The best way to learn about oolongs is to just start drinking them. Here are some excellent ones to start with that are available in the Washington area.
Magnolia Oolong, Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt: Purists shun scented teas, but this selection is delicately perfumed and a gorgeous introduction to oolong's classic floral aromas. $6 per pot. Park Hyatt Washington, 1201 24th St. NW, 202-789-1234, http:/
Bai Hao, Teaism: Made from tender tea buds, this oolong has an intense aroma of stone fruit. The coppery liquid is fruity with hints of honey and toast. $15.25 for two ounces. Teaism locations at 800 Connecticut Ave. NW, 2009 R St. NW and 400 Eighth St. NW; or http:/
Dong Ding, Harney & Sons: A southern-style "balled" oolong, Dong Ding is a medium-bodied golden tea with creamy lemon flavors. $22 for a four-ounce tin. Harney & Sons also offers a four-tea oolong sampler. The $25 set includes one ounce each of Ti Quan Yin, a Chinese tea also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy; Da Hong Pao, a red, malty tea from China; Wenshan Baozhong, an aromatic, floral Taiwanese tea; and Ali San, from the high mountains of Taiwan. Order at http:/