Oolong tea, also known as wu long, is a semi-oxidized tea. It is halfway between a green tea and a black tea and depending on the degree of oxidation of the leaf, teas with very different aromas are produced. The semi-fermentation gives the tea a little bit more body than a green tea but less body than a black tea. Chinese oolong is partially fermented and produces a lighter oolong while a Taiwanese oolong is fermented for a longer period and produces a stronger flavor. Oolong teas originate from the Camellia sinensis plant and undergo several processing steps. Like black tea, the first step is withering. Once that is completed, rolling/heating and oxidation are combined alternately until the desired level of semi-oxidation results. The shaping of the leaves-pearls and twists being examples- take place. Oolong tea is believed to be beneficial for digestion by breaking down fats and oils and for weight loss by increasing metabolism and burning fat in the body. Oolong tea has approximately 30mg of caffeine per 1 cup serving compared to coffee at 115mg per 1 cup serving. Oolong tea should be brewed with a water temperature of 170 degrees-185 degrees and is best when blanched first with hot water, then re-infused tea poured after about 1 minute. The leaves may be re-infused several times with each resulting infusion yielding a different liquor from the preceding cup.
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