deeply intertwining itself with the cultures and traditions along the way. In some cultures, tea signifies harmony. In other cultures, tea represents a moment to take a short break from work, a remedy, or even a time for family members and friends to bond together. While the preferred type of tea and method of preparation varies from place to place, the common love for this beverage remains the same.

In Russia and Morocco, for example, offering tea for a guest is seen as a gesture of hospitality, while the famous afternoon tea ritual emerged as a way to stave off hunger until dinner time in Britain. In the Eastern cultures of China and Japan, tea is a deeper affair with its close tie with Zen Buddhism and harmony contained within the cup. 

Although located close to the East, tea is not ritualized in India and is instead embraced into everyday life with the ubiquitous Chai tea stalls that combine tea, milk, and spices, showcasing the power of diversity through a cup of sweet, spicy tea.

Despite tea being one of the most consumed beverages the world over, outside of China and Japan there are few who understand the splendor of a cup of oolong tea. 

Sure To Delight & Inspire: Sip By Sip

Oolong is a unique tea that falls in the middle of the tea spectrum between green and black tea in terms of flavor, strength, complexity, and aroma. Oolong tea can be robust and roasted to light and floral; there’s an option to suit every palate. The beauty of oolong tea is that some varieties can be steeped a dozen times or more, with the final steep offering a completely different tea. You certainly can’t do that with a brew of English Breakfast.

Whether you’re searching to sample your first oolong or looking to add an exciting new variety to your tea collection, check out some of our favorite oolong teas.

Jasmine Oolong Tea - Fragrant jasmine blossoms deliver a fresh and floral aroma with a bright finish to this delightful oolong blend. Poetry in a cup.

Milk Oolong Tea - Savor the smooth and creamy texture of this unique blend of milk oolong with ginkgo and lemon. Keep your focus sharp and ease your stress with this premium tea blend.

Dragon Oolong Tea - For a classic Chinese oolong, look no further than this smooth cuppa. Enjoy its characteristically smoky and nutty flavor with sweet lingering tones. 

Unwind with a cup of oolong tea and enjoy as the leaves elegantly unfurl, releasing its uniquely smoky, nutty aroma. Take a moment for yourself and savor its masterfully balanced flavors with  Gems of Edmonton’s  curated selection of teas. 




categories : Better Tea

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