If drinking water is not your cup of tea, then actual tea may be another healthy option. Ever wondered how to make the perfect cup of oolong tea?
Lots of studies have proven the health benefits of drinking tea, and another lesser-known fact is that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world next to water.
Irrespective of whether it is hot or cold, it is undoubtedly refreshing.
Lots of people seem to be obsessed with green tea, also known as matcha; however, Oolong tea is another great alternative that has lots of health benefits. The tea is slightly fermented, semi-oxidized, and also has a similar taste to black and green tea.
In fact, it tastes like a cross between black and green tea. There are different varieties of Oolong tea; however, the most famous type of Oolong comes from the Fujian province of China. In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of Oolong tea and why you should be drinking it.
What are the health benefits of oolong tea?
Oolong tea has many health benefits, and here are 10 of them:
Oolong tea has the ability to help you burn fat faster by increasing your metabolism for up to two hours off to you have consumed it. It also contains polyphenols that can block enzymes that build fats.
Ultimately, this means you can lose weight by drinking or Oolong tea as long as you don’t load it with unrefined sugar or artificial sweeteners. However, if you do enjoy your tea on the sweet side, try considering natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, and Stevia leaves.
Oolong has been known to reduce cholesterol levels and promote good heart health. Since it is semi-oxidized, it has the ideal amount of polyphenol molecule, which is able to activate the enzyme lipase known to dissolve body fat.
Increases mental alertness
Oolong tea is known to revitalize your mental performance and alertness naturally. It contains caffeine, so if you’re sensitive to caffeine, limit your consumption to one cup a day or stick to just a few times a week.
Promotes healthy hair
Because it has high levels of antioxidants, this tea prevents hair loss. It also gives you thicker and shinier hair, not to mention soft and more lustrous strands.
If you’re not sensitive to caffeine, then Oolong will aid your digestion.
Since it alkalizes the digestive tract, it also reduces inflammation in people who suffer from acid reflux and ulcer conditions. It’s also mildly antiseptic so it can clear bad bacteria from your stomach. The smooth flavor is also comforting on the stomach when you consume it hot.
Improves your skin
People who suffer from eczema also tend to suffer from allergies and other sensitivities. Oolong tea suppresses these allergic reactions since it combats free radicals.
Ultimately this is the healing property of any antioxidant.
Antioxidants found in Oolong tea are also essential for youthful skin. So drinking this tea will give you youthful skin for longer and slow down the aging process.
Stabilizes blood sugar
If you suffer from type II diabetes, your blood glucose levels will be elevated.
According to studies, those suffering from diabetes can benefit from drinking Oolong tea. Studies show that it decreases blood glucose to a healthy level. The antioxidants contained in Oolong come from the polyphenols, which does wonders for metabolizing your sugar.
Prevents tooth decay
Both Oolong and green tea protects your teeth from acid produced by certain types of bacteria. The acid and the growth of bacteria are both inhibited by Oolong tea, and this means it is effective in preventing tooth decay and plaque build-up.
Forms strong bones and consequently prevents osteoporosis
Oolong tea can protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis if you drink it consistently.
This is because those who drink it are less likely to lose their bone mineral density, and this helps retain the minerals from the healthy foods also consumed. It’s been discovered that Oolong contains calcium and magnesium in its leaves.
Immune system strengthener
Oolong tea is also known for its anti-cancer properties since it maintains a healthy immune system. The antioxidant flavonoids in tea prevent the damage of cells, and its production of antibacterial proteins is much higher, indicating that you have a strong immune response in fighting infection when you drink this tea on a regular basis.
Different types of oolong tea
Making long tea can be a tedious and complicated process. It’s also time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Once you learn about the steps involved in bringing Oolong tea to you, you’ll also have a better appreciation of this amazing Chinese tea. The withering and wilting stage is first, and this is where the fresh leaves are left out in the sun in order to remove excess moisture.
Then comes the bruising stage, which starts once the leaves are wilted. They are then tossed into a tray so it can be broken, hence speeding up the process of oxidation. Fermentation is where the leaves are left out so that the chlorophyll is broken down and tannins are released.
Finally, the tea is heated to stop the enzymes responsible for oxidation. The fruity and flowery flavor of the Oolong tea develops as a result of being semi-oxidized. Oolong tea is available in many varieties; however, they are broadly categorized in one of two distinct styles. The first is a small, wrap-curled style, and the next is a long, strip style.
The latter is the more traditional and widely produced style of Oolong tea.
How to make oolong tea?
The name Oolong actually describes partially fermented tea, which can be anything from green tea to fermented black tea.
It does take time in order to learn how to prepare tea properly; however, once you do, it has a wealth of health benefits for the body and mind.If you’ve been wondering exactly how to go about making Oolong tea, here are a few simple steps that you can keep practicing until you get the desired effect.
Step 1: Choose your tea set
If you’re like most tea drinkers, then a ceramic teapot and cup will do the job. However, you can put an infuser in the cup and make a single serving just for you. Any infuser can be used; however, a large cup-shaped inside will work best and allow the leaves to expand.
If you’re really interested in learning about the Chinese tea ceremony, look for a Yixing Clay teapot. This is probably one of the best ways to drink Oolong tea, but the pot needs to be handled with extreme care.
Step 2: Place loose leaf tea in your teapot
The best quality of teas is hardly ever sold in bags, so you need to look for loose leaf Oolong. There are many varieties to choose from, and ultimately the flavor you choose will depend on your personal preference.
When starting out, you should try the following ratios when it comes to mixing your loose leaf tea with water:For every 180 ml of water, put 2 teaspoons of Oolong tea if they are rolled into balls. If the leaves are rolled into wiry strips add 2 tablespoons of Oolong tea
If the leaves are mostly whole or broken put 1 to 2 tablespoons. You can measure out 2 to 3 mg of tea irrespective of what they appear to look like if you have a kitchen scale and add this to 180 ml of water.
Step 3: Fill kettle with water
Filtered water is a great option, while lots of other tea drinkers prefer distilled water.
You can also try using tap water; however, certain impurities such as chlorine and additives can alter the taste of the tea.
Step 4: Heat water to 185-205 degrees Fahrenheit
This temperature is ideal for brewing Oolong without breaking down the fragile aromatic chemicals. You can also choose to watch the surface of the water as the heat forms, and when you see ropes of water or steam, you can remove from heat if you don’t have a temperature control.
You should also remove the water when you see streams of large bubbles coming to the surface. If you are using lighter colored leaves, make sure the temperature of the water is on the lower end of the scale.
So, as a rule of thumb, bring the water to a rolling boil and use it immediately. Alternatively, bring the water to a rolling boil and open the lid and let it cool for 2 minutes.
Step 5: Rinse tea with hot water
Pour hot water onto your loose leaf tea, and drain the water without losing any leaves. If you have an infuser, it makes this process so much simpler as it simply drains the water and keeps the leaves behind.
The reason for this step is to open up the cellular structure of the tea and removes any impurities.
Step 6: Fill the container and let steep
In this step, you need to pour in enough hot water to fill the container. This should be approximately 180 ml and let it steep for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
Step 7: Enjoy
In this step, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and appreciate the aroma of the bright colored tea and take a sip. If the taste is too powerful, then the next time, you should use fewer leaves or reduce the steeping time. If it’s too watery, then you should use more leaves or increase the steeping time.
What are some health benefits of Oolong tea?
It strengthens the immune system, stabilizes blood sugar and prevents tooth decay.
How long does it take to learn to make Oolong tea?
It depends on how fast you catch on, however, there is a simple step by step process and if you stick to it, you will become a pro in no time.
Can I add sweetener to Oolong tea?
Yes, you can, however, it is recommended that you use natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup for health reasons.