Wu-Long Tea - Oolong Tea
Wu-long tea (also referred to by many as oolong tea) originated in the Fukien province of China. It is a fruity medium-bodied brew that combines attributes of both black and green tea varieties.
Recognized as the most fragrant of all varieties, oolong tea has a flavor that echos the freshness of green tea (only without the tinge of bitterness) and a rich aroma characteristic of black tea blends.
While black tea undergoes extensive fermentation, and green tea minimal withering and oxidation, the processing for wulong falls some where in the middle of these two varieties.
The leaves are then dried until the edges turn a reddish hue. A firing or special heating process stops further oxidation, giving the brew its unique attributes. The leaves have the appearance of loosely twisted balls that may vary in color based on fermentation time.
Wu-long tea is graded according to the harvest season, handling, and the quality of the leaves. Crops that are plucked during the summer months are the most consistent and stable, thereby producing the highest quality teas.
Formosa oolong, which is grown in Taiwan, is considered the finest variety available and is sometimes referred to as "the champagne of teas."
It has an amber appearance and peach-like essence. Other types of wu long tea include these delightful varieties:
Oolong tea has more polyphenols than black or green tea varieties. Polyphenols have strong antioxidant properties to help protect against a variety of health conditions and disease.
In addition, polyphenols may help improve metabolism to facilitate weight loss and promote healthier skin condition.
A cup of oolong tea contains about half the caffeine of a cup of coffee. See related articles below for more information.
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