The benefits of oolong tea are extensive, ranging from boosting your metabolism to promoting heart health.
Originating from China, oolong tea is enveloped in fascinating tales and legends, one of which tells of a tea farmer who stumbled upon a deer. After spending a day helping the creature, he forgot to harvest his tea leaves. The leaves began to wilt and oxidize, resulting in the delightful, complex flavor of oolong tea we enjoy today.
In this article, we will explore what oolong tea is and how it’s made, the multiple oolong tea benefits, the best ways to enjoy this beverage, and any potential side effects and considerations.
So, fill your teapot and get ready for an enlightening tea-time reading session!
What is Oolong Tea and How is it Made?
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea produced through a unique process that includes withering the plant under strong sun and oxidizing before curling and twisting. This oxidation level places it between green tea and black tea, giving oolong its distinctive taste and properties.
Different types of oolong tea include:
- Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy)
- Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe)
- Bai Hao Oolong (Oriental Beauty)
For a deep dive into these varieties and more, check out our complete guide on oolong tea types!
How to make Oolong Tea
Whether you’re using dried leaves or a tea bag, here’s your game plan:
- Start by boiling water – the temperature should be around 190-200°F for optimal flavor extraction.
- Place 1-2 teaspoons of oolong tea leaves (or one oolong tea bag) in your teapot or infuser.
- Pour 1 cup of the hot water over the leaves or bag.
- Let the tea steep for 2-4 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
- Pour the tea into your cup and enjoy!
Oolong tea typically boasts a modest caffeine content, with an average of 30-50 milligrams per cup, sufficient to bestow a mild energy surge without inducing the overstimulation often linked with coffee consumption.
Now, let’s dive into the heart of our article – oolong tea benefits.
List of Oolong Tea Benefits
Oolong tea, with its numerous health benefits, is a great addition to your wellness routine.
1. Diabetes Management
Diabetes management involves regulating blood glucose levels. Oolong tea benefits include helping to decrease plasma glucose concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes, making it a beneficial beverage for those dealing with this condition (Yang & Kong, 2015).
2. Weight Management
Another interesting fact is that oolong tea benefits weight loss with its metabolism-boosting properties. Indeed, it has been found to activate a key metabolic regulator, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which assists in the breakdown of fats (Yamashita et al., 2014).
3. Control of Postprandial Hyperglycemia
Postprandial hyperglycemia refers to elevated blood sugar levels after eating. Oolong tea can aid in managing this. It has been identified as an α-glucosidase inhibitor, which can control postprandial hyperglycemia, along with green and black tea (Yang & Kong, 2015).
4. Gut Health
Oolong tea benefits also extend to gut health. It has been shown to modulate gut microbiota, positively impacting your overall gut health. Furthermore, it may prevent chronic alcohol exposure-induced alcoholic fatty liver disease by modulating gut microbiota (Li et al., 2021).
5. Oral Health
Oral health is another area where oolong tea shows promising benefits. It has been found to be effective against oral bacteria like Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which are associated with chronic periodontitis (Nafade et al., 2022).
6. Cardiovascular Health
Regular consumption of oolong tea has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. It has been shown to have anti-hypertensive effects and can lower the risk of developing hypertension (Yung et al., 2008; Shibu et al., 2017).
7. Anti-aging Effects
Oolong tea has been found to promote healthy aging and increase lifespan. It contains bioactive compounds called oolonghomobisflavans, which have been shown to increase lifespan and healthspan in animal models (Tencomnao & Curran, 2021).
8. Antioxidant Properties
Oolong tea exhibits strong antioxidant activity, which can help protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It has been shown to increase plasma antioxidative capacity (Kurihara et al., 2004).
9. Cancer Prevention
Oolong tea consumption has been associated with a lower risk of oral squamous cell carcinoma. The polyphenols and flavonoids present in oolong tea have been found to have chemopreventive effects (Deng et al., 2022).
10. Mental Well-being
Lastly, oolong tea benefits mental well-being. It has calming and stress-reducing effects and has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to promote relaxation and improve mental well-being.
This list only scratches the surface of oolong tea benefits. If you’re interested in exploring the health benefits of other teas, check out our comprehensive article on the ”health benefits of drinking tea”!
What’s the Best Way to Take Oolong Tea?
Oolong tea can be enjoyed hot or cold, making it a versatile addition to your daily routine. Pair it with a hearty breakfast to kickstart your metabolism, or sip it throughout the day for a steady energy boost. Oolong tea is also a great base for drinks like milk tea or refreshing summer iced tea.
Art of Tea offers several delicious oolong tea blends that combine the health benefits of oolong tea with other flavorful herbs and spices!
Potential Side Effects and Considerations of Oolong Tea
While oolong tea benefits are numerous, it’s important to be mindful of potential side effects. Those sensitive to caffeine might experience restlessness or difficulty sleeping. Pregnant and nursing women should also limit their intake due to the caffeine content.
From aiding in diabetes management to promoting oral health and mental well-being, oolong tea benefits are diverse and substantial. We encourage you to experience the oolong tea benefits firsthand and share your experience with us.
Also, for those who are on the hunt for the perfect oolong tea, be sure to check out our review post about the best oolong teas available in the market!
- Chen, S., Lin, J., Liu, H., Gong, Z., Wang, X., Li, M., … & Yu, X. (2018). Insights Into Tissue-specific Specialized Metabolism In Tieguanyin Tea Cultivar By Untargeted Metabolomics. Molecules, 7(23), 1817. Link Here
- Deng, Q., Wu, Y., Hu, X., Wu, H., Guo, M., Yimin, L., … & Chen, F. (2022). Oolong Tea Consumption and The Risk Of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Propensity Score-based Analysis In Southeast China. Front. Nutr., (9). Link Here
- Kurihara, H., Fukami, H., Asami, S., Toyoda, Y., Nakai, M., Shibata, H., … & Yao, X. (2004). Effects Of Oolong Tea On Plasma Antioxidative Capacity In Mice Loaded With Restraint Stress Assessed Using the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (Orac) Assay. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 7(27), 1093-1098. Link Here
- Li, B., Mao, Q., Zhou, D., Luo, M., Gan, R., Li, H., … & Li, H. (2021). Effects Of Tea Against Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease By Modulating Gut Microbiota In Chronic Alcohol-exposed Mice. Foods, 6(10), 1232. Link Here
- Nafade, S., Agnihotri, R., Kamath, S., Shenoy, P., Khadher, N., Nayak, D. (2022). The Effect Of Oolong Tea As An Adjunct To Nonsurgical Management Of Chronic Periodontitis: a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. J Herbmed Pharmacol, 2(11), 253-261. Link Here
- Shibu, M., Kuo, C., Chen, B., Ju, D., Chen, R., Lai, C., … & Huang, C. (2017). Oolong Tea Prevents Cardiomyocyte Loss Against Hypoxia By Attenuating P-jnk Mediated Hypertrophy and Enhancing P-igf1r, P-akt, And P-badser136 Activity And By Fortifying Nrf2 Antioxidation System. Environmental Toxicology, 2(33), 220-233. Link Here
- Tencomnao, T., Curran, S. (2021). Oolonghomobisflavans From Camellia Sinensis Increase Caenorhabditis Elegans Lifespan and Healthspan. GeroScience, 1(44), 533-545. Link Here
- Yamashita, Y., Wang, L., Wang, L., Tanaka, Y., Zhang, T., Ashida, H. (2014). Oolong, Black and Pu-erh Tea Suppresses Adiposity In Mice Via Activation Of Amp-activated Protein Kinase. Food Funct., 10(5), 2420-2429. Link Here
- Yang, X., Kong, F. (2015). Evaluation Of Thein Vitro α-glucosidase Inhibitory Activity Of Green Tea Polyphenols and Different Tea Types. J. Sci. Food Agric., 3(96), 777-782. Link Here
- Yung, L., Leung, F., Wong, W., Tian, X., Yung, L., Chen, Z., … & Huang, Y. (2008). Tea Polyphenols Benefit Vascular Function. Inflammopharmacol, 5(16), 230-234. Link Here