Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Types of Oolong Tea

Varieties of the Chinese Brew

Oolong tea comes in a variety of types, each with its own unique flavor profile, color and oxidation level

What is Oolong Tea? A Definition:

A traditional Chinese tea made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, oolong is similar in taste to green tea, though not quite as grassy, yielding bitter qualities with a sweet aftertaste. Oolong ranges from 10 percent to 70 percent oxidation.

This Taiwanese tea comes from large, rolled leaves with a purple-green appearance. It produces a sweet, golden yellow brew with a unique fruity aroma.

Bai Ji Guan
Named, according to legend, after a heroic rooster, this tea has yellowish leaves and a very light taste which distinguish it from other Wuyi Oolongs.

Cold Summit
An Oolong from Taiwan with an aftertaste that evokes the flavors of honeydew melon.

Da Hong Pao
A legendary tea from Mount Wuyi in the Fujian Province of China. As the story goes, the mother of a Tang Dynasty emperor was cured by a tea made from the leaves of four bushes. These bushes still survive today; only a few kilograms of Da Hong Pao are produced from them each year. The tea sells for thousands of dollars a kilogram, ensuring that it is usually reserved for honored guests

Eastern Beauty
A sweet-tasting Taiwanese tea that brews to a bright red-orange.

Iron Guanyin

A premium Chinese Oolong, Iron Guanyin's "Jade" harvest produces a prized berry-like taste and aroma.

In many ways characteristic of booth green and Oolong teas, Pouchong has a mild melon-y taste, and is popular in scented teas, especially in combination with rose.

Rou Gui
This spicy dark tea takes its name from the Chinese word for cinnamon.

Shui Hsien
A very dark Oolong with a heavy honey fragrance and a slightly burnt taste.

Shui Jin Gui
Shui Jin Gui got its name, which means "Golden Marine Turtle," because it steeps to a very bright green. It is lighter than most Wuyi teas.

(Updated: 02/25/13 AB)

Discover the fascinating world of tea! Find the best tea rooms, learn how to brew Matcha, explore the health benefits of tea and much more.

Searching for your cup of tea? Our taste reviews of some of the finest teas in the world will help you find your favorite blend to sip in no time!