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How to make the perfect cup of Oolong tea.

If you have ever been to a Chinese restaurant and had a cup of tea that you can’t put your finger on the exact taste there is a chance that you have just an encounter with a nice cup of oolong tea. As it is somewhat in between black and green tea as far as flavor goes it is easy to mistake it as a light black tea, or a heavily steeped green tea, and actually made me ask the server what type of tea it was to get the actual answer that I had been enjoying a nice cup of oolong tea.

And if you are looking for more information on how to brew teas, make sure you check out our guides for all the teas we offer in our tea talk blog.

What is oolong tea?

As it is a more processed version of green tea you will first need to get the water a bit warmer than your traditional cup of green tea. Generally I try to get my tea around 90 degrees, maybe even a bit warmer, as this will release the tasty flavor that is oolong tea. Its subtle earthy, and sometimes fruity, flavors are really worth paying attention to your water temperature over. If you pour water that is too hot on the oolong tea leaves you will quickly realize that you have made a mistake as it will generally scald the tea leaves and result in a more bitter taste than the sweeter taste usually associated with oolong teas.

clear glass pitcher and oolong tea
nicely brewed oolong tea

How to brew oolong tea

Once you have your temperature down the next thing you will want to pay attention to is the time that you are letting the tea steep for. As oolong tea is more processed than green tea you will also want to increase the amount of time that the warm water interacts with the tea leaves with. This will allow a complex and robust flavor profile to emerge from the oolong tea leaves, which will result in a truly satisfying cup of tea.

Oolong teas complex flavor really requires you to let the flavors come out of the tea leaves so you should try to let the leaves steep for between 3 to 4 minutes. If you cut the time too short you will end up with a lot less of a flavor profile and too long will result in a bitter mess of flavors, so it is really important to pay attention to your steep time when making your cup of oolong tea.


Oolong tea is a great experience if you have never tried it so give our list of oolongs a look at Oolong tea . If you try out a cup of oolong and feel that it could be what you are looking for but not exactly the cup you are needing, try switching the water temperature a bit or the steep time as you will be amazed how different cups of tea can taste with just a little bit of tweeks.