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Trying to lose that extra pound and unwanted love handles can be quite a daunting job especially in today’s day and era when people are hard pressed for time. Stress, lack of time to exercise, the hectic lifestyle, food and drinks laden with carbohydrates take a toll on our health.
If you are one of those who can’t wait to reach out for that cup of high content caffeine, would highly recommend to savour a cup of oolong tea.
Oolong tea is basically a traditional Chinese caffeinated beverage made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves of the same plant are used to make black, green and white tea. The differentiating part is the process of fermentation.
To prepare oolong tea, the plant needs to be withered under strong sunlight and then goes for oxidation before curling and twisting. Oolong (also called Wulong or blue tea or The black dragon tea) refers to a semi-oxidized type of tea that fills the gap between green (non-oxidized) and black (fully oxidized) tea. The oxidization range can be anywhere between (10%) leaning towards green tea to almost that of black tea which is heavily oxidized (65%).
This tea is said to highly complex and tries to create a balance between the grassy green tea and the rich dark black tea. Besides this, oolong tea can be infused several times and each re-brew brings out a different flavor and aroma .Oolongs prepared Oriental style are generally steeped for a minute and can be re-steeped 6 to 8 times depending on the type of oolong.
There happens to be many versions as to how this mystic tea came to be known as “The Black Dragon Tea”. A popular version is about a hunter called Black Dragon. One day as he was trying to hunt down a beast, he left the freshly plucked tea leaves in his bag for too long. The leaves had changed colour and had turned brownish. He immediately started processing this semi oxidized tea as he normally would and the result was highly aromatic, fruity flavored tea.
Today Taiwan (Formosa) is famous for its fragrant high mountain oolongs. The country benefits from an ideal climate of growing tea-humid and a temperature ranging from 27°C in summers to almost 12°C in winters- harvest lasting for eight months from April to November.
The Formosa oolong teas undergo a much longer fermentation than the China oolong teas. It produces a golden brew, taste like orchids- much liked by those who prefer Darjeeling and other aromatic teas.
To make that perfect cup of oolong tea to help lose weight, steep one tsp of loose oolong tea leaves in one cup hot water for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy this refreshing tea at least twice a day to get rid of that excess weight.
A favorite drink of mine for the hot summer months is the citrus oolong. One teaspoon of oolong tea is steeped in one cup hot water for about 5 mins. This strained liquid is then refrigerated until cold. Fresh lime juice and honey is added to give it a citrus twist. Garnish with a sprig of mint leaves and serve over ice---an absolute delight to enjoy on that hot sultry afternoon.
An ideal as a summertime drink is the cinnamon oolong ice tea.
2 cups of water is boiled. Heat is turned off and 2 pieces of cinnamon sticks along with 2 tbsp of loose oolong tea leaves is added to it. Let the mixture settle in for 5 minutes. It is then strained, diluted with cold water and refrigerated and served over ice. Cinnamon is a wonder spice. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also a high source of antioxidants. Besides it protects dental health and freshens breath naturally. Coupled with oolong tea it does wonders to the body.
Another drink to try out is the peach oolong tea. Due to the natural fruitiness of oolong tea , it is often paired with fruits like peaches and lychees which further enhances its the natural aroma and flavor.4 cups of water is boiled. The burner is switched off and 4 tbsp of oolong tea is steeped for about 5 mins in this hot water. It is then strained and chilled in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. In the meantime a ripe peach is peeled, cut into chunks and blended it in a food processor. Add this puree with some sweetener (optional) to the chilled tea and serve over ice.
Oolong tea is recognized as a weight loss tea that reduces body fat, increases metabolism and creates a barrier for fat building enzymes. It is full of antioxidants which help boost metabolism and also help to burn the fat rapidly and effectively. Apart from tasting good, oolong tea has caffeine which when combined with EGCGs in the tea, work together to raise the fat oxidation. Polyphenols in the tea block the absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol by almost 30% when taken twice a day. Oolong tea aids in preventing obesity and helps reduce fats around the abdominal area.
Moderation being the key, it is advisable not to drink more than two cups of oolong tea per day.This partially oxidized tea may not be as widely known as its cousins the black or green teas but it has similar health benefits .
No wonder this semi fermented beverage has the reputation of eliminating almost all impurities from the body.