A setting of oolong tea, ready to serve.
If you have been drinking high-quality tea for a long time, you probably know that leaf selection is important.
The tip end of a leafy shoot is where the best black and green teas are made. It is the tips of the tea plant that make up the famous two-leaves-and-a-buds.
Black tea and green tea are some of the different types of tea that are made with the tips of the shoots.
The makers of the tea prefer a different leaf type. A leaf shoot has a small, semi-dormant leaf bud at the tip and a pair of mature leaves.
This particular leaf-bud combination is favored by oolong producers for two reasons.
The sturdy little bud and the tough partner leaves are able to endure the physical manipulation required to make tea.
Tea makers have access to compounds that aren’t found in the developing tips because banji leaf is fully mature.
One of the compounds is an ingredient of essential oils. The best oolong teas have an aromatic, airy quality and contribute to flavors that range from grassy to fruity.
The complex space between brisk and milky is where the mouthfeel in oolong falls.
The range of flavor and texture profiles that can be conjured out of banji leaves is a signature feature of oolongs.
Banji buds and leaves are preferred by tea makers due to their resistance to breakage. I can harvest both banji leaf and two-and-a-buds in my tea garden.
There is a review of the best Oolong Teas.
The process of manufacturing oolong tea is described in this post. I recommend a selection of oolongs that you will like.
I looked at the best oolong tea brands that have good value.
- Best Taiwan High Mountain Oolong
- Best Budget Oolong
- Best Daily Oolong
- Best Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) Oolong
- Best Milky Oolong
The tea reviews are listed in the table of contents if you need to.
Table of Contents
What Is Oolong Tea?
A method of tea processing is related to a profile of tea flavor. oolong teas are usually made by following an elaborate series of procedures that can be modified to achieve a desired style of oolong
The steps in making oolong tea
There is tea leaf. Though not all oolongs are made from banji leaf, proper seasonal timing of harvest is key to plucking leaf in the correct stage of development The bright, floral quality to oolongs is due to the exposure of leaf to sunlight. Or toss. The leaf must be lightly bruised so that it doesn’t leak. Nerolidol is expressed as a result of leaf damage. Plants have polyphenols within them. The length of oxidation is very important to the flavor of oolong. heating Exposure to low heat in a pan or oven enhances the rate of oxidation while a high heat will stop it. The leaf must be pressure-rolled so that flavor compounds can be seen on the surface. A fabric bag is twisted and compressed by a machine after the leaf is packed into it. The leaf can be shaped into either a spiral twist or a pellet. Tea leaves are evaporated under heat to maintain their shape. Roasting Adding depth and body to oolong flavor is optional. Traditional methods of roasting include hot charcoal embers.
There are a lot of steps to make tea. Compared to the simple procedures involved in making white tea, oolongs are among the most difficult to make. The tea maker can change each of the steps in subtle ways to add a signature character.
The teas are rolled and twisted. The tea leaf is often crumpled and steeped in hot water.
There is an incredible depth and breadth of oolongs to sample if you include diversity in tea plant cultivars used by different tea farms.
Is oolong a black or green tea?
Green teas and black teas are both similar to oolong teas, but not quite the same. Green teas that have a fresh, grassy flavor are similar to tea leaves that have a short period of oxidation.
Black tea with full body and nutty notes tends to be what tumbled leaves prefer.
There is a region of oolong flavor-space that reveals fruity, floral, orchid tastes that really excite the tea drinker.
How much of a buzz does oolong tea have?
Defending the plant against insect herbivores is the function ofCaffeine.
The method of tea manufacture can affect the amount of coffee you get in the morning. Tea made from tippy leaves has the highest levels of chemical compounds for self-defense because tips are more vulnerable to insect attack.
The tips and banji leaf are not the same. Banji doesn’t have a tender leaf bud that would attract insects. banji can defend itself with less energy.
As a tea drinker, you will consume less coffee than you will in black or green tea. The average amount of caffeine in a serving of oolong is less than the average amount in some black and green tea.
If you want to sleep after your tea, that difference is pretty significant.
Summary: Benefits of Oolong Tea
There are different reasons for drinking tea. The benefits of drinking tea may include.
Tea makers change the flavor profiles of tea by adjusting oxidation levels, cooking temperatures, and the extent of physical manipulation of the tea leaf.
Tea makers change the flavor profiles by adjusting oxidation levels, cooking temperatures and the amount of physical manipulation of the tea leaf. Reduce the amount of coffee you drink because it has less coffee than most camellia teas.
Most tea and coffees have more caffeine than oolong. Rolling leaf can reveal new flavors each time.
Each time, rolled leaf unfurls, revealing new flavors. Black tea is less bitter than floral and fruity tea.
Our recommendations for where to buy the best tea.
I studied hundreds of online comments from tea drinkers and compiled these reviews. It is difficult to say the least. I came up with a few brands that you should try.
I indicate in the reviews if I have personally tasted a particular tea.
A tea brand had to meet all of the criteria in order to make it.
- There is no point drinking bad tea.
- Older reviews are less weighted than recent ones.
- They are very tempting, but no high-end teas.
- This is where the savings can be found and bulk options are preferred.
- 100% natural. The tea maker’s magic is the only new thing.
It is a good idea to try different styles of tea if you are new to it. You can see the range of character of oolongs by doing this. I am confident that you will find a style that suits you.
Let us start with our recommended tea brands.
There is a 150 gram packet of Taiwan Alishan oolong tea.
China may be the birthplace of tea, but it didn’t take long for it to be exported. Taiwan became a major player in the global oolong market by the 1990s.
The tea-growing regions of Taiwan encompass rolling hills and mountain ranges as high as 8000 feet. The Alishan Range is a part of the spine of the island. Many of the tranquil tea farms are located along the altitude and specialize in growing only oolong tea.
There are benefits to growing tea in high mountains. The benefits include:
Less exposure to pollutants. Industrial development and busy highways can be sources of pollution.
Industrial development and busy highways can be sources of pollution. Clouds and mists in the Alishans block out the harsh sunlight that can make tea bitter.
Clouds and mists in the Alishans block out the harsh sunlight that can make tea bitter. Slower tea growth Plant growth is slowed by cool summer nights and snow in the winter.
Plant growth is slowed by cool summer nights and snow in the winter. Less need for spraying. The need for pesticides is reduced by shorter and colder growing seasons.
Taiwan high mountain teas have a signature flavor profile because of unique growing conditions. A sour-apple candy note is what oolong from the Alishan Range tends to have. The yellow-amber color of the tea “liquor” is what makes it the “Champagne of teas”.
My sample of tea is from a merchant. That is not a mistake, and the company name is weird. So who cares? I experienced the sour candies but also a subtle grassiness without the thick, umami mouthfeel that you might experience with a Japanese green tea. The almond nuts are lightly roasted.
I agree with the online tea reviews that there is a floral perfume in this mountain. It is a gentle expression of wild azalea growing on the edge of an inviting forest, not like a bouquet of roses, but rather a gentle expression of wild azalea.
The tea leaves have expanded. The leaf buds are tiny.
You have a delightful tea that will leave you wanting another cup if you combine the elements of sour candies, grassiness, roasted almonds, and azalea. You can have cupfuls because of the good qualities of the oolong. You can stretch out the leaves to several cups if you keep them short.
I like tea. Sometimes a no-nonsense, easy-to-use bag of tea is the best choice for your budget and tastes.
Come on. The dirt that grew the tea isn’t much better than what’s in those bags. There is no way of knowing what has been applied to that dirt.
The solution is to go with an established brand. Look for a brand that has made an effort to verify that farming practices don’t use pesticides. You can go with a certified organic tea.
The Prince of Peace Company has been making people happy for years with their budget-friendly offerings, including a gentle oolong tea that is packed in simple, unbleached tea bags
The reviewers applaud the quality standards maintained by the company. The USDA organic certification has been applied to the oolong.
Tea reviewers describe this oolong as light and floral, but with a body that emerges from an oven roast. According to tea drinkers who are caffeine sensitive, POP’s oolong has low levels of this stimulant, which is in line with the company’s claim of 30mg per 8oz cup.
I like to have a ready-to-use bag of tea in my cupboard. I think that the Prince of Peace brand of tea is the best way to go.
In the previous section, I recommended a best-bargain tea and here I review the best daily tea.
Quality is a word. A good day is better than a bargain tea.
I stress that not all tea is bad, just that it could be better. The exception to the rule is the Prince of Peace brand.
A good daily oolong should be multi-use. For example, another use of tea is for tea mixes. I settled on a daily tea that is more affordable and useful for a variety of tea needs.
Davidson’s Tea Co. has a list of what’s hot and what’s not at their website. I have been very pleased with their other specialty teas, and they know how to meet the demand for an excellent value in bulk-shipped tea.
A certified organic, lightly roasted oolong tea that reviewers describe as smooth and with a nuttiness that balances a delicate floral note is distributed by Davidson’s. The floral profile of this oolong is attributed to the rare orchid called “Quilan”.
Reviewers say that Davidson’s oolong doesn’t overwhelm the brew and supports a robust SCOBY. To hit the sweet spot, you may have to experiment with the amount of tea. You can experiment with a 1 US pound packet.
You have yourself a great daily oolong if you add these benefits to a very agreeable price.
One of the most popular teas in China is Tie Guan Yin oolong. Tie Guan Yin, or simply TGY, is a symbol of hope and goodwill in China.
It was the first tea that I had tasted that was mind-blowing. TGY was to become a gate-way tea that led me down a path of more compelling and challenging teas.
How is Tie Guan Yin made?
Tea kwan Yin is a common spelling in English, but most tea aficionados know what you are talking about: a floral tea with top notes of fruit, zest, and perhaps sour candy. A light roasting that lifts the body and holds the flavors a bit longer on the palate is a good way to balance it out.
The amazing TGY flavor profile is evoked by two ways. First, they often use a particular tea plant with its own special combination of benefits.
Second, tea makers use short periods of oxidation to oxidize the TGY profile. In other words, the leaf is processed like green tea with an emphasis on preserving the vegetal qualities that may be lost under longer durations of oxidation
The leaf is exposed to machine-assisted twisting-compression and low-temperature bouts of heating. A number of cycles of twisting and heating may be used to bring out the richness of flavor.
The tea maker can roast the leaf to get more tea body.
Where to buy Tie Guan Yin.
I recommend a TGY for each of the characters. The China-based Oriarm Tea Company works with local farmers to find and process the best oolong.
The famous Anxi tea district is where Oriarm’s TGY is from. Oriarm is a high mountain with an altitude of 1000 meters. The high spirit of the tea farmers is more important than anything else.
The company says that the tea has a clean aroma and is more towards the green-tea end of the flavor spectrum.
The spirit of the tea reviewers is the same as Oriarm. They like the orchid-flower top notes and the mineral finish.
This tea is a great bargain and Reviewers are happy about it. It may not seem like a lot of tea until you consider the very reasonable price point, but the minimum purchase is 3.5 ounces.
Reviewers say that each batches of tea is good for many different types of tea. That is real savings.
There are two types of milk oolong teas organic oolong tea, those that have a milk-based Additive and those that don’t. There is nothing else added to the tea except for the magic of the tea maker who makes a smooth and silky tea that is similar to the sensation of drinking cow’s milk or cream.
If you are Lactose-insensitive, your tummy will be fine with a milk tea.
More than okay. Don’t drink those teas that have Additives on the label. Use your nose if not. An enhanced oolong will usually have a very strong milk aroma while an unenhanced oolong will be mellow and only hint of milk essence.
Where to find the best milk oolong
The market is over-supplied with milk-enhanced oolongs. A tea drinker needs to look very hard to find a real milk oolong.
The tea hounds at Leaf House Tea have found one for you.
The Republic of Tea brand has procured a tea from China that is good for milk oolong. On the one hand, the tea has a smooth texture of cream while on the other it has fruity notes suggestive of pineapple and a floral loft.
Republic has milk that is pure leaf. It has been certified Kosher and Kosher-free.
It is an achievement for any leaf to have such a strong flavor profile. Many reviewers say that Republic’s milk oolong is their go-to tea for travel and the office because of its convenience.
The product can be found in a small tin that is handy for transportation and makes a great gift tea. There are larger volumes of bags available for those with a big appetite for tea.
How to make oolong tea
It isn’t difficult to brew up a fine cup if you know how to brew it. If you keep in mind some basic principles of tea preparation, oolongs are some of the easiest teas to brew properly.
Best water temperature for oolong tea: be cool!
Teas in the middle range or higher quality are more sensitive to water temperature. Water that is at a full boil will almost always have astringency or bitterness in it. If you want to brew an unfamiliar oolong tea, you should use water heated in the range of 190 to 205F. You can experiment with higher temperatures until you find a range that suits you.
How much oolong tea to use?
If you want to bring out strength in tea, steep more tea per volume of water To evoke a milder tea, steep less. Most inexperienced tea drinkers will try to make oolong tea taste better by letting the tea steep for longer periods rather than steeping more tea leaf per serving. A steep will bring out a bitter taste in most tea. To adjust the depth of flavor, adjust the quantity of leaf.
This principle can be applied to a new tea. For each tea drinker, use one heaping teacup of tea for every 6 ounces of water. This doesn’t apply to tea where the quantity is already allotted. Increase the quantity of tea leaf by 50 percent if you find that you want richer, fuller, and deeper flavors in your tea. If adding more leaf doesn’t change the flavor, you’re probably drinking a low-quality tea A change in the amount of leaf will affect the quality of tea.
How long do you steep oolong tea?
The trade-off is that the longer you steep the tea leaf, the less tea you will get. If you steep your oolong for ten minutes, you may get all of the flavor compounds from the leaf, but you may only get one cup out of the bunch. One minute of steeping may give you many cups, but each may lack the spirit of oolong.
What to do?
Try a two-and-a-half minute steep with your new oolong. Add another 30 to 60 seconds to the second steeping if you are happy with the first cup. Wait until you run out of oolong goodness.
If you discover that your first cup of tea has too much sharpness, you should cut back on the steep time by 30 seconds. The sharpness of the tea should be taken out by a shorter time.
How to get the most out of the best tea brands.
Water temperature, quantity of leaf, and duration of steeping are three factors that can be controlled. Next time you sample a whole-leaf tea, try this combination.
- If you don’t have a kettle, you can use a saucepan. In checking the temperature, an inexpensive thermometer is needed.
- Measure out a quarter of a cup of tea. It should be easy to hold the tea in the cup because it is rolled into small pellets.
- Add the measured oolong to your drink. The tea leaf has enough room to expand and liberate its delights.
- Set your timer to two minutes and 30 seconds and pour on six ounces of water.
- The spectacle of oolong tea working on the hot water is something to behold.
- When the alarm sounds, put your small pitcher or teacup in a container and pour the liquid through a strainer.
One of the finest tea sensations that humankind has ever produced is the tea called oolong.