Currently, we're open Seven Days / Week. We specialize in over 250 varieties of the world’s finest Teas, Herbal Varieties and Tisanes. Voila! in Frederick has something for everyone. In addition to loose-leaf teas, tea wares and brewing accessories are available. Ten different varieties of honey, natural sugars and many tea infused products offered. As a result of the owner’s passion for quality, comfortable furnishings, Old Hickory Tannery furniture is also offered at Voila!
Oolong (also often pronounced wu-long) is a traditional Chinese Tea produced through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and slight oxidation prior to curling and/or twisting.
Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. Oolong Tea is among Six of the Chinese Tea Categories. It is considered “semi-oxidized” where it falls between black & green tea categories. Remember, all tea is the plant “Camelia Sinensis”. So, the difference in categories is when picked and/or how processed. Oolong Teas range in oxidation from 7% to 70% oxidized all depending on the variety and production style. Since the end of the Ming Dynasty, Oolong has been primarily produced in the Minbei (North Fujian), Minnin (South Fujian), Guangdong and Taiwan regions.
The taste of oolong varies greatly among sub-varieties depending on the horticulture and the unique production process. Oolong Tea can have honey sweet and fruity notes, or earthy and woody with roasted overtones, or green and fresh with floral or grassy notes.
Let’s take Dong Ding for example. Other names for this sub-variety are Tung Ting, Special Orchid Toasty, Icy Peak (after the mountain that overshadowed the village of Lu Gu and its lake). This Oolong tea cultivation was introduced to the Lu Gu Region by Lin Feng Chi. Who, after study in Fujian Province on Mainland China, returned with 36 tea plants from the Wu Yi Mountains. It is 30 to 40 percent oxidized and is an excellent example of a tea rolled into large, very dense pearls. It has a floral, herbaceous and buttery aroma with a vanilla undertone.
Another excellent example of an Oolong is Tiquanin (or tee-kwan-yin). It is one of China’s 10 most famous tea varieties with a history of over 200 years! In Chinese translation it is often referred to as “Iron Goddess of Mercy”. This oolong thrives throughout the Fujian province of China as well as Taiwan. It’s a tightly rolled heavy looking oolong (which some suggest may offer explanation to the “iron” part of the name translation - others disagree). The intensity of aroma, fruitiness and depth of flavor offers claim to it’s popularity!
Milky Oolong is a unique oolong often referred to as Jin Xuan Oolong or Golden Lily. This tea cultivar is recently developed and yields a lighter Jade color tea. It’s mildly astringent with a very aromatic milky, buttery character. Probably one of the most unusual tea specialties in terms of production as well as character, is produced almost entirely by hand in the Fujian Province. Immediately after withering, the still moist leaves are heated shortly in a milk/water steam, which conserves the pretty, lightly olive-green leaf and cup color and invokes the distinct creamy buttery scent and taste. Subsequently, the leaves are rolled manually and dried. An extremely mellow outstanding tea. Delicious!
Oolongs are great because you can get 3 to 5 infusions out of the same leaves (which brings the per cup price down). And, Oolong’s should be steeped only 2 to 3 minutes in 175 degree F H2O for optimum flavor.
There are many recent weight loss claims to this Tea! We like that, right?
In summary, Oolong tea artisans are like wine crafters. Each Artisan brings forth the characters of their teas through traditional crafting techniques. They yield oolong teas that are distinctive in style that is a reflection of their craftsmanship, region, year and tea bush sub-varietal.
Voila! in Frederick offers over 10 varieties of Oolong Teas! Located at 10 North Market Street, stop by to explore on your own! We have a large population of Men that LOVE this tea (like scotch or cigars, this is a very fine tea for discerning tea drinking palettes).