Oolong tea, which is also the same as wu long tea, is one of the main four tea types. The others are white, green, and black tea. Oolong, which is considered a semi-oxidized tea, is a cross between green and black tea, that is, its leaves are allowed to ferment longer than green tea leaves, but the oxidation process is stopped sooner as opposed to black tea.
The result is a cup of tea that is quite unique!
The color of the brew can be either a golden light or dark brownish-copper, depending on the variety. The aroma and flavor is rewarding for the tea drinker, and can be either flowery with some mild sweet notes, or more on the "woody" side with a hint of vegetal tones...this again depending on the variety; processing can vary between 10 to 70 percent fermentation with these teas.
Taiwan and China
It is said that the finest oolongs are grown in Taiwan, but China too offers some great teas as well. Taiwanese oolongs and Chinese oolongs differ from each other, so in a way, we get two main classes of this tea. The Chinese varieties consist of leaves that are usually rolled length wise, and produce a darker and more richer cup. Oolongs from Taiwan are rolled into curly balls, and produce more of that flowery sweeter taste as mentioned above.
Oolong Health Benefits
Some noted health benefits of oolong tea are that it can:
- Help Lower Cholesterol
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Destroy Free Radicals Resulting In Healthier Looking Skin
- Help Reduce The Growth Of Certain Tumours
- Aid In Weight Loss
Findings from a study done at Japan's University of Tokushima School of Medicine reveals that oolong tea had more than double the calorie burning properties when compared to green tea. In another related study, researchers found that drinking a cup of oolong tea 15 minutes before a meal may help reduce the build up of carbohydrates, which can lead to obesity.
Oolong tea, like all tea, contains powerful catechin antioxidants which can also help boost the immune system! A 2004 study published in "Antioxidants & Redox Signaling", reveal that folks who had oolong tea added to their diet developed a stronger immunity. This is potentially good news for those who work in public places during the cold season.
Oolong and Weight Loss
Now while weight loss seems to be a more popular issue with some teas these days, its important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise along with the consumption of tea. Tea by itself will not make you lose any noticeable weight. Be wary of those who are promising that this tea will dramatically make you lose weight. And always consult your doctor first before starting any "tea diet".
There are some products selling on the web under the name "wu-yi tea", that the merchants of this product claim you will lose good weight with this tea. Not to say that you won’t, but please be wary of some since they are just over-priced teas. They will not do anything miraculous, and keep in mind that all oolong varieties will help you achieve the same results for much less. Remember, they all come from the same species of plant!