Organic Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea

Punchy astringency with a distinct oolong tasting finish and earthy lemon notes

fair trade certified certified organic
Organic Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea
Orders over $60 ship free in USA

Organic Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea


This Fair Trade Certified organic oolong tea represents a departure from our other oolong offerings. Biodynamically farmed at the Makaibari estate in India's Darjeeling district, this organic loose leaf tea exhibits many of the same qualities as the black teas this region is known for. The medium to dark green leaves and silver buds of this oolong produce a light amber infusion with a punchy astringency that diminishes quickly. This organic Indian tea also exhibits slight lemony, vegetal and earthy qualities akin to other Darjeeling teas, while maintaining a classic oolong finish. Established in 1859, Makaibari is the oldest estate in Darjeeling, where a strong commitment to sustainable farming prevails.

Ingredients: organic and Fair Trade Certified Indian oolong tea

Origin: Makaibari Estate, Darjeeling, India


Located in eastern India, Darjeeling is nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas and tucked between Bhutan and Nepal. It is one of the most famous regions in the world for tea production, and has a long history of tea cultivation dating back to the early 1800s. Black teas are the most traditional types of tea from this area, but more recently white, green and oolong teas have been manufactured. Darjeeling’s highland subtropical climate and elevation (6000 feet above sea level) make it ideal for growing tea. Makaibari Tea Estate was founded in 1859, and is the oldest and steepest estate in Darjeeling. Makaibari is a biodynamic and organic certified tea garden and follows a form of “integrated forest management.” They also use permaculture in many of their practices. Certified Fair Trade in 1993, Makaibari has used their premiums to provide stipends for University studies, microfinance programs, education investments and health training, among many other initiatives.

Read our field notes from our visit to Makaibari!

Steeping Instructions


At Arbor Teas, we believe tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. We’re happy to make recommendations to get you started, but don’t hesitate to experiment! When brewing your tea, your main considerations are tea quantity, water temperature, and steeping time. We recommend oolong teas to be steeped for 4 to 7 minutes in water heated to a just about boiling (approximately 195 degrees F). For the best flavor, use fresh water whenever possible. Try not to steep your tea longer than necessary, as you’ll extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves. If you want a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea. And don’t forget to re-steep your tea leaves to get the most out of your leaf!

Looking for more info? Check out our How-To Guides and Eco-Brewing Tips!

Staff Perspectives

  • Jeremy

    "An oolong made for Darjeeling lovers!"

  • Aubrey

    "One of very few Fair Trade Certified oolongs available on the market."

Health Benefits


Like all true tea, oolong tea offers many potential health benefits. Research has found that tea (Camellia sinensis) can have many positive effects on human health, including improved cardiovascular function, cancer risk reduction, improved immune function, improved oral health, and help with weight management. Tea is also full of polyphenols, which are a class of antioxidant that help your body maintain homeostasis and balance your stress levels.

For more information about the health benefits of oolong and other types of tea, and for direct sources of the above information, check out our Tea Health Benefits page!

Please note: the information above is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Customer Reviews

We always want to hear from you! Post your own review and earn 10 rewards points.
Write a Review
  • 5

    Posted by Haley on 14th Jul 2024

    I really like this oolong. I brew at around 190 for 4 to 5 minutes or gong fu style for flash steeps and it rebrews well. I also really enjoy it iced!

  • 4
    good oolong (from a green tea drinker's perspective)

    Posted by Martha/Tommy Lohman on 22nd Nov 2023

    Though described as lemony and vegetal, I detected more of a delicate honey flavor. It was light bodied, had a very smooth mouthfeel, and was my preferred cup of the three oolongs I sampled.

  • 3
    Just OK

    Posted by Marshall Blanton on 16th Jun 2022

    This tea is just ok. I didn't read the reviews before purchasing a sample and can agree this tea is more like a darjeeling than an oolong it is very astringent and citrusy with some floral notes but nothing like an oolong although it does have an oolong aftertaste. It was an interesting tea sample but I won't be ordering more of it.

  • 4
    Certainly a good value

    Posted by Bill Buchanan on 4th Apr 2021

    I struggled with a rating of between 3 and 4 stars, but I'll be generous because I do love oolong, and this is certainly worth the asking price. It has the classic oolong presence, just a bit lacking in flavor profile for a perfect score.

  • 5
    Top Notch Oolong

    Posted by Brian W on 21st Jun 2018

    I was absolute delighted by this mild, and earthy oolong tea. This has very strong Darjeeling flavor influences, but do not be fooled; it has the characteristic finish of oolong. The body of it is reminiscent, to me, almost of chocolate. I could drink this all day and I think I will!

  • 5
    A New League of Oolong

    Posted by Rod Chilson on 23rd Aug 2017

    I love all things Makaibari, and though this tea does not taste anything like your neighborhood Chinese restaurant's oolong tea, it's a terricfic tea at an unbeatable price. Flavor profile more in the realm of their black tea offerings, yet much softer and mellow. There's nothing better than some hot oolong after an indulgent meal, and I had it after a grilled andouille sausage feast, and wow the lingering flavors of the spice and grease just sang, and a whole new dimension of refreshing herbal flavors arouse from the tea while I was sipping it, you got to try it. Bottom line is it's a great value, tasty, and I'll be buying it again. Tea was brewed western style for 20 minutes, 2 liters of RO water, glass vat, at a low 170 degree brew.

  • 3
    Good, but more like a Darjeeling than an Oolong

    Posted by McKinley L. on 4th Jan 2017

    At least that's how I found it, though I'm admittedly fairly inexperienced in the world of loose leaf Darjeeling. In fact, thinking about the other nice Oolongs I've tried from Arbor Teas and others, I'm not sure how this tea is akin to Oolong at all. The tea is by no means bad or bland, though. It's just sort of a mellower Darjeeling. So if you're a Darjeeling fan at all, I'd say this is definitely worth a try. If you're looking for a traditional Oolong though, whether floral, rich, roasted, or something in between, this may not be your bag. (For what it's worth, I read a review of this tea on another site that raved about how this tea tastes when it has been steeped quickly with near boiling water. I didn't try this with mine, but it may be worth picking up a sample just to try that out.)

  • 3
    Just Ok

    Posted by Melissa on 14th Apr 2015

    I purchased the sample not too long ago and was excited to try it. I wasn't really impressed with this oolong. It wasn't a terrible tea, but just not a winner for me. Still glad I got to try it, and I'm happy that it was organic and fair trade.

  • 5
    Good Value

    Posted by Tim G on 10th Mar 2015

    Delicate, smooth & floral. This is one of my favorite teas.

  • 4
    Still good

    Posted by Phil on 22nd Jan 2015

    I found this Oolong to be a good but not great tea. For me, not much of a vegetal taste. Not even sure where the lemony description comes from. I found it to be more of a "metallic" taste. Metallic is not the best descriptive term to use, but it is the best I can come up with. It is an interesting taste, yet it defies description. Probably best as a sample or 2.5 oz purchase to let the purchaser make up their own mind. I would probably purchase it again, just for the sheer fact that it is fairly traded.

  • 4
    All around the Oolong

    Posted by Laschman on 23rd Apr 2014

    I would have to say this is an all around Oolong tea. It has nice flavor, very much like green tea but more than just earthy. It's pretty rich but no particular taste. On to third infusion now Gung Fu style, (15 seconds per seeping) with my new hot water thermal dispenser. Not any smoky flavor to it, just oxidized green tea. I like more punch but I wouldn't say it's bad by any means.

  • 3
    the oolong and short of it

    Posted by Robert on 2nd Mar 2014

    I am a green tea man and this is not my cup of tea. It seems like this tea would go well with something else. Not that great by itself. I have never tried oolong tea before, so I have no business reviewing this tea, and that is the oolong and short of it.

  • 4
    three pressings of oolong

    Posted by Dimitra on 2nd Mar 2014

    I am primarily a green tea fan, and think that this oolong is worth trying if you are looking for a tea with the flavor of a Darjeeling black tea, but milder. It stood alone beautifully, without the addition of cream or milk (which I find necessary for black teas). First pressing was not a satisfying morning cup of tea for me (compared with Sencha or Kukicha). It seemed like it would pair well with something like a scone, which I was inspired to make later in the day! Second pressing, as printed, had a richer flavor, somewhat nutty and went well in the early afternoon with a square of dark chocolate. Third pressing still had a nice flavor and went great with a scone! I also tried some cold mixed with some of the chilled Tisane herbal tea, and think they would go well together for a nice summer iced tea. I have not had many other oolongs, so don't have much to compare it to. Much stronger flavor than few others that I have tried.

  • 3
    Could this be Darjeeling?

    Posted by Joe P., Philadelphia on 31st Aug 2012

    This oolong is very much like a darjeeling (black tea) first flush. It is not as complex as chinese oolongs. If I were in a blind taste test, I would say this is a darjeeling not an oolong, a quite good darjeeling but not quite as good oolong.

  • 5
    Great go-to everyday tea...

    Posted by Lukasz on 6th Dec 2011

    I purposely waited 9+ months to review this tea in order to provide a true assessment of it. I ordered this tea in bulk and stored it inside the large air tight metal containers sold here. Just to throw it out there, the picture of this oolong tea is different than what I had purchased months ago. My tea had a lot more green in it. With that said, this is an amazing tea. It quickly became my go-to tea for everyday consumption. It is well balanced with a great earthy aroma and bitterness is low. Not too weak, not too strong, and multiple infusions don’t get too dull. I highly recommend it.

  • 4
    A beautiful tea!

    Posted by Bill Edwards on 12th Nov 2007

    This tea is delicious and beautiful. It may be my favorite color of tea. This is a great tea to tempt traditional black tea drinkers toward the green side. I am still a "green man" but this tea will get me to give the blacks a try!

  • Show All Reviews