How Oolong Tea Is Graded

Each major type of tea has a unique grading system which may vary by the country or region in which it originates. For Oolong tea, there are assorted grading systems depending on the origin of the leaves. The most well-established system is established by the Taiwan government. Unlike black tea, this grading system determines quality by taste.

Oolong Grading System

The grading system presented below is the one defined by the Taiwan government for Formosa Oolong teas. In descending order, they are:

  • Finest to Choice
  • Finest
  • Fine to Finest
  • Fine Up
  • Fine
  • On Fine
  • Superior to Fine
  • Superior Up
  • Fully Superior
  • Superior
  • On Superior
  • Good to Superior
  • Good Up
  • Fully Good
  • Good
  • On Good
  • Standard

About Oolong Teas

Oolong tea and other varieties of tea (excluding herbals) all come from the same type of tea leaves. The difference between the teas are based off of the preparation process and how much oxidation the tea leaves go through. Oolong tea falls somewhere in between green and black tea, which produces a taste which is not quite as strong as black tea but bolder than green tea. Due to the intense labor process in creating oolong teas, this type of tea is usually produced by smaller tea companies.

Through this system, consumers of the Formosa teas can rest assured that they are buying only high quality teas. The difference between oolong teas from China and Taiwan are that the Taiwanese oolongs are considered Formosa Oolong. The naming comes from the original name, Formosa, for Taiwan.