Tea is the most common beverage consumed across the globe. This popular beverage comes with so many health benefits. Oolong tea is one type as popular as green tea. Read through this HealthSpectra post to learn in detail about the Oolong tea.
What Is Oolong Tea?
Oolong originates from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is also the source of green tea and black tea. The difference between these teas depends on the way they are processed. Coming to Oolong tea, it is fermented and allowed partially oxidize. Black tea is fully oxidized and fermented, thus attaining the characteristic black color. Where as green tea has more catechins and anti-inflammatory polyphenols compared to oolong tea.
- Oolong contains less fluoride than green tea.
- Both green and oolong tea contain a similar amount of caffeine at around 25mg per green tea cup, and about 37mg per oolong tea cup.
- The caffeine content is significantly less than coffee, at about 95-200mg per cup.
Oolong tea has its own unique benefits. Let us checkout how it is beneficial than green tea.
Benefits of Oolong Tea
Of many Oolong tea benefits, some have been well-studied. Check out the below list.
- Oolong Tea for Gut Health
- Oolong Tea for Heart Health
- Oolong Tea for Bone Health
- Oolong Tea for Weight Loss
- Oolong Tea for Blood Sugar
- Oolong Tea for Cancer Prevention
- Oolong Tea for Brain Health
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
1. Oolong Tea for Gut Health:
Probiotics help gut health, similarly oolong tea benefits gut microbes. Oolong tea may help to re-diversify the modern microbiome, promising good health.
2. Oolong Tea for Heart Health:
As per the study data derived from a trial conducted on 76,000 Japanese adults, people who drank 8oz or more of oolong every day had a 61% lower heart risk. The tea helps lower blood pressure and reduce stroke risk.
3. Oolong Tea for Bone Health:
A study conducted on 680 elderly Japanese women has revealed that the women who drank oolong tea had increased bone density, particularly in the bones that connect the leg to the hip socket. Thus, it can be a good addition to a healthy lifestyle for stronger bones.
4. Oolong Tea for Weight Loss:
Oolong tea is rich in polyphenols that activate thermogenesis in the body to increase fat burning. Thus, Oolong is widely recommended in several popular weight loss programs.
5. Oolong Tea for Blood Sugar:
Several studies on oolong tea and blood sugar levels have shown mixed results. But a few studies have shown remarkable results. Oolong tea can help prevent and manage diabetes by improving blood glucose metabolism.
6. Oolong Tea for Cancer Prevention:
Oolong tea is rich in polyphenols – anti-inflammatory agents. These anti-oxidants scavenge disease and cancer causing free radicals in the body. A study conducted by the University of California revealed that in participants who drank oolong for 2 weeks, a 50% reduction in free radicals is observed.
7. Oolong Tea for Brain Health:
A study conducted on 700 elderly Chinese people who drank oolong, green showed better brain functioning test results. Where as in those who drank coffee, no brain boosting benefits were seen. Thus, the anti-oxidants found in tea, improves memory and brain performance.
How To Make Oolong Tea?
Look for a loose leaf Oolong, of which there are many varieties. The amount you use depends on personal preference.
Step 1: To start out, try the following amount of tea for every 180 mL (6 ounces) water:
- If the Oolong leaves are rolled into balls, take in 2 tsp (10 mL).
- If the Oolong leaves are rolled into wiry strips, take 1¼ to 2 Tbsp (18–30 mL).
- If the leaves Oolong look whole or broken, take 1 to 2 Tbsp (15–30 mL).
- Or take 2-3 grams of tea regardless of its appearance.
Step 2: Place it in a teacup and keep aside.
Step 3: Fill your tea kettle with filtered water.
Step 4: Heat it to 185–205ºF (85–96ºC). Oolong can be brewed at this temperature without breaking its aromatic chemicals. If your kettle does not support temperature control, check for the ropes of pearls, or streams of large bubbles’ on the water surface.
Step 5: Pour little hot water onto your leaves in the cup and immediately drain, without losing leaves. This allows opening of the cellular structure of the leaves and washes away impurities.
Step 6: Now pour enough water into the container and let it steep for 2 to 5 minutes.
Appreciate both the color and aroma of the tea, then sip away. Adjust your leaves, next time as per your tate. If you find the tea too strong, take lesser leaves next time.
Note: The brewing time for Oolong varies with its brand as each brand proces the leaves differently. Some are greener, while others are more oxidized and thus are darker. Needless to mention, the location and growing condition of the plant play a prominent role in its look, taste and the leaf size.
However, Oolong may taste best with a three minute brewing time. Five-minute brewing time works out with the darkest oolongs. It ultimately depends on preference,taste and the brand used.
Cautions with Oolong Tea
Most of the Oolong tea benefits are backed by a good amount of research. Yet, some cautions are to be taken when considering Oolong tea as it does contain a bit of a caffeine.
Additionally, as the tea is derived from the camellia sinensis plant it accumulates fluorine. Fluorine can be harm health as synthetic fluoride. However, the amount of fluorine in the tea depends on many factors. Fermented Oolong tea has less fluorine compared to the withered. Besides, the fluorine content varies by soil and cultivated area. High quality organic teas has lesser fluorine than others.
Who Should Avoid Oolong Tea?
Teas like green tea and oolong contain some amount of fluorine, which may be counterproductive for those with some thyroid conditions. Also, moderate amount of caffeine may be harmful to pregnant women. Young kids may also does not respond well to caffeine. Even in general, everyone should consume oolong in moderate amounts.
Do you drink Oolong tea? What’s your favorite way and time to drink it?