Any versed tea drinker knows how critical leaf selection is for tea producers. However, the fact that oolong tea makers choose a distinct leaf variety is not generally recognized. A leaf shoot with a short, dormant leaf bud at the tip and an adjacent pair of elongate, mature leaves yield the best oolong tea.
Organic oolong growers prefer this specific leaf-bud hybrid, known in the tea industry as banji leaf, for at least two reasons. To begin with, the bud and its hardy companion leaves can withstand the intricate physical manipulation needed to make oolong tea.
In certain ways, oolongs are the most luxurious teas available. Although good growing conditions are essential, an oolong's quality is largely determined by the ability of the individual who prepares it. To try some of the best qualities oolong tea offers, you can try one of our top picks below.
There are different types of oolong tea
Thin, wrap-curled oolongs (such as Tieguanyin oolong tea) and long, strip-style curly oolongs (such as China's popular Da Hong Pao oolong tea) are the two main types of oolong tea. The latter is the more popular and widely developed oolong tea type.
Oolong Tea Varies with Location of Cultivation
The tea leaves in Guandong are very aromatic, with at least ten distinct aromas. As a result, each Lonely Bushes tea can come with a description of its fragrance. North Fujian oolong leaves are big, dark-brown, or even black. The brew develops a cognac tint, a heavy flavor, and, in most cases, a floral aroma.
The leaves of the Iron Goddess tea from South Fujian are as hard and strong. Tight rolling of leaves into balls is a popular tea processing technique in the field, but the harshness of the leaf makes Tie Guan Yin balls the least solid. The tea is easily identified by its loosely rolled leaves.
Does Oolong Tea Have Caffeine?
Caffeine in oolong tea level is usually somewhere between that of green tea and black tea. A mildly oxidized oolong may have lower caffeine levels, whereas a heavily oxidized oolong may have higher caffeine levels. The concentration of caffeine in oolong tea varies based on how the tea plant was grown and processed.
Most Popular Oolong Teas and their Flavors
The flavors of organic oolong tea vary from light and floral to dark and chocolatey, and they are influenced by two major factors: oxidation and roasting. Roasting an oolong tea adds significant taste, fragrance, and body, while balancing out oxidized fruitiness with a rich woodsy undertone.
Green "Jade" Oolong
Oolongs that are light or "jade" in colour may resemble green tea. They're normally orange but a shade darker than green tea leaves, and their twisted or rolled-ball shapes (rather than needle-like smooth leaves) indicate that you're dealing with an oolong. From fragrant, floral Baozhong to creamy "milk oolong tea" made with Jin Xuan cultivars to polished and airy Shan Lin Xi, Lishan, and Da Yu Ling.
Light oolongs, like green tea, have a new, bright flavor with snappy vegetal and sunny-sweet notes. However, a little oxidation brings out more floral notes, a rich, buttery texture that lingers on the palate, and a rounded, airy quality that's more subtle than your average green tea.
Medium Roast Oolong
You forgo the very fresh aromatics of the jade oolong if you increase the oxidation or expose it to a balanced roast. Warm notes and a smoother body evolve in these more refined teas. Accents of sweetness are noticeable in this variant, but they're also woodier than the red-wine fruitiness of black teas.
In general, these oxidized teas can last longer infusions than their greener variants. A green oolong begins to taste grassy around the fourth or fifth steeping, but many mildly oxidized oolongs — especially the roasted ones—can easily be steeped twice as many times.
Heavy roasting of moderately oxidized oolongs produces the strongest teas in the oolong kingdom. These darker teas will brew up as thick and spicy as coffee, and they're a perfect place to start if you're a coffee drinker looking to branch out into tea.
So-called "cliff" teas cultivate a distinct minerality from their rocky rising cove in China's Wuyi mountains, where tea grows on cliffs. The heavy roast is the cherry on top, creating a robust, layered brew of cocoa, nuts, and charcoal on top of the honeyed sweetness of the tea. Da hong pao, shui xian, and rou gui are all common Wuyi teas. They all have slight distinctions, but they all have the rocky aftertaste that lingers in your mouth.
There are many oolong tea benefits. Fluoride, potassium, manganese, and magnesium are among the essential nutrients contained in it. Drinking Oolong Tea may be beneficial to health and wellness, however, there are also oolong tea side effects that occur, though rarely, from excessive chronic consumption.
Theaflavins, thearubigins, and EGCG are some of the antioxidants used in Oolong Tea. These antioxidants have the potential to act as powerful antibiotics, bolstering the body's defenses against harmful bacteria. Antioxidants also assist in neutralizing free radicals, which can induce diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Oolong tea lowers blood sugar levels
Oolong Tea has been shown to be effective at reducing blood sugar levels, which means it can help avoid and even cure diabetes. Oolong has been shown in randomized studies to lower plasma glucose levels, making it a successful diabetic treatment for others.
Oolong tea for Weight loss
Since oolong tea is high in antioxidants, it can help to increase metabolism by up to 10%, resulting in increased calorie burning. These antioxidants also aid in the more efficient burning of fat.
How to Choose the Best Oolong Tea
- Size: The uniform size of the rolled tea leaves indicates that they were harvested at the phase of growth. If the size of the rolled tea leaves varies considerably, it's likely that they weren't picked as wisely as they should have been, and that very young leaves were mixed in with overly mature leaves. It may also mean that tea leaves from several crops have been blended together.
- Colour: If the leaves are yellow, this usually means that the old growth was collected along with the new growth. There will still be minor colour variations, so keep an eye out for significant deviations.
- Fragrance: When a sealed bag is opened for the first time, it emits a pleasant scent. This shows the degree of roasting and freshness. If the leaves smell strongly like perfume, it's possible that they've been flavored with additives before or after processing. If you detect a stale, musty odor, this means that the tea was not properly dried or processed after processing.
Whether you are picking from loose leaf oolong tea or oolong tea bag, we hope that our guide will help you experience an amazing cup of tea.
Is oolong tea good for you?
While oolong tea is less well-known than green or black tea, it offers comparable health benefits. These include heart, liver, bone, and dental health benefits. It can also help to speed up your metabolism.
Is oolong tea healthy?
Consuming oolong tea, like drinking other tea varieties, is believed to have a host of health benefits. Potassium, magnesium, and fluoride are also contained in oolong tea. Antioxidants are also present.
What does oolong tea taste like?
Oolong tea has variations in taste depending on the level of oxidation. Generally, it is more fruity than black tea, even when heavily oxidized. It has a light, airy taste that comes with sweet notes.
Is oolong tea good for weight loss?
Oolong tea is good for weight loss. This is because it enhances the metabolism, leading to fatter burning. Also, it has antioxidants that help the gut environment and improve digestion.
Where to buy oolong tea?
You can buy oolong tea in Chinese tea shops, grocery stores, and even online. Make sure you remember our keys to choosing the right tea. Our top picks are above!
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