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Tea Sommelier's Note: Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tie Guan Yin) has many of the same toasty notes as Oatmeal Stout, Imperial Brown Ale, and Porter beers. Similarly, this tea pairs well with brunch, spicy foods, chocolate cake, and cream puffs.
What is Oolong?
The Camellia Sinensis plants leaves of the stems, buds and leaves are used to make the tea. The same plant is used to produce green tea and black tea. The green tea leaves tend to be unfermented while the leaves used to make black tea is fully fermented. Partially fermented leaves are used to make oolong tea.
It is one of the more popular types of Chinese teas and come in a number of grades. Some oolong teas are aged and these tend to cost more than the versions that are just dried packaged and sold. Some grades are roasted after they are dried and then packaged. As a result the tea can be fruity and sweet or thick and woody. It can even have a fresh green aroma. It all depends on the processing.
Persons that look at the tea leaves may also note that there are differences. Some varieties tend to be wrapped into small balls that have a tail or rolled into long leaves that are curly.
Making Oolong Tea
When the tea is made water is typically heated to 195 degrees. The leaves are then added (about one teaspoon to eight ounces of water). The leaves are then left to steep for no more than four minutes. There are other ways to make the tea and the packaged versions tend to have the instructions outlined on the box.
Are There Any Benefits to Drinking Oolong Tea
Over the years it has been proven that this form of tea does have a number of benefits when it is consumed. It is filled with antioxidants and does contain a number of minerals like potassium, carotin, selenium, calcium, copper and manganese. Vitamins K, E, C, B and A can also be found in the tea. It also contains caffeine which is a stimulant.
As a result of this the benefits range from aiding with digestion to aiding in the control of blood sugar and regulating cardiovascular health. It also has some antibacterial properties and help to is said to slow down the process of aging and lower cholesterol.
Other Benefits of Oolong Tea
Studies have shown that oolong tea has certain polyphenolic properties that can help to prevent certain types of cancer. The compounds in the tea inhibit the growth of cancer causing cells in the stomach and other areas.
Another benefit that oolong tea drinkers get is the ability to maintain a healthy weight. It has been said to be a great metabolic booster and as such it does help with weight loss issues. More studies need to be done but those who drink it do claim to lose a significant amount of weight.
Though oolong tea contains caffeine, it does seem to help with stress management, the amino acid L-theanine being the stress blocker. This type of tea also helps to improve mental performance and increases the level of alertness.
Oolong tea comes with a myriad of benefits. The Chinese have been drinking it for decades and many can attest to the positive benefits that they receive from drinking this tea.
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