Whilst still related to and based upon the original camellia sinensis tea plant, Oolong tea is a whole different dimension of tea! Typically described as being somewhere between green tea and black tea, Oolong has a flavour, aroma and complexity all of its own. A high quality tea that is very likely to impress you if you've never tried it, the taste and "mouthfeel" is really something special and unique.
High Mountain Oolong Tea
The oolong tea plant is grown by tea farmers in China and Taiwan, usually at high altitudes, which is why it is known as "high mountain oolong tea".
Origins and Most Famous High Quality Varieties
With its origins in the Wuyi mountains along the western border of Fujian province in China, Oolong today is still grown in Fujian province but also in Taiwan. Whilst Fujian Oolongs such as Tikuanyin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) are well known and popular amongst mainland Chinese, it is Taiwanese Oolong that is by far the most famous and loved by tea connoisseurs all over the world. Here at LUPICIA, we offer you a range of different Oolongs from both China and Taiwan, including some of the most high quality Taiwanese teas grown at high altitudes such as Dong Ding, Mt Ali and Four Seasons Ming Jian, some of which are naturally organic oolong teas.
How Oolong Tea is Made
Oolong spans a large range of tea leaf styles, flavours and resulting tea colours. The full body flavour and unique aroma result from a time honoured farming tradition which is effectively a controlled oxidation level process. After harvesting, the tea leaves are withered (or softened) by a process known as tumbling which effectively lightly bruises the surface of the tea leaves causing the tea cells to break down and in the process release enzymes as the leaves are exposed to the air and darken over time. Once the tea leaves reach the desired colour, flavour and aroma, they are usually twisted or rolled and in the process the oxidation levels are locked in, and the tea leaves which now resemble small hardened balls, are left to fully dry out.
The resulting finished product, the dried twisted or rolled balls that is the most common form of oolong, allows for the oolong tea leaves to be infused multiple times. The true loose leaf form of Oolong only reveals itself after 2 or 3 infusions, when the twisted or rolled balls of dried tea leaves unfurl and fully open up. Some of the highest quality Oolongs can be infused up to 7 or 8 times, meaning when brewed in a medium tea pot, upwards of 15 or 20 small cups of tea can be poured from a single amount of Oolong.
Oolong Tea Bags
Oolong tea is also available in tea bags, also from this website and the tea is of the exact same quality and can therefore similarly be infused multiple times.
Here at LUPICIA, as well as offering a wide range of pure Oolongs, we are renowned for our Unique Flavoured Oolong teas, including Momo (Peach), Muscat, Passionfruit and Mango flavoured Oolongs.
Oolong tea is not only renowned for its incredible taste, aroma and flavour profile, but also its many health benefits.
Green tea is undoubtedly good for your health but Oolong tea is considered the most healthy of all teas and is recommended to be drunk every day for the best health benefits.
Oolong is naturally fortified with compounds known as catechins, also referred to as "EGCG" (epigallocatechin gallate). These are potent antioxidants that neutralise the harmful effects of free radicals which, if left unmonitored, can create illness and disease.
The question that has always puzzled scientists is how well these antioxidants work when digested. Are they able to be absorbed by the body, and if so, do they still work at their most optimal levels? A study conducted by scientists at Newcastle University in the UK and published in the journal Phytomedicine answers that question with a firm "yes."
The polyphenol content of Oolong is another well known and major health benefit.
Lower Blood Pressure
There are also many studies that have shown that Oolong also helps lower blood pressure.
Lower Caffeine Content
Oolong has lower caffeine content than most other teas, especially black tea. This is due to a variety of factors, one of which is the tea production method used, especially the manner in which oxidation levels are carefully controlled by the tea farmer.
Natural Weight Loss
Oolong by nature has such an appealing taste served as is without any sugar or other additives. This fact alone represents a major weight loss health benefit when you consider that many tea drinkers regularly add sugar to their tea.
Caffeine intake is markedly lower than green and black tea, a major benefit for those who don't want to be too stimulated. Studies have shown oolong tea can have very positive health benefits upon blood sugar which mean it is good for diabetes, weight loss, as well as many other health complaints.
It turns out that drinking oolong tea on a regular basis results in the beneficial compounds becoming even more powerful when enhanced by post-digestive enzymes in the stomach. Overall, Oolong tea presents a superior health profile compared to green tea and black tea.