a cup of Oolong tea, teapot, tea leaves in a measuring spoon

The Complete Guide to Oolong. 10 Best Tea Picks.

What is Oolong tea?

Oolong tea is partially oxidized and intricately processed leaves of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. Oolong type of tea originates from China; its name literally means “black dragon tea” (wulong cha) in Chinese.


How is Oolong tea made?

There are several steps in tea production. Right after tea leaves are harvested, they are getting withered by blowing air on them until the leaf’s veins are transparent. Then, the tea leaves are rolled into strips. The next step for some tea types is fermenting or oxidizing. The type (“color”) of the tea depends on the level of oxidation.  Black tea is fully oxidized. In green tea production, the oxidation process is prevented by applying heat to the leaves: by steaming or pan-firing. In the case of oolong, oxidation is haltered halfway through.

What is the ratio of monkeys employed in Oolong production? Is it cruelty-free?

To the best of our knowledge, no monkeys have been exploited in Oolong manufacturing. The term Monkey Picked simply means very rare, hard to find.

When should I drink oolong tea?

Quality loose leaf oolongs are among the most popular weight-loss teas out there. The unique balance of compounds in these teas encourages the body to burn fat while also blocking the absorption of fats and carbohydrates. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, you can consider adding two or three cups of oolong tea to your daily diet for the next few months. It wouldn’t hurt to have a cup an hour before your workout session. Or make it your afternoon staple to keep your energy levels up (and keep your mind off the desert). There are no rules as to when you should drink your oolong. It is very appropriate to drink it after a meal to cleanse your palate or between meals at any time. The best of oolongs are better to be consumed without a meal to fully appreciate the flavor.

How to choose Oolong tea?

Here are some points to consider when shopping for the best oolong around.

  • Diversity. Oolongs fall somewhere between green and black tea, with an oxidation level of anything between 8 and 80 percent. That’s a wide range. If you consider a variety of tea plant cultivars, growing regions, and multiple recipes of production, you will get an idea about the kaleidoscopic world of oolong.
  • Vintage. Most kinds of tea are best to consume fresh, within a year of production, until the new crop comes to the market. However, quality oolong would develop its aroma with time. Like a good wine, Oolongs can be consumed young or aged.
  • Origin. Most of the loose-leaf oolong teas come from China and Taiwan. This region is a place of birth of oolong, with a fascinatingly rich history, an abundance of expertise, and well-established standards of production. Nowadays, one can also find new types of oolong coming from India and Vietnam.

Where to buy the best Oolong tea online? Silhouette of a smiling Cheshire Cat

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Milk Oolong
Milk Oolong

Milk Oolong is a relatively new cultivar in the delicious world of Taiwanese teas and is prized for its inherent cream and butter notes. Lower quality versions have these notes enhanced through aromatization but the finest, true Milk Oolongs offer lightly roasted, rolled leaves that yield a light-bodied cup with sweet buttery texture and delicate floral aroma. Also called Jin Xuan or Golden Lily, it is ideal for multiple infusions and a dedicated Yixing teapot.

Wuyi Oolong Tea
Wuyi Oolong Tea

Crisp, roasted, woodsy. Long, beautiful leaves unwind and unfurl when steeps to release a smooth, rich flavor. Our Wuyi Oolong tea is 60-80% oxidized and steeps a deep golden hue with crisp and earthy tones and a slightly peppery finish.

Blue Mountain Nilgiri Oolong Tea
Blue Mountain Nilgiri Oolong Tea

A bountiful Oolong tea from Nilgiri with a mix of nutty, tropical, and floral notes. Courtesy of the renowned Glendale Tea estate from the tranquil region of Nilgiri, our Blue Mountain Nilgiri Oolong Tea is blessed with an array of nutty and tropical fruit flavours with uplifting floral tones of orchids and cherry blossom. A sweet and mellow liquor with a hint of astringency and a lingering aftertaste. Truly a luscious cup that is best enjoyed with a dash of sugar or honey!

Huang Guanyin (Yellow Goddess) Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea
Huang Guanyin (Yellow Goddess) Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea

Orchid floral, sweet, quite slightly roasted. Huang Guanyin 'Yellow Goddess' rock oolong tea, also known as '105' tea, is a relatively small minority when it comes to rock teas. It possess traits of both 'Iron Goddess' Tie Guan Yin as well as the aroma of Golden Osmanthus oolong, giving it a very rich and long-lasting fragrance. As a result, this tea is an excellent introduction to rock oolongs.After being lightly roasted on a charcoal fire five times over, this Huang Guanyin takes on a rich, fragrant aroma and gives a bright amber liquid, mellow and floral in taste. There is just a hint of bitterness within the first few steeps, but this quickly gives way to a sweet aftertaste that lingers in later steeps even with the dying taste of the tea.This tea's magic lies in its unique aroma, different every time you brew it: sometimes it takes on floral notes, sometimes it becomes sweeter like milk, and sometimes it is even reminiscent of wine. For Huang Guanyin, tasting the fragrance is just as important as tasting the liquid itself.

Nonpareil Wudong Song Zhong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea
Nonpareil Wudong Song Zhong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea

Mt. Wudong, rich palette with great depth. When talking about Chaoshan, many tea lovers minds go to Chaoshan Gongfu Tea, which is mainly Phoenix Dan Cong oolong. Of this, the most famous and best-loved is Song Zhong Dan Cong, whose history can be traced all the way back to the Song Dynasty.The trees for this tea grow along Wudong Mountain at an altitude of 1400 meters where the natural environment is superior and conducive to the development of the leaves and formation of tea polyphenols and important aromatic substances. Also important is how the tea here is picked only once a year, and is cultivated via traditional farming methods without any kind of cutting, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.The dry leaf of Song Zhong maintains a sweet, smooth honey aroma; brewed with boiling water, this fragrance overflows from the gaiwan and melds with a clearer fruit fragrance beneath. The tea liquid is sweet and fragrant, with a rich yet mellow taste that leaves a lingering aftertaste. Compared to Ya Shi Xiang Dan Cong, Song Zhong has a stabler aroma, with a richer, fuller thickness and flavor.Note: For Wudong Dancong, tea that is harvested in April is often light baked with a greenish brown apperance. After that, it will be re-baked in June, September and December respectively. The re-baking of this tea has imparted a deep brownish-black color to the leaves, noticeably darker than before. For the first few infusions the most prominent note is the tea's floral fragrance, coming from the still-wrapped leaves; following a few more steeps, the leaves stretch out, allowing its fragrance to meld into a mellower, smoother taste that fills the mouth. The re-roasted Ya Shi Xiang has not only a mellower taste, but also a better interplay between the flavor and the fragrance as well.

Oolong Rose Tea
Oolong Rose Tea

Honey, malty, sweet. A light, floral oolong tea blend that has been beautifully accented with fragrant rose petals. This rose oolong tea imparts a subtle melange of sweet, floral flavors grounded by smooth, savory notes and a long finish.

Premium Milk Oolong Tea
Premium Milk Oolong Tea

Imagine if velvet somehow took liquid form and was blended with a sweet light cream. While drinking it, you find yourself swimming to the bottom of a deep well of orchids. You've found our Premium Milk Oolong. Spoil yourself.

Organic Iron Goddess of Mercy
Organic Iron Goddess of Mercy

Tieguanyin Organic Premium Oolong. Organic Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong, TieguanYin, is the famous tea that legend tells us was cultivated by the compassionate farmer Wei in order to raise money to restore the aging temple that housed the iron statue of Guanyin in Fujian's Anxi county. We love Organic Iron Goddess for its magical, smooth taste with a very delicate sweet touch. This premium Oolong is amazing through 4 to 6 infusions. Buy Organic Tieguanyin Oolong with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.Use 2 teaspoons of Organic Iron Goddess of Mercy to every one cup of just under boiling mineral or filtered water. The steep time for each infusion should be kept to 4 to 5 minutes.

Tie Kuan Yin Oolong Tea Organic
Tie Kuan Yin Oolong Tea Organic

Tie Kuan Yin Tea undergoes partial fermentation, producing a beautiful medley of black and green teas with lightly roasted curled leaves, and it has a full-bodied, smooth taste. Low in caffeine, one cup of oolong tea has 10-15% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee. A succulent tea sure to appeal to the senses of both the black and green tea lover.

Mandarin Silk Tea
Mandarin Silk Tea

Floral, fruity, sweet. Our Mandarin Silk tea is a smooth, rich blend of Pouchong tea leaves blended with lemon myrtle and vanilla essence. With creamy and citrus notes, this oolong tea is certain to delight your senses.