What Is Oolong Tea?
Oolong, or Wu-lang, tea is a China tea that is semi-oxidized and therefore lies somewhere between fully oxidized black tea and unoxidized green tea. Its taste is somewhat closer to green tea: fruity and pleasantly fragrant. Like black, green and white tea, it comes from the Camelia sinensis plant, and the most famous oolong tea varieties come from Fujian province and the mountains of Taiwan.
How To Brew Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is known to require some skill to make well. Leaf quality and growing conditions are naturally important, but a small error in timing can lead to a sour, acidic or burnt taste to the whole batch. Brew with care, however, and the rewards of are great, with a rich and complex flavor that develops more than a black or green tea could in your cup.
What Benefits Does Oolong Tea Have?
Oolong is known to be a relaxing and soothing drink, that comes with a long list of potential health benefits. Studies have shown that oolong tea can reduce the effects of high cholesterol levels, inflammation and chronic heart disease. Oolong tea is a powerful source of antioxidants, which support healthy bone structure, strong teeth and gums and clear, healthy skin. It also packs a free radical-fighting combination of catechin and caffeine.
Weight Loss And Metabolism
For up to two hours after drinking oolong tea, you'll benefit from a boost to your metabolism, which can help you burn fat faster and making it an ideal pre-workout drink. Fat-building enzymes are blocked by the polyphenols that oolong tea contains. As long as you avoid sweetening it with sugar or artificial sweeteners, oolong tea can help you shed weight and get healthier.
Fighting Harmful Free Radicals
Oolong tea's polyphenol compound has another important beneficial effect: the removal of free radicals from the body. These cells can be a serious threat to health, leading to forms of cancer, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, degeneration of brain function and atherosclerosis. Regular intake of oolong tea can stimulate the behavior of other free radical compounds and protect against these dangers.
Be More Alert With A Caffeine Boost
Oolong tea can naturally give you a mental boost and revitalise your concentration and performance due to its caffeine content. As with other caffeinated beverages, if you are sensitive to caffeine you should drink oolong tea in moderation and limit yourself to lightly steeped cups only a few times in a week.
Oolong tea is relatively low in caffeine - up to 60 milligrams - compared with green or black teas. A stronger brew at higher temperature will result in a higher caffeine content. A regular cup of oolong is typically brewed for 3 minutes, five for a stronger brew.
Helps Healthy Hair
While it may sound unusual, it's becoming popular to use a rinse made from oolong tea to give your hair a boost, which is reported to have a softening effect, while thickening and adding lustre. The antioxidant content can also reduce and prevent hair loss.
What are your thoughts on oolong tea? Is it your favorite, or have you never tried it before? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
If you're interested in trying one of our great oolong teas, check out our collection here.