Oolong (Wu-lung) tea originates from China and is actually transliterated from two words meaning “black” and “dragon” in English. Besides its inherent meaning, the two words describe the shape of the oolong leaves in their novel state. Oolong tea goes through a unique semi-oxidization process that ranges from 1% - 99%. Shortly after picking, the leaves are withered and semi-oxidized in the sun then shade dried. After this they are basket-tossed to break down the cells on the surface of the leaves and wok fired, which halts the oxidization process. Heating methods include masterfully hand roasting the tea leaves in multiple steps which generally take place throughout the night. Oolongs are often processed over charcoal or wood which gives a unique flavor to the various finishing styles. Finally, the leaves are curled or rolled into crispy shapes that resemble tiny black dragons, hence the descriptive name. Because oolong tea leaves are more mature, they are harvested later in the spring than green or white teas – usually from late April to early May.