The origins of our Chinese Jade Oolong Tea
The small, lumpy, dark mushroom-coloured balls of this authentic Chinese ginseng oolong tea hint at its complex earthy flavour. Mild, woody and with a subtle underlying sweetness, Chinese Jade is a premium loose-leaf tea hailing from Fujian, the country's most famous oolong-producing region. Blended with the goodness of ginseng root, it's the perfect way to inject some positive energy into your morning – or any time you feel like you need a health boost.
Fujian is renowned for making exquisite oolongs, and this greenish-yellow infusion is no exception. Farmers use only the highest quality leaves for our medium-strength Chinese Oolong tea, combining it with ginseng, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia. Its spicy forest-floor aroma is followed by an earthy sweetness in the mouth and a mild kick of liquorice. Made in the traditional way – plucked, withered, tossed, fixed, rolled and dried – its leaves are shaped into unique uneven balls which release their form upon brewing, along with this premium oolong's invigorating flavour.
What are the health benefits of Ginseng Oolong?
Combining the antioxidant richness of oolong with immune-boosting ginseng, Chinese Jade comes with several potential health benefits. The gnarled roots of slow-growing ginseng – usually only harvested for medicinal purposes when the plant is six years of age and up – contain active ingredients called ginsenosides. Research indicates these may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunostimulant properties, and be particularly effective in promoting energy, reducing stress and menopausal symptoms and helping prevent bouts of colds and flu. Like oolong, ginseng may also benefit brain function, helping to ward off diseases such as Alzheimer's, and be effective in lowering the risk of certain cancers.
How do you brew this Chinese Oolong tea?
One of the most authentic Chinese teas, oolong deserves your extra attention for proper preparation. There are three options for brewing it: in a regular teapot or infuser; in a yixing traditional clay teapot; or in a gaiwan – the lidded, handleless infuser first made popular in the Ming dynasty and a favourite at The Tea Makers of London. While a regular teapot is fine as an everyday option or when you're in a rush, using the Asian-style Yixing and gaiwan methods allow you to experience this tea as culturally intended.
Yixing teapots are popular, possibly because of their authentic yet familiar look and apparent ease of use. However, as they're made of porous clay, tea deposits build up in them and affect the flavour of teas as time goes on. That's fine if you plan to use only one style of tea in the pot, but not so great if you're planning on using yours for oolongs that might vary from light and floral to dark and smoky.
Enter the gaiwan. Comprising a bowl, lid and saucer, and usually made of porcelain or glass, it's the perfect vessel for brewing your oolong. Simply add the required amount of tea to the bowl, pour in the water and watch the leaves unfurl. When the tea is fully steeped (usually one to five minutes), place the lid on top, slightly askew, and pour into your cup. Because of its compact size, you can generally resteep the leaves in a gaiwan bowl up to five times, giving you maximum mileage out of your tea.
Alternatives to Chinese Jade tea
For a refreshing alternative to this Fujian brew, we recommend a caddy of Ginseng Taiwanese oolong, full of bright floral characters and underpinned by the earthiness of ground ginseng root. If you're looking for something special, our Oriental Beauty, from the humid hills of Taiwan's Hsinchu County, offers an unrivalled sweetness, thanks to its unique production technique. Meanwhile, from across the Taiwan Strait in China, the iconic, floral Tie Guan Yin, also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy, and smooth, dark, caramel-flavoured Wuyi Shui Xian – both from Fujian – prove just how diverse two oolongs can be.
Upgrade your teaware and create your own gongfu ceremony – the ritualised, traditional preparation of tea – with our range of gaiwans or stunning Rare and Limited Gong Fu gift set. Or shop our range of teapots, especially our authentic handcrafted Yixing clay teapot, perfect for preparing black, oolong or pu-erh teas