Drinking Oolong tea is more than just a way to calm your mood and reflect your day, Oolong tea brew is also a great source of nutrients.
In certain parts of Taiwan, Oolong tea is called “Green Gold”, due to the health benefits of vitamins and nutrients inside tea.
The complex taste of Oolong tea tells the story of its healthy composition:
Bitterness comes from caffeine
Astringency comes from catechin
Freshness comes from amino acid
Sweetness comes from carbohydrates
Sourness comes from organic acid
There are so many nutritional benefits within a gaiwan of pure, additive-less, loose leaf Oolong tea brew, including anti-inflammatory and disinfectant benefits from tea saponins, immunisation boosting Vitamin C, antioxidants from catechin, and relaxing effects from amino acids.
Tea is a gentle source of caffeine
100 ml of tea contains around 11 mg of caffeine, and it contributes to the bitterness in tea brew.
Despite containing the same caffeine found in coffee, the theanine in tea slows the effects of caffeine for the tea drinker, so you get a gentler refreshing feeling rather than a sudden wake up call.
In another words, drinking tea will not keep you awake all night.
Caffeine concentration is known to be greatest in summer tea leaves, and the least in winter leaves.
Tea saponin has anti-inflammatory and disinfecting properties
Tea saponin was discovered by a Japanese scientist, Shojiro Aoyama, in 1931 when studying tea seeds.
He found the naturally occurring compound is known for its disinfecting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Tea saponin foams when rinsed with hot water, and is the source of the foams on tea brew.
Since you see more foam during the first steep, that is where you find the highest tea saponin concentration.
Tea as a reliable source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C breaks down easily in heat, and therefore it is difficult to take in enough Vitamin C through cooked food.
Vitamin C is more easily preserved in tea brew due to the presence of catechin, so they don’t breakdown in hot water as easily, and you get more Vitamin C from a cup of Oolong tea.
Tea contains catechin which is a disease fighting antioxidant
Catechin is a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant and a key component to tea’s health benefits.
It also contributes to the astringent and bitter taste in tea brew.
The longer you steep, the more catechin you taste in your brew.
As tea leaves vary from season to season, the concentration of tea catechin is highest during summer and lowest during winter.
Tea contains fluoride that strengthens your teeth
An Oolong tea brew contains trace amounts of fluoride, around 1 ppm, that can prevent tooth decay by neutralising the acid, formed from the breakdown of food in your mouth, and slows down the deterioration of enamel.
In other words, fluoride slows down the formation of plaque in your teeth, and can help you prevent it from becoming a cavity.
Theanine helps relax your brain
Loose leaf Oolong tea contains more than 20 types of amino acids, one of which is theanine that takes up more than 50% of amino acids in tea.
Theanine adds to the freshness you taste in tea brew, by offsetting the bitterness and astringency.
It slows down the absorption of caffeine and soothes your brain as you sip tea.