All About Oolong Tea: Cancer Hates Tea Excerpt
Several studies have found that drinking oolong tea will help you metabolize a few percent more calories than green tea. The research points to a specific polymerized polyphenol in Oolong tea, which works in combination with EGCg, creating this boost to increase energy expenditure. And losing weight never tasted so good – what makes oolong teas truly unforgettable are their delicate, yet complex aromas, and naturally fragrant flavors, which range from lilac and orange blossoms to smooth or smoky honey. Oolongs are varied and multifaceted in their flavor profiles. They boast the body and complexity of a black tea, with the brightness and freshness of a green tea.
A very favorite and desired tea amongst connoisseurs, oolongs hail from the Wuyi mountains in Fujian, China as well as from Taiwan. From lightly oxidized to dark roasted, oolongs can be fragrantly floral to lusciously rich and sophisticated. Taiwan is famous for its many wonderful oolong teas, and deservedly so. In China, Teguanyin (“Iron Goddess of Mercy”) is one of the most famous oolong teas whose characteristic flavor comes from the charcoal, when the firing the leaves after the oxidation process. This style of oolong is named for the Buddhist goddess of compassion. There are several versions of a legend dating back to the 18th century that tell of the softhearted goddess Guanyin helping a poor tea farmer discover the extraordinary tea plants and process which are now used to produce this tea. Buddhists believe that when one of their own departs from this world, Guanyin carefully places them in the heart of a lotus flower, then sends them home to the Paradise.
It took me a long time to learn to appreciate oolong teas for their taste, as well as for the changes in flavor profile between steeps. This may be because I have a pretty trashy middle-of-the-road tea palate. And as Americans, I think we tend to choose consistency in our food and beverage products over inconsistency – even if it holds some wonderful surprises in store for us! But from the very beginning, what I could appreciate was the consummate quality of the leaves and careful craftsmanship used to make these teas. Oolongs are laboriously handcrafted, truly a labor of love, and their price tags are rightly reflective of that. However, you more than make up your initial investment on them because oolongs can be infused multiple (3–7) times. Each steep will unveil a new facet of its flavor profile. My favorite steeps are usually the second or the third, but some of the more complex oolongs continue augmenting in flavor through the fourth or fifth steep. You can make a half gallon pitcher of iced oolong by just steeping the same teaspoonful of leaves 8 times. And your guests will swear they’ve never had a tea that tasted so good.
This excerpt is from Cancer Hates Tea, written by The Tea Spot’s founder and CEO Maria Uspenski, published by Page Stree Publishing.