Green tea is not completely oxidized and black tea is completely oxidized. The degree of oxidation of oolong tea is between 10 and 75%.
The taste of the least oxidized oolongs tends to green tea with a fresh floral citrus taste. The most oxidized tend to be black tea and have a drupe flavor, often described as roasted apricots and peaches.
The term "oolong" means "black dragon" in Chinese.
Dried “oolong” tea leaves can be recognized as loose coiled (dark) green spheres for the least oxidized variety and to a black thread-like appearance for the most oxidized oolongs.
Oolong tea undergoes a few delicate processes to achieve its unique aroma and taste. Typical oolong tea is produced according to the following steps:
-The wilt, dry in the sun or expose to the air to get rid of some moisture.
- Bruising the blade edge to create a large surface area for oxidation. This bruising also breaks the cell walls so that the enzymes present in the cell start the oxidation process.
-The tea leaves are turned upside down for the next step.
-The process of stopping further oxidation. This is done by briefly heating the tea. The heat stops all enzymatic activity.
-Dry to remove excess moisture.
Benefits of Oolong Tea:
Oolong tea is naturally rich in antioxidants.
It contains quite a few vitamins and minerals, including calcium, manganese, selenium, potassium and magnesium.
Oolong tea improves thinking ability.
Prevents tooth decay.
Lowers the risk of diabetes.
Reduces pain from arthritis.
Promotes weight loss and lowers the risk of obesity.
Lowers high cholesterol and blood pressure.
Strengthens the immune system.
Improved skin health.