What is Oolong Tea?
Camellia sinensis, the plant whose buds and leaves are used in making many types of tea products such as white tea, black tea, green tea, pu-erh tea and oolong tea; Both the picking and the processing lead to the differences in tea type, for example whether the tea has been oxidised or not will lead to it being classified as black or green. Some of its common names for Camellia sinensis include tea tree, tea plant and tea shrub.
An overview of Oolong?
Oolong, a traditional Chinese tea, is produced through a process that includes oxidation followed by twisting and curling and withering under the strong sun. Most oolong teas, particularly those that are of a higher quality, are processed with certain tea plant cultivars exclusively used for unique varieties. The degree of fermentation of Oolong teas can be from 8% to 85% depending on the style production and variety.
Photograph by Arnold Inuyaki
Types of Oolong Tea
The most expensive and famous types of Chinese Oolong teas are Wuyi rock or Cliff tea that was made in the Fujian province; their production is accredited as being organic.
Photograph by Joi.
Some of the commonly known cliff or rock teas are:
- Iron Monk (Arhat Tiě) – a Si Da Ming Cong tea.
- Gold Turtle (Shuǐ Jīn Guī )- a Si Da Ming Cong
- Red Robe (Dà Hóng Páo) - a Si Da Ming Cong and a highly prized one. This is one of the two oolongs that were considered amongst the most famous teas in China.
- Narcissus (Shuǐ Xiān)- this is commonly grown anywhere, and is known to produce a very dark tea.
- Cassia (Ròu Guì) – a dark tea with a spicy aroma.
- White Comb (Bái Jī Guān)- a Si Da Ming Cong tea with light, yellowish leaves.
Other varieties of Oolong include:
- Golden Cassia (Huángjīn Guì)
- Iron Goddess (Guanyin Tiě Guānyīn or Ti Kuan Yin)
- Dong Ding oolong (Dòngdǐng)
- Single Bush (Dān Cōng)
- Alishan oolong ( Ālǐshān chá)
- Oriental Beauty (Dōngfāng Měirén chá)
- Pouchong, (Bāozhǒng chá)
- Lishan oolong (Líshān)
- Indonesian Oolong Tea
- Vietnam tea
- Darjeeling oolong
- Vietnam oolong tea
- Thai oolong
- Nepali oolong
- African oolong
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
This type of tea is not only known worldwide for its great taste, but also for the several health benefits that it gives. Some of the many Oolong tea health benefits include:
- Reduces Body Weight - Oolong tea weight loss. Long before studies were conducted, it was believed that drinking at least a glass of oolong tea every day can help an individual lose weight. In 1998, a conducted research confirmed that daily consumption of Oolong tea can really help the body shed off weight by promoting the burning its own fat for energy. Oolong tea was found to have an absorption blocking potential that enables it to provide weight reducing benefits.
- Reduces Blood Pressure. Although oolong tea is not known as a miracle drug, studies have shown that it can help in lowering the body’s blood pressure. Studies suggested that those drinking at least two cups of Oolong tea per day are found to be 46% less likely to develop hypertension. So instead of drinking coffee, you might as well try to incorporate the occasional cup of Oolong tea into your diet. Aside from helping your body lower its blood pressure, it is a very refreshing drink too.
- Good for the Heart. Over the years, mortality rates have increased, partially because of the increases of heart diseases and other cardio-related diseases that often lead to heart attack. Drinking Oolong tea may help the body decrease the cholesterol level in its system while getting rid of the excess fat. This may help to prevent further occurrence of heart attack that might cause death.
- Stress Relief. For individuals who claim to be over fatigued and stressed, Oolong tea is one of the fastest answers to be stressed free. Studies have shown that depressed and stressed people tend to binge more on food; this makes them to become overweight and obese. They drink and eat a lot in order to relieve themselves from stress. This bad habit can be avoided by drinking Oolong tea instead. The Japan Research Institute had proven that Oolong contains an effective de-stressor in the form of polyphenols. So instead of munching on fatty foods and gaining weight, opt for something healthier such as having a glass of Oolong tea.