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Oolong Tea

oolong tea flavors vary based on the region they come from


What Is Oolong Tea?

Oolong tea is a broad category, covering any teas that are partially oxidized. In this way, it is "between" green and black teas. Green teas are not oxidized, while black teas undergo full oxidation. Oolongs are everything between the two extremes.

This range covers a huge variety of crafting styles and flavor profiles. Teas tend to vary in style based on the regions that they come from. In general, newer oolong styles from Taiwan are less oxidized, or greener in color. Traditional styles from the Wuyi Mountains and Anxi County are more oxidized. These Fujianese teas are darker in color and less floral than greener oolongs.


oolong teas are partially oxidized, or browned.


How Is Oolong Tea Made?

To achieve partial oxidation, crafters twist and bruise the leaves. As the cell walls break down, the leaves oxidize, and turn brown. When the leaves are heated, the oxidation process stops. The leaves may go through these steps several times before the tea is finished.

Oolong teas are some of the most complex teas to craft. The process requires precision to produce the desired flavors. Expert craftsmen work rotating shifts to track the leaves during oxidation and roasting. Missing the right moment can mean a ruined batch of tea.


oolong teas are wilted until they are partly browned, then roasted to halt oxidation


Signs Of Quality

Different oolong growing areas have different methods of grading. But in general we seek slow growth when sourcing teas in this category. A tea plant that must struggle to grow gives the leaves more time to develop flavor compounds. Slow growth also prevents the development of bitterness and astringency. All our oolongs come from traditional tea producing mountain ranges. These areas are famous for their high elevations or rocky soil, which slow the growth of the plant. Teas grown in these areas are famous for their complexity of flavor.

We also seek expert craftsmanship in our oolong teas. The intricacies of crafting can have a major impact on the flavor. Whenever possible, we source teas that are made using traditional crafting and roasting techniques. Many generations of tea farmers and crafters have perfected these methods and flavors.


Oolong Teas To Try

  • This Taiwanese oolong is picked between regular harvests, and therefore contains more natural sugars, creating a tea that is creamy and sweet without flavorings or additives.

    Jin Xuan, Winter Sprout
    Quick shop

    漢字 冬片,烏龍茶

    origin Alishan, Taiwan

    craft qing xiang

    flavor notes mango, buttercream

    漢字 冬片,烏龍茶

    origin Alishan, Taiwan

    craft qing xiang

    flavor notes mango, buttercream

    Called “Dong Pian” in Chinese, Winter Sprout is by far our most unusual tea acquisition from Taiwan. Formosa winter teas are typically picked from mid-to-late November. If the winter is mild enough, the tea plant will sometimes grow a new sprout before slipping into cold weather dormancy. Our Winter Sprout...


  • This fruity oolong is produced in the Phoenix Mountains, where unique growing methods have created specific flavor profiles. Notes of lychee and honey make this tea especially captivating.

    Mi Lan Xiang (Honey Orchid)
    Quick shop

    漢字 蜜蘭香鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft qing xiang

    flavor notes honey, lychee

    漢字 蜜蘭香鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft qing xiang

    flavor notes honey, lychee

    Mi Lan Xiang is our most popular Phoenix Oolong.  We usually see raised eyebrows from those trying this tea for the first time, followed with that inevitable question, is this tea flavored?  It’s not, but the tea alone is remarkably flavorful.  It is also a very serious tea, descended from...


  • For a traditional Chinese tea experience, try this roasted oolong from the Wuyi Mountains. Sugars caramelized in the leaf during roasting give this tea a surprising natural sweetness.

    Heritage Golden Buddha
    Quick shop

    漢字 武夷金佛, 炭焙

    origin Wuyi Shan, Fujian

    craft charcoal roasted

    flavor notes graham cracker, caramel

    漢字 武夷金佛, 炭焙

    origin Wuyi Shan, Fujian

    craft charcoal roasted

    flavor notes graham cracker, caramel

    A new Wuyi oolong cultivar developed over a decade ago by the Wuyi Shan Tea Research Institute, Golden Buddha was created to highlight the sweet, creamy characteristics of traditional Wuyi Yan Chas. Our Heritage Golden Buddha is thus a marrying of new and old – a fairly new varietal crafted...