Benefits of Oolong Tea: Health & Wellbeing

There are many claims made about drinking tea, and we believe tea is pretty magical. However, we should all be cautious of poorly researched statements and "health-washing" around tea. Whilst there are a number of studies and scientific research surrounding the benefits of drinking tea, we don't claim to be health professionals at Rare Tea. These are opinions gained in 20 years of working alongside all sorts of knowledgeable people - from chefs to producers and scientists.

Does oolong tea burn fat and help with weight loss?

Oolong tea contains caffeine, which is known to boost your metabolism. Beyond this, there is no research to suggest Oolong tea helps with weight loss directly, but it can be drunk as part of a healthy diet. You may find people advocating 'detox' teas but there is no evidence they can reduce body fat.

What does oolong tea do for the body?

Oolong tea contains polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) which have anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants have been known to be helpful for our bodies in a number of ways, including protecting the body from free radicals which have been linked to health issues from poor skin to cancer.

Caffeine in tea can also help with alertness and energy levels.

Can you drink oolong tea every day?

You can drink oolong tea every day. One teaspoon of loose leaf oolong tea can make you six cups of tea to last throughout the day. But please donโ€™t forget that there are many other varieties of tea to explore.

Is oolong tea good before bed?

Because oolong tea contains caffeine, drinking too much before you go to bed might risk a poor night's sleep. If you are sensitive to caffeine opt for a naturally caffeine-free herbal infusion instead for your bedtime tea.

When is the best time to drink oolong tea?

Oolong tea is great for drinking throughout the day. Since many oolong teas (particularly rolled oolongs) can be infused as many as six times, each subsequent infusion will contain a little less caffeine than the last.

Drink your first infusion in the morning to give you a gentle energy lift. By the last infusion, there should be much less caffeine in the leaf and so you should be safe to drink it later in the day without over-caffeinating before bed.

Is oolong tea healthier than green tea?

White tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea all contain polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) and an assortment of minerals because they all come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. They are just crafted differently.

It is believed that the least processed teas retain more of these compounds, which is why white and green tea leaves are more regularly drunk for their health benefits. Oolong and black teas are still full of plenty of good stuff though, don't worry. Because its the processing that may cause damage to the beneficial properties of the tea, always choose hand crafted loose leaf tea over industrially manufactured tea bags.

Find out more about why green tea is good for you here.

Is oolong tea good for anxiety?

Tea is a source of the amino acid L-theanine which has been linked to mood enhancement.

The process of preparing and tasting tea has also been used in meditation across the world since its inception. The tea drinking experience is a wonderful way to help calm the mind and reduce stress, but most of all, the sheer pleasure of delicious loose leaf oolong tea makes you feel good.

Is oolong tea good for the liver or kidneys?

Tea has been drunk for millennia for its medicinal properties. Whilst research has linked regular tea drinking to lower rates of problems such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, there is not enough evidence to suggest it directly improves liver or kidney function.

Tea is not a diuretic in the way coffee is so it wonโ€™t dehydrate you.

How do I know if I am drinking good quality oolong tea?

We recommend drinking loose leaf oolong tea rather than teabags to ensure you are not filling your cup with unwanted chemicals or nano plastics. Even biodegradable, organic teabags are industrially made with chemicals.

Please also consider the environmental impact of single-use teabag waste. Read more on why we don't use even biodegradable tea bags here.

Enclosing your lovely loose leaves in a bag will also prevent them from unfurling entirely - sacrificing flavour and many of the healthy compounds. To get every drop of flavour from your loose leaf oolong tea we recommend using a gaiwan - using a high leaf to water ratio over many short infusions. If you havenโ€™t used a gaiwan before you can use our guide to making oolong with a gaiwan.

We only work with tea gardens that grow tea free from chemical pesticides and herbicides to ensure our tea is good for us and good for the environment. Read more on our approach to organic tea here. An industrially processed tea may also not retain as much of the precious amino acids and catechins as delicately hand-picked and crafted leaves.

The best oolong tea will not be churned out by industrial machines but carefully hand-crafted by skilled artisans for maximum flavour - the taste is incomparable. We believe that sustainability and flavour go hand in hand.

What are some of the side effects of oolong tea?

There are no known side effects of drinking oolong tea. As with everything though, you can have too much of a good thing - oolong tea contains caffeine which affects us all in slightly different ways.

Where is oolong tea grown?

Oolong tea is grown and crafted all over the world but is best known in China and Taiwan. We have sourced some of the finest Chinese oolong and Taiwanese oolong teas along with a rather spectacular and rare oolong from New Zealand.

China

Taiwan

New Zealand

Where can I buy oolong tea?

With so many different styles of loose leaf oolong tea on offer, Rare Tea has curated a collection of what we believe to be the best. From a fruity Iron Goddess of Mercy Tai Guan Yin to a biscuity Da Hong Pao, you can explore oolong tea here.

All the best,

Image Henrietta Lovell
Rare Tea Lady
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Since 2000 Henrietta has been travelling the world, working directly with independent tea gardens, from the Shire Highlands of Malawi to the foothills of the Himalayas. Lovell is at the forefront of the tea revolution. She founded Rare Tea Company in 2004 to champion responsible and ethical relationships direct with farmers. In 2016 she founded Rare Charity pledging a direct percentage of Rare Tea revenue to their partner farms, supporting tertiary education scholarships. In 2019 Faber & Faber published her first book โ€“ "Infused - Adventures in Tea", named the New York Times book of the year and was awarded the prestigious Fortnum & Mason award. She is currently working on a documentary series.