6 Best Oolong Teas: Reviews & Buying Guide
There’s nothing quite like a good cup of tea, especially when you’ve got a little bit of a chill in your bones. No matter what type of tea you drink, tea is known to have proven health benefits, but there’s definitely something special about oolong tea.
Brewed from leaves like all of your other teas, and with antioxidants too, oolong is a unique mix of leaves and caffeine—not to mention that it comes with all sorts of special flavors and blends for you to test out.
Some people might not like certain teas that are perhaps a little too earthy for them. Oolong is a wonderfully floral tea though since it’s made from the leaves, buds, and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. Think of it like a mix between black and green tea, although there are a variety of oolong teas.
A cup of oolong can go a long way when it comes to your well-being. When you consume it regularly, it can provide you with legitimate health benefits, thanks to the antioxidants, and thanks to the oolong leaf itself, which combines catechin and caffeine to help fight free radicals.
Ultimately, there’s a reason why oolong has been so popular in China and Taiwan, and then in the United States. We’ll talk more about the benefits of oolong here, and how to pick the best cup of tea for your tastes.
6 Best Oolong Tea (2022 Update)
1. Teabox Darjeeling Summer Oolong Tea
Tea Box makes a variety of flavors of oolong tea to fit any taste preference. Their oolong teas come with various benefits such as antioxidants, low-caffeine, or even digestion and immune system support. The best part is that all their teas are made with fresh, organic ingredients.
All the teas sold by Teabox are bagged using unbleached tea bags and are certified non-GMO, 100% Kosher, and without preservatives, artificial flavors, or colours.
- Soothing and calming taste
- Fresh & refreshing
- All the teas have natural benefits and organic ingredients
- Before consuming oolong tea, please consult with your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing
2. Numi Organic Oolong Tea
This tea is characterized by its emerald, dark green tea leaves. Tightly rolled, these loose leaves boast a uniquely sweet flavor and is typically deemed of higher quality than other green teas on the market.
Blended with real fruits, spices and flowers, you’ll enjoy its flowery aroma and a slightly stronger flavor. Whether you use these leaves in a french press, tea infuser or tea ball, you’ll love its rich flavor and soothing properties all the same. Its uplifting notes from the Jasmine will calm any nerves and you won’t find the common overly processed oolong tea taste in this truly premium organic tea.
- 100% organic Oolong tea
- No artificial ingredients and flavorings
- Premium tea with no tea dust
- Some batches don’t seem to have a lot of Jasmine flower in them
3. Prince of Peace Organic Tea, Oolong
This is an organic Korean oolong tea that is certified 100% and meets USA standards. It has only natural caffeine, only 30-40mg whereas a cup of coffee averages 100-180mg. Prince of Peace is hand harvested and without preservatives and artificial flavors too.
This is a super healthy tea and great for those who are trying to diet or lose weight.
- The brand owns a special needs orphanage in China that is helped by the tea sales
- Tastes delicious and grown by skilled herbalists
- Great for dieting or weight loss
- The flavor is not very strong
4. Stash Tea Chocolate Mint Wuyi Oolong Tea
If you think Oolong tea is boring, think again. The Stash brand has managed to add an interesting twist to Oolong tea with a hint of chocolate and mint. The amount of chocolate and mint is beautifully subtle and not at all too overpowering that it takes away from the Oolong taste. Enjoy this tea with some milk or just a little sugar. Whether you have it hot or cold, you’ll enjoy its refreshing flavor all the same.
Founded in 1972, the Stash Tea company focuses a lot on premium quality. Every one of their tea bags is well packaged in foil that keeps them in their freshest state so you can enjoy the best quality. With Non-GMO Verified ingredients, you can be confident of the quality coming from this certified B Corp company.
- Unique flavor with a chocolate mint twist
- Non-GMO verified ingredients
- Pleasant, gentle and refreshing taste
- Some people find the chocolate taste too mild
5. Oriarm Oolong Tea Loose Leaf
This creamy Oolong tea is unique in the way that its exquisite aftertaste lingers for a long time; a trait that you won’t usually get to enjoy in other Oolong teas. Drink this tea to help ease the greasiness of your meals, soothe itchy and dry throats, enhance digestion or to help with your weight loss efforts.
This tea is only specially picked during the seasons when they’re growing naturally to ensure the optimum freshness. Its fresh, earthy taste easily wins tea lovers over and it truly satisfies whether it’s enjoyed as a hot tea or an iced tea.
- Creamy, floral taste with an exquisite aftertaste
- Extremely fresh as it’s picked during its growing seasons
- Provides great health benefits
- Some people find the taste a little too mild and wish it was stronger
6. The Tao of Tea, Black Dragon Oolong Tea
A unique tea, this oolong tea gives a strong and rich aftertaste. The tea comes from Fujian, China and is handpicked for the best quality.
This is a high quality tea with a delicious sweet flavor, rolled tightly into tiny pellets. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this tea is that it starts out quite sweet but mellows out a little with each steep. Beautifully and conveniently packaged in a useful container, its creamy, roasted flavor will have you coming back for more.
- Nutty, roasted flavor that’s a hit with many people
- Pleasant flavor and aftertaste
- Picked from the Fujian which is an area famous for producing high quality oolong
- Small quantities and on the expensive side. Some people also find the smokey taste a little too strong.
Benefits of Oolong Tea
Reducing Risk of Heart Disease
There are many benefits to oolong tea, and this is only one of them: with a cup of oolong tea, you can lower your cholesterol levels. Granted, you’ll have to drink your tea regularly to see a huge difference, but studies really do show that there is a significant decrease in the hardening and narrowing of their arteries.
Don’t stop your cholesterol medication if you need it, but you might find that oolong is a nice and natural way to help support your heart health.
We don’t claim that oolong tea will definitely prevent diabetes, but it’s true that the polyphenol antioxidants found in the tea are thought to help reduce your blood sugar and insulin levels.
They can also increase your insulin sensitivity, and there have been a few studies that report a link between tea consumption and improved blood sugar control. That being said, not all studies agree on the link between drinking oolong and your reduction of risk, although there is no negative reason why you shouldn’t drink oolong tea.
There are all kinds of medications that you can take to help you lose weight, but if you’re looking for a more natural way, you might want to try oolong. This tea works by helping you burn fat faster, and therefore raising your metabolism for up to two hours after drinking it.
The polyphenols are also able to block the enzymes that will usually build fat in your body. You really can lose some weight when you drink oolong, as long as you don’t load it with lots of sugar or sweeteners.
We know that tea might not be bearable for you without a little bit of a sweetener though, so try some raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, or agave syrup. These types of sugars are low on the glycemic index.
Benefits of Antioxidants
There are a few benefits that come with the antioxidants found in oolong, such as potentially lowering the risk of certain cancers—this includes cancers like ovarian and pancreatic cancer, and can potentially stop the growth of melanoma.
Those same antioxidants will also stop chronic inflammation, which contributes to all kinds of diseases and conditions.
You can ensure that your brain remains healthy and strong when you drink regular cups of tea, potentially preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Beyond this, you can actually improve your brain function by releasing norepinephrine and dopamine, both of which are thought to help you improve your mood, attention, and brain function. Mixed with the calming effects of drinking tea, you might find that you’re having a better day when you start it with a cup of tea.
Improve Your Beauty
Beyond all of the preventative effects of oolong tea, the antioxidants can also help you improve your overall health by preventing hair loss and making your hair thicker and shinier. You might notice your hair becoming softer and shinier as you drink regular cups of tea.
You might also notice improvements in your skin, since you can help clear up allergies or eczema with regular cups. Oolong tea will help to suppress those allergic reactions and promote your natural healing properties. This will leave you with vibrant and youthful skin, and will work great as an anti-aging tool.
Finally, you can see an improvement in your teeth, since oolong tea prevents tooth decay. It works to protect your teeth from the acid produced by certain bacteria, leaving you with good-looking teeth without that fluoride taste that you would get from going to the dentist.
You can get energized for your day when you start it with a cup of oolong tea. That’s because you have a little caffeine in your tea, along with an amino acid that will inhibit its release. This means that you’ll notice a smoother energy boost from this tea that doesn’t have a crash to it like you would experience when you have coffee.
What’s Inside Oolong?
You’ve heard a lot about the benefits of oolong, but before you take a sip, know that it really is a healthy drink. With only 90 calories, 10mg of sodium, and 25g of carbohydrates, you don’t need to worry about drinking something bad for you. There’s tons of vitamin C in oolong too, making it a great substitute for orange juice if you’ve had trouble with acidic drinks in the past.
How to Choose Oolong Tea
Oolong has a lot of health benefits, but not all oolong tea is made the same. There are tons of varieties out there too, so how can you choose the right variety of tea for you? Not only can the tea leaves differ depending on what place where they have been cultivated, but the differing levels of oxidation will impact the flavor.
There are many styles of oolong tea available today, so look here for some tips on how to choose the best tea for you.
If you’re buying oolong leaves to brew, there are a few basic things you should look for right away. First, if you can touch the leaves, check to see that they’re stiff, broken, and shiny. When you begin brewing with them, the liquid should be a clear amber, gold, or pale green in color, and the infusion should be smooth.
This is just in general though. There are so many different types of oolong leaves depending on the region in which they’re found, so you’ll need to look a little harder to choose your type of tea leaf.
You might not see oolong leaves though. You might see the tea rolled tightly into balls—and these are the Taiwanese leaves. They’re rolled in the tea processing stage so that the tea stays fresh and doesn’t crumble. They also tend to be oxidized less, so the flavor will be fruitier and the brew itself will be lighter.
Oolong originated in China, with the Chinese type of oolong being baked for longer and at a higher temperature compared to your other types. There’s a lot of oxidation in this tea, so the flavor tends to be more intense and with a darker color. You might even confuse Chinese oolong for black tea before you take a sip.
When you’re looking to buy your leaves, no matter which type you’re buying, look for the leaves to be uniform in shape and size. This means that they were at a similar stage of growth when they were harvested.
If you notice that your leaves vary a lot in size, it means that very young leaves were probably mixed in with older leaves, which can indicate that more than one crop was mixed together. Look for whole leaves too rather than leaves with lots of crumbs.
As you’re buying, keep an eye out for leaves that are similar in shape too. You might see leaves that are tightly rolled, but the best rolled leaves will have their stems sticking out. That doesn’t mean that tightly clumped leaves are bad, but they are definitely more processed than the properly rolled ones.
Don’t forget to look for the color in your oolong tea. Taiwanese oolong will generally have a deep green hue to it, with some hints of yellow or reddish brown near the stems. You should never see leaves that are yellow though, since this is an indication that overly mature leaves were harvested with younger leaves. You’ll always see some variation in color in your leaves, but you shouldn’t see huge differences.
If you do have the opportunity to purchase your oolong leaves in person, you can give them a little sniff to smell the subtle fragrance. This should definitely be subtle, and without a hugely perfume-like smell that comes with additives.
The most natural leaves won’t have that perfume smell. You also should not smell a stale or musty smell, which indicates that the leaves were not dried well or stored well.
Pick Your Tea
In the end, what tea you choose is up to you. You’ll know good tea when you see it—like seeing the shape, the color, and the beauty of the tea leaves. This isn’t something you can always see when you buy tea online, but look for reviews that mention the leaves to help you choose.
Oolong tea is healthy for your body, and has many benefits to it. It can be difficult to pick out though when there are so many types of leaves to choose from, and many varieties from different countries. Good oolong tea will not only warm you up from the inside though, but will help you relax and improve your health—just make sure that you choose the right type for you.
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