Oolong is also produced in China’s Fujian province, especially in the Wuyi Mountains, and on Taiwan’s mountainsides. This semi¬oxidized tea uses mature leaves that undergo a rigorous production process. They are withered for a few hours, then “rattled” or shaken to bruise the leaves and destroy the cell walls to aid flavor release during oxidation.
The oxidation process can go on for hours, until the tea master decides that the tea has reached the correct level of oxidation. The leaves are then fired to prevent further oxidation, rolled, and then fired again, or roasted. Lightly oxidized oolongs are _ shaped into small, shiny, dark-green pellets, while the more heavily oxidized oolongs become ‘■ long, dark, twisted leaves.