For tea connoisseurs, oolong teas frequently pop up on their radar. Oolong differentiates itself among the world of teas with its intricate processing steps, which produces complex tastes and sustainability after several steepings. Because the process is so complex, the simplest way to make it understandable usually ends up in three words: a semi-oxidized tea. Oolong tea leaves feature an old and deep history and were recently exploited for their weight-loss properties. They cultivated and cherished by Chinese emperors thousands of years ago. Today, health-conscious individuals are coming around and beginning to favor oolong tea for its health benefits, as seen in our popular Wuyi Rock blend. The origin of loose-leaf oolong tea is the Camelia sinensis plant. It is the Chinese tea plant that produces black teas and green teas, as well as oolong teas. Many people don't realize that these three teas actually come from the same plant. They only differ in the way they are harvested, treated, and aged.
Black teas are allowed to oxidize for a period of time after being picked. This oxidization process increases the robustness of the flavor but creates a flavor that seems a little distant from its origin plant. Green teas are usually steamed or treated right after being picked, so there is very little oxidization and the tea retains the plant's color and flavor.
Oolong teas are sort of in-between green and black teas—our dark and nutty Formosa Tea is a perfect example of this. The Camelia sinensis leaves are picked, sun-wilted, and then lightly bruised in a deliberate fashion. When the leaves are bruised, the surface opens to the air's oxygen. This causes the internal parts of the leaf to oxidize much like a cut fruit will oxidize (like the way an apple's insides slowly turn brown when exposed to oxygen).
But the oxidization process is halted much more quickly than with black teas, retaining more of the floral flavor of the original plant. Subsequently, the leaves are fully dried. Oolong teas can range from dark green to light green. Thus, oolong tea flavor can vary much more than green tea or black tea.
The traditional loose-leaf oolong tea is full of antioxidants. This is one of the main reasons people believe it helps preserve good health. Antioxidants help your body fight free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of our body's digestive system that contain oxygen. These free radicals can do damage to our DNA and our cells. Eating a diet high in antioxidants is key to maintaining good health and avoiding the pitfalls of the aging process.
You will see the terms wulong teas and oolong teas used interchangeably. Wulong is the original Chinese, but in recent years it has been adapted as the name used for oolong teas when used for weight loss.
Now that you know the history of oolong tea, try our unique, taste blends to see for yourself. Our Chocolate Truffle Oolong is a bold choice, or you might choose sweet Orange Blossom or our popular Ti Kuan Yin. No matter which you choose, these teas will satisfy your craving.