“How many seasons are there for oolong?”
I came across this question a while back in an article that was intended to help tea buyers better understand the products for purchase. My guess is that the author has a specific number in mind. The honest answer is that it depends.
Dong Ding, for example, has two prime seasons – spring and winter. However, there are often 5 harvests – 1 for each season, twice in the summer. Further, there may be an additional picking after the main winter picking, called Dong Pian, for a total of 6. Why might one not know about the non-main harvests? It’s often mixed in with main harvest teas, or can be used to produce other types of teas as well.
Oriental Beauty, on the other hand, has only 1 official harvest that is used for production of that tea, around late May – June. There may be multiple pickings during the main harvest, though.
However, each farmer works differently. Some may harvest year round, and some may only harvest twice a year for production (and either leave tea to grow on the bush or pick and discard the other seasons…).