Oolong tea has become a staple drink in Chinese culture (and abroad) since its origins in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). Essentially meaning “Black Dragon Tea”, Oolong is a robust tea with many health benefits beloved for its variety of flavors./p>
What is Oolong? How is it made?
Oolong is a semi-fermented tea that comes from the camellia sinensis plant, as all true teas do. It is the special process after that makes it distinct. The leaves go through several important steps to become Oolong:
- Being “shaken” (This process is now usually done by machines to improve the oxidation and balance the flavors.)
- Fixed (This ends the natural fermentation of the leaves in a damage-free way and preps the leaves for the next steps.)
- Dried (Critical for enacting end of fermentation and preventing mold growth.)
- Roasted (This is used to create flavors of smokiness and/or fruitiness.)
These steps may sound simple but are quite a special process. Manufacturers are experts at starting and stopping the oxidation of Oolong tea at the right moments to maximize on the taste and aroma. The final product resembles that of a fierce, black dragon.
Overall, Oolong teas can vary in oxidization ranging from 30% to 70%. Due to varying oxidation levels, those that manufacture Oolong can shape the aromas and flavors of the tea to their own, unique styles and preferences. This means there is a diverse range of Oolong teas, offering you the ability to find the Oolong tea style your taste buds like best.
What are the benefits of Oolong tea?
There are a wide variety of Oolong tea benefits due to the levels of vitamins and minerals. Find Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, Folic Acid and more. Here is how these provide health benefits for you:
- Aids in Weight Loss: After sipping Oolong, your body experiences a boost in metabolism, which aids in fat burning. In addition, Oolong tea contains polyphenols that aid in blocking fat production.
- Prevents Tooth Decay: There are bacteria present in Oolong that aid in maintenance of healthy teeth and fighting the buildup of plaque.
- Helps with Allergies & Promotes Young, Healthy Skin: One of the popular benefits of Oolong tea is its high concentration of antioxidants that fight free radicals. This helps lower the effects of allergies and encourage the vibrant, anti-aging of skin.
- Supports Healthy Bones: The benefits of Oolong tea include the prevention of osteoporosis because this tea aids in retaining minerals from food, assisting in bone mineral density
- Heightens Mental Focus & Alertness: The caffeine in Oolong promotes a heightening in mental alertness.
- Boosts Immunity: Oolong tea contains antioxidant flavonoids that can prevent cell damage and help fight infection, critical for both regular colds and sickness and for having anti-cancer properties.
How do you prepare Oolong tea?
The proper steeping technique for oolong tea is one teaspoon per each 6 – 8 oz of spring water. The water should be heated between 180⁰ to 190⁰ and steeped for a very short amount of time, only 1 – 2 minutes.Good news is that, depending on the Oolong tea itself, you should be able to get multiple steepings from the first leaves you use.