What is Oolong Tea? What are the benefits of drinking Oolong tea? Why is oolong tea so influential?

What is Oolong Tea? What are the benefits of drinking Oolong tea? Why is oolong tea so influential?

Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea. Oolong tea is made from the same raw materials as green and black tea. The difference lies in the processing, i.e., the oxidation process. Green tea is made from fresh tea leaves. Oxidation is the chemical reaction that occurs when the tea leaves are exposed to air, resulting in a change in the color and flavor of the tea leaves. Black tea is kneaded, and the degree of oxidation is the highest. Oolong tea is a semi-fermented tea between black tea and green tea. When subdivided, it can be divided into lightly fermented, moderately fermented, and heavily fermented teas, with the degree of fermentation ranging from 10% to 70%. This difference in the production process makes oolong tea so “complex” in taste. It has floral and fruity aromas, as well as creamy and woody, with the freshness of green tea and the sweetness of black tea.
Classification of Oolong Tea
The history of oolong tea can be traced back to the Song Dynasty, when Fujian was the most important center for the production of tribute tea, with the widest variety of tea trees, tea-making techniques, and production volume in the country. After centuries of development, oolong tea was successfully created during the Yongzheng period of the Qing Dynasty, in 1725 AD, nearly 300 years ago.
Of course, the origin of oolong tea is not limited to Fujian. Still, it has expanded to include provinces such as Guangdong and Taiwan, and even south-western regions such as Sichuan, where a small amount and dozens of different types of tea trees are produced.
As a result, oolong tea can be roughly divided into four categories according to the raw material of the tree, the production process, and the place of origin, namely Northern Fujian Oolong, Southern Fujian Oolong, Guangdong Oolong, and Taiwan Oolong. Among them, the masterpiece of Northern Fujian Oolong is Wuyi Rock Tea, such as Da Hong Pao, Shui Xian, and Cinnamon, the masterpiece of Southern Fujian Oolong is Anxi Tieguanyin, the masterpiece of Guangdong Oolong Tea is Phoenix Monocotyl. The most famous Taiwanese Oolong Tea is Jelly Top Oolong and Pear Mountain Tea, etc.
The “Oriental Beauty” tea from Taiwan. Although they are all semi-fermented teas, the degree of fermentation varies from oolong tea to oolong tea. The degree of fermentation of Tieguanyin is lighter, ranging from 10% to 25%, while the degree of fermentation of Wuyi rock tea is medium, ranging from 25% to 50%.
The oolong teas we consume daily are mainly strip and pellet shaped, the latter two being more niche and not often seen in markets outside of their origins. In terms of appearance and form, oolong tea can also be divided into strips, granules, bundles, and masses. Phoenix Monocot and Da Hong Pao are both strip-shaped teas. Tieguanyin and Iced Top Oolong are granule-shaped masterpieces, Bajiao Ting Long Shu tea is a masterpiece of bundle-shaped tea, and Shui Xian cake tea is the only lump-shaped oolong tea.
Nutritional Composition of Oolong Tea
Like black and green teas, oolong tea is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial antioxidants. A cup of oolong tea contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, and 38mg of caffeine. In comparison, a cup of green tea contains 29mg of caffeine.
The main antioxidant components of oolong tea are the phenolics such as theaflavins, theobromine, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These are also the primary sources of health benefits of oolong tea.
Oolong tea also contains catechistic acid, an amino acid that helps to soothe the mind and body and improve cognitive performance.
Oolong tea may prevent diabetes.
In general, tea has been shown to prevent diabetes due to its ability to reduce adrenaline resistance and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that regular tea consumption can improve blood sugar levels and reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. For example, according to an earlier study, oolong tea reduced plasma glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, there is not as much research on the effects of oolong tea on black and green teas.
Oolong tea may protect heart health.
Regular tea intake of antioxidants can help protect heart health. Many studies have shown that regular tea drinkers have better control of their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, effectively reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that oolong tea has the same effect. A trial of 76,000 Japanese adult men showed that drinking more than 240ml of oolong tea daily reduced the likelihood of heart disease by 61%. Another study from China showed that drinking 1-2 cups of green or oolong tea a day significantly reduced the risk of stroke.
It is important to note that oolong tea contains caffeine, which may cause an increase in blood pressure and a faster heart rate in some people. However, this varies from person to person, and the adverse effects of tea, which contains 1/4 of the caffeine content of an equivalent amount of coffee, are not as pronounced as coffee.
Oolong tea may help with weight loss.
Drinking tea to help with weight loss has been well established. Studies have confirmed that the bioactive components in tea can help with weight loss or prevent obesity. While most people believe this is a function of antioxidant ingredients, recent studies have shown that tea can also enhance the activity of biological enzymes and intestinal flora, thus aiding weight loss.
As for oolong tea, in animal studies, researchers have found that oolong tea can increase fat oxidation, which in turn directly reduces body fat. However, the number of studies on humans is still tiny. The antioxidant content of oolong tea and the appetite suppressant effect of caffeine can help with weight loss, but it does not mean that drinking tea will result in weight loss. It depends more on lifestyle and eating habits.
Oolong tea may enhance brain function.
Recent studies have shown that drinking tea can improve brain and memory and prevent brain function decline due to aging. Some key ingredients include caffeine, which helps to release hyperalgesia, and dopamine, which can improve mood, concentration, and brain power. In addition, catechins acid effectively reduces anxiety and improves concentration, with the main effects occurring 1-2 hours after drinking the tea.
The impact of oolong tea
Fujian, Taiwan, and Guangdong provinces are China’s regions where the work tea culture is primarily intact. Since ancient times, tea has been inseparable from the highest officials to the lowest peddlers. This influence, along with the reform and opening up and the deepening of cultural exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, has gradually spread from south to north and radiated throughout the country. Among the oolong teas, the first one to go out of Fujian, out of the south, and into the whole country was Tie Guanyin. Tie Guanyin was so popular back then that no one knew about it. Whether in the eastern provinces or the Gobi Mountains in the northwest, you could meet tea drinkers who drank Tieguanyin and talked to you about the tea culture.
The most popular of the oolong teas in recent years has been Wuyi rock tea. Although the sky-high rock tea hype has tarnished its brand reputation, Da Hong Pao, Cinnamon, and Shui Xian, both in terms of price and production, are rising. Guangdong’s Phoenix Monocot, too, is a favorite with tea lovers who can’t get enough of its impactful aroma and taste. Taiwanese oolong tea, of course, is equally popular, whether it is high mountain tea or “Oriental Beauty,” The consumer base is not tiny, and its influence in the mainland market is growing.
All in all, the influence of oolong tea is not only reflected in the variety of its varieties and the “complex and varied” taste and aroma but also in the promotion and change of the national concept of tea drinking and tea culture.
What are some of the most famous teas in the world?

What are some of the most famous teas in the world?

China is the home of tea, with a long history of tea growing and drinking, and its unique tea ceremony and tea culture are renowned worldwide.
This drink has spread worldwide, taking root in various countries and forming a tea culture with its national characteristics. People who love tea use it as a window to better understand the local customs. So, how many famous teas do you know from around the world?

 

Korea – Hyunmee tea
Genmaicha is a unique Asian green tea drink that combines the aroma of tea and rice. The unique feature of Genmaicha is that it has both the light fragrance of traditional Japanese green tea and the special scent of roasted rice. The organic blend of the tea and rice aromas is far superior to conventional green tea beverages in terms of taste, smell, and nutritional value. As a result, it has been at the top of the office tea list in Korea for many years because of its ability to help relax the mind and body. Barley tea, similar to Genmaicha, is also one of Korea’s most popular tea types.

 

Japan – Japanese Matcha
Originating in China but made famous in Japan. Japanese matcha is a powdered green tea that is ground to a fine powder and stirred with water in an extremely elegant way to create a delicate layer of bubbles that is lightly flavored with seaweed and is highly nutritious when consumed. Matcha required a high level of craftsmanship and raw materials and was developed in Japan with the Chinese matcha introduced to Japan by the dispatchers in the late 9th century. Today, Japan’s most influential matcha ceremonies are the “Omotesenka” and “Satesenka,” widely practiced throughout the country.

 

Morocco – Mint Tea
Moroccans often serve mint tea to their guests, and it is a great courtesy if it is made directly in front of you, as modern families make it in the kitchen and serve it to their guests.

 

South Africa – Rooibos Tea
Also known as Doctor’s tea, Ruyi tea is a tea processed from the South African pod plant and is known as Africa’s most popular drink due to its rare and deep flavor and richness. And can be drunk hot, cold, plain sweet, or with milk.
Rooibos tea contains more antioxidants and phenolic compounds than regular tea but has no caffeine and is very low in tannins.

 

Germany – Flower and Fruit Tea
Flower and fruit tea is said to have originated in central Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where people dried fruit in winter to preserve fresh fruit and brewed it for drinking. Various flower petals with dried fruit such as apples or hawthorn were most common, so although it was called flower tea, it did not contain tea.

 

India – Teh Tarik
India is the second-largest tea producer in the world, and itinerant vendors carry teapots and hawk the special Indian pulled tea on the streets of India. The most distinctive feature is that masala is added, and then black tea and milk are poured back and forth between two tea cups to pull out a fine, smooth texture.

 

China – Pu-erh Tea
People’s interest in Pu-erh seems to go beyond tea, with culture, health care, collection, and appreciation. However, Pu-erh carries too much tiredness. When you hold a cup of  Pu-erh in front of your nose, the aroma of the aged taste comes to your nose like a fountain. The true charm of Pu-erh lies in the fact that when you sip it. However, you feel slightly bitter and astringent, you can feel the tea broth penetrate through your teeth and penetrate your gums when it rests slightly between your throat and tongue, and then the sweetness from the root of your tongue is sent back to the surface of your tongue.

 

England – Earl Grey Tea
Charles Grey II was the British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834 and was a great reformer after whom this world-famous blend of flavored teas is named. It is said that this blend originated in China and was given to Earl Grey II by a Chinese man as a gift in return during the Qing Dynasty.

 

China – White Tea
White tea is one of the ten most famous teas in China. White tea leaves are two leaves with a bud in the middle, which are raised in a rippled pattern, with fat, tender leaves, slightly curled with a drooping edge and covered with fuzzy white hairs on the back. When brewed, the turquoise leaves are beautifully shaped against the tender leaf buds, resembling a peony bud in its first bloom, and are calm and elegant. The tea broth is clear and apricot-yellow, with a sweet and fresh flavor.

 

Europe – Chamomile Tea
Native to Europe and West Asia, and North Africa, chamomile is a household name in the region. It is known as one of the most common herbal teas in European and American homes because of its health benefits. The golden yellow tea is intensely sweet with a distinctive bitter flavor and can be enjoyed warm or iced with a touch of honey, fresh milk, or cinnamon.
Chamomile tea can relax the nerves, help with digestion after meals, and is often consumed to help improve eyesight, nourish the liver, and lower blood pressure. However, chamomile tea is not suitable for drinking in the morning as it is a great sleep aid.