What is oolong?
Oolong tea is a semi-oxidised tea originating from China or Taiwan. It offers a variety of refreshing tastes, depending its origin and the style of production it can be sweet and fruity, have a roasted aroma or be a fresh tasting floral tea.
Oolong tea is also known as Wu long tea or Wuyi tea. The name Oolong entered the English language from the Chinese name meaning black dragon..
Origins & production
A traditional Chinese tea, Oolong tea is produced using a process which includes withering in sunlight and oxidation before the leaves are curled and twisted. Oxidation can range from 8 to 85%, depending on the variety of tea and the production style.
Processes also alter depending on the variety of Oolong, but there are just two leaf formations. Some are rolled the traditional Chinese way into long curly leaves, while others are 'wrap-curled' into small beads with a tail.
Oolong Health benefits
Oolong tea contains high levels of polyphenols & antioxidants and is said to sharpen thinking skills and improve mental alertness. Many believe it to be a great weight loss tea too, with the ability to treat obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and high cholesterol as well as complaints such as skin allergies and eczema.
Other alleged health benefits are said to be prevention of cancer, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and heart disease.