Tea Craft: The Different Types of Tea

It’s remarkable that so many different types of ‘cup of tea’ come from the same plant - the Camelia Sinensis.

Black and green tea are the most drunk and well known. But added to these two giants: white tea, yellow tea, purple tea, puerh tea, oolong tea, flowering teas.

The fundamental difference between these teas is how the leaf is processed – see our Stories about the different type of teas.

Within each type of tea, there are so many further variations in flavours and colours - not only because of different processing methods, but also because of the ‘terroir’ – the local natural environment. Factors include altitude, climate, soil minerals, water source, cultivation methods and not forgetting – brewing method!


Orange Blossom Oolong Tea Pouch 100g

Net Weight: 100g

A fine Taiwanese rolled oolong with a flavour reminiscent of orange marmalade! Enjoy hot or iced, the tangy orange peel and sweet orange notes compliment the sweet and floral flavours of this Oolong.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


A classic Taiwanese 'green' oolong rolled tea, flavoured with orange peel and orange blossom oil, to create an exclusive tea to The East India Company.

Now famous for its oolongs, Taiwan was late to tea, starting to export only in the late 19th century and it specialised in oolongs only in the last 50 years or so - the majority are now these lightly oxidised very green-coloured oolongs with lovely floral flavours.

The name oolong comes from the chinese word for 'black dragon', as the Chinese darker oolongs are twisted (and dragon-like apparently] rather than rolled.
To our summer-harvested oolong, from Nantou County in the scenic mountainous central area of Taiwan and home to the finest oolongs, we've added orange peel with a boost of natural orange blossom oil.

Orange trees usually blossom in early Spring. The orange blossoms are small, fragrant white flowers that cover the whole tree and delightfully perfume the surrounding air. The blossom actually precedes the fruit - when the flowers drop, the fruit develops in its place. The oil is extracted from the early morning picked flowers by steam distillation and has a floral, sweet scent.

For more about oolong teas, see our Stories section below.
A pale green, yellow liquor.

Aromatic notes from the oolong with a marmalade-type aroma and flavour from the orange peel and oil.

To make a refreshing iced version, make your tea a little stronger than usual with hot water, remove the tea after brewing and leave to cool. Top up with sparkling water or lemonade, add crushed ice, a squeeze from a fresh orange and garnish with a generous slice of orange.



200ML OF WATER AT 75-80ºC

Brewing Time



Oolong Tea, Orange Peel, Natural Orange Flavour


Store in a cool, dry place avoiding direct sunlight and strong odours.


Oolong Tea – Between a Black and a Green Tea

Just like all the other teas [apart from White Tea], it starts with a small ‘just-plucked’ green tea leaf, usually about 5 cm long. The pickers deliver their freshly-picked leaves to the local factory for processing.

Oolongs are made mainly in China and Taiwan and sit somewhere between Black and Green Tea by virtue of being partly oxidised. A dark, open-leaf Oolong Tea is 70% oxidised, whilst the greener Oolongs are only 30% oxidised and are rolled into ball-shapes.

Step 1 - ‘Withering’: the whole leaves are spread out in the warm sun and then brought inside to be laid on bamboo shelves.

Step 2 - Partial Oxidation: the whole leaves are turned and shaken every couple of hours. This breaks the cell walls, releasing the enzymes, starting the oxidation process.
Depending on whether a dark open leaf oolong or a balled green oolong is being made, the process is slightly different:

Step 3 Dark Oolong - ‘Firing: Once oxidation has hit 70%, the tea is quickly pan fried to stop oxidation and then completely dried in ovens, ready to be packed.

Step 3 Green Oolong - ‘Firing’: Once oxidation has hit 30%, the tea is quickly pan fried to prevent further oxidation, followed by partial drying in an oven, before being left overnight.

Step 4 Green Oolong – ‘Balling’: The following day, the Oolong Tea in waiting is tightly bagged in cloth and rolled in a machine that will pressurise and bruise the leaves inside. The bag gets opened out and then wrapped up again. This is repeated over and over, until the leaf is in the ‘correct’ ball shape. Complete drying follows and the tea is ready to be packed.

Our spirit delivers no ordinary products

  • FAQ

    Does oolong tea contain caffeine and is there more or less than black and green tea and coffee?
    Yes it does, and it varies. All tea leaves, just like coffee, contain caffeine. Tea usually has a lower level of caffeine than coffee, which averages around 95mg for a normal cup of coffee. But it is impossible to give a precise answer, because there are so many variables at play - the length of brew time, the amount of tea used, the age of the leaf, the provenance of the leaf. Even the temperature of the water. Our best advice is to treat all tea and coffee similarly if you need to manage your caffeine intake.

    I’ve heard that tea contains theanine. What is it and what does it do?
    Tea does indeed contain theanine, which is an amino acid [the building blocks of proteins]. Tea is one of only a few sources of theanine. It represents about 1% of dry weight and is at its highest concentrate in shade-grown teas like matcha and gyokuro. Whilst not yet proven in scientific studies that would permit specific health claims to be made, it is believed by many to be able to reduce mental and physical stress, promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. But not only that, it is more recently being thought to aid cognitive function. It’s one explanation for tea’s famous ability to create calm in a crisis [the Great British solution to all problems – ‘putting the kettle on’] and to stimulate when a little boost is required.

  • Delivery & Returns

    UK Standard Delivery: £3.95
    UK Next Day Delivery (mainland UK only): £9.95 (Order before 12pm)
    International Delivery is available, please see our delivery page for details. For more information and Terms & Conditions, please see our Delivery page.

  • Reviews