The History of Oolong Tea in the Fújiàn province
We’re fascinated by the history of different teas and hope that you’ll enjoy the brief history of Oolong as much as we do!
There are many different varieties of Oolong (Wulong), a traditional Chinese tea which has been partially fermented. The origins of the tea can be traced back a thousand years to the Fújiàn province of China. In the Beiyuan area of the province, a tribute tea was produced for the royal family. The Song Emperors set up the imperial tea garden of Beiyuan where the tea was produced with the leaves compressed into cakes. As the tea cake went out of fashion during the Ming Dynasty, the Beiyuan tea garden started producing a partially oxidised loose leaf tea instead. This was known as “Black Dragon”, the original Oolong tea, named due to the dark and curly appearance of the leaves.
There is an accepted theory that the name “Oolong” comes from the legendary story of a farmer in Fújiàn named Wu Liang. During the Qing dynasty, he was picking tea one day when he was distracted by a deer. He decided to go and hunt the deer and did not return to the tea until the following day when it had begun to oxidise. He finished the processing due to the pleasant aroma it was giving off and discovered an entirely new tea which was later named after him.
The Jie Guan Yin oolong tea produced in the province is very well known and is one of the famous teas of China. A true taste of nature, why not enjoy it whilst recapping the legend of Wu Liang?