Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I loved going to Chinatown to our family’s favorite restaurant on Jackson Street. As soon as we sat down, the wait staff would bring over a large pot of the most delicious, fragrant tea—oolong. That tea was hot, flavorful and enjoyable and if you’ve ever had a “flavor memory” before, well, this is one of mine. I haven’t had oolong tea in a long time but lately, I’ve been craving it. I decided to do a little research to see if it has any beneficial properties. And, yes, it does.
Here’s what I’ve discovered:
1) Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the same plant used to make both black teas and green teas. However, there is a partial oxidation process which makes oolong tea. Black tea has been fully oxidized while green tea is minimally oxidized.
2) It was known in China as a tribute tea. Discovered in the mountainous regions of Fujian during the Tang Dynasty, this tea was chosen by the emperor to be presented as gifts at the royal court.
3) It contains theanine, an amino acid known for its relaxing effects but it’s also thought to improve mental health.
4) Oolong tea provides some benefits for heart health. In one study of 76,000 Japanese adults, those who drank about 8 ounces of oolong tea per day had a 61% lower risk of heart disease.
5) It’s good for bone health as it may help us retain minerals from other foods we eat.
6) It contains polyphenols which may help prevent tooth decay.
7) There’s about 25 mg. of caffeine per cup of oolong; the same amount of coffee contains 95 mg. of caffeine.
8) Avoid oolong tea: if you are sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or have a thyroid condition.
· For more information: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/oolong-tea-benefits