All types of tea are different and that is especially true for oolong tea, with its unique aging process and delicate flavor profile. All too often, though, oolong gets misrepresented as a black tea, which hides not only what makes oolong tea so good to drink, but also what the tea’s special composition can do for the mind and body. To understand just what sets it apart from all the others, here is what you need to know about oolong tea.
What Makes Oolong Tea Different
All tea comes from the leaves of the same plant. What makes oolong tea different from any other type of tea is how the leaves are processed after they’ve been plucked. While other teas are either heated right away to stop the aging process or left to fully age and oxidize, oolong is aged only to a certain point under carefully monitored conditions before the oxidization process is stopped, making sure it doesn’t get too overpowering or lose too much of its nutritional benefits. This careful aging process is enhanced by the fact that oolong tea is not rolled or broken after being heated, so it keeps its cell structure largely intact, allowing it to steep better and release more of its powerful antioxidants.
Oolong Tea’s Benefits
Because of its unique aging process, oolong tea has different benefits than other types of tea, such as green or black. Scientific studies have shown that the high antioxidant concentration in oolong tea helps accelerate weight loss by acting as a metabolic booster. Its fat-inhibiting flavonoids have also been shown to help keep weight off once it’s been lost. All this has made oolong tea weight loss regiments a popular trend for centuries, with the earliest accounts dating back to traditional Chinese medicine practices.
Oolong tea’s benefits extend beyond just its ability to enhance weight loss, though. The same antioxidants that make it such a good diet supplement also help fight chronic disease, while other compounds found in the tea have been linked to brighter skin, better dental health, improved cognition, and overall longevity.
The distinctive aging process for oolong gives the tea a rich but delicate flavor, too, meaning that it is prized for its unique taste, regarded by many as one of the finer types of teas available. So on top of all of the health benefits it offers, it’s also quite simply makes for a tasty cup to drink.
Drinking Oolong Tea
As a naturally sugar and calorie free drink, oolong tea can be consumed without much thought in regards to the waistline. It is caffeinated, though, and as caffeine has its own side-effects, please see some of their comments at http://www.teamuse.com/article_060601.html and anywhere from 1 to 4 cups a day are recommended. The strength of the tea can also be controlled by how long it’s steeped – more time in the water meaning stronger, more potent tea. That way, drinkers can get all of the oolong tea benefits without experiencing any caffeine-related issues.