Oolong Tea - An Up And Coming Variety

Oolong tea is believed to have originated in the Wuyi Mountains along the western border of Fujian province, and has been exported from there since the eighteenth century. These mountains are noted for their ninety-nine grotesque cliffs and thirty-six peaks, all of which are said to be covered with green tea bushes.

Though oolong tea is now also manufactured elsewhere, this area is still one of the biggest producers. Wu-yi Yen (Wuyi Yan, Wuyi Cliffs) tea is a large general category for several kinds of oolong. They are easy to recognize from the appearance of the leaves during infusion. The stout, crinkled leaves, when immersed in water, become bright green in the center and slowly turn red around the edges. When preparing oolong tea, for the best results, use spring water rather than tap water and leave it to infuse for no more than 5 minutes. Better quality teas require considerably less infusion time - leaving them too long will give a bitter tea with all of the subtle aromas and flavours lost.

The Chinese claim that drinking tea can actually help reduce the amount of fat in the tissues. Oolong tea seems to get the most publicity here, although any tea can have some benefits. Chinese sources cite numerous cases of people who have lost weight while regularly drinking two or three cups of oolong a day. Oolong mixed with other herbal ingredients is the basis for number of teas marketed especially for slimming. One is a well known tea, which contains oolong and 15 other ingredients. A Chinese ad for Slimming Tea claims that drinking it for three months can help you drop up to 15 pounds off your weight.

Long ago in China, tea was an ingredient in immortality potions favored by the Taoists. Still today, perhaps as an echo of those beliefs, claims are made that tea drinking helps one to live to a ripe old age. While it is no magic fountain of youth, some of its benefits can be said to contribute to longevity (stimulation of bodily functions, strengthening the immune system, reducing the chance of heart disease and improving stomach functions). The fluoride in tea can strengthen bones and help ward off osteoporosis in the same way that is strengthens dental enamel.

Also, like green tea, oolong tea contains chemicals that are beneficial to the digestive system and circulatory system although the concentration of these is somewhat reduced by the partial fermentation of the leaves during the processing of the tea.

When pregnant or nursing only small amounts of oolong tea should be taken. Also the consumption of green tea may interfere with the absorption of medicines. This article is intended to be for information about the nutritional benefits of oolong tea only and should not be regarded as medical advice in its own right. You should seek the assistance of a qualified physician if you require medical advice on any condition mentioned in this article.

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About The Author, Kev Woodward
Kevin Woodward looks after the In Nature web site which offers top quality organic green tea and oolong tea, other teas from China and medicinal herbs for sale securely online.