Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Being second only to water, teas are widely consumed for numerous reasons. Whether it’s to help with health issues, as a part of a ceremony, or for an extra caffeine boost, tea is a popular drink of choice. Plus, there is a great variety of teas to choose from!
Green tea has a ton of antioxidants, while black tea contains flavonoids that benefit heart health. But, there’s one tea in particular that boasts the best of both worlds–oolong tea. Its flavor profile ranges from fruity and floral to woodsy and rich depending on the processing. Plus, it packs a plethora of health benefits.
How Oolong Tea Is Made Is Why It’s So Special
Interestingly, the same plant that makes black and green tea is also used to make oolong tea. The plant’s (Camellia sinensis) leaves and buds go through different processes to make the different types of teas. To make oolong tea, the leaves are bruised, semi-oxidized (exposed to air), and then carefully roasted to achieve the perfect flavor and appearance.
Green tea is unoxidized, which helps make it rich in antioxidants like catechins. Black tea, on the other hand, is fully oxidized, giving it a deeper flavor and a boost of theaflavins, another form of antioxidants. Right in the middle is semi-oxidized oolong tea.
Containing the antioxidants found in both green and black tea, oolong is a great choice to help protect the body from free radicals. This is important as natural cell damage caused by aging, as well as lifestyle and environmental factors, can contribute to many chronic illnesses.
Other health benefits include lowering the risk of diabetes and normalizing cholesterol levels. Anti-inflammation properties, anti-cancer compounds, and protection from heart disease have also been noted.
Depending on how long the leaves are oxidized, the flavor profile of oolong can be lighter and earthy like green tea, or more rich and punchy like black tea. So, if you needed an extra excuse to pause during the afternoon to have a cup of tea, you’ve got plenty now. Here are a few of our favorite brands.
With a similar flavor to your favorite black tea but with much less caffeine, Prince of Peace Organic Oolong Tea has a woodsy aroma and full-bodied flavor. 100% organic and sourced from China, this high-quality tea is also convenient thanks to its ready-to-brew bags.
A great deal for the price, choose between 20 or 100 bag count boxes based on your tea consuming needs. Plus, Prince of Peace is a Climate Pledge Friendly company, so each purchase is one you can feel good about.
Similar to the delicate flavors of green tea, this Milk Oolong variety from the Republic of Tea is a delight at any time of day. With hints of sweet cream and pineapple, this oolong tea earns its name for its milky taste and silky texture.
Each tin comes with 36 servings of natural, unbleached tea bags, making steeping and enjoying simple without any extra tools. Additionally, Republic of Tea allows the ordering of just the tea itself, allowing you to reuse the tin and cut back on extra waste.
If you prefer a loose leaf option, this highly-rated oolong tea from VAHDAM is a sure bet. Sourced from the Himalayan Mountain range in Darjeeling, India, an area often referred to as the “Champagne of Teas”, enjoy 100% oolong tea in its purest form.
Thanks to the careful growing, harvesting, and packaging of this tea, you can enjoy a unique flavor blend with a nutty undertone.
Whether you enjoy tea in the morning, afternoon, or before bed (or all of the above) introducing oolong tea into your routine will benefit your health and tastebuds. Enjoy with or without sweetener, and reap all the health benefits of your cuppa.