Tea 101: What is Oolong Tea?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re new to oolong tea, then you’re in for a treat. Falling somewhere between green and black teas, semi-oxidized oolongs (aka wulong) make up one of the most diverse tea categories on the planet, with oxidation levels ranging from 10-90%. This means you get a huge variety of delicious and complex flavours to explore – from fruity to floral to smoky to nutty. And getting that perfect cup of Chinese or Taiwanese oolong is a real labour of love. Oolong tea leaves undergo a complex and time-consuming series of steps, being partially rolled and dried again and again until the unique aromas and flavours are just right. There are many ways to do this, but the exact process varies depending on the producer – and it’s often a protected family secret.

Bonus? Oolongs combine all the feel-good benefits found in green tea and black tea – so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Discover the feel-good benefits of oolong tea

There are many delicious benefits to drinking oolong. For starts, it’s been used as a metabolism-booster and digestive aid since ancient times. Try a hot cup after a heavy meal and let its smooth flavours soothe your tummy.  Oolong teas are also naturally energizing and packed with antioxidants – the powerhouses that help guard your body against the damaging effects of free radicals.

How much caffeine is in oolong?

If you’re looking for a gentle boost of energy, sipping on a caffeinated oolong is a great place to start. Our oolong teas contain between 10-55 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, which is slightly more than green tea, less than black tea and a lot less than coffee (140 mg per cup).

Fun fact: the caffeine found in oolong is a great way to help increase mental awareness and productivity. Try swapping out your morning coffee for a cup of Tie Kwan Yin or sipping a mugful of Happy Kombucha during your next study sesh.

What does oolong tea taste like?

Oolong teas have a unique taste, with a wide variety of distinctive aromas and flavours that develop naturally during the oxidation stage – the process of darkening tea leaves by exposing them to air. Bright green oolongs are fresher with buttery floral notes because they’re less oxidized, while slightly fermented and darker oolongs tend to be bolder, toastier and more complex – kind of like a fine whisky.

The beauty of oolong teas? There are so many natural flavours to choose from, you’re almost guaranteed to find something you love. Think ripe fruit, deep chocolate, caramelized root vegetables, sweet spices, nuts with hints of shea butter… Once you try one, you’ll just have to try them all to taste the differences.

Find the oolong tea that’s right for you


Sticky Rice Oolong

This sweet and creamy oolong is blended with Nuo Mi Xiang – a tender Chinese herb that tastes and smells just like sticky rice.

Maple Syrup Oolong

Call us stereotypical Canadians, but we love maple syrup. And this sweet and buttery oolong tea tastes just like a fresh stack of pancakes drenched in rich maple.


Guangzhou Milk Oolong

This ultra-rare oolong from the Wuyi Mountains of China is velvety smooth and luxuriously creamy, with a subtle hint of orchid.

Coconut Cream Pie

Rich coconut. Creamy white chocolate. And a golden, buttery crust. Can anything top a coconut cream pie? Maybe not, but this sweet and toasty oolong comes pretty darn close.


Vanilla Orchid

When you blend premium Huang Jin Gui with a touch of vanilla, you get a perfectly balanced cup that’s equal parts rich, creamy and floral. Heavenly…

Honey Ginseng Defence

Boost your defences with this restorative floral oolong tea. With ginseng, goji, ginger and the soothing aroma of honey, it’s a dreamy go-to when you’re feeling run-down.


Tie Kwan Yin

Hand-produced on a small family garden near the mountains of Taiwan, this crisp, buttery oolong tea with notes of roasted nuts has a long history.

Nutty & Spice

Inspired by a festive spice cake, this warming mix of oolong, fruit, nuts and spices is as sweet and comforting as it gets. Warning: may induce feelings of holiday cheer.


Organic Ruby Oolong

With notes of ripe plum, caramelized apple and quince, this unique organic oolong brews well at high temperatures and will never get bitter. Perfect for an easily distracted tea drinker.

Long Life Oolong

Infused with a refreshing kick of sweet peaches, juicy apricots and crunchy almonds, we’ve given this ancient tea the modern twist it deserves.

From pure leaf oolongs to fruity iced teas to mouthwatering blends inspired by your fave dessert, we have the oolong tea you’ve been searching for right here.

How to make oolong tea perfectly

The secret to making the perfect cup of oolong tea comes down to three key elements: temperature, the type of infuser you use, and time. When it comes to steeping temp, it’s important to use water that’s 90°C (195°F) so the heat releases all the delicious flavours the leaves have to offer. Don’t have a thermometer? Let your boiled kettle sit for 1-2 minutes before using.

It’s time to break out your infuser. Oolongs are often tightly wound and expand dramatically during infusion, which is why you need an infuser.  that allows your tea leaves plenty of room to expand. Once your water is at the optimal temp, pour it into your mug and let the leaves steep for 4-5 minutes. This will allow for the leaves to release all of their natural oils and aromas to make sure you get a deliciously full-flavoured cup.

Steep oolong tea gong fu style

One of the things we love most about oolongs is that you can steep them multiple times. This steeping method is called Gong Fu Cha – the ancient practice of making multiple infusions of the same tea. Oolongs are especially great for this practice because the leaves can expand with every steep. If you’re steeping gong fu style, start off with super short Infusion times (between 20 seconds and 1 minute), then infuse a little longer with every successive steeping (1-3 minutes). With each new infusion, new notes and flavours will begin to shine through the cup – so the tea you started off with may taste like a totally new tea by the end. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think!



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