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Oolong teas can be thought of as a cross between green teas and black teas. They are oxidised more than green teas but not as much as black teas. The manufacture of oolong tea is intricate because some of the basic steps involved in its making are repeated many times before the desired amount of bruising and browning of the leaves is achieved. Withering, rolling, shaping, and firing are similar to black tea, but much more attention to timing and temperature is necessary. One last step, baking or roasting, is exclusive to oolong tea and is referred to as the real art in making this tea.

Different styles of oolong tea can vary widely in flavor. They can be sweet and fruity with honey aromas, or woody and thick with roasted aromas, or green and fresh with bouquet aromas, all depending on the horticulture and style of production.