You’ve most probably heard of the health benefits of tea, particularly Green tea. But what is Oolong Tea? And what are the health benefits of Oolong tea?
What is Oolong?
Made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant as all tea is, Oolong is an exciting tea type with lots of different variations to explore, there are two styles, rolled or balled where the tea is rolled into little balls (by hand in the better ones) and butterfly style which is long open leaves.
It is made from the same plant as Green and Black tea but what makes it different? It is down to how the leaf is processed. All teas have health benefits, many of them similar, but the way the leaf is handled and processed after picking affects the compounds in the leaf in different ways.
Black teas have leaves which are processed to be very oxidised, while Green teas have leaves which are not oxidised at all. Oolong is a semi oxidised tea meaning it is a type of tea in the middle and combines the health benefits of both Green and Black! As well as having a huge range of flavours- ranging from vibrant,grassy, rich and deep, honey, smoky or even fruity and floral notes. Process plays a really big part in the flavour profile of tea and in production of each individual oolong. That is why there really is an Oolong for everybody!
Most Oolong leaves can be be brewed more than once and remain full of taste and character for several infusions. Some people will even re-brew the leaves 7-10 times! So although it can be a little more pricey than other tea types, because of the attention it gets, it is a good value tea considering one lot of leaves can provide many cups of enjoyment.
What are the health benefits of Oolong?
There are many fascinating benefits to drinking a few cups of this tea daily and many studies have been done and hare taking place to discover these. Some particularly notable ones are …
- Weight Loss – Oolong contains compounds which boost the metabolism and can increase the amount of fat your body burns instead of storing it.
- Digestion – Oolong can decrease inflammation in the gut, and maintains good enzymes which the body needs for effective digestion. It can be beneficial tea for those with ulcers or acid reflux
- High in antioxidants – It is high in polyphenols and antioxidants, these help to mop up free radicals in the body which can lower the chance of things like heart disease, cancer and strokes.
- Stress reliever – Studies have shown that Oolong tea has a calming effect, this is because of a compound called theanine which blocks the bodies glutamate receptors. This decreases the amount of stress signals your body is able to receive.
- Bone and dental health – the natural antioxidant and mineral content of Oolong tea can help prevent tooth and bone decay when consumed regularly.
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol – studies have shown lower cholesterol in Oolong drinkers which is one of the highest factors in high blood pressure.
- Increase focus – the combination of caffeine and theanine does wonders for mental alertness and the ability to focus. It’s a great tea for those who are studying or need steady energy through out the day.
- Happiness– drinking a cup of something you enjoy will increase your happiness and that’s a big health benefit in our books.
Meet our Oolongs
We have a variety of Oolongs available here and below we will introduce you to some of our newest ones. While Oolong originates from China, now a days Taiwanese tea farmers are actually the producer of some of the best in the world. Using Chinese tea shrubs and knowledge the climate and terrain are well suited to this tea type. We sourced and curated these high quality oolong teas directly from Taiwan. We made a lot very careful comparisons and selected them specifically to suit a range of occasions and palates. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Jinxuan is a lightly oxidised balled Oolong. This particular one has buttery and vegetal notes with a crisp dry finish. The name Jinxuan means ,day lily. This kind of tea is also sometimes called silk oolong.
Formosa High Mountain Oolong
As the name suggests this tea is grown at a high altitude, the result is a leaf which produces a light yellow liquor and a soft earthy taste. A really delicious high quality and quite rare example of this tea.
The words Dong Ding mean icy peak, a reference to the fact that this is another high grown tea. These leaves have been lightly roasted to produce a smooth liquor with a sweet finish.
Formosa Oriental Beauty Oolong
Last but certainly not least, this Oolong is in the butterfly style with long leaves which have not been rolled into the balled style. It is a little more oxidised than some Oolongs and produces a lovely taste full of depth, with nutty and honey notes.