How To Brew Oolong Tea
Loose leaf tea is always preferable to tea bags. Intact leaves deliver more flavor and less bitterness than their broken-up cousins . Luckily for those of us in the States, loose leaf oolong tea tends to travel well, so you should be able to find fresh, high quality leaves even after theyve made the journey from China or Taiwan.
Traditionally, oolong tea is made and served in a ceramic pot called a Yixing teapot. Much like a cast-iron skillet, these pots were designed to be seasoned by the product they held, absorbing oolongs flavors and intensifying the taste of every subsequent brew. But if you dont have one of these, a stainless steel kettle is your next best bet .
Black tea can handle boiling water. Green and white teas, which are more delicate and less processed, are best brewed with water thats hot, but not bubbling. Oolong teas, again, fall somewhere in the middle.
Its recommended to use water between 185°F and 205°F. To get a good temperature, bring a pot to boil, then remove it from heat and let it cool down for two to three minutes.
Fill your infuser with one or two teaspoons of leaves per cup of water, steeping for about three minutes.
Oolong tea leaves can be brewed as many as four or five times, and its said that the latter brews produce more mellow flavors. Caffeine content, though not very high in any oolong variety, also drops each time a batch is brewed.
Does Oolong Tea Taste Like Black Tea
If heavy oxidized, oolong tea can taste like black tea, but it will rarely be full bodied. Some oolong teas can be oxidized up to even 99%, however, that is quite rare. Black oolong tea will very likely resemble the notes of slightly fruity Chinese black teas. Even heavily oxidized oolongs are usually more playful and aromatic than regular black tea.
How Is Oolong Tea Produced
Many teas are made from the same plants, but a variety of factors inform the finished product, including the climate and geography where theyre grown and the way the leaves are processed after picking. Oolong tea, which is harvested in the spring, is produced through a multi-step process which includes withering, cooling, rolling, oxidizing, roasting, drying, and sorting.
After the leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant are picked, theyre lightly shaken to kickstart the oxidation process that yields oolong teas unique flavor. The leaves are then placed in the sun for a few hours, which makes them wither as their moisture evaporates. This process draws out a fragrant floral scent and gives the leaves a durable flexibility, preparing them for the rolling to come. But before that step takes place, theyre cooled for a while in the shade.
This period of rest concludes once the leaves start to look wilted or have visibly changed shape. Afterward, the leaves are gently rolled, which bruises them further and breaks down their cell walls, releasing flavor and exposing them to oxygen, continuing their oxidation.
The last step in oolong production is rolling and curling these roasted leaves. This phase gives oolong leaves their unmistakable shape and is essential to the finished appearance and taste of the tea. The final product can be found packaged as a loose leaf tea or even in sachets.
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Republic Of Tea Best In 36
- Type: Milky oolong
- Net Weight: 4.8 oz
- Package: Teabags in can
Milky oolong is another popular tea from the Fujian Province in China. This one comes in lightly oxidized and processed into teabags for easy and convenient brewing.
It features a sweet cream and pineapple aroma, which set it apart from most other teas. The Republic of Tea also offers other flavors, including Dragon Oolon and Peach Blossom Oolong in the same 36-teabag packaging.
Because this oolong comes in teabags, it wont work well with oolong purists, who prefer to give the leaves enough space to unfold. Its however, verified a non-GMO project, Kosher, carb, gluten, and sugar-free.
- Features a milky taste with cream and pineapple aroma
- Guaranteed non-GMO, Kosher, and gluten-free
- Teabags dont produce optimal oolong tea
- You can get cheaper oolong tea offers
What Makes Oolong Tea Different From The Rest Of The Teas
Walking down the aisle in a shopping mall, you must have come across a variety of teas, labeled and packaged in different colors. One might ask, what makes oolong tea stand out in such a diverse environment? Two worded answers would be health benefits. A detailed answer would discuss oolong teas role as an immune booster, its dental protection ability, and how the antioxidants found in oolong tea can delay the process of aging. As much as we would love to discuss these health benefits of oolong tea in detail, we are afraid that is not the scope of this discussion. No, you see we are going to focus on a complete angle altogether, a much more fun angle. We are going to discuss the best way to drink oolong tea! Sounds fun, right? Lets get started.
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Best Taiwan Oolong Tea: Alishan High Mountain Oolong
China may be the birthplace of oolong-style tea but it didnt take long for oolong technology to transfer abroad. By the 1990s, Taiwan had become a significant player in the global oolong market, and for good reason.
The island of Taiwan is blessed with ecologically diverse tea-growing regions that encompass rolling lowland hills and stunning mountain ranges as high as 8000 feet . Among the more famous tea mountains is the Alishan Range which forms part of the spine of the island. Scattered along the gradients in altitude are found tranquil tea farms, many of which specialize in growing Camellia sinensis solely for oolong teas.
There are several compelling benefits of growing tea in high mountains. These benefits include:
- Less exposure to pollutants. High mountains are often isolated from industrial development and busy highways which can be sources of pollution.
- Gentle sunlight. Mountain mists and clouds in the Alishans filter out harsh sunlight that might impart bitterness and strength in tea.
- Slower tea growth. Cool summer nights and occasional winter snowfall slows plant growth and enhances flavor-giving polyphenols and amino acids.
- Less need for insect control. Shorter and colder growing seasons at altitude reduces insect populations which in turn reduces the need for pesticides.
How To Get Into Oolong Tea
That is my really helpful technique to entering into any sort of tea. Its one I realized in my Tea Sommelier program that I discovered tremendous helpful.
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Stash Tea 100 Sachets Of Peach
- Type: Oolong & peach
- Package: 10, 100, 1,000 teabags
Heres another oolong tea offer with a blend of fruit, and this time its ripe and juicy peach thats added to the tea. The mix also has traces of lemongrass and orange peel.
Of course, the best oolong tea is pure without fruits, but you may want to try this one if fruit teas are your thing. Its made using oolong from the Wuyi Mountains of Fujian Province in China and comes in teabags.
This means that its not an option for oolong purists because teabags dont offer enough space for oolong leaves to naturally unfold while steeping. Its still a convenient way to make oolong tea anyway.
- Oolong tea with peach flavor
- Made with oolong from Wuyi Mountains
- Available in 10, 100, and 1,000 packs
- Guaranteed safe and non-GMO product
- Teabags dont make the best oolong tea
- High-quality oolong doesnt need extra flavors
Vahdam High Mountain Oolong Tea Leaves From The Himalayas
If you are looking for high-quality oolong tea on the UK market, VAHDAM has the right product for you. The company uses loose leaves from plantations in India. They picked the region famous as the champagne of teas to deliver a first-rate product to customers.
It is worth noting that the manufacturer even obtained a certificate that their brand is plastic and carbon-neutral, which means they are responsible toward the environment.
The tea itself has a subtle floral taste, and even those who never tried oolong will love it. You will find the preparation directions on the box. All it takes is to put a single teaspoon of tea in hot water for about five minutes, and you can drink the beverage.
VAHDAM Oolong Tea comes in convenient packaging. It ensures you store the product without it losing its strength over time. The multi-layer packaging protects your tea from heat, light, oxygen, and moisture. Thanks to that, the tea remains fresh for a long time.
- The packaging allows storing the tea without it losing its strength
- A subtle floral flavor that appeals to most people
- A certified plastic and carbon-neutral brand
- The price tag is a bit higher compared to similar units
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Oolong Tea Promotes Weight Loss
Bioactive compounds present in tea have a Hypolipidemic effect, meaning a steady decrease in body fat.
Although the molecular mechanism is not completely elucidated, experiments have shown between 10 18% weight loss as well as a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL-C levels. . A recent study has also shown Oolong tea to be the most effective for weight loss .
Caffeine present in Oolong tea is said to promote lipolysis in the body which can effectively reduce obesity. Although inconclusive, there have been hundreds of studies on weight loss due to Oolong tea.
A significant fraction of research suggests the positive effects of this tea on body fat weight.
How To Brew The Best Cup Of Oolong Tea
When brewing high quality oolong tea, patience, good water and proper utensils are all important. First, learn more about the type you want to brew. Some oolongs are better steeped for only a few seconds, while other may give a wonderful cup when you infuse the leaves for more than 5 minutes. Most oolongs are suitable for both short steep technique and long steeping. Fresh spring water is especially important for making a best tasting cup of tea. For example, higher mineral content in some spring waters may bring more mineral notes in Wu Yi rock teas.
To get the most flavor out of oolong tea, use a smaller teapot and 1 gram of tea leaves per 20-30 ml of water. The temperature should be from 185 to 203 °F. Wash the leaves first by steeping them for only a few seconds and discarding the brew. Then steep for 10- 20 seconds and increase the time with each subsequent brew until the flavor is completely gone. To brew oolong tea western-style, use about one teaspoon of leaves per cup and brew for 1-3 minutes. Water temperature should be around 185 °F.
Tip: Rolled oolong teas are some of the most beautiful loose leaf teas to watch when brewing. Try using a glass teapot to maximize the brewing experience.
For making iced tea, brew the tea in the western style, but use double the amount of the oolong tea leaves. Steep for 5-10 minutes. Cool in the fridge or top up with ice and add a sweetener.
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Best Oolong Tea: Which 3 Brands Are Clean And Taste Great
By Chip, last updated
Oolong tea is ideal for budding tea drinkers because its mellower than black tea but not as bright as green tea. It has a subtle fruity flavor and pleasant aroma, but its not overpowering.
Its also a great beverage for tea aficionados because it tastes great and has a number of health benefits. Oolong tea also contains antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals and some caffeine. However, it tends to have less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
If youre wondering how to choose the best oolong tea, youve come to the right place. Well explain the different varieties, give you an idea of what to look for in an oolong tea and review a few of our favorites.
What Is Taiwan Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is made from the same leaves as Green and Black tea. The difference is in how the tea leaves are processed. Green tea leaves are not allowed to oxidize while black tea leaves are allowed to oxidize until turning black. Oolong tea leaves are somewhere in the middle of the oxidization process.
SomeTaiwan Oolong tea is produced in the mountainous regions of Taiwan like Alishan. This type of Taiwan Oolong tea is called TaiwanHigh-Mountain Oolong tea. Since the tea is being cultivated at such a high altitude, it is allowed to slow the maturation process which concentrates the flavor and produces a strong flowery aroma.
In order to be listed as high-mountain tea, the tea must be grown above 1000 meters. Some in Taiwan only consider tea grown in altitudes above 1500 meters to be high-mountain tea. High-mountain teas are for the tea drinker who prefer a softer taste to their teas. They are easier to brew, but cost more due to the higher elevation.
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What Is The Best Tea Knife
Over the years I have collected a stash of different tea picks and knives for breaking compressed teas. Like any hobby, you grow to prefer certain tools, but I thought Id try a few other tea tool options to see what is the best tea knife.
Today I will be trying a number of tea knives as well as home/kitchen items that arent intended for tea cake breaking.
Promotes Healthy Digestion And Boost Metabolism
If you are suffering from acid reflux, inflammation, and ulcers, drinking this tea will help offer relief. Its oxidized nature enables it to improve the digestive system, which in turn helps to solve most of these problems.
There are other Oolong tea benefits, including giving you a calming, relaxing effect, helping with weight loss, fighting acne, improving brain health, and reversing the signs of aging.
With that in mind, we can now discuss the top 10 best oolong tea brands on the market at the moment
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Beengslayer Square Tapered Tea Knife
Before testing all the puer knives, the Beengslayer is my puer knife of choice. It is square, with a long diamond shaped taper.
Cost $10- $20.AvailabilityCrimson Lotus Tea is the first I saw to carry this style of tea knife and where I purchased mine. However, other tea shops have been carrying it, and I also found a . Durability Excellent, this is a slab of metal. I worry the handle will come off, but I havent had problems yet. If I break this one, Ill replace it with an all metal model.Comfort The square thin handle becomes uncomfortable and crampy if you are breaking up a whole cake in one sitting, but okay for occasional use.Safety I have drawn blood with this guy it is very sharp! Hide this from children and wrap it well in travel as it will stab through bags and packaging.Does it Puer Knife?Beengslayer makes quick work of anything you throw at it, even tight compression. The only con is poor ergonomics, so the Beengslayer isnt great for chopping up entire cakes in one session.
What Are The Most Important Types Of Oolong Tea
Oolong tea comes in two main shapes ball shaped or with long twisted leaves. For example, all Taiwanese high mountain oolong teas are ball shaped, including a bud and more leaves with whole branches. On the other hand, Chinese Ti Kwan Yin is also ball shaped, but should never include whole branches. Chinese Dan Cong teas have twisted long and elegant leaves, while the Wu Yi rock oolong will usually have twisted, but plumper and shorter leaves.
Some of the most important types of oolong tea are:
- Chinese Wu Yi rock tea with distinctive mineral note and fruity flavor, usually heavy oxidized
- Chinese Dan Cong teaseach and every with a distinctive flavor resembling magnolia, almond,
- Taiwanese bug bitten oolongs like Oriental Beauty and Honey oolongs with refined and sometimes very strong natural honey and ripe fruit flavor
- Chinese Anxi oolongs with flavors ranging from lightly floral and nutty to stronger, almost full bodied flavor with even acidic and roasted notes
- Taiwanese high mountain green oolong tea with light floral notes, fruity notes and milky textures
- Taiwanese Dong Ding oolongs, ranging from lightly roasted to heavily roasted with rich and fruity flavor
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Brand Credibility And Safety
This aspect doesnt only go with Oolong tea, but with every edible/drinkable product out there. Three important aspects that you must look for is the credibility of manufacturers, transparency of nutritional value, and appropriate certification and approvals. Thus, do look if your Oolong tea brand has third party standard labels, such as the FDA, Certified Organic, and NSF.
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