Oolong is the traditional Chinese tea produced with the help of semi-oxidization. It has reached outside of China and has become a smash hot drink hit worldwide. In this review, we’ll find out how this kind of tea compares to others and if it deserves its cult status in 2020.
What is Oolong Tea?
If you have a particular craving for some exotic types of Chinese tea other than ordinary ones, Oolong tea will not disappoint you. Or, if you don’t favor either green or black tea, Oolong will be your best choice given its belonging to its own category of tea.
Oolong tea has most likely appeared in China and Taiwan. The Chinese invented the name “wulong” or “black dragon” after long black leaves that resemble the mysterious Chinese dragon. And according to another story, the local farmer left the tea he picked for some time and discovered that it had already started to oxidize. Either way, there’s no denial of the fact that high-quality oolongs are grown in the mountains under cool weather. These conditions allow the tea leaves to bring a good harvest and satisfy thousands of oolong drinkers worldwide.
The difference between Taiwanese and Chinese Oolong tea
As we’ve mentioned before, Oolong tea represents its individual and exclusive category of teas. This uniqueness is explained by different techniques tea masters use to imbue the tea with this or that flavor. In Taiwan, manufacturers resort to slight oxidation, which makes Oolong green in color and less intense in flavor if compared to Chinese methods. The styles of production vary in both countries too. Taiwanese oolongs can be rolled into small tight balls, whereas others – twisted into long strands. Finally, each oolong awaits its turn to be picked during different seasons: some are plucked in spring to bring a flowery hue in taste, others – in winter. That’s why the versatility of Oolong tea is so notable and respected.
Of course, oolong wouldn’t gain such a popularity if other countries didn’t borrow the Chinese tradition to their homeland and start producing the same tea. The differences in oolong style are traceable there as well.
What does Oolong tea taste like?
Since the flavor profile of this tea depends entirely on the production approach and level of oxidation, the taste of different types of Oolong tea is as versatile as the taste of wine. You can try milky oolong tea, as well as iced, lychee, peach, muscat and other flavors. Or, there’s a special, ruby sort produced in the Doi Mae Salong mountainous region in northern Thailand. It is deeply oxidized and slowly baked, which results in the appearance of cacao, raisins, and black cherry shades of flavor.
What are the benefits of Oolong tea?
Apart from being incredibly delectable, Oolong tea also has a number of health benefits for its drinkers. Firstly, this beverage lowers cholesterol levels and decreases the chances of having heart diseases. Secondly, oolong works favorably for boosting mental performance given the presence of caffeine. Thirdly, oolong tea is good for accelerating metabolism, which in turn fosters weight loss. Such an effect is brought by polyphenols that block enzymes that accumulate fat in our bodies. Thus, it’s the safest way to naturally get rid of excessive weight without adhering to dangerous diets.