Oolong for All!

  • December 2, 2009

It seems to be everywhere these days – on TV, in magazines, all over the Internet. Celebrities claim it as a weight-loss wonder. At Choice Organic Teas, it’s even surpassed traditional favorites like Earl Grey and English Breakfast to become our best seller. However, I’m regularly asked, “what is oolong tea?”

The name “oolong” is Chinese and translates to “black dragon.” No one’s quite sure how that name became attached to the tea. Some say that the style originated in Wuyi Mountain, while others say that it’s named after Wu Liang who accidentally discovered oolong tea, when he was distracted from his preparation of the day’s tea crop and let the leaves oxidize.

The oxidation process is one characteristic used to distinguish between types of tea. When tea leaves are cut or bruised, it sets off a complex and delicate chemical reaction between the exposed enzymes contained within the tea leaf and the naturally occurring oxygen in the air. The extent to which the leaves are allowed to oxidize determines the color and flavor of the tea leaves before they are finally heated to halt the oxidation process. (You may have heard this process called fermentation, but that’s not entirely accurate because no microbes are involved.) Oolong teas oxidize for longer than green tea, but not as long as black tea. They’re beautifully balanced for that reason. They don’t have the grassy and occasional bitterness associated with some green teas, nor do they have the malty or incidental harshness of some black teas.

We’ve got two fantastic oolong teas at Choice Organic Teas, which are actually the only organic oolongs available in a tea bag. Our Original Oolong is a mild, earthy variety, perfect for getting the hang of this unique style of tea. If you’re looking for something very unique, we have a fantastic Magnolia Oolong in our Gourmet line of teas. It’s scented with magnolia blossoms, which are laid upon the tea to impart their essence, and then removed, for a lingering hint of flavor and aroma. Scenting teas is a time-honored tradition, and the subtle sweetness of magnolia shouldn’t be missed. It’s a beautifully elegant tea for any occasion.

Drinking oolong tea isn’t going to make you immediately drop twenty pounds, but some studies do show that the high polyphenol content in oolong tea does promote fat burning by raising your metabolic rate and blocking absorption of fats and cholesterol. It’s no magic bullet but drinking tea instead of sugary soft drinks is good idea for your health and waistline.

So brew up a cup today, and find out just what it is that makes this dragon so special.


  • I’ve been noticing more oolong tea on the market. It reminds me of a trip I went on to Japan about two years ago, when I read that cold oolong tea is an alternative to beer in pubs and bars. I had a glass of it one night with dinner…delicous!

    Lisa — December 4, 2009 at 12:34 am
  • I am drinking Oolong tea right now…what are the facts on weight loss and good health from drinking oolong tea. I was told at the health food store that it helps you loose weight ….and it is fast. Is that true?

    Jan Webb — December 16, 2011 at 9:22 am
  • Hi Jan, thanks for your question! Because we don’t conduct health studies on our teas, we can’t make health claims about them. I would search online for a reliable source that has done studies about oolong to find the info you are looking for. Sorry we can’t be of more help!

    katiechoice — December 16, 2011 at 9:49 am
  • Have you stopped making the Magnolia Oolong? I can’t find it any where.

    Shari WN — May 28, 2012 at 10:45 am
  • Hi Shari, unfortunately, we did discontinue our Magnolia Oolong. We still have Oolong in our Original line, which has a similar flavor. We’re sorry for any inconvenience!

    katiechoice — May 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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