Brew Oolong Tea for Your Health, Brew for Mindfulness
Brew Oolong Tea for Your Health, Brew for Mindfulness
In the world of tea drinkers, the complexity and rituals are among none other. I would say it compares to winemakers and wine drinkers but separates itself with the layering of ancient and modern eastern traditions derived from mindfulness and its practices. The tradition of tea and tea brewing is meditative and filled with both joy and gratitude.
Tea is also one of the leading products currently being researched for the monster of health benefits that are distinctive within it. With tea's long traditions, ceremony, mindfulness and health benefits it is becoming even more popular amongst those persons seeking spiritual practices that bleed into their lives beyond the mat and meditation cushion.
The best tea for my taste buds and ritual desires is the Fu Jian Oolong tea from South China’s Fujian Provence. It is a distinctly satisfying tea that is not a black tea or a green tea but whose oxidation level falls somewhere in between. This Oolong tea is semi-fermented and after brewing, each tea leaf presents two different colors: the fermented part is reddish, and the unfermented part is still green – resulting in “green tea with red edges”. Fujian Oolong tea is well known for its delicate fragrance, mellow taste, and long-lasting sweet aftertaste. This tea is beautiful, tasty, full-bodied, and a distinctly healthy tea. Highly recommended for those that enjoy the health benefits of green tea but have a hard time with green tea's lingering taste.
When Oolong is processed the tea is rolled into long curly leaves or pressed into ball-like forms. The processing of this tea increases levels of health beneficial compounds which are anti-allergy, anti-cancer and hold a heavy load of anti-inflammatory properties. Oolong is also known to include the following:
• Catechins - Natural Antioxidant. These catechins inhibit the enzyme histidine, which blocks the body's production of histamine and can severely reduce allergies and allergy sufferers.
• Polyphenols – These play an important role in preventing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease. Increases the ratio of beneficial bacteria in the gut which is beneficial for weight management. Japanese researchers found that one cup of Oolong boosts metabolism by 20% for up to 2 hours and is essential in the burning of belly fat. In one study the Oolong drinkers lost twice the midsection fat than those who skipped drinking it. According to further research, Oolong not only burns belly fat but keeps it off for life by blocking the release of enzymes that break down fats so they can be stored.
• Fluorine - There is some naturally occurring fluorine (fluoride) in Oolong. The better the product the less amount you get which is a good thing. Small doses are beneficial while high doses can be harmful. Antioxidants in Oolong tea can strengthen the bones and even prevent osteoporosis. According to studies, people who regularly drank Oolong for over a decade were less likely to lose bone mineral density.
• Caffeine – Oolong tea contains around 50-75 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup. We all know the benefits of caffeine as it jumps metabolism and gives us a boost for mental clarity…those trying to avoid caffeine should be cautious.
Gong Fu brewing is the style in which to brew and serve Oolong tea traditionally. I must say that once you have experienced really good tea brewed the way it is supposed to be brewed you cannot go back to plopping some unknown Oolong tea bag in boiled tap water. You will be thoroughly changed. Like buying and tasting wine and good chocolate and learning all of its complex flavors from region to region your palette becomes distinctly aware. Awareness is good, it causes a person to become honed in and honor what they are consuming. A practice that I would love to see come alive even more!
How to Brew Gong Fu (Skill | effort)
• Choose your Tea Set. Yixing (Yee-Zhing) Clay teas sets are distinctly made for black and Oolong Teas. Keep in mind that Chinese tea cups are much smaller and while you will be able to drink several the idea is to savor and understand the flavor of the tea you are drinking. A mindfulness focus on the subtle flavors reaching your palette. There are amazing glass sets sold as well. Glass and clay are best for not interrupting the flavors of the tea.
• Warm your tea set. Rinse with boiling water. (Cups and Tea Pot) Discard water.
• Rinse. Add 1 ¼ tsp Oolong to every 6oz of water in the teapot. Fill the teapot until it overflows and emptying immediately with the lid open. The object is to not cook the leaves!
• Brew. Now its time to brew! Brew with water at 190 degrees. Experiment with times between 10 and 30 seconds. (This will largely depend on the tea and your palette.)
• Serve. Pour the tea into a pitcher to preserve strength and serve into the warmed cups.
• Repeat. You can reperform steps 3-5 adding 3-5 seconds of time as the tea loses its flavor. A good tea will yield many brews!
Brewing Oolong tea can be simple, fun and a celebratory ritual for great health and peace of mind. Ultimately it should be enjoyed. While focusing on subtle flavors you quiet the mind and come to an understanding about what you are drinking, experiencing the flavors of where it was grown and who harvested it plus you experience the tradition. Our beautiful sense of taste should never be overlooked as a way to bring us to the present moment.
Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ
All Comments Welcome
Written by Soorya Kirti Kaur
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