No, you don’t! And this will be the answer of most tea lovers who love trying different kinds of tea around the globe. However, for those who like to have milk in their tea, exceptions do exist. Whether you add milk to your tea or not, it is a matter of personal choice. Although milk and sugar enhance the taste of the tea yet few teas bring unique flavors without milk and oolong tea is one of them.
Well, we all know that black tea and green tea are known almost everywhere, even among non-tea lovers. But are you sure that you know about Oolong tea! If not, then let me introduce you to this special kind of tea that will not only lift your mood but will also change your perspective about how a simple cup of tea can bring such a positive impact on your daily life. By bringing Oolong tea in your life, you cannot only get rid of your laziness, but you can be active and increase your productivity!
What is Oolong tea?
It is a traditional Chinese tea also known as black dragon tea, but the origin is also claimed in Taiwan. It is surprising to know how a single plant can make different kinds of teas. Yes! You read it right. Leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are the source of oolong tea. Not only is the Oolong tea made from this plant but also green tea and black tea. You might be thinking how is this even possible? How the leaves are processed creates the difference.
The enzymes present in the leaves are responsible for causing the oxidation reaction which turns the leaf from green to other colors. Allowing maximum oxidation of leaves turns them into black tea while minimum oxidation results in green tea. Oolong tea stands in between as it results from partial oxidation of leaves. The degree of oxidation can range from 8% to 80%. Its color ranges from greenish-brown to dark brown. It has a unique aroma, and the final flavor depends on the rolling of the leaves.
Oolong tea and its secret ingredients!
Like any other tea, caffeine is the main ingredient of oolong tea. But the level of caffeine differs depending upon the oxidation. Research has shown that almost 36-40mg of caffeine is present in a cup of oolong tea. Generally, the darker the color the more caffeine it contains. Besides minerals and vitamins, the presence of different antioxidants makes the tea special. These antioxidants, mainly polyphenols, are responsible for boosting the immune system and increasing your productivity. Magnesium and calcium are also present in oolong, unlike other teas which impart strength to your bones.
But have you ever thought about the relaxation you feel after having a cup of oolong tea? Which ingredient induces that? Well, theanine (an amino acid) is the secret ingredient! It relieves stiffness from muscles and gives a comforting effect that we feel after having this tea.
How to prepare the oolong tea?
It is simple and easy to brew a cup of oolong tea. Just add boiling water to the cup containing tea leaves and allow it to steep for around 3-5 minutes depending on the color that you want. Usually, 1 tablespoon of leaf for 8 oz. cup of water is recommended if the leaves are in loose form however if the tea leaves are in the rolled form then use 2 tablespoons for bringing the flavor.
Traditionally oolong tea tastes best in hot form but some people have also introduced iced oolong tea recipes. There is also a lemonade oolong tea recipe that uses lemons to enhance the flavor of oolong. It all depends on how you like to have your cup of tea!
Revealing the amazing benefits!
Oolong tea is known for its proven health benefits especially among the Chinese people. Oolong tea boosts your metabolism and helps your body to burn your fats. Polyphenol antioxidants which are the characteristic ingredient of oolong, reduce the blood cholesterol level and block the enzymes that build fats. The tea itself contains zero fats. The caffeine present in oolong tea promotes performance and mental alertness. Research has shown that the high level of antioxidants in oolong tea can prevent hair loss and it might improve symptoms of eczema (itchy red skin). There is some evidence that drinking oolong tea for 10 years is linked with having stronger bones (increased bone mineral density). Oolong can protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis as it contains calcium.
It is also found that oolong has anti-cancer properties. This tea contains antioxidant flavonoids which prevent cellular damage and keep the immune system healthy. People who drink oolong tea have shown a strong immune response when fighting infection.
Despite having all these incredible benefits not many people are aware of oolong tea. Did you know that only 2% of the world`s tea is represented by oolong tea?
But be careful!
Two to three cups of oolong tea per day are recommended to be safe for a healthy individual. Taking anything in excessive amounts can lead to health issues. If consumed in large amounts or more cups in a day, oolong tea can cause serious side effects such as headache, anxiety, irritability, and sleep problems. People who drink a lot of oolong tea may become dependent on it. Also, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take more than two cups as it contains caffeine. The only ingredient which makes oolong tea dangerous is caffeine. The over intake might result in heart problems and high blood pressures. People who have diabetes should take precautions as drinking this tea might increase blood sugar levels. Research has shown that oolong tea might cause glaucoma because it increases the pressure inside the eye. Don’t worry! Unless you are drinking within the safe limit, oolong tea will cause you no harm. All is well, as long as caution governs your actions!