Peach Oolong Jelly with Alexis of Teaspoon and Petals

July 12, 2011(updated on August 30, 2021)

peach oolong jelly

For most of my life, I never really thought about tea. As far as I knew, it came in dusty little packets that you plopped into a mug and poured boiling water over. Though in recent years, I have dabbled a bit in the buying of loose leaf teas, I’m still essentially a tea neophyte.

peach oolong jelly

Whenever I have a tea question, I turn to my friend Alexis. She writes the blog teaspoon & petals and is something of a tea expert (as well as drinker and appreciator). For months now, Alexis and I have been talking about the idea of making a tea-infused preserve, but for a handful of reasons (most of them having to do with the fact that I was tethered to my cookbook for most of the last year), it hasn’t happened.

peach oolong jelly

Finally, last Friday, Alexis came over to my apartment with a tote bag full of teas and we set out to make a tea-infused jelly. Since peaches have just come into season in the Philadelphia area, I picked up half a dozen to use as the fruit component for our jelly.

When Alexis first arrived, we stood around my dining room table, each with a peach in hand, sniffing first the fruit and then the various teas, trying to determine which match-up would work the best. We settled on the Orchid Oolong from Mighty Leaf Tea and got to work.

peach oolong jelly

I started by making a simple syrup from two cups of water and two cups of sugar. Once the sugar dissolved, I lowered four bags of tea into the simmering liquid and allowed them to steep for five minutes (we set a timer and everything). While the syrup simmered, Alexis did the work of chopping the peaches.

When the time was elapsed, I removed the tea and we both tasted the syrup. It was amazingly flavorful and I was tempted to stop right there and pour the syrup into a jar for drizzling into seltzer. I may still try that at some point in the future.

peach oolong jelly

But since this was a jelly-making session, we soldiered on and added our sliced peaches (we ended up using four hefty ones) to the pot. The fruit we used was a bit under-ripe, which turned out to be really good for the purposes of the jelly. They added a nice tartness that played really well again the sweetness of the base syrup.

The peaches simmered along in the syrup for a bit more than ten minutes. We tasted several times during cooking to see how the flavors were progressing. Once the balance seemed good, I strained the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, pressed the now-softened peaches to get as much juicy goodness out as possible and returned the syrup to the pot (the gently candied peaches went into a separate container and I’ve been eating them in yogurt for the last few days).

peach oolong jelly

I added some powdered pectin to the syrup (as well as one more tea bag to reinforce that flavor) and brought it to a vigorous boil. Using a candy thermometer, we tracked the temperature as it approached 220 degrees. Once it reached the magic 220 degrees, I swept the pot off the stove, removed the final tea bag, poured the rapidly setting jelly into jars and processed them in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

While the jars were processing, I sliced in a bit of Midnight Moon and we smeared a bit of the jelly that remained on the inside of the pot onto little slivers of cheese. It was a heartbreakingly good combination.

The final jelly is a nicely set, delicately flavored thing. It works with cheese and would also be fantastic smeared on a scone with a mug of milky tea. It’s got me imagining the possibilities for other tea-infused preserves and I’m excited to give a few other flavor match-ups a try.

4 from 1 vote

Peach Oolong Jelly


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 bags Orchid Oolong tea
  • 4 large peaches sliced
  • 2 tablespoons powdered pectin


  • Prepare two 1/2 pint jars and one 1/4 pint jar. Bring a boiling water bath to a boil.
  • In a large pot, combine sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add four tea bag to pot and let them simmer for five minutes.
  • When time is up, remove tea bags and add sliced peaches. Let simmer for approximately ten minutes, tasting regularly to monitor the intensity of flavor. When the balance of peach and oolong tastes good to you, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, pressing gently on peaches to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Return syrup to pot and add two tablespoons powdered pectin. Bring to a rapid boil and monitor temperature. When the jelly liquid reached approximately 220 degrees, it is done.
  • Remove pot from heat and pour jelly into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
  • When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool on a dish towel. When jars are cool, remove rings and test seal. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator. Unopened jars of jelly will keep on the shelf for up to one year.

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4 from 1 vote

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40 thoughts on "Peach Oolong Jelly with Alexis of Teaspoon and Petals"

  • That is my favorite tea! Well, I haven’t bought it for about a year because I’ve been getting out of the Orchid Oolong rut (note: no one does it as well at Mighty Leaf because they think it’s the name of a variety, instead of a mellow blend with unctuous coconut notes).

    Also, I am sad that it never seems to be a flavor restaurants of coffee shops serving Mighty Leaf choose to carry (aside from Walnut Bridge Coffee Shop once upon a time)

    So I am full of fondness on account of your post, will consider making this jam sometime this summer, will check out Alexis’ blog, and might order some more tea.

  • My favorite jelly ever was one made by Stonewall Kitchen and was a Blackberry Sage Jam. Sadly they don’t make it anymore….its on my list once the blackberries ripen though. Perfect excuse to drop by York Beach to get some tea as well. Mighty Leaf makes a beautiful Jasmine Green Tea I’d love to find something to pair it with as well.

    1. I included a recipe for Blackberry Sage Jam in my cookbook (it’s pretty darn delicious), so soon, you’ll be able to make it on your own!

  • I follow both of your blogs. Lovely to see you working together. Would be great to see more delicious recipes like this one! Thank you.

  • I like how the first jar on the left is smiling at me…it makes me want to make some of this lovely jam because it even makes the jars happy.

  • Hi – do you think it would be possible to can these either using a) unsweetened fruit juice or b) Splenda as a substitute for the sugar? I’m diabetic and am looking for a good way to replace the sugar for my canning needs, but am unsure if it’s a 1/1 substitution.

    Thanks for any ideas!

    1. Amy, I don’t think this recipe would be a good place to start if you want to start making low sugar preserves. Jelly needs sugar more than most preserves to get a good set. You should head over to Hitchhiking to Heaven, Shae just posted a no-sugar jam recipe that sounds pretty good.

    2. I am type 2 diabetic and I use Whey Low type D for all my canning. It is a sugar substitute that is all natural and it has the same preservative properties as regualr sugar does. Tastes exactly like regular sugar also. I also use a natural pectin that does not use sugar to make it jel. This pectin is called Pomona Pectin. You can make any jam or jelly to your hearts desire without needing a recipe and use as much or as little or even no sweetener you like with Pomona. Hops this helps you. I can about 600 jars a year of various jams. jellies, marmalades etc. because I sell them.

      The Jelly looks lovely and I am sefinitely going to give it a try. Hopefully I can find that particular brand where I live.

      1. A second vote for Pomona’s! My husband is diabetic and I use Pomona’s for all his jams.

        It’s easy to use, sets reliably and best of all, they give you directions for creating your own recipes. I’m sure this could be made using their techniques.

  • The jelly looks really great! I love anything with tea. I have a slightly unrelated question. I have always purchased blackberry jams and peach jams from a nearby farm (before I got into canning), and the lady who makes them puts brandy in them. Do you know if I could add brandy to my blackberry or peach jam at home to get similar results, and if so, how much do you think you would add? Thanks for any help you can offer here.

    1. You could add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup at the beginning of cooking. That way you’d be able to cook out most of the liquid and still have plenty of brandy flavor.

    2. I’ve been known to add a little whiskey to marmalade, it adds dept to the orange flavor and goes really well with the bitter taste. In that case, I just mix a tablespoon-full into each full jar before the lid goes on and it gets steamed.
      Though I’ve never had it in peach of blackberry jams before!

  • I’ve been lovin peaches this season and this recipe has gotten me totally intrigued now. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • What a fun combination! I can’t wait to start getting some ripe peaches.

    The Midnight Moon sounds delicious, too. I’m going to have to look for it.

  • I always like finding alternative uses for loose leaf tea. We only have a couple of teas we fall back on for drinking purposes, but we have a whole hutch of loose leaf teas that we rarely use–including oolongs. I think maybe peach oolong ice cream is in order.

    1. Aren’t Kevin West’s preserves amazing? I didn’t remember that he had paired peaches with earl grey tea, but I’m not at all surprised. He’s pretty clever.

  • And here I was, thinking “Alexis of Teaspoon” was some fancy new herb. 🙂

    Sounds wonderful and I love that you can control/customize the flavor along the way, which is usually so hard with jellies.

  • For those of us who pick fruit from our own trees or buy it at the farmers’ market (always smaller than the baseballs you get in the supermarket), it would be helpful to know how many cups of prepared fruit this recipe requires to begin. Did you measure the fruit after you peeled and cut it up, and if so, do you remember how much it was? Thanks!

    1. Diana, we didn’t measure the fruit. However, if I had to guess, I’d imagine that we used approximately four cups of chopped peaches.

  • This jelly looks gorgeous. Peach and tea flavors are so good together so I’m sure it’s delicious! Thanks for linking to my pickled pea photos in your last post, I really appreciate it!

  • marisa, it was such a treat to make this tea-infused jelly with you. I’m slowly savoring every dab while sipping the last drops of orchid oolong tea.

  • Hi Marisa-
    I have a question for you. I’m still very much an amateur canner, and there’s one thing I can’t figure out – how do you decide whether to use powdered or liquid pectin in a recipe, and how do you calculate how much pectin you need?? I only have liquid pectin lying around the house – is there perhaps a rule of thumb for substituting liquid pectin for powdered pectin?

    1. Powdered pectin tends to give a firmer set than liquid pectin does. Most often, I use liquid pectin in jams and powdered pectin jellies. However, lately I’ve been using powdered pectin in jams because I’m out of liquid pectin and haven’t had the time to restock. Sometimes I don’t use pectin at all (small batches that you can easily cook to 220 degrees don’t really need it). So as you can see, there’s a rough rationale here, but you can switch back and forth.

  • How well do you think it would work to use a loose leaf tea and simmer it with the peaches before you strain them? I may have to try that when I get a case of peaches this year.

    1. Jocelyn, I’m not sure how well that would work. Part of the reason we simmered the tea in the syrup first was that tea can become bitter if over-extracted. By doing the tea first, we were able to get the flavor into the syrup without adding any bitterness. If you were to simmer the tea and the peaches together, you wouldn’t have as much control over the flavor and you might end up with a bitter flavor.

  • I am so glad that you and your tea-guru friend finally got together and created something that sounds wonderfully delicious! It makes me want to go out right now, get some canning supplies and tea ingredients, and get started on my own concoctions! Hopefully you will be able to experiment again soon, so you can create another masterpiece! Thanks for the recipe!

  • I just found your website from ready your story in Country Women. I love to can and I will put you under my favorites so I can keep up with you. Thanks Becky

  • This sounds absolutely divine. I kind of want to make just for the candied peaches! I make my own homemade yogurt and am always looking for different ways to spruce up plain yogurt! 😉

  • I was going to make cardamom-peach jam this weekend. Now I think I will be breaking out my stash of tea. This sounds delicious.

  • you just put two of my favorite tastes in a jelly! i may end up trying it as a jam–i find i use them up faster. either way, i’ll have to make sure to get enough peaches to have some for canning, because i can’t seem to eat a single meal without them this week.

  • I jsut used this recipe and changed it to make my own. I may have picked way too many blackberries yesterday and was trying to come up with something different for the last batch of jam. So I took my favorite Earl Gray instead of the oolong and brewed it up a bit stronger. And I used the blackberries. The flavor is amazing! The color is deep and dark. And the candied blackberries are just as good. I will be snacking on them all week.

    I am waiting on my peaches to get a step closer to ripe before I try this with peaches and nectarines and some Assam tea. Or maybe the mate lemon tea I just bought.

    (I did use loose leaf tea and made my own tea bags so check out what is available in the loose leaf teas as well as tea bags.)

  • This looks fabulous! I will try it with local Colorado peaches when they come in season. I found your blog through 101 Cookbooks post the other day on your cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter the other day. I’m exited to follow you, I have recently discovered the art of preserving in the last year or so, and I’m hooked. I just started a cooking with tea blog this year. I made an onion marmalade where I steeped a Yunnan black tea in the syrup, it turned out great.

  • I combined this recipe with the Peach Jam recipe from the recipe index page. The result was peach jam with lemon zest and juice, and infused with a combo of earl grey and a peach-mangosteen black tea. It’s INSANELY GOOD! Tastes just like peach flavored tea. I basically halved all the main ingredients in the Peach Jam, left out the cinnamon and nutmeg, and steeped 3 tea bags in the pot while it cooked. Yielded six half pints.

  • 4 stars
    I just started making tea infused jam! So happy to see others are as well. My first attempt was a strawberry rhubarb vanilla jam infused with lady grey tea – mind blowing! Used it for homemade pop tarts with my cream cheese pastry dough. Topped them with a lemon ginger tea icing. My next jam is blackberry jalapeño infused with peach tea. Definitely interested in trying your recipe.