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The Story of Oolong

Oolong tea has a centuries-old reputation as a flavorful, lightly caffeinated tea packed with nutrients. Now, more studies are being done on Oolong health benefits, further exploring its antioxidant and antimutagenic properties.

Hands holding white oolong tea leaves

The Story of Oolong

Aumtea’s Golden Lily Oolong Tea is a traditional Chinese tea grown organically in Northern Thailand. Enjoyed for more than 1,000 years in China, this delightful tea is made from the semi-fermented leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. While the flavor of Oolong tea famously varies depending on its level of fermentation, our Golden Lily Oolong has a full-bodied flavor and a delectable natural aroma.

The Legend of Oolong Tea

Oolong literally means “black dragon,” and theories abound as to the origin of this name. One tale ascribes this curious moniker as a derivative from the name of the person who discovered it, Wu Liang. Legend has it that Wu Liang was out picking herbs when he was distracted by a deer in the forest nearby. He stuffed the leaves he’d found into his bag and followed the deer. That day, his hunt was successful and by the time he returned home and began cooking the meat, he’d completely forgotten about his freshly picked tea leaves.

When Wu Liang opened the bag a day later, the leaves had already started to blacken. Unsure of their quality, but unwilling to simply let them go to waste, he prepared them anyway. Upon the first sip, he was delighted by the mellow, aromatic flavor, and soon invited his neighbors to come and try it. The new tea quickly became a regional sensation, known as Wu Liang’s tea – and later, “Oolong” tea.

Oolong Health Benefits

Oolong tea is made from the same plant that black tea and green tea also come from. The difference between these three teas is the level of oxidation of the leaves, or how long the leaves have been crushed and exposed to air. Oxidation begins a process of fermentation, which changes the nutritional content depending on how long the leaves are fermented.

Oolong tea’s oxidation levels lie between green tea (which is unoxidized) and black tea (which is fully oxidized), which may contribute to why research has shown that the nutrients in Oolong tea have more powerful antioxidant and antimutagenic effects than either of the other teas. Antimutagens are compounds that can decrease or even eliminate the potentially harmful effects of chemicals in the bodies, while antioxidants protect the body’s cells from damage.

In addition to these unique strengths as an antimutagen and an antioxidant, other Oolong health benefits are also being studied and include:

  • The presence of L-theanine, an amino acid with positive effects on relaxation, memory, and brain function

  • Reduced blood pressure and cholesterol

  • Better dental health and bone density

  • Relief from eczema

Today, Oolong’s popularity has spread across the globe, renowned for the range of its flavors, its health benefits, and as a tasty low-caffeine alternative to coffee and sodas. Oolong has also recently been recognized as a delicious base for Thai milk tea, being used in brews at five-star Thai restaurants. We know you’ll love Aumtea’s naturally cultivated, 100% pesticide-free, nearly green Golden Lily Oolong from the very first sip.


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