|Posted on July 9, 2016 at 2:30 AM|
Ice the Oolong tea, please!
Is tea a favored drink on a summer’s day? If not perhaps you will reconsider. Is there a drink that can reduce inflammation and has anti-allergic properties? Yes, and it is over 3,000 years old! This miracle super drink is oolong tea.
Oolong tea is a special blend of green and black tea leaves (Camellia sinensis). The leaves have been fermented giving the tea a unique smooth mellow flavor with a slight natural sweetness. This fermenting process also enhances the natural catechins within the tea leafs. Catechins are flavonoids responsible for anti-inflammatory responses. Studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of oolong tea are greater than those found in green tea alone.
A Japanese study resulted in reduced eczema in people drinking oolong tea on a daily basis. The results were notable within one month. In addition, studies have also shown a marked reduction in allergic response in those drinking oolong tea on a regular basis. Other research has revealed oolong tea to improve cardiovascular health including lowering cholesterol, lower blood sugar in diabetics, and aide in weight management. With all these health benefits drinking a glass iced may not be such a bad idea!
It should be noted oolong tea does have a caffeine level between 45-60 mg. To put this in perspective, a cup of coffee has between 100-150 mg of caffeine (depending on strength/blend). If you are caffeine restricted, you can reduce the caffeine content of oolong tea by first steeping the tea leaves in hot water for 30 seconds and then discard water. Add fresh water and steep for five minutes. Most of the caffeine will be extracted in the initial waste water with most of the catechins remaining in tea.
To brew the perfect cup of oolong tea heat water to between 180-200 degrees F. Use 1 teaspoon of rolled tea leaves or 1 tablespoon of flat leaves per 6 ounces of water. Steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea leaves. (Note: tea leaves may be reused 2-3 times). Tea can now be poured over ice in a shatterproof glass. If you prefer, brew the tea by the pot and ice in a pitcher to enjoy throughout the day. Here is a n ice cream recipe featuring oolong tea.