Since "oolong" refers to any slightly fermented teas and the "oolong" process of creating the leaves, seeds and stems of the tea plants, any retailer can sell a product labeled "oolong" as long as it has undergone some level of fermentation before or after picking. If you want the very freshest and most authentic oolong tea, avoid buying it from a supermarket, where it sits in boxes on the shelves for months on end. Instead, buy your oolong tea varieties from one of the following three places.
Chinese Tea Shop
Oolong tea has its origins in China, so the most authentic Chinese oolong you can get (without going to China!) is in a Chinese tea shop. Most tea shops have several varieties of oolong tea for you to try, and some will even let you sample the teas that are brewed and served to customers that day. If you know what kinds of flavor notes you like in your tea, you can describe them to the shopkeepers and have them select a tea for you based on what you know you already like. You can also buy your favorite authentic oolong teas in bulk from a Chinese tea shop.
Herbal and Natural Remedies Store
Believe it or not, oolong is prized by many naturopathic and homeopathic doctors and patients as a curative. What that means for you is that herbal and natural remedy pharmacies and drug stores carry oolong in multiple forms for whatever ails you. Because it is also the belief that only the freshest tea is an effective medicine, particularly old batches of tea are disposed of or sold as black tea rather than oolong.
If you just want to drink it rather than use it as a topical or a poultice, be sure to ask for the drinkable tea you can steep in hot water. It may be sold loosely or packaged in tea bags while you wait.
Specialty Foods or All-Organic Foods
Specialty foods and organic food stores almost always sell teas of various kinds and varieties, plus they will only sell tea that was grown entirely pesticide free and without harsh additives to the soil. Completely organic oolong has quite a different flavor from mass-produced teas. Therefore, do not be surprised if you buy a tea of the same variety from a specialty or organic foods store and discover that they taste very different from teas purchased in a Chinese tea shop, supermarket or homeopathic pharmacy.
For more information on tea, contact a company like My Fresh Tea.