A quick expert’s guide on Oolong teas- From its Health benefits to its brewing technique.


One of the four traditional tea leaves, Oolong teas, has gained quite a reputation in recent years for its multiple health benefits. With increased awareness about the goodness of choosing herbal ingredients, consumption of teas like Oolong has also seen a steady and significant increase. The oolong tea market is predicted to generate USD 463.86 million by the end of the current forecast years. The growth rate as of now is approximately 4.20% - Market Research Future.

Are you planning to switch to Oolong teas? How much do you really know about Oolong teas? Read further to learn 'almost' everything about Oolong teas.

What is Oolong tea?

Oolong tea is also known as "Wu Long Tea." It comes from the same plant that gives black and green teas, Camellia sinensis. The difference between these teas comes from the way they are processed. This partially oxidized tea undergoes the most time-consuming processing.

China, home to teas itself, is the homeland of Oolong teas. Today Oolong teas are best grown in Taiwan and Darjeeling (India).

The oxidation level of Oolong teas is between that of the black and green teas. 

This balance between the processing and oxidation level gives Oolong tea its unique taste.

How is Oolong tea made?

The very existence of Oolong Tea depends on the way the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is processed. So to know how oolong teas are made, we must see how the leaves are processed.

  • Withering

The freshly plucked tea leaves are allowed to wither in the direct sunlight and then shaken gently in bamboo baskets; this is done to bruise the edges of the leaves. The shaking helps initiate the oxidation process, giving the Oolong tea its characteristic taste. Withering the tea leaves makes them flexible and supple, making them easier to roll and shape.

  • Air-dried

The withered leaves are then left to cool and dry in the shade. Now they begin to wilt and flatten. When they start to change shape, they are ready to be rolled.

  • Rolling

The essential process that gives Oolong teas their taste is, rolling. Rolling makes the withered leaves bruise further and helps break the cell wall of the leaves; this releases the enzymes that give a unique taste to the Oolong teas. The chemical components of the leaves are further exposed to oxygen, and the oxidation process accelerates.

  • Oxidation

Oxidation is a chemical process that changes the taste and appearance of the tea. The oxidation period for oolong teas is less than that for black teas and depends on the type of Oolong. There are various Oolong teas, depending on the oxidation level and the time they are left to oxidize. Like 20% for a green oolong to 60% for a classic Formosa oolong.

  • Roasting

After reaching the desired oxidation level, the leaves are roasted at high temperatures to stop the oxidation and dry it further. As a result of the higher firing temperatures, oolong teas contain less moisture and have a longer shelf life than green teas.

  • Final Rolling

Final rolling determines the last appearance and flavor of roasted and partially dried tea leaves.

What does Oolong tea taste like?

Here are the steps to brew your Oolong tea in a simple, western way.

Things you need-

  1. Freshwater
  2. Loose Oolong tea
  3. Vessel of your choice (infuser, teapot, infuser cup, Chinese gaiwan, etc.)

Steps -

  1. Bring fresh spring water to a boil in a clean kettle.
  2. The amount of tea leaves depends on your choice of Oolong tea.

Wu Yi oolong tea, including Red Robe and Qi Lan 

3-5 grams per cup of water. 


Ti Kwan Yin and other Anxi oolong teas 


4-5 grams of leaves per cup of water 




High Mountain tea 


4-5 grams of tea leaves per cup of water 


White Tipped oolong and other bug-bitten oolongs 


150-200 ml of water for 3 grams of tea leaves 




Flavored oolong tea 


2-3 grams of tea leaves per cup of water 



3. Preheat the cup by rinsing it with hot water.

4. Brew the tea leaves in near-boiling water.

5. Steep for a minute or two.

6. Pour it into the preheated cup and enjoy it.

Health benefits of Oolong teas - Top 5 reasons to include Oolong teas in your life.

  1. Oolong teas may help against diabetes - The polyphenol antioxidants present in the Oolong teas have been shown to protect against diabetic complications, possibly by easing insulin resistance and decreasing inflammation.
  2. Oolong teas promote teeth and bone health - The antioxidants in Oolong teas may help increase bone density. It may also help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce plaque formation.
  3. Oolong teas may help improve brain function- The many components of Oolong teas may help improve brain function and slow down brain aging. Ingredients like caffeine, theanine, and antioxidants may benefit brain function and mood.
  4. Oolong teas may aid weight loss- The combination of antioxidants and polyphenols may help increase specific enzymatic actions that may help burn calories faster.
  5. Oolong teas help in heart diseases- The regular consumption of ample antioxidants present in Oolong teas may improve heart function and protect it.

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