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Oolong Tea

What is Oolong Tea?

Oolong Tea, or black dragon tea - from its Chinese name, is a traditional Chinese tea grown in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian and in the central mountains of Taiwan. Oolong tea, though now gaining a reputation as a drug detox tea has a long history in China. Oolong tea is made from the tea bush, Camellia sinensis, however it is neither a green tea, nor a black tea.... rather Oolong tea is somewhere between the two. Oolong tea is green tea leaves that have been partially fermented, but not fermented all the way to a black tea. Oolong tea encapsulates the best qualies of green tea and black tea. Other names frequently encountered for Oolong Tea are Wulong Tea, Wu-Long Tea, Wu Yi Long Tea and Wu Long Tea. Oolong Tea is said to get its name, not from black dragons, but from its discoverer Wu Liang. However, I like to look into the Oolong tea as it brews and see the black dragon shapes of the tea leaves open as it gets ready to be enjoyed. Yet another theory as to how Oolong tea got its name! (My favourite!)

Oolong Tea is said to have originated in China during the Qing Dynasty in the mid 1600s and was a new style of partially oxidized tea from the Wu Yi Mountains. Pouchong Oolong tea is sometimes called green oolong tea. Other Ooolong teas include: Bai Hao Oolong Tea, a strong Oolong, Silvertip Oolong Tea, Shui Hsien Oolong Tea,('Water Sprite, a light Ooolong tea.

Oolong Tea Producing Countries

China: Oolong teas grown in China include the lighter Pouchong and darker Ti Kuan Yin teas. Traditonally, like many good Chinese teas, oolong tea is grown at altitude, typically between one and three thousand metres above sea level. Luckily China abounds with mountains so finding suitable habitats for the tea plants (Camellia sinensis) to grow for the production of Oolong tea is not a problem. China exports Ooolong tea all around the world, though it can be difficult to find outside Chinese communities. Try Chinese supermarkets, Chinatown if in London, or search online for Ooolong tea suppliers.

Oolong Tea is also now grown outside of China. Oolong tea may originate from any of the following countries:

Taiwan: Oolong tea has been grown in Taiwan (Formosa) since the 19th Century, very recent in the grand scale of the cultivation of tea. Oolong tea grown in Taiwan is almost always consumed by the Taiwanese and very little finds its way to the tea export market. Oolong tea from Taiwan that has been grown at high altitudes, often demands a premium price due to its unique flavour qualities. Varities of Oolong tea from Taiwan that may be seen include; Dong Ding Oolong Tea, named after a mountain in Taiwan. Dong Fang Mei Ren Oolong Tea, also known as Bai Hao Oolong Tea. Alishan Oolong tea from the area of Chiayi County and which is grown at an elevation of between one thousand and one thousand four hundred metres above sea level. Lishan Oolong tea which is always grown above one thousand metres above sea level. Lishan Oolong tea is one of the most valued of Taiwanese Oolong Teas and examples include Dayuling Oolong Tea, Lishan Oolong Tea, and Fusou Oolong Tea. Pouchong Oolong tea originated in the Pinlin region of Taiwan, just outside of Taipei, and is a delicate Oolong tea that is used as the base for many other scented teas.

India: Darjeeling Oolong Tea is made in Darjeeling, India according to trqaditional Chinese tea-making methods. Darjeeling Oolong Tea is grown at more than one thousand metres above sea level.

Vietnam: Vietnamese Oolong Tea is also grown at elevated altitudes in Viet Nam.

Thailand: Thai Oolong Tea is also grown at elevated altitudes (above 1 thousand metres) in Thailand.

Africa: African Oolong Tea is made in Malawi and in Kenya.

Oolong Tea and Weight Loss

Oolong Tea is said to contribute to weight loss but this has (to date) not been confirmed by scientific studies. In any case, is a scientific study neccessary if you believe that Oolong tea will help you in your diet to reduce weight? The placebo effect is well documented, and if you believe that Oolong tea will help you lose weight then why not try it? Oolong tea is also said to have some weight loss benefits as an appetite suppressant. Ooolong tea and weight loss is still being investigated - watch Kakuzo for further news. Note: There is no doubt that ANY tea made from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, is rich in polyphenols, which include flavinoids. These compounds occur naturally in the tea plant and are present in a cup of tea and have the same beneficial class of compounds, antioxidants, that make all fruits and vegetables good for you. So tea is likely to help your general health as part of a balanced diet - this may include weight loss - note "balanced diet". Another note is that ooolong tea (and all tea) is also naturally rich in caffeine, a chemical that will speed up your metabolism and so contribute directly to weight loss by increased burning of calories. There is some discussion however, that Oolong tea directly contributes to weight loss via other ingredients than caffeine.

Oolong Tea and Weight Loss - What Works?

The question is often asked - does wu long tea really work? Excercise and a reduction in the intake of calories are the sure fired way to reduce weight. Drinking Oolong tea as part of a balanced diet where there is adequate exercise, a reduction in calories and a good sleeping pattern will undoubtedly help achieve a regime of weight loss. Oolong tea may be drunk instead of eating a snack, for instance. Or it could be taken at different times and additional exercise taken, too. Under these circumstances it would be difficult for Oolong tea not to contribute to weight loss - remember, excercise, lower calories, good sleep AND oolong tea will work towards weight loss for you. Does Oolong tea work as an appetite suppressant, or a metabolism stimulant, or a general aid in weight loss? That is for you to decide - and enjoy your tea! Oolong tea should not be seen as a drug detox tea - much better to reduce claorie intake and excercise more with a moderate amount of detox tea.

Oolong Tea Benefits

Besides considering Oolong tea for weight loss, there may be other health benefits from drinking Oolong tea. As a drug detox tea Oolong tea has a long history. The Chinese have always believed that tea (Camellia sinensis) contributes to a positive general well-being and longevity. Modern scientific research has confirmed that the tea plant leaves, and the infusion of tea made from it, is rich in anti-oxidants which can help ward of cancer, combat heart disease and (may) contribute to weight loss. So, if you enjoy tea, and particularly enjoy Oolong tea then why not revel in that pleasure when you have a cup of tea, and further enjoy whatever additional benefits to your health that the Oolong tea brings? Oolong tea also contains polyphenol which is said to contribute to clear skin, healthy teeth and mental health. What's not to like? :-)

Where can I get Oolong Tea?

Oolong Tea can be found in Chinese Supermarkets, in London, Soho, in Chinatown, again in Soho. Oolong tea can be purchased online. Try a search for Oolong tea on Google for tea suppliers.

Oolong Tea

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