Oolong vs. Puer Tea: A Complete Guide

Oolong and puer are probably my two favorite types of tea.

These types of tea offer a wide selection of styles and flavor profiles, and there is bound to be something for everybody in each of these categories.

However, at some point, you have to decide what tea you are going to purchase and drink.

This article was made to help you decide.

Oolong Tea

With the oolong tea category encompassing such a wide variety of flavors, it can be hard to describe what exactly oolong tea tastes like.

To put it simply, it is sort of in between black and green tea, but which end of the spectrum the oolong tea is on depends upon which processing techniques are applied to the tea.

Many of the traditional styles were oxidized, roasted, and darker in color, while nowadays, ‘Jade’ oolong teas are becoming increasingly popular.

Oolong tea requires rather intensive processing when compared to other types of tea, which is why quality oolong tea can be expensive.

Dark Oolong Teas

Roasted oolong teas have darker flavors.

They can range from fruity, to floral, but ultimately are more similar to a black tea than a green tea.

Jade Oolong Teas

Jade oolong teas are typically very aromatic, with notes of sweet flowers and green vegetation.

In contrast to dark oolong teas, jade oolong teas are often more similar to green teas than black teas.

Dancong Oolong Tea
Dancong Oolong Tea
Photo by bor-onno from PixaBay

Puer Tea

Puer teas are a far less processed than teas within the oolong category.

Sheng Puer Tea

When sheng puer tea is young, it is probably most similar to a green tea, full of bright floral and fruit notes, but it is definitely unique in it’s own right.

However, as sheng puer tea ages, it naturally becomes darker and more it’s flavor becomes more like a black tea, although the flavor is definitely different than a black tea.

Shu Puer Tea

Shu puer tea is wet-piled and fermented, in order to simulate what happens to sheng puer due to natural aging.

One advantage of shu puer is that it can offer similar flavors as a traditionally aged sheng puer tea, but with a much lower price tag.

It was made popular by companies such as the Menghai Tea Factory and the Kunming Tea Factory.

wu liang mountain wild arbor raw puer tea
Wu Liang Mountain Sheng Puer Tea Cake
Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson is the founder and chief editor of the Professional Tea Taster.

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