Oolong tea vs green tea, which tea is better for your health?
Green tea and oolong tea are two of the most well-known teas on the planet. They are commonly used in traditional medicine and widely recognized by health experts to possess numerous beneficial effects. Both tea products are harvested from a species of small trees or evergreen shrub called Camellia Sinensis and classified as true teas which include pu-erh tea, black tea, and white tea.
Though both are delicious and healthy, you might wonder, which product can give you optimal health benefits? In this article, we enlisted the difference between two and will guide you which tea works for you the best.
It’s made from the dried leaves and buds of an evergreen shrub called Camellia Sinensis also called a tea tree. This species of plant is commonly found in China and most of the tropical regions of Asia. Nowadays, green tea is produced not only in China but also cultivated across Asia. However, according to statistics, China is still the largest producer of green tea, accounting for 80% of green teas sold on the planet.
Cultivation process will depend on the desired type of green tea product and grown either under shade or under the sun. Tea leaves and buds are usually harvested three times a year. The first harvest is observed during late April through early May. The second harvest is usually made in late June to early July, and the last and third harvest takes place in late July through early August. In some Asian countries, a fourth harvest is sometimes observed. It’s thought that tea leaves and buds harvested between at spring produces the highest-quality of tea. Thus, teas harvested during these periods are more expensive.
Brewing techniques for lower-graded green tea are steeped on hotter water and longer periods. On the other hand, higher-graded green teas are steeped on cooler water and for a shorter period.
Examples of popular Chinese green tea products include Gunpowder tea and Chun Mee tea. On the other hand, popular Japanese green teas include Matcha, Genmaicha, and Sencha.
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea beverage. It’s semi-oxidized and like green tea, oolong is harvested from Camellia Sinensis or tea tree. Most oolong teas distributed worldwide are produced in the Chinese province of Fujian and most areas of Taiwan. In those regions, it’s popularly called as black dragon tea or Wulong tea.
Harvested tea leaves are dried under the sun to induce oxidation process. After it dried out, it’s curled and shaped into smaller beads. Most of its production process is similar to black tea—the only exceptions are, much attention is given to temperature and timing.
The oxidation process of oolong tea leaves levels from 8% to 85% that significantly affect its general profile and creates a distinct taste and aroma comparing to other true teas. Se Chung, for example, has a fruity taste and strong scent of honey, whereas other types of teas usually effuse a roasted and woodsy aroma.
Ancient brewing techniques of oolong teas are still being used today such as gaiwans and clay yixing pots. Other variations of oolong tea include Da Hong Pao, Tieguanyin, and Wuyi Mountain oolong teas.
Oolong teas usually have a higher level of caffeine than green teas except for the matcha tea, which has the highest caffeine content among the true teas.
Oolong Tea vs Green Tea: Which One Is Healthier?
Essentially, oolong tea and green tea offers the same health benefits because it’s harvested from the same species of plant. If your primary goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you can never go wrong either you go for green tea or oolong tea. However, their production process is different, thus, the chemical composition varies.
Tea leaves in general, naturally contain caffeine but its levels may depend on the brewing technique used and where it was grown. Green tea has lower caffeine content than oolong tea—25mg and 37mg per serving, respectively. Caffeine in regular coffees is still way higher with 95 to 200mg per serving. Though teas do not impose serious health problems, it may, however, cause side effects. Thus, people on strict caffeine consumption should consider green tea over oolong because it may cause higher chances of side effects.
Weight loss and/or maintaining a healthy weight
Green tea is abundant with antioxidants that help you shed a few pounds or maintain a certain weight. On the other hand, polyphenol contents in oolong teas do the same but in a different manner, which stimulates thermogenesis that improves the body’s fat-burning process. One study observed that oolong tea consumption increases metabolism by 12% that leads to more efficient fat oxidation. In this case, if your purpose is weight management, you can either go for oolong tea or green tea.
Enhance mental focus and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
In general, herbal and true teas contain polyphenol and catechins that strengthen the body’s defense system against diseases. However, one research suggests that green tea contains a more potent amount of catechins and polyphenol which means it contains more antioxidants than any type of tea beverage. Antioxidants enhance cognitive performance and reduced risk of any heart-related diseases. It also prevents oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Improve blood sugar level
One study found out that oolong tea may support lower levels of blood sugar. The study shows that individuals who are diabetic and pre-diabetic and not overweight seem to benefit more from oolong tea consumption.
Promotes healthier bones
One study performed in Japan observed that elderly woman drinking oolong tea regularly developed a stronger bone density specifically those that connect the legs to the sockets of the hip.
Although green tea is considered healthier than oolong tea, they don’t really have that much of a difference in terms of health benefits. It may all come down to your personal preference. If you prefer a mild-tasting tea that infuses a sweet aromatic scent then try oolong tea. If you prefer a sharper and much richer taste then go for green tea.
Excess tea consumption may cause side effects such as weaken bone density and abnormal heartbeat. Health experts advised drinking four to five servings of tea a day to avoid any side effects.