How To Find The Best Oolong Tea

Tea Knowledge
best oolong tea

Although oolong tea is delicious and healthy, it only makes up about 2% of all the tea in the world. It’s a partially-oxidized tea that falls between green tea and black tea brews. This oxidation process is what gives it its signature taste and health benefits like:

  • Reduced stress
  • Weight loss
  • Cancer prevention
  • Heart health support
  • Better brain and cognitive function
  • Bone health support
  • Skin condition support

So the next time you’re craving a cup of tea, reach for oolong, You just might love what you taste!

*Hey there, tea lover! This list is based on ratings, best-sellers, and trusted tea reviews. We researched tons of oolong teas to find the very best recommendations for you. So heat up your kettle, sit back, and enjoy!

The best Chinese oolong teas

Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea that’s made from the same plant as green and black tea. The biggest difference between Chinese oolong and other teas is its oxidation process.

Green tea isn’t oxidized at all. Black tea is crushed first, which enhances oxidation. And oolong is right in the middle. It’s wilted then bruised which results in partial oxidation. This is how Chinese oolong gets its signature rich and slightly astringent taste. Here are some popular Chinese oolong teas to try out:

The Tea of Tea Royal Phoenix Oolong

This loose-leaf brew is crafted by Smith Teamaker in Portland, Oregon. They’ve been making Phoenix Oolong for 60+ years and they’ve cultivated a truly delicate blend. Expect to taste deep sweet plum, brown sugar, and floral notes. Phoenix Oolong lovers may also enjoy health benefits like:

  • Blood sugar control
  • Polyphenol antioxidants
  • Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes

Tea Palace Iron Goddess of Mercy

Also known as Tie Guanyin, Iron Goddess of Mercy is only crafted twice each year. It’s a smooth, rich, and aromatic blend of chestnut and apricot notes. Tea lovers who steep this loose-leaf brew may look forward to:

  • Heart health support
  • Decreased risk of stroke
  • Lower blood pressure

The Republic of Tea Wuyi Oolong Tea

These tea leaves hail from the Wuyi Mountains in southeastern China. It’s the likely birthplace of traditional oolongs. This brew has an earthy taste with notes of mushroom and slight astringency. It’s another loose leaf tea that’s perfect with nearly any and every meal. Plus, you get to enjoy common oolong tea benefits like:

  • Improved brain function
  • Weight loss aid
  • Cancer prevention

The best Taiwanese oolong teas

Taiwanese oolongs are similar to Chinese oolongs, but there are some key differences. First, Taiwanese oolongs are baked at lower temperatures. And, they’re not as oxidized as their Chinese counterparts so they’re a little more astringent.

In general, Taiwanese oolongs are only harvested five times a year. And because of Taiwan’s climate, these teas are often highly praised. Get started with these incredibly delicious Taiwanese oolong brews:

The Republic of Tea Milk Oolong Tea

This kind of oolong is known for its creamy, buttery, and flowery taste. It’s a delicacy made from gently rolled and roasted tea leaves. Many milk oolong tea drinkers can enjoy common oolong health benefits including:

  • Improved cognitive function
  • Enhanced focus
  • Higher energy levels

Vahdam High Mountain Oolong Tea

High mountain oolong (or gao shan) is a kind of tea grown in Taiwan above 1,000 meters in altitude. The altitude gives it a lighter, less oxidized taste. It’s similar to green tea in terms of both flavor and taste. High mountain tea lovers may reap health benefits like:

  • Enhanced memory
  • The better focus during the day
  • Stress relief

The Tea of Tea Black Dragon

Four Seasons is a special type of high mountain oolong tea. It’s picked and processed by hand with lots of care. And it has a light, pleasant, and slightly sweet taste. Anyone who brews this deliciously floral brew may look forward to benefits like:

  • Decreased body fat
  • Boosted metabolism
  • Decreased risk of obesity

Dong Ding (Tung-Ting)

Dong Ding is another special type of high mountain Taiwanese oolong tea. It means “frozen summit” and it’s named after the Wuyi Mountains in China where it’s grown. Dong Ding is traditionally picked by hand, withered, bruised, then left to oxidize. The leaves are rolled by hand then fired with charcoal. Dong Ding may have health benefits including:

  • Accelerated metabolism
  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Lower cholesterol

How to brew oolong tea

Oolong teas are best brewed with shorter, but several, steeps. This is known as Small Pot or Gong Fu style, and here’s how to do it:

#1: Boil fresh spring water

Bring a small pot of filtered or spring water to a boil. You can also use a temperature-controlled tea kettle. Let the water reach between 200°F and 250°F for best results.

#2: Place the tea leaves

Most oolong teas are loose leaf teas. Measure how much you need and place the leaves directly in your teapot, strainer, or infuser.

#3: Rinse the leaves

Pour the hot water over the tea leaves for about five seconds. Discard the water in your teapot or cup. This rinses the leaves, unfurls them, and prepares them for the first steep.

#4: Steep the leaves (a few times)

Next, pour the hot water over the tea leaves again and let it sit for about 10 – 20 seconds. Pour the water into another pot. Keep pouring hot water over the leaves for a few seconds at a time until the tea matches your preference. Notice the changes in color and taste with each steep.

#5: Enjoy your Gong Fu style oolong tea

Your tea is ready when you no longer notice a change in tea strength after a steep. Pour the oolong tea into teacups to drink with any meal or enjoy with loved ones.

Health benefits of oolong tea

Oolong is a tasty tea that’s steeped in tradition. And not only do tea lovers enjoy the taste, but they also enjoy countless health benefits like these:

Weight-loss support

Oolong tea has bioactive compounds that help aid in weight loss and prevent obesity. These compounds include antioxidants and enzyme inhibitors.

Lowered blood pressure

Tea drinkers who have 6+ cups a day showed reduced blood pressure levels. Oolong tea may also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in people who drink 1 – 2 cups per day.

Enhanced sleep

Oolong tea has l-theanine. It’s a type of amino acid that aids in relaxation and better sleep. So if you need a little nudge to help you fall asleep faster, or stay asleep longer, oolong may be the solution.

Lower cholesterol

Oolong tea has catechins, a type of antioxidant found in many kinds of tea. It’s what’s responsible for lowering cholesterol, fighting fat, and reducing triglycerides.

Final thoughts and top picks

Oolong tea lovers everywhere enjoy its signature floral taste. And they also get to enjoy its countless health benefits. It’s a traditional beverage that’s perfect for any meal and nearly any time of day.


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