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How To Make Oolong Tea

Tea Technique: Steeping Oolong

Making Tea : How to Prepare Oolong Tea

Liz ClaytonWhere to Drink Coffee Nice Coffee Time New York Coffee Map 2015Editorial Process

Dynamic oolong, as we have recently discussed, is the sort of tea whose pleasures, much like its fragrant leaves, unfurl and reveal more and more over time and repeated infusion.

For this reason, steeping oolongs in small, versatile vessels really makes exploration of flavor in these particular teas exciting. As a drinker, you’ll soon discover that working with oolongs is a journey as much as a process. Here’s how to get started.

Grandpa Style Tea Brewing

While Gong Fu brewing is about small vessels and the ratio of tea leaves to water combined with the brewing time, Grandpa brewing is about using less leaves and more water for longer brewing times. Grandpa brewing tea is very suitable when drinking one serving of tea or when you dont have the time to hassle with all the ceremony and steps of Gong Fu brewing. To brew tea Grandpa style, simply put some loose leaf tea into a mug with a proportion of about 1:40 tea leaves to water , and fill with boiling water. Tip: Refill with hot water whenever the brew becomes too strong, or you just want to warm up and top off your mug of tea.

Best Teaware For Brewing Oolong Tea

You can brew tea using almost any teapot strainer or infuser, but if you really want to enjoy the best flavor of the tea, avoid small infusers or big teapots. The best solution is to buy a proper gong fu tea set for brewing tea. As most types of oolongs come from China and Taiwan, it doesnt come as a surprise that the best teaware will the Chinese one.

To extract all flavor notes from oolong tea, leaf/water ratio is important and the eastern way of brewing will always give the best flavor. Therefore, smaller teapots are a better choice. Many oolong teas are either shaped in small tight balls or formed into long wiry shapes. Small infusing balls or spoons wont allow the leaves to fully expand. For brewing some types of tea you will need to fill the pot almost 2/3 full with leaves and small teapots make measuring very easy. With rolled oolongs, always fill the bottom with leaves, while with long wiry leaves, aim to fill at least half of the teapot.

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Questions You May Have

What does oolong tea taste like?

There isnt just one oolong tea. There are a lot of different oolongs and they all taste a little different. Some will be fruity with floral notes and others may be sweet with honey notes.

Is there caffeine?

Yes, there is caffeine in oolong tea, about half the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Can I add milk and sugar?

Generally, no. Its a tea thats usually drank without anything else added.

Is there a difference between loose tea, tea sachets, and tea bags?

When youre first starting to get into tea, always go with loose tea if possible. You should be drinking the tea without any milk or sugar so you want to go with the better quality tea. Loose tea is better than tea sachets which is better than tea bags. Tea in tea bags is the lowest quality and should be avoided unless youre using it for recipes or if its being mixed with other ingredients.

Where can I buy it?

I recommend getting oolong tea from Te Company , Song Tea & Ceramics , Harney & Sons .

How do you buy loose tea?

Loose tea is sold in ounces or grams and the minimum is usually 2 or 4 ounces. 2 ounces will make about 10 cups of tea. If you dont have a scale to weigh tea, you can take the 2 ounces of tea and split it evenly into 10 portions.

Combine All Ingredients To Make The Tea

Oolong Tea

Place 1-2 tbsp. of pearls into your coffee containers or plastic glasses. Next, add syrup or other sweeteners as desired. Then take your freshly brewed tea and pour it directly over the tapioca pearls.

If this tea is hot , wait until it cools down to perform this step. Fill the cup about 3/4 of the way up. Next, carefully pour the milk over the tea until it almost reaches about an inch or two from the brim. Lastly, add about 3-4 ice cubes as desired. Be sure to consume the tea within 45 minutes to an hour to prevent it from getting watered down.

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How To Make Oolong Milk Tea

Once the Oolong tea is brewed to your taste, you can use it immediately to make hot Oolong milk tea. For cold milk tea, let the tea cool down to room temperature before using.

Lets begin preparing the oolong milk tea:

  • Prepare the brown sugar syrup by cooking the water and sugar over medium-high heat until thickened.
  • Cook the tapioca pearls as indicated on the pack. Drain and add them into the sugar syrup. Cover and set aside.
  • Prepare the Oolong tea brew by rinsing the tea as indicated in the section above.
  • Let the tea steep for 1-5 minutes. The longer you brew it, the stronger the flavour.
  • Note: you can skip making the brown sugar syrup and replace it with runny honey.

    Once all the ingredients are ready, we can assemble the Oolong Bubble Tea:

  • In a serving glass, place the tapioca pearls and sugar syrup. Adjust the level of sweetness by adding more or less sugar syrup.
  • Pour Oolong tea over the tapioca pearls, about ¾ of the way to the brim.
  • Top with milk all the way to the brim. Use hot milk with hot tea and cold milk with cold tea.
  • Serve immediately with a bubble tea straw. For the cold milk tea, add 2-3 ice cubes.
  • Brewing Roasted Oolong Tea

    A general rule for roasted Oolongs is the more roasted the leaves are, the less leaves needed. So start with around 8g/150ml, and then adjust accordingly. In the end, each batch of tea has its own character and its worth learning how to brew each batch of tea in order to make the best tea possible.

    Roasted Tsui Yu Oolong Tea. You typically need to use less tea leaves when brewing roasted oolongs

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    Brewing Oolong Tea In A Gaiwan Tea Set

    A gaiwan literally means lidded bowl in Chinese and and usually comes with a saucer on which it sits. Brewing tea in a gaiwan is pretty much the same as brewing in a teapot in that it is a similar size, and the same proportions are recommended. You can adjust the amount of tea used, and the time of steeping to suit your particular taste.

    Cold Brewing Oolong Tea

    How to make Oolong Tea

    You can cold brew any oolong tea in the same way you would cold brew green tea. However, oolong tea leaves will need more time to release the flavor. Letting them steep for at least 6 hours or overnight will give the best flavor.

  • Choose a big glass teapot or a pitcher.
  • Add 2 spoons of tea leaves.
  • Add lukewarm or cold water.
  • Cover with a lid to protect from odors.
  • Put in a fridge for at least 6 hours.
  • Use within 24 hours.
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    How To Prepare Oolong Tea

    wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 20 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 114,852 times.

    The name Oolong describes any partially fermented tea, falling between unfermented green tea and fully fermented black tea. You can put as much or as little time into learning about and preparing Oolong as suits your habits. Make it a ritual to calm your afternoon, or just check the water temperature and move on with your day. If you are interested in learning more, research the Chinese tea ceremony and the many varieties of Oolong in China and Taiwan.

    Oolong Milk Tea Vs Milk Tea

    Milk Tea is an umbrella term that encompasses all types of teas that contain milk. Milk teas is mostly an interchangeable term with Bubble Tea – a Taiwanese drink that contains tapioca pearls. Bubble teas can be either Okinawa Milk Tea, Hokkaido Milk Tea, Taro Milk Tea, Oolong Milk Tea and so on.

    Oolong Milk tea is a type of Milk Tea thats made using Oolong Tea and milk.

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    How To Make Oolong With A Gaiwan

    Firstly, what is a Gaiwan?

    Essentially its a lidded tea bowl, however it’s far more than the sum of its parts. First conceived in the Ming Dynasty it’s perfect for infusing the most delicate and intricate teas. It’s particularly suited to Oolong, due to the ability of the leaves to be infused multiple times with a high leaf-to-water ratio .


    Leaf to Water ratio

    The gaiwan works best with a high leaf-to-water ratio – about double what youd do for a normal cup, between 4g and 6g.


    Water Temperature & Wash

    For rolled oolongs- they need softening before infusing. Use an inch of boiling water at 212°F to wash the leaf for a few seconds – this opens out the rolled leaf and allows the water to penetrate .


    Multiple Infusions

    Begin your infusions with water from the same kettle – you dont need to reheat the water – the softened leaf will require lower temperatures.

    Infuse for 10 – 30 seconds each time, draining the leaf completely.

    All in all we recommend at least six infusions to allow the leaf to completely open out and reveal all its complexity.

    For black, green and white teas, please infuse at the temperature specified on the product page and far more rapidly. The higher leaf to water ratio means you need to be quick- just a few seconds. But with this method you can infuse the leaf repeatedly before it is exhausted – each infusion should reveal different flavour notes.

    Is Oolong Tea Healthy For You

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    There are several health advantages associated with drinking tea due to the high quantities of antioxidants that are found in all types of tea.However, studies have shown that the antioxidant and antimutagenic benefits of the minerals found in oolong tea are far higher than those of the green or black kinds.According to a number of studies, the polyphenols included in oolong tea are able to bring down blood sugar levels.

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    Tea Brewing Guide 5 Steps And Some Tips

    Oolong tea is well suited for the tea ceremony.

    Oolong tea is well suited for the tea ceremony. It has bright organoleptic properties, which change in the process of brewing, from steeping to steeping. The old oolongs, in addition to the interesting and deep taste, may also have an extraordinary effect on the body – the Chinese call it Cha Qi . Therefore, oolongs are very popular among both, beginners and tea masters. Aged oolongs of high quality can have serious collectible value.

    And well, you finally decided to try a good oolong and understand what is so wonderful about it, what the tea masters can talk about for hours, with rapture and delight. In numerous photos and videos, you can see tea masters with various devices and tea accessories. But we assure you, for the first acquaintance, even with very serious tea, you can do with a minimal set of teaware. We dont say to brew it artlessly, no way. But we can give you a few simple tips on how to make a good oolong by improvised means.

    If you do not have a special tea tray yet, you can take a large bowl and put the pot on the bottom – when brewing, excess water will remain at the bottom of the bowl. This rather popular way of serving gongfu tea is called the tea basin . Prepare a piece of cloth to remove water from the bottom of the pot before pouring tea out into the cups.

    What Tea Is Healthiest

    Green tea is often considered to be the healthiest variety of tea. It is loaded to the gills with polyphenols and antioxidants, both of which serve to improve the health of the brain and the heart. Since it is not oxidized, green tea is regarded to be one of the real teas that undergo the least amount of processing. After harvesting the leaves, they are dried and wrapped up right away.

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    How To Brew Loose Leaf Oolong Teas Gong Fu Style

  • Bring spring or freshly drawn filtered water to 190. Without a thermometer, this can be achieved by letting boiling water cool for about 2 minutes.
  • Place the oolong leaves directly into your teapot. Refer to our guide above to measure your tea leaves.
  • Fill the pot with hot water, allowing the leaves to sit for no more than 5 seconds, then discard the water. We refer to this first steeping as the rinse. This will help to initially unfurl the leaves, which facilitates further extraction in later steeps.
  • Once again, fill the pot with 190 water, pouring directly over the leaves. Wait approximately 10-20 seconds, then pour the tea through a strainer into the glass pot. Next, pour tea into the tea cups from the glass pot. This will ensure that each individual is experiencing the same flavor in each pour.
  • Continue steeps as many times as you like, adding 5-10 seconds to each. As time passes, look to see the evolution of the leaf and the deepening of the liquor color. Most importantly pay attention to the changing flavor with each steep. Once the strength of the tea no longer comes through, the leaves have been fully extracted.
  • What Is The Origin Of The Word Oolong

    How to Make Oolong Tea

    The book Miscellaneous Notes on Fujian, written in 1857 by Shi Hongbao, was the first publication in which the Chinese name wulong was used to designate a type of tea.In Chinese, oolong teas are sometimes referred to as qingcha, which literally translates to dark green teas .In French, the phrase for oolong tea is referred to as blue tea, which literally translates to blue tea in English.

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    How Is Loose Leaf Oolong Tea Made

    Oolong tea leaves in their loose form are placed in a bag and then rolled in a rolling machine.The process of rolling and drying is carried out in a continuous manner for up to twelve hours.The leaves will eventually get more tightly coiled and dryer as the cycle progresses.When the procedure should be stopped can be determined based on the level of expertise of the person making the tea as well as the impact that is intended.

    What Teapot Do I Need

    Using the original Chinese teapots is part of immersing yourself in the Oolong experience or gongfu brewing. Still, you can make an excellent cup of Oolong using regular Western-style kitchenware.

    Porcelain, for instance, is affordable and allows the true Oolong flavors to shine through, but heres a quick look at a couple of fancy Chinese Oolong teaware and a few modern ones.

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    How Do You Make Tea From Oolong Tea


  • Place two teaspoons of oolong tea leaves in the infuser of the cup youre using
  • After adding the boiling water, let the tea sit for 5 seconds.
  • Put the lid on the teapot after adding one cup of water.
  • Remove the infuser, and have a drink
  • Repeat the steeping process using hot water and tea for one minute and fifteen seconds
  • Getting The Right Water Temperature For Oolong Tea

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    Like green tea, the temperature of the water is very important when it comes to brewing oolong. The most ideal temperature for oolong is 85 – 90°C.

    The most accurate way is to use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water. However you might not have a thermometer or one of those temperature controlled kettles. The simple way to get the right temperature is boil your kettle, open the lid, wait 1 – 2 minutes for the water to cool down before pouring over the tea leaves and let it brew in the teapot or cup.

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    How To Make Cold Oolong Tea

    The fastest way to make cold oolong tea is by brewing a cup of hot tea and adding ice. You can make a more concentrated drink, then dilute it with water, or add plenty of ice into a hot tea. Using a shaker is great for this method. If you want to cold brew iced tea instead, steep tea in the fridge overnight using cold water. Oolong tea may need more time to release flavor than green tea. Add more loose tea leaves too. Use about 1-2 spoons of tea leaves per 1 liter of cold water.

    For iced oolong tea, loose leaf is better than tea bags. Oolong is famous for incredibly strong and unique flavor thats released throughout multiple infusions.

    What Is The Difference Between Oolong Tea And Black Tea

    The Variations in Flavor There is no comparison in flavor between black tea and dark oolong tea, despite the fact that they may appear to have a similar color. Notes of honey, caramel, or smoke are frequently found in black teas. There is a possibility that dark oolong teas will also exhibit some of these notes.

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    Dont Be Afraid To Make Oolong

    As always in life, true perfection comes through experiments. You can try our recommended brewing methods to find underneath our Oolong descriptions on the individual oolong product pages. Depending on your personal situation, these instructions can vary.

    This has several reasons, i. e. your water quality, the atmospheric pressure that impacts the boiling point of water, or if you brew your Oolong in a colder or hotter climate. That is why we want to encourage you to try out what works best for you. Remember, there is no golden way to make Oolong or brew the perfect cup, but once you hit the sweet spot, you will know a perfect cup is simply a perfect cup. If you are looking for further information on how to make Oolong you can check this wiki-how-to page.


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