Oolong tea: what is it?
Oolong tea is considered one of the most popular varieties, however, very few people know what it is and what its varieties are. The name Oolong comes from the Chinese Oolong, which means “Black Dragon”.
This is a very special product that grows on the very tops of the mountains and is assembled by hand by people who pass on their knowledge and skills from generation to generation. Its quality depends largely on the combination of sun and fog that envelop this area.
What is oolong tea
Before buying this product, be sure to know what it is - oolong tea, as it is received. This is a large group of teas that grows only in the south of China, in two provinces. In the province of Fujian, dark and light oolong varieties are harvested, and in Guangdong, only dark ones are harvested. Some types of oolong tea are also grown in Taiwan, however, they differ from the Chinese in taste and value.
The light varieties are somewhat similar to green tea, however, there are certain differences.Oolong leaves are always crumpled, as it requires a special production technology. It has the aroma and taste of freshness and flowers. Green tea is different in that it has whole leaves, and to taste it resembles grassy, with sharp notes of greenery.
Dark oolongs are distinguished by the fact that in the final stages of production, they are tormented on charcoal. As a result, the tea leaf is very dark, and the drink acquires a cognac color, and spicy notes are felt in taste. Dark varieties can be confused with red tea, however, in the latter, the leaves are much smaller, and they are made only from buds. Dark oolong tea is characterized by the fact that it has large sheets. The aroma of dark oolong differs by tartness and saturation, and in red tea - soft, delicate, chocolate.
Many are interested in what it is oolong tea, as well as what is the history of its occurrence. In China, for several centuries, the best varieties were grown. At the same time various experiments were carried out, technologies were improved. As a result, a unique drink with good taste.
Oolong immediately began to enjoy great popularity. Manufacturers decided to further enhance the pleasant creamy aroma by natural methods, but this did not lead to success. Therefore, they began to introduce flavoring, which allowed to produce it in large quantities.
Composition of tea
Oolong tea has a unique composition, as it contains minerals, vitamins, as well as other components that contribute to the maintenance of normal health. Its chemical composition includes:
In addition to vitamins and minerals, tea contains: caffeine, antioxidants, tannin, as well as tannins and natural oils.
Oolong tea varieties
There are several different types of oolong tea, the most popular of which are:
- oolong milk tea;
- ginseng oolong;
- Jin Xuan;
- Tie Guan Yin.
Jin Xuan is a completely natural variety of this amazing drink. It belongs to one of the very first varieties, therefore it is considered natural. It is very difficult to purchase, since it is extremely rare in sales.This drink has a mild milk flavor.
Oolong green milk tea is made exclusively from young leaves and buds by carrying out incomplete fermentation. Due to the use of certain secrets of manufacture, the infusion acquires a very delicate and unique creamy flavor, from which it got its name.
In some regions, to obtain more pronounced taste, freshly harvested leaves are slightly steamed over hot whey. Oolong milk tea can be brewed about 3-4 times. Chinese varieties are somewhat different from the Taiwan production technology and taste.
Ginseng oolong refers to varieties with poorly expressed fermentation. In its manufacture, the leaf is processed with a special extract of their ginseng or crushed ginseng is added to the tea leaves. It is a non-uniform color fragrant balls. This is Taiwan's most popular green oolong tea.
Tie Guan Yin is one of the most poorly fermented varieties. It is characterized by a very delicate and pleasant taste and floral aroma. Due to the light color, somewhat similar to white tea.Brewed for several seconds.
How it is made
Chinese oolong tea belongs to semi-fermented varieties. Only mature leaves are collected by hand, and then the collected raw material is laid out in a thin layer in the sun. The leaves should wilt slightly. This process takes less than 1 hour. After that, the leaves are shifted to large baskets made of bamboo, which are put in the shade. Periodically they are kneaded and turned, however, everything must be done very carefully so as not to damage their structure.
When the leaves turn a little brown, the fermentation process must be stopped by heating it with highly heated air. Ready-made tea leaves should look like twisted balls, and when brewed, they bloom and become whole leaves.
In the production of milk oolong, additional stages are carried out. At the preparatory leaves are well crushed by hand and processed over vapors of milk extract. The tea leaf absorbs this aroma well enough and then gives it to the drink when brewing. The technology is complex and time consuming, therefore, their cost is high.
The benefits of oolong tea
The benefits and harms of oolong tea are due to its chemical composition. It has a very high caffeine content, much more than many other types of tea. Due to this, oolong is considered a good antidepressant, and when it is used, brain activity is normalized, there is a surge of vitality, strength and mood.
Doctors note its beneficial effects on the walls of blood vessels, which helps prevent atherosclerosis. Oolong tea helps to normalize blood formation processes, improves the condition of the spleen. Due to the high content of minerals and vitamins, it helps to normalize the immune system, so it can be used as a prophylactic during the cold season.
Oolong tea is a natural antioxidant, so when it is consumed, it is possible to fight free radicals inside the cells themselves. They begin to be more actively updated, helping the body to maintain youth for a long time.
Since the composition contains flavonoids that help stimulate the metabolism, it is possible to significantly speed up the metabolic processes.The healing drink helps to reduce the concentration of sugar in the blood, and also prevents the development of malignant cells inside the body. However, it is worth remembering that it cannot be called a cure for diabetes or cancer.
Oolong helps to normalize the processes of digestion, remove excess fluid from the body, therefore, it has proven itself as a means for losing weight. However, in order to maximize his qualities, you must additionally follow a special diet.
How to choose it
Oolong tea reviews have the most good, however, provided that the product is of high quality. Many give a fake for the original, so it is important not to make a mistake in choosing this product. The real oolong is different in that it contains only whole twisted leaves. It should not be broken leaves and impurities.
According to the degree of fermentation, oolong is subdivided into several species, which have a different color of brewing. The packaging must also indicate the country of manufacture. This tea can be Thai or Chinese, and if a different manufacturer is listed, then it means fake.It is best to buy tea in specialized stores and you need to remember that its cost is quite high.
How to brew
To make a delicious and healthy drink, you need to follow all the rules of tea brewing. Initially, you need to warm up the teapot well and rinse it with boiling water. Pour 2 tsp into a teapot. dry the tea leaves, pour hot water for a few seconds to remove dust, and drain the water. Then pour 1 tbsp into the kettle. boiling water, cover and insist for 10 minutes.
Prepared drink should be poured into cups, but immediately drink it is not recommended. When its temperature is about 40 degrees, you can try it, because all its taste qualities will be revealed.
Brewing it should be no more than 7 times, but the best drink is obtained in the third preparation. Oolong can absorb odors, so you need to store it in a tightly closed glass container.
Harm of oolong tea and contraindications
There can be not only benefit, but also certain harm when consuming this product. It may contain flavors, if it is a poor-quality product, as well as a lot of caffeine.It is not recommended to use this tea:
- kidney and urolithiasis;
- individual intolerance;
- before bedtime;
- pregnant women and women while breastfeeding;
- with a stomach ulcer.
The quality and taste of oolong can be felt, if only to consume it in its pure form without additives.