When deep into a season like summer or winter we all have our go to teas. For me, summer means green tea and matcha, but winter strikes I fall back in love with black teas and pu-erh. Early fall offers a time to experiment with those teas in between these two extremes.
It's ironic that a transitional season lends itself to transitional teas and oolong fits the bill because it is also produced in a transitional way. A little lesson: the difference between green tea and black tea is oxidation. Green tea including matcha is zero percent and black tea is 100% percent oxidized. Oolong is partially oxidized so it isn't to vegetal or malty, but just right in the middle. This makes it a perfect complementary tea for the season of autumn and spring.
Oolong tea has a complex flavor profile that can range from floral and fruity to creamy and toasty, making it a perfect match for the warm and comforting flavors often associated with fall, such as cinnamon, apple, and caramel.
Oolong tea contains moderate levels of caffeine, providing a gentle energy boost without the jitteriness often associated with higher-caffeine beverages. This makes it an ideal choice for sipping throughout the day, especially during the crisp fall mornings.
The act of brewing and savoring a warm cup of oolong tea can be a calming and meditative experience. In the fall, when the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler, this sense of comfort can be particularly soothing. Brewing oolong gong fu style or in a natural clay vessel adds to the aesthetic experience
Oolong tea's versatile flavor profile allows it to pair well with a variety of fall foods, from spiced desserts like apple pie to savory dishes like roasted vegetables. Its taste can complement and enhance the flavors of many fall-inspired recipes.
I hope you are convinced that autumn is the perfect time for oolong. So take the time to appreciate it as well as the change seasons.