Gazing at Teas of the World - Oolong Tea!
Oolong tea which is also known as Wu-long which means "black dragon" in Chinese is a tea that has been around for over 400 yrs. believed to have come about near the end of the Ming Dynasty. It is a tea that is in between green and black tea with a green-yellow color. Just like many other teas of the world Oolong comes with not only a pleasing taste to the palette but health benefits as well.
Clinical tests have been performed in trying to find out some of the health benefits associated with Oolong tea. One of these tests had a group of people that suffered from obesity to drink Oolong tea for six weeks. During the test period they where instructed not to diet or excercise. When the test was complete the findings where quite amazing; test subjects subcutaneous fat had become about 4mm less than it was at the beginning of the test. People that had high triglyceride levels noticed a significant decrease by the end of the test.
Improves Fat Metabolism
Oolong tea has been used by the Chinese in a medicinal capacity for hundreds of years; as they believe it helps to prolong life as well as aide in the control of obesity. There is polyphenol in Oolong tea that helps to activate the enzyme that dissolves triglycerides. Regular use of this tea will help to improve fat metabolism.
Popular Tea with Upper-class
This tea was introduced to Holland in 1610 where it was orginally sold as a medicine. The Dutch Royalty began to partake in having a cup of tea in 1635. It became popular in England in 1662 when Charles ll of England married a Portuguese princess who was an avid tea drinker; it then became popular with the English upper-class. Wifes of wealthy merchants and nobles wanted to drink it; because if it was a proper beverage for a princess then it was good enough for them to partake in as well. It was the English and Dutch who introduced the tea to the "New World" around this time.
There are a few theories on how and where Oolong tea came to be. One is the Anix theory in which a hunter was carrying a satchel full of tea leaves when he came across a deer; he started to hunt the deer but during this process the tea leaves where bruised which caused them to oxidize. Well the hunter didn't want to waste the leaves so he made tea with them anyway and found the flavor of the tea to be fragrant and pleasing. Apparently people named this tea after him and his accidental discovery of it.
Another theory is that it was made as a "Tribute Tea" for the emperors of the Song Dynasty; tea was usually given to emperors as a form of tax. It was also said that the Oolong tea was invented on Wuyi Mountain of the Fujian Province during the Ming Dynasty in the 16th century.
Even though it remains a mystery how exactly this wonderful tea came into being it is agreed that it did come from the Fujian Province. No matter how it came to be I am grateful it is here for us to reap the benefits from. In fact all this talk of tea is making me thirsty I do believe it is tea time!
Signed: Sipping Tea