BEHIND THE CRAFT
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Tea Craft: How is Tea Hand Picked?

Accuracy of the tea picking is just as important as the timing. The world’s finest teas are handpicked by experts who often tend to their own area of the garden, taking pride in the ongoing quality of their tea bushes as well as the quality and amount picked.

The picker’s day starts early, whilst the morning dew remains on the leaves.

The pickers move quickly across the ‘plucking table’ [the top surface of the sea of tea], and for fine plucking, pick ‘2 leaves and a bud’ - the 2 topmost leaves together with one new bud, are gathered between the thumb and middle finger and deftly plucked with a downward ‘snap’ of the hand and thrown into a basket usually carried on the back.

Find out more about the different types of tea.

FGTE13333

White Oolong Prepack 50g

Net Weight: 50g

Meticulously handled to vary the oxidation process to produce an exquisite white tea with an oolong character. The leaves are dried in a wood-fired dryer, producing a beautiful golden cup with fruity notes.

The East India Company - Lifestyle

Food and Beverages

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£23.00
A fine, rare tea that sits in classification somewhere between an oolong and a white tea, from the Sundakphu Tea farmers’ cooperative society of Nepal, in the Himalayas.

The unique high altitude climate under the Himalayan mountains, a warm sun, mist and humidity all provide the conditions for the tea bushes to mature with an inherent unique flavour.

The picked tea is hand-processed in a factory high in the mountains, on the slopes of Sundakphu Mountain, from where Mount Everest, the Rooftop of the World, can be seen.
The silvery, tippy bud and just one leaf is picked with utmost precision from the first flush or harvest of the year at the Sandakphu foot hill plantation.

Meticulous handling and judgment is required to lightly oxidise this tea to about 10-15%, a much lower level than a normal oolong.

Dried to preserve the rare tea in a wood fired dryer, the result is an exclusive White Oolong that appears silvery, with long curled silver tips.
Abundance of long, silvery tippy buds, which have undergone light oxidation and firing.

In cup, the liquor has a lovely golden-glow.

A light-bodied tea, with a honey aroma and a richness of flavour with soft fruit notes.
Quantity

2G OF TEA LEAVES PER CUP

Temperature

200ML OF WATER AT 80-85ºC

Brewing Time

4 MINS BREWING TIME

Ingredients

Oolong Tea

Storage

Store in a cool, dry place avoiding direct sunlight and strong odours.

Stories

Oolong Tea – Between a Black and a Green Tea

Just like all the other teas [apart from White Tea], it starts with a small ‘just-plucked’ green tea leaf, usually about 5 cm long. The pickers deliver their freshly-picked leaves to the local factory for processing.

Oolongs are made mainly in China and Taiwan and sit somewhere between Black and Green Tea by virtue of being partly oxidised. A dark, open-leaf Oolong Tea is 70% oxidised, whilst the greener Oolongs are only 30% oxidised and are rolled into ball-shapes.

Step 1 - ‘Withering’: the whole leaves are spread out in the warm sun and then brought inside to be laid on bamboo shelves.

Step 2 - Partial Oxidation: the whole leaves are turned and shaken every couple of hours. This breaks the cell walls, releasing the enzymes, starting the oxidation process.
Depending on whether a dark open leaf oolong or a balled green oolong is being made, the process is slightly different:


Step 3 Dark Oolong - ‘Firing: Once oxidation has hit 70%, the tea is quickly pan fried to stop oxidation and then completely dried in ovens, ready to be packed.

Step 3 Green Oolong - ‘Firing’: Once oxidation has hit 30%, the tea is quickly pan fried to prevent further oxidation, followed by partial drying in an oven, before being left overnight.


Step 4 Green Oolong – ‘Balling’: The following day, the Oolong Tea in waiting is tightly bagged in cloth and rolled in a machine that will pressurise and bruise the leaves inside. The bag gets opened out and then wrapped up again. This is repeated over and over, until the leaf is in the ‘correct’ ball shape. Complete drying follows and the tea is ready to be packed.

Our spirit delivers no ordinary products

  • FAQ

    Does oolong tea contain caffeine and is there more or less than black and green tea and coffee?
    Yes it does, and it varies. All tea leaves, just like coffee, contain caffeine. Tea usually has a lower level of caffeine than coffee, which averages around 95mg for a normal cup of coffee. But it is impossible to give a precise answer, because there are so many variables at play - the length of brew time, the amount of tea used, the age of the leaf, the provenance of the leaf. Even the temperature of the water. Our best advice is to treat all tea and coffee similarly if you need to manage your caffeine intake.

    I’ve heard that tea contains theanine. What is it and what does it do?
    Tea does indeed contain theanine, which is an amino acid [the building blocks of proteins]. Tea is one of only a few sources of theanine. It represents about 1% of dry weight and is at its highest concentrate in shade-grown teas like matcha and gyokuro. Whilst not yet proven in scientific studies that would permit specific health claims to be made, it is believed by many to be able to reduce mental and physical stress, promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. But not only that, it is more recently being thought to aid cognitive function. It’s one explanation for tea’s famous ability to create calm in a crisis [the Great British solution to all problems – ‘putting the kettle on’] and to stimulate when a little boost is required.

  • Delivery & Returns

    UK Standard Delivery: £3.95
    UK Next Day Delivery (mainland UK only): £9.95 (Order before 12pm)
    International Delivery is available, please see our delivery page for details. For more information and Terms & Conditions, please see our Delivery page.

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