The 5 Best Oolong Teas With Flavors From Sweet to Smoky

The 5 Best Oolong Teas With Flavors From Sweet to Smoky

If you are a tea lover, you have probably come across oolong tea at some point. Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that is well-known for its unique flavor profile and health benefits. It falls somewhere between green tea and black tea, with a variety of notes ranging from sweet and floral to smoky and earthy. We will explore the best oolong teas with flavors that range from sweet to smoky, so you can discover your perfect cup of tea.

1. What is Oolong Tea?

Defining Oolong Tea

Oolong tea, also known as Wu Long tea, is a traditional Chinese tea that falls between green and black tea in oxidation levels. The name Oolong means "black dragon" in Chinese, alluding to the tea's dark color and the curled shape of the tea leaves.

Oolong Tea Production Process

The production of oolong tea involves withering, tossing the leaves in baskets, oxidation, and roasting or firing. The oxidation process determines the flavor, aroma, and appearance of the tea. The level of oxidation can range from 8% to 80%, which results in varying levels of sweetness, floral notes, and smokiness.

2. The Different Types of Oolong Tea

Tie Guan Yin

Tie Guan Yin, also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy, is a lightly oxidized oolong tea with a floral and sweet aroma.

Da Hong Pao

Da Hong Pao, also known as Big Red Robe, is a heavily oxidized oolong tea from Wuyishan, China. It has a rich, roasted flavor with hints of caramel.

Wuyi Rock Oolong

Wuyi Rock Oolong is grown in the Wuyi mountains of China and is a medium to heavily oxidized tea with a smoky flavor.

Phoenix Dan Cong

Phoenix Dan Cong is a highly aromatic and flavorful oolong tea from Guangdong, China. It has a fruity and floral taste with notes of honey.

Milk Oolong

Milk oolong is a lightly oxidized tea with a creamy, smooth flavor. It's named for its naturally sweet, milky aroma that comes from a special roasting process.

3. The Flavor Profile of Oolong Tea


Oolong tea can have a sweet flavor with notes of honey, vanilla, and caramel.


Some oolong teas have a delicate floral flavor. Tie Guan Yin and Phoenix Dan Cong are two examples of oolong teas with a floral profile.


Oolong teas can have a fruity flavor, with notes of peach, apricot, and apple.


Wuyi Rock Oolong has a smoky flavor, which comes from the tea leaves being dried over pine wood fires.


Heavily roasted oolong teas can have a nutty or toasty flavor, similar to roasted nuts.

4. The Top 5 Oolong Teas with Sweet Flavors

Tie Guan Yin

Tie Guan Yin is a lightly oxidized oolong tea with a sweet, floral aroma and a fresh taste.

Phoenix Dan Cong

Phoenix Dan Cong is a highly aromatic oolong tea with a fragrant, fruity aroma and a sweet taste.

Milk Oolong

Milk oolong has a creamy, sweet flavor with notes of vanilla and a smooth, full-bodied texture.

Taiwanese Honey Oolong

Taiwanese Honey Oolong has a rich, sweet flavor with a honey-like aroma and a full-bodied texture.

Ginseng Oolong

Ginseng oolong is a blend of oolong tea and ginseng root, resulting in a sweet, earthy flavor with a slightly bitter finish.

5. The Top 5 Oolong Teas with Smoky Flavors

Oolong tea is commonly known for its floral and fruity notes, but did you know that it can also have a smoky flavor? Here are the top 5 oolong teas that boast a smoky taste:

1. Da Hong Pao

Da Hong Pao, also known as "Big Red Robe" in Chinese, is a highly sought-after oolong tea originating from the Wuyi mountains in China. The leaves are roasted on charcoal fires, giving it a distinct smoky flavor with notes of honey, caramel, and chocolate.

2. Wuyi Rock Oolong

Wuyi Rock oolong tea is grown in the same region as Da Hong Pao and has a similar smoky taste, but with a more mineral-like aftertaste. This tea is grown on rocky terrain, which gives it a unique flavor profile.

3. Charcoal Roasted Oolong

Charcoal roasted oolong tea, as the name suggests, is roasted over charcoal fires to give it a smoky flavor with a hint of charcoal. This tea is commonly found in Taiwan and is known for its toasty and nutty taste.

4. Gui Fei Oolong

Gui Fei oolong tea, or "concubine tea", is grown in the mountainous regions of Taiwan. The unique growing environment and processing method give this tea a distinct honeyed aroma and a smoky-sweet taste.

5. Smoky Fragrance Oolong

Smoky Fragrance oolong tea, also known as "Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong" or "Lapsang Souchong" in Chinese, is a heavily smoked tea that originates from the Wuyi mountains in China. The tea leaves are smoked over pine wood fires, giving it a strong smoky flavor.

6. How to Brew Oolong Tea

Brewing oolong tea can be a bit tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, anyone can master it. Here are some tips to ensure you brew the perfect cup of oolong tea:

1. Choosing the Right Water Temperature

Oolong tea is sensitive to water temperature, so it's important to use water that's not too hot or too cold. The optimal temperature for brewing oolong tea is between 180-200°F (82-93°C).

2. Steeping Time and Techniques

The steeping time for oolong tea can vary depending on the type of tea and your personal preference. Generally, oolong tea should be steeped for around 3-5 minutes. You can also use the traditional Gongfu method, which involves multiple short infusions.

3. Teapot and Tea Set Selection

Choosing the right teapot and tea set can enhance your overall tea drinking experience. Clay or porcelain teapots are commonly used for oolong tea as they retain heat well and don't affect the taste of the tea.

7. Conclusion: Finding Your Favorite Oolong Tea

Whether you prefer a floral, fruity, or smoky flavor, oolong tea has something for everyone. Experiment with different types of oolong teas and brewing techniques to find your favorite. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite that you didn't even know existed!In conclusion, oolong tea is a versatile and flavorful tea that offers a wide range of flavor profiles, making it a perfect choice for tea lovers who enjoy variety. Whether you prefer sweet or smoky flavors, the five oolong teas highlighted in this article are excellent choices to experience the full range of oolong tea's taste. So, brew yourself a cup of oolong tea and enjoy a soothing and delicious cup of tea that is both healthy and refreshing.


What is the caffeine content of oolong tea?

Oolong tea contains moderate levels of caffeine, with an average cup containing around 30-40 milligrams of caffeine. However, the exact amount of caffeine can vary depending on the type of oolong tea and how it is brewed.

What are the health benefits of oolong tea?

Oolong tea is packed with antioxidants and has been shown to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It can also aid in digestion, boost metabolism, and improve brain function.

Is oolong tea good for weight loss?

Yes, oolong tea can be beneficial for weight loss because it can help boost metabolism and reduce the absorption of fat. It can also aid in digestion and may help reduce appetite. However, it is important to note that oolong tea alone is not a magic weight loss solution and should be combined with a healthy diet and exercise.

How should I store my oolong tea?

Oolong tea should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and strong odors. It is best to keep it in an airtight container to prevent exposure to moisture and air, which can affect the flavor and aroma of the tea.