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Oolong Tea

Oolong tea facts
  • Oolong tea is also called Wu-Long or wu long. In Chinese, it means black dragon tea, probably due to its curly shape and black color.
  • All tea is made of same type of tea plant called Camellia sinensis. Depending on its processing procedures, however, tea can be categorized into three types of tea: green tea, oolong tea and black tea. Compared to green tea (un-oxidized) or black tea(fully- oxidized), oolong tea is semi- oxidized at about 10% - 70% level of oxidization.
  • Out of "The Ten China Famous Teas" , two oolong tea makes to the list: An Xi Tie Guan Yin (Ti Kuan Yin) and Wu Yi Yan Cha (Wu Yi Tea), according to Wikipedia
  • Oolong tea was believed to be first produced toward the end of Ming dynasty, about 400 years ago.
  • Oolong tea processing is most complex and labor-intensive among all tea. It can come in different flavors and aromas ranging from green and floral to dark and roasted. Each type of oolong has its own processing procedure. Here is a detailed process of how Ti Kuan Yin is made
Oolong tea health benefits

Below is an excerpt from an article "Health Benefits of Oolong Tea" published on http://www.buzzle.com/articles/health-benefits-of-oolong-tea.html by Priya Johnson

  • Contains Antioxidants: Free radicals (obtained from the air, food and sunlight) in the body can cause aging of the skin, wrinkles, dark spots, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and certain other diseases. Oolong tea possess antioxidants that help destroy free radicals even before they can harm us. A comparative study done in 2003, by Kenichi Yanagimoto, revealed that oolong tea possessed more potent antioxidants as compared to black tea, but less potent antioxidants as compared to green tea.
  • Improves Heart Health: A Japanese study conducted in 2001, stated that one month of regular oolong tea consumption could result in reduction of cholesterol levels. In another Japanese study in 2004, it was reported that oolong tea increases plasma adiponectin levels. Low levels of plasma adiponectin result in type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and coronary artery disease (CAD). Triglycerides are the most common form of fat present in the body, and is the cause of many heart health issues. An American study, conducted on rats, in 2007, revealed that oolong tea reduces blood concentrations of triglycerides by 80%. Thus consumption of oolong tea promotes heart health.
  • Reduces High Blood Pressure: Studies conducted in 2004, stated that drinking oolong tea for a year reduced high blood pressure. Regular tea drinkers having one cup a day were 45% less prone to have high blood pressure and 65% less likely to develop high blood pressure if more than 2 cups were consumed per day.
  • Heals Skin Ailments: Green tea does have anti-allergic properties. A study was conducted in 2001, by Uehara of the Shiga University, to find out if oolong tea also has similar properties. The study revealed that oolong tea helped treat recalcitrant type (does not respond to conventional treatment) atopic dermatitis (skin disease). The study was carried out on 118 people suffering from atopic dermatitis. These people were asked to drink a liter of oolong tea, made from 10 grams of leaves, every day in addition to their dermatological treatment. After one month, 63% patients showed moderate improvements. It is also believed to improve skin color.
  • Prevents Tooth Decay: According to a study conducted by Nakahara in 1993, oolong tea is said to inhibit the enzyme activities of the bacteria streptococci. Streptococci bacteria causes dental plaque formed on teeth, thereby resulting in dental caries. Thus by inhibiting this bacteria, oolong tea plays prevents tooth decay. Experts from the Department of Dentistry at Osaka University said that this tea also helps strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Assists in Weight Loss: Various studies conducted have revealed that oolong tea increases metabolism, burns fat and blocks dietary fat absorption. Oolong tea is known to possess calorie-burning catechin polyphenols, which, in combination with exercise and proper diet, help lose weight.
Oolong tea caffeine
  • Oolong tea contains caffeine in nature.
  • A cup of oolong tea provides about 1/3 of caffeine of a cup of coffee.
  • Oolong tea is generally believed to have less caffeine than black tea and more caffeine than green tea:
  • Here is a general comparison of caffeine content in a 5oz cup of tea or coffee

    Type Caffeine(mg)
    Coffee 100-150
    Black Tea 50-60
    Oolong Tea 40-50
    Green Tea 20-30
  • According to a research done by HICKS M. B, first brewing produces 3 times more caffeine than the second brewing, and second brewing produces 3 times more caffeine than the third brewing.
  • If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can try the following to reduce your caffeine intake:
    • Don't drink first brewing.
    • Use less loose tea leaf
    • Reduce brewing time for your serving
Monkey picked Oolong tea
  • Monkey picked oolong tea is also known as highest grade of Ti Kuan Yin. Legend has it that monkeys were trained by monks to pick the tea leaves from wild Ti Kuan Yin tea trees unreachable by humans in the high mountains of Fujian Province.
  • Today, monkey-picked simply means the highest quality Tie Guan Yin tea available. Picked during the spring and fall from higher elevations than other Tie Guan Yin grades, the monkey-picked grade is entirely handmade by experienced tea masters with great care.