Oolong Tea Information and Facts
Five Things Everyone Should Know

How to get the best out of this tea.



Oolong Tea Information and Facts #1:
Also known as wulong or wu-long tea

oolong tea informationOolong tea was first exported from China to Europe in 19th century.

In 1979, China adopted a phonetic system called Han Yu Pin Yin, which uses Latin alphabets to represent sounds in Mandarin.

Under the new system, oolong tea is spelled as wulong or wu-long tea using the Latin alphabets.

That is why oolong tea is also known as wulong tea.

Oolong Tea Information and Facts #2:
Mainly grown and consumed in China and Taiwan

Unlike green tea, which is grown in over 30 countries, oolong tea is mainly cultivated in Southern China and Taiwan, and more recently in India and Nepal.

It is widely consumed by the ethnic Chinese population in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Southeast Asia.

According to Wu, black tea accounts for 77% of global tea consumption, green tea comes second at 21%, oolong tea comes last at 2%.

Oolong Tea Information and Facts #3:
Made from more matured leaves

High grade greens are bud tea. They are made from very young tea shoots or buds.

These young tea shoots can be either a single bud, one-bud-and-one-leaf or one-bud-and-two-leaves.

Oolong teas and Indian black teas are considered leaf tea. They are made from more matured leaves.

The only exception is a Taiwanese oolong tea called Oriental Beauty, which is made from one-bud-and-two-leaves.

A standard oolong pick is one bud with 2 to 4 leaves.

Oolong Tea Information and Facts #4:
Partially oxidised

Green tea is unoxidised. Black tea is fully oxidised.

Oxidation occurs when fresh tea leaves react with the oxygen molecules they come into contact with.

Oolong tea is semi-oxidised.

It is the most complex tea to process and can range from 10% to 70% oxidised.

Oolong Tea Information and Facts #5:
Complete tea nutrients

According to Harold, oolong tea's chemical composition "would be expected to be intermediate between black tea and green tea".

It contains the full range of tea antioxidants: catechins (found in abundance in green tea), thearubigin and theaflavin (found in black tea).

To quote Harold:

It is probable, however, that oolong tea contains most of the components of black and green tea although in significantly different proportions.

If you are not drinking oolong tea, do so now. It is a useful addition to a diversified tea diet, and being a darker tea, is especially suited for autumn and winter consumption.

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References

McKay DL, Blumberg, JB. (2002). The role of tea in human heath: An update. J Am Coll Nutr 21:1-13.

Wu CD, Wei GX (2002). Tea as a functional food for oral health. Nutrition 18:443-444.

Harold N, Graham PD (1992). Green tea composition, consumption and polyphenol chemistry. Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene. 1992 May;21(3):334-50.

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