Oolong Tea Taste Explained
When it comes to the taste of tea, the oolong category is probably the hardest to generalize. Oolong tea is partially oxidized and can have oxidation levels anywhere between green (minimally oxidized) and black tea (fully oxidized). It’s exactly the high variation in processing that result in an exceptionally diverse range of flavours.
Light oolong tea taste
Oolongs that are lightly oxidized still maintain their greenish colour (e.g. Tie Guan Yin). These oolongs often times have flavours that are closer to green tea. Yet, due to oxidation, the taste is less grassy and smoother. The aroma tends to be flowery. Some light oolongs also have a slightly milky flavour.
Dark oolong tea taste
Darker oolongs are characterized by stronger oxidation levels. The leaves are dark due to the intense roasting process. Low to medium roast oolongs have a fruity and honeylike aroma’s while high roast oolongs have more savoury notes such as cinnamon or caramel.
Dark oolongs from Wuyishan (e.g. Da Hong Pao) also have a unique mineral rich taste. This is due to the unique soil of the tea region.
Is oolong tea sweet?
If you’re looking for a sweet oolong, then you’ll have to try out light oolongs as well as low/medium roast dark oolongs.
Can you drink oolong tea with milk?
It’s a waste to drink artisan oolong tea with milk. We recommend to purchase a cheaper oolong to prepare milk tea. Especially, dark oolongs are often used in China to prepare milk teas/bubble teas.
How to make oolong tea taste better
If your first oolong tea experience wasn’t good, you should definitely not give up as there a wide range of flavours out there. First you should find out why you didn’t like your first oolong. Was it too bitter?
Usually when a tea is too bitter, it’s either because of a too high steeping temperature or too long steeping duration. However, most oolong teas can/should be steeped at full temperature. So, if your oolong tea is too bitter, try use less leaves and/or reduce the steeping time.