Oolong tea is most undersung tea category, at least here in the U.S. But it happens to be my second favorite type of tea, following pu-erh teas. I love it’s range of flavor, from earthy to floral. It’s always a new experience.
What is Oolong?
Oolong tea lies anywhere on the spectrum between green and black teas. It is oxidized like a black tea, but not all the way. The oxidation level puts it closer to a green or a black tea: little oxidation and it’s more similar to green tea, almost fully oxidized and it’s closer to a black tea.
To see the oxidation process in action, here’s a short video:
After the oxidation process, the tea leaves are then rolled. You can catch a bit of that process near the end of the video. This is to make the tea leaves open slowly once they’re hit by hot water, producing more infusions from the same scoop of tea leaves. With an oolong, you can get at least three brews from the leaf versus just two from most other teas. Each time you steep the leaves, they will open up more. Poetically, this is called the Agony of the Leaf.
Who (or what) picked my oolong?
You might find some oolong teas out there that are called monkey-picked oolongs. No, they weren’t actually picked by monkeys. What this means is that that particular tea was grown at an elevation so high it seems only a monkey could get up there. Elevation, as any other environmental factor like rainfall, soil content, amount of sunlight, and more, affects flavor. The word for this is terroir, and is also used in the wine industry when describing the environment surrounding the grapes. Some of the best oolongs come from high elevations, especially from the Wuyi Mountains in China and the Fujian Province of Taiwan.
Our Oolong Offerings
We have several varieties of plain oolong as well as some flavored ones. You can learn more about each one by scrolling over or clicking on its image below.
If you haven’t yet tried an oolong tea, I encourage you to dip your toes in the water. Start with the one one that sounds the most appealing to you and go from there. The flavor will change with each steeping of the leaves, so play around with the infusions to see which one you like best.
Oolongs are the perfect tea for when you want to cozy in for the day, reading a book, having a fire in the fireplace, or playing board games. You’ll get to explore each infusion without rush, savoring the cup all the way to the bottom.