An Introduction to the Types of Tea Processing

An Introduction to the Types of Tea Processing

Tea Processing
A lot of people tend to believe that different kinds of tea are taken from different kinds of tea plants, but oolong, black and green teas actually all come from the same evergreen plant, Carnellia sinensis. The mere difference would lie in the plant's processing. Some common terms of processing include withering, oxidation, firing or drying, and rolling. Here is an introduction to the types of tea processing out there.

During this introduction to the types of tea processing, the leaves that are newly picked will be spread thinly to dry first; this is called withering. If the climate isn't suitable, heated air will also be forced onto the leaves. The goal here would be to lower the overall water content, and once the process is over, the leaves have to be pliable so they can be rolled.

After the withering process, the leaves get rolled and twisted to break up the leaf cells either by hand or with machines. Shaking is sometimes done, too. During rolling, oils get released to give the tea a distinctive smell. The released juices stay on the leaves and a chemical change occurs shortly thereafter.

During oxidation, oxygen gets absorbed. This process starts after the leaf membranes break during rolling. Because of oxidation, the leaves become bright copper and this process chooses whether the tea will be oolong, black or green.

During firing or drying, the leaves are evenly and properly dried without getting burned. This stops the process of oxidation. The end of the tea processing depends on what kind of tea you are making, but for now, this concludes the introduction to the types of tea processing. Keep in mind that oolong and black tea end quite similarly, though, while green tea is the very shortest process of them all.

Three Teas to Try

Three Teas to Try

Walking down the tea aisle of my local supermarket puts my head in a tizzy. I love tea and I've been drinking it for years, but I still am overwhelmed and amazed by the sheer amount of choices I face when selecting a kind of tea. If I was the sort who never tried anything new, this situation of course wouldn't cause me any problems. I am, however, easily tempted by that which is novel.

Perusing the teas offered makes my mouth water. Some of the varieties conjure up images of decadent desserts, with names like Caramel Apple or Chocolate Raspberry. And of course I'm intrigued by teas claiming to be infused with the flavors of pomegranates, passion fruit, or Goji berries. Sometimes, though, I am in the mood for simpler, more unadorned beverages, so I seek out back-to-basics teas that I haven't tried. I've happened upon three that I recommend every tea lover sample at least once.

Rooibos (red tea): This does not fit the strict definition of tea because the leaves do not come from the tea plant (known botanically as Camellia Sinensis). Instead, rooibos comes from Aspalathus linearis, a plant that grows exclusively in South Africa. Rooibos is Afrikaans for "red bush". Though it is not a true tea, it is a popular herbal infusion with many of its own reported healthful properties. First, it is chemically different from true tea in that it contains no caffeine. As such, it will not cause insomnia if you're like me and enjoy sipping a warm calming beverage before bedtime on cold winter nights. It also contains antioxidants like true tea, in addition to minerals like calcium, and a mild sweet flavor devoid of the bitterness one sometimes finds with true tea.

White tea: Made from the very young leaves of the tea plant while the buds are still covered in white hairs, this tea undergoes minimal processing and hence retains more of its natural antioxidants than does green or black tea. Given that the leaves used in white tea are harvested at an earlier time in their development cycle, there is less caffeine in this tea than others. It also will not stain your teeth and is reported to actually be beneficial to oral health. Last, its flavor is delicate, vaguely sweet, and far less bitter than green or black tea.

Oolong tea:
Oolong tea is tea that is basically somewhere between green and black. The green tea leaves undergo partial fermentation but before they become black tea leaves the process is halted. Like both green and black teas, oolong tea has antioxidants that can be beneficial to health. Oolong tea can vary in its taste depending on the brand you get. Some brands make oolong tea that is very robust and woodsy in taste, and other brands of oolong are lighter and sweeter.

Though I may never find it easy to choose a tea, I know that if I'm truly at a loss I can always opt for one of these three teas for a refreshing and healthy treat. I encourage you to try them, ponder their flavors, and enjoy the calm and sense of well-being they can bring to your life.

To Tea, or Not to Tea

To Tea, or Not to Tea

While all teas have flavonoids and other polyphenols that appear to work as antioxidants and most likely help to neutralize free radicals which damage cells, there are differences you should be aware of. The four types of teas are black, white, oolong (wulong) and green.

So-called "herbal teas" (or Tisane) are not true teas as they do not come from the Camellia Sinesis plant, as the four true teas do. Instead they are derived from dried flowers, stems, leaves or berries of numerous other plants.

By the same token, supermarket teas that come in teabags are the lowest grade of tea because they are made up of fannings, or dust (tiny particles that break off when processed). They do not have much flavor, aroma, or as much beneficial qualities as whole leaf teas.

The main difference in the four types of teas is how they are processed, but there are some differences in health properties and preparation as well. The following is what I know about each type of tea:

Partly dried, crushed, and fermented so the leaves blacken. Due to the longer fermentation there is a weakening of it's natural cancer-fighting compounds and an increase in the amount of caffeine. However, a cup of black tea still has less than 1/2 the caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Black tea is said to aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In fact, one cup a day could cut your risk of a heart attack 44%. Black tea should be brought to a full boil. Use it for one brewing only and remove and discard the leaves.

Very limited quantities as it is only produced in China and Sri Lanka. The new buds are picked before they open, left to wither, then dried. Due to the minimum amount of processing, white tea is said to exhibit potent disease fighting potential as well as high immune system building properties. In fact, recent studies reveal more antioxidant or cancer fighting benefits than green tea. Some researchers feel this is due to the increased caffeine content.

The water should not be too hot or too hard - some prefer bottled or spring water. Be generous with the tea leaves. The water temperature should be 185 to 190 degrees. White tea is best consumed after a meal.

Oolong (Wulong)
Semi-fermented, Oolong tea falls between the black and green teas as far as processing is concerned. It is best with light, savory meals, spicy foods, fish and poultry.

Oolong tea is said to increase metabolism, aid digestion and weight loss and ease eczema and psoriasis symptoms. It is also best prepared at 185 - 190 degrees.

Green tea is unfermented. The leaves are steamed, dried and heat treated to stop fermentation and oxidation. Due to it's processing it is said to have 1/2 to 1/3 the caffeine of black tea, although I have seen figures as high as 1/15. Green tea is good with a light savory meal, spicy foods, fish, and strong cheeses.

Green tea has three times the antioxidants of black tea. Numerous cancer studies have been done to show it's tremendous cancer fighting properties. (Even prostate and skin cancer) Green tea is best when freshly brewed in water just under boiling, remove leaves. You may brew leftover tea with leaves removed over a few times if desired. Allow green tea to steep one to five minutes.

Chinese Slimming Teas

Chinese Slimming Teas

Chinese Slimming Teas
Chinese slimming teas are catching a lot of attention these days and as you learn more about their potential for weight loss with only four calories per cup it all makes sense. At one time or another, most people want weight loss help and Chinese slimming teas can not only help you lose weight, but also provide many substantial health benefits. Let's examine oolong tea, pu-erh tea, black tea, green tea and ginseng tea, which are five impressive Chinese slimming teas.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a strong tea that has a high caffeine content compared to other Chinese slimming teas. This is perfect if you need an afternoon or evening pick-me-up. For weight loss considerations, it assists in fat digestion while energizing your metabolism and provides increased vitality. One of the main benefits of several types of Chinese slimming teas is that they do perk up your metabolism to reactivate the burning of calories. Reactivating your metabolism to burn calories through out the day is perfect for weight loss programs.

Idea For Weight Loss-Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea is widely used in China for weight loss and often prescribed by doctors as an effective Chinese slimming tea. This healthy beverage lowers cholesterol levels and aids in weight loss by increasing metabolism speed. Dieters often use this light-bodied tea with little caffeine as a beverage taken with each meal.

Strong Tasting Chinese Tea-Black Tea

Black tea is some of the strongest tea and it is often blended with other types of teas to create a refreshing new blend. Black teas require more processing in comparison to other Chinese slimming teas, but still provide health benefits. Past studies indicate a reduction in stroke incidents by men who consumed black tea. Drinking several cups a day helps to fill the stomach so you eat less at each meal.

Chinese Slimming Teas-Green Tea

Green tea goes through a different fermentation process than black tea, which preserves the important polyphenol antioxidants. The production involves a series of steaming processes right after it is harvested and then it is baked. In addition to reducing body fat, green tea has demonstrated positive results in studies for blood pressure reduction, reduced blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol and impressive antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Increases Metabolism Speed-Ginseng Tea

Ginseng tea is another Chinese slimming tea that works by increasing the speed of your metabolism. It also works wonders to improve circulation.

As you can see, there are several different Chinese slimming teas from which to choose. Many, if not most offer great health benefits, aid in weight loss efforts and provide a hot satisfying beverage with meals.

Wulong Tea: Does it Really Promote Weight Loss?

Wulong Tea: Does it Really Promote Weight Loss?

Wulong Tea
Have you heard the advertisements for a weight loss product called Wulong Slimming tea? It's being heavily marketed as the latest "quick fix" weight loss plan. Does this tea really help to promote weight loss or is it another clever marketing gimmick? The answer may lie somewhere in between.

While Wulong Slimming tea sounds may sound like a special product with proprietary ingredients that only the product originators have privy to, this tea is already widely available in most natural food markets and health food store under the name of oolong tea. Oolong tea comes from the Camellia senensis plant, just as do black and green teas. The difference lies in the amount of processing the three types of tea undergo.

Black tea is the most processed of the three teas since it's allowed to undergo a fermentation process that gives it a dark, rich flavor before being packaged. In the process many of the catechins that give tea its health benefits are removed. In contrast, green tea is steamed in order to stop the fermentation process and allowed to dry naturally. It retains most of the desirable, healthy catechins. Oolong tea lies somewhere in between in terms of processing. It's allowed to partially ferment, but not as much as black tea, so it retains some catechins.

Oolong tea began to receive real attention after a 2003 study conducted on eleven Japanese women showed that consumption of oolong tea increased resting energy expenditure. The study not only looked at the effect of oolong tea on metabolic rate, but also that of green tea. The study demonstrated that green tea increased energy expenditure by four percent while oolong tea increased it by around ten percent. While it was believed that the increase in metabolic rate was related to the polyphenols present in the teas, the green tea had more polyphenols than the oolong tea due to the fact that it was less processed. Why did oolong increase the metabolic rate of the women more? It was determined that the oolong tea contained more polymerized polyphenols than the green tea which probably accounted for the greater boost in metabolic rate.

According to this one very small study, it does appear that not only does oolong tea boost metabolic rate, it also raises it more than does green tea. Although this is encouraging, large trials haven't been conducted to verify these results. Still, there are lots of anecdotal reports that oolong tea helps to promote weight loss. Thus, Wulong tea probably does have some effect on metabolic rate.

Unfortunately, the amount of weight loss seen with Wulong or oolong tea is unlikely to be dramatic even if sipped throughout the day. Previous studies have shown that green tea increases metabolic weight when drank in large enough quantity, but the number of extra calories burned only amounts to around eighty calories in a day. With oolong tea, it should be higher but is still unlikely to be over 200 extra calories burned per day. Still, if sipped consistently over time along with a healthy diet and exercise program, it may be a useful weight loss adjuvant.

The bottom line? Wulong tea probably does up the metabolic rate at least slightly but the weight loss achieved with this product probably won't be dramatic unless combined with a sensible diet and weight loss program. It would also be more cost effective to buy oolong tea from your local health food store rather than invest in more costly Wulong tea.

Positive Effects of Oolong Tea

Positive Effects of Oolong Tea

Effects of Oolong Tea
Just check out some of the methods people around the world are using to lose weight and you will find the consumption of oolong tea is one of the forerunners. This tea originated from the Wu Yi Shan Mountain in the Fujian Province of China, has been celebrated in Cantonese and Mandarin culture since eons. And it shows in their physiques. Chinese are always very fit and healthy and they have an inexplicable (and enviable!) glow on their skin. The oolong tea is definitely one of the secrets behind their good health and constitution.

The Effects of Drinking Oolong Tea

Most of the problems in our body occur due to the presence of free radicals. Several problems of the skin and hair are directly related to free radicals. Where do these free radicals come from? The main culprit is the chemical laden food that we eat, followed by the harmful UV rays of the sun and also stresses and worries that have become commonplace in the modern world. As we age, the density of free radicals in our body increases.

The first health benefit of the oolong tea is to release the right kind of antioxidants in the body to ward off these free radicals. The poly phenol present in the oolong tea is also quite advantageous in maintaining the health and good looks of the person, apart for giving it its enduring flavor.

It is not that the health benefits of oolong tea are unproven in the Western world. Regular users of the oolong tea improve their body's metabolism, which helps in losing weight.

The following are some additional benefits.

The oolong tea is best for obesity control and reduction because it accelerates the metabolism of the body. It helps in improving the body's immune system that fights against stroke and cancers. It improves the texture of the skin, making the person look more youthful. It maintains the person's complexion. It is found to be excellent for dental health, including prevention of decay. It improves health of kidneys and the spleen. Most importantly, it can reverse signs of growing old.

The Chinese oolong tea is clearly better than black tea and green tea combined, and it has the health benefits of both. But, most of all, it is celebrated as a slimming tea.

You will savor the taste too. In fact, you might get hooked to its taste and have it regularly even though you do not have a weight problem. The tea can make you more exuberant at work.

You have to make sure that you consume it in recommended amount though. Scrimping on the recommended amount will reduce the power of the benefits it can bring and binging on it can stain your teeth and lower the capacity of the body to absorb iron.