Are you a fan of tea? Do you drink it often, fully reapping in the benefits for one or more cups a day?
As the second most consumed beverage in the world, very few people drink oolong tea.
As a person who drinks at least 1 cup a day but strives for 4, oolong is one of my top favourites.
What is Oolong Tea?
Oolong (wu-long) is partially fermented tea between 8% and 85%. It is known as the in between tea as it is in between green tea which is not fermented at all, and black tea which is completely fermented. It is grown mainly in China from the Camellia sinensis plant which is the plant that all tea except herbal come from.
This type of tea is extremely popular in China and Taiwan where there are many different types of oolong and even rare types too!
Oolong tea contains flavonoids, theanine, and tannins.
Flavonoids: One of the best types of antioxidants because they fight free radicals and slows down aging.
Theanine: An amino acid found exclusively in the camellia plant.
Tannins: Also found in all three types of tea (green, oolong, black). This is what calm nerves and relaxes the body.
Now, let’s talk about these benefits.
High in antioxidants
Because it’s partitally fermented, the leaves are loaded with tons of antioxidants that fight signs of aging, free radicals, and stress that is visible on the skin.
Drinking Oolong tea actually soothes the skin because of the amount of flavonoids present within the tea. Flavonoids are amazing and eating onions, which also contain large amounts of flavonoids clears up skin congestion and redness. Score!
promotes weight loss
All tea actually promotes weight loss because it fills you up. Great to have tea before a meal because it will keep you feeling full. So, with this, there’s no need to buy into those ‘detox’ or ‘skinny’ teas because all teas do this. Of course for better results, get better quality teas like loose leaf teas not bogus teas.
lowers risk of cancer
Like green tea, it has the ability to limit the growth of cancer due to flavonoids found in food.
After a nice meal, it can take up to a few hours for the stomach to fully digest food. Oolong tea aid digestion by absorbing fat and moving fats quickly in the body and away from fat cells. One of the greatest ways to loose fat is to drink tea right after meals.
Like mentioned before, tannins are really present in oolong and black teas which give them a sort of bitter taste (some people get headaches from this so please be careful). Tannins are the plants chemicals that relax nerves despite having a large amount of caffeine (it’s strange, I know).
Why is Oolong better than other teas?
While all teas have their own unique benefits and amounts of antioxidants and properties, oolong has beautiful characteristics.
Each kind of oolong taste different
Because they are fermented differently and then fried or roasted differently, they have different tastes. Like wine, they can be sweet and floral, savoury and meaty, smoky, spicy, etc. It’s amazing! So many different types it’s hard to ever get bored or need a different type of tea (though I do like changing it up).
Green tea is very light and refreshing while black tea is deep, bold, and quite bitter. Oolong is in the middle. It is generally light but full bodied with so much depth yet still has that sweet flavourful hints that many black teas lack because they are so strong.
The leaves and the colour
Okay, if you haven’t had oolong before, the colour is generally a yellow colour, usually a dark yellow one. What’s amazing about this tea is that it blossoms from these tight balls in full blown leaves. This is different from both green and black tea which are generally straight and thin.
Most types of teas, especially green tea should only be steeped once because of its delicate properties. Oolong however, can be steeped so many times. I remember actually buying one type that could be steep 6 times! And still contain all of its flavours and strength. That’s a blessing for anyone who drinks tea daily because good tea is not cheap.
Where can I buy this amazing stuff?
If you live in Canada or the United States, I absolutely recommend Taotealeaf because they only sell the best stuff. They actually go to China for tea tours and bring back their favourites for us to try. Moreover, they actually created Toronto’s tea festival (something I am forever grateful for!)
SOe of my favourite types is Jade (very floral and lovely), Taiwan ginseng (can’t go wrong with ginseng!), and Rou Gui (This is the one that can be steeped 6 times. Has a beautiful cinnamon taste and a bit smoky)
Of course look for yourself on the benefits of oolong from some of your trusted sources. But I do love oolong and enjoy drinking it because if not for the benefits, just for the taste and the one of a kind flavours. I hope you give it a shot and fall in love with it as much as I have.