The purpose behind baking oolongs is to increase the fragrance of the tea and create a signature aroma such as fruity, caramel, or floral. The teas are also baked to eliminate any grassy taste. Another benefit of baking is that it creates an oolong that offers more re-steeping opportunities than an oolong that hasn’t undergone baking. Baked oolongs are excellent choices for people who would like to drink their tea gong fu style or with a gaiwan. One of the reasons baked oolongs are more aromatic is that the leaves undergo maillard reactions. The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and certain sugars that creates browning, such as you see on bread crusts and toasted marshmallows.
This baked oolong is grown in Nantou County, which is a mountainous area in the central part of Taiwan. It is where many of the most famous oolongs of Taiwan are grown. It is of special interest that the cultivar used to make this tea is the Jin Xuan, aka golden lily or Tai cha #12. This is the cultivar used to create the popular milk oolong teas.
Our Baked Oolong is medium bodied with a caramelized nutty sweetness.
Use 2 grams of tea for every 6 ounces of water. Generally this works out to a teaspoon per every 6 ounces of water. Steep for 3 minutes with 180-degree water.