Even though they come from the same plant, tea can generally be classified in six distinct types: black, oolong, green, yellow, white and pu-erh. It is the processing of the leaves that creates these differences. Black tea, for example, has been withered and fermented; oolong is semi-fermented – only long enough for the leaves to change colour; and green tea is neither withered nor fermented. The season during which the leaves are picked can also influence the flavour of the final tea product.
Despite my adventures through tea, I remain a fan of black tea and black-based teas. I drank rooibos tea for years but seldom do so now, while green tea makes it into my cup very now and then. I have never really acquired an appreciation for it. Oolong Tea, however, is an interesting combination of black and green teas that has a fragrant aroma and a slightly fruity flavour. It is a long time since I have been able to get hold of it, so am delighted that Checkers now produces Cooper & Flyn tea – oolong is the first of that range that I have tried – with leaves sourced from China.
I recommend it for those stalwart rooibos tea drinkers who are keen to venture forth on a tea journey, yet are reluctant to leave the harbour. Oolong is said to have a number of health benefits – I won’t vouch for any of them as I don’t drink enough of it often enough for me to notice any – such as boosting one’s metabolism, aiding weight loss, managing type 2 diabetes, and helping to improve heart, brain, bone, and dental health. It is also claimed to have the ability to treat inflammatory disorders and elevated cholesterol levels. You can read more about these claims at https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/health-benefits-of-oolong-tea.html
The recommendation is to brew this tea for three to five minutes. Be careful: so much depends on individual taste – I find that if brewed for too long, a bitter taste comes through. It is nonetheless a refreshing drink – preferably without milk (although I admit to adding a splash) – for a hot summer’s day.
Try this tea and you may be pleasantly surprised at how far your tea journey can take you!