Originating from China, oolong tea is made from the semi-oxidation process. Its other name is Oolong imperial tea”. Because at first Chinese served it as a tribute gift for the royalty since the Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, oolong tea is a popular drink throughout many parts of the world. It still has a huge influence on Chinese and Taiwanese culture.

In Vietnam, oolong tea has been produced since around the 1980s to supply many exporters. While having much less cultivation history compared to Taiwan and China, Vietnamese imperial oolong tea still has a lot to offer tea exporters.

The name oolong tea comes from its typical shape that looks like a black dragon (“Wu” – black, “Long” – dragon).

vietnamese imperial oolong tea

1. Characteristics of Vietnamese imperial oolong tea

Like most other oolong tea around the world, Vietnamese imperial oolong tea also comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant and goes through a semi-oxidation process. Tea farms located in Thai Nguyen, Moc Chau, Yen Bai, or Lam Dong province provide most of the green tea leaves to manufacture Vietnamese oolong tea.

Thanks to the high altitude of these farms, the tea plants will have much fewer problems with pests. Furthermore, these rocky regions will also restrict the growth of the tea trees, thus enhancing, condensing the flavor of the tea, which in the end created a much better tasting oolong tea.

Tea farm in Yen Bai province
Tea farm in Yen Bai province

Related post: Vietnamese tea areas: Introduction of 4 largest tea growing regions

Other than the cultivation environment (external conditions), what differentiates oolong tea from different regions is its method of processing. The semi-oxidation process can range from 1-99% which means every oolong tea from different producers can have its own distinct trademark.

Furthermore, the tea is then rolled in a heated bamboo basket and then roasted to produce its own unique color and aroma. This process ends with the rolling or curling of the tea to create a round shape that resembles the shape of a black dragon hence its name (“Wu” – black, “Long” – dragon).

Kim Tuyen imperial oolong tea
Kim Tuyen oolong tea (Taiwanese oolong family) made by FGC

On the health aspect, thanks to the semi-oxidation process, oolong tea will still keep a portion of polyphenol, which helps reduce the risk of cancer. Other than that, oolong tea still has all the other health benefits of the other teas, such as stress reduction, weight loss support, strengthening the heart and immune system, etc.

2. Advantages of Vietnamese imperial oolong tea

Although manufactured later than in China, the quality of imperial oolong tea from Vietnam is catching up to Chinese and on par with Taiwanese oolong tea. It is because Vietnam adapted experience and knowledge of growing tea and oolong making process quickly.

In many mountainous regions of Vietnam like Yen Bai, Lam Dong province, where the tea farms are very developed and well-controlled, the oolong tea produced in these regions is comparable to that of high-quality Taiwanese oolong tea.

Beautiful tea farm in Sapa
Beautiful tea farm in Sapa

Furthermore, oolong tea in Vietnam is also cheaper than that in Taiwan. It can be attributed to lower overall labor costs in Vietnam. Also, to accommodate the needs of customers, we offer both Chinese and Taiwanese oolong styles for the customers.

While Taiwanese oolong tea is mostly light oxidized, thus making the tea more light-bodied with a more subtle flavor, Chinese oolong tea styles are often more oxidized, thus creating a rich, fuller-bodied tea with more astringency. Here in Vietnam, we learned and mastered both styles to offer customers more choices when it comes to choosing their oolong tea. Here are some of the popular oolong tea offerings here in Vietnam.

Type of Oolong Tea Description
Green Oolong

Style similar to that of Taiwan. Lightly oxidized. Light-bodied, Jade Green Color Liquor. Subtle Taste with the floral aroma.
Black Oolong

Heavily Oxidized.

Full-bodied. Deep red color liquor. Strong astringency with a clear aftertaste.

Red Kim Tuyen Oolong

Slightly less oxidized than black Oolong. Full-bodied. Amber-colored liquor. Slight astringency with distinctive taste.
Roasted Oolong

Roasted at a high temperature. Full-bodied. Amber-colored tea. Clear smoky and roasted taste and aroma.

For more information about the best Vietnamese teas, click here: Top 9 popular Vietnamese tea types

In addition to all of the above, Vietnam is also a great country to outsource manufacturing your tea products. Vietnam has a strong printing, packaging, and food flavoring industry. It all can contribute greatly when you OEM your product here in Vietnam. All the processes can be centralized, thus reducing the cost and increasing the quality of your products.

Here in FGC, we also provide our customers with many additional services such as:

  • Blending tea: Our R&D department can blend a variety of Oolong tea types together. We can create a taste and flavor that meet your desire or helps reduce the cost of the tea that you are currently buying.
  • Packaging design: FGC offers a variety of packages under their private brands and unique designs for partners to choose from, from the material, style of packaging, or even packaging design.
  • Sales support service: we intend to make your purchasing experience as smooth as possible. As a result, we will assist you with all the importing paperwork and make them as frictionless as possible.

Related post: How to buy Vietnamese bulk tea online

3. How to make Vietnamese imperial oolong tea

It is also easy to make a cup of oolong tea. You have to follow these few simple steps:

  • Step 1: Prepare 150ml of water at a temperature of about 85°-90°C. Remember to use filtered water as unfiltered water or hard water can ruin the taste and aroma of the tea.
  • Step 2: Steep around 5g of tea in hot water for about 3-5 minutes. The more you steep the tea, the more flavor (and also caffeine) will be extracted. It entirely depends on individual taste.
  • Step 3: Enjoy the tea. You can steep for around 2 more times depending on the tea.

A cup of red oolong tea

As an additional note, if you prefer a low caffeine beverage, you should choose the oolong tea with a rather red color liquor as those have gone through more time during the oxidation process. After that, avoid steeping the tea for too long as it will extract more caffeine into the water.

If you have an inquiry for Vietnamese imperial oolong tea for your market, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at info@vietnam-tea.com, then we can start discussing the plan together!

Bach Doan – Marketing Manager (bach.dv@vietnam-tea.com)

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