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What is the Best Oolong Tea for Your Health?

What is the Best Oolong Tea

Tea is often viewed as an exceptionally healthy drink, especially when compared to coffee (although, coffee does have significant benefits of its own).

This perspective is hardly surprising, as tea typically contains a range of plant-based compounds, many of which have implications for health.

In many cases, the strongest focus is placed on green tea, which has extensive medical use and is widely regarded as healthy.

Indeed, green tea is even included in many supplements, partly because some of the compounds have been connected to weight loss benefits (however, this relationship is not proven) (1,2). Likewise, there is also some interest in yerba mate tea as a particularly healthy option.

But, while green tea and yerba mate tea may have strong health benefits – so does oolong tea. Now, oolong tea can be viewed as somewhere in the middle of green and black tea, so it’s no surprise that the variety is a healthy choice.

With this in mind, what is the best oolong tea? For that matter, what are the benefits of this particular type of tea?

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The Best Oolong Tea

Like coffee, tea strongly comes down to personal preference. In part, this is because there are many different factors that influence the flavor profile and the aroma of the tea.

As a result, individual brands and varieties of oolong tea will tend to taste significantly different than one another. Likewise, there may also be some variation in the specific plant-based nutrients present – although the differences there are unlikely to be large.

These patterns mean that the answer to ‘what is the best oolong tea’ isn’t going to be as simple as it seems. In many ways, there simply isn’t a best, because people have their own preferences and there is no shortage of good brands out there.

Nevertheless, there are some examples of oolong tea that are considerably better than others. For example, one brand that we highly recommend is Davidson’s, which produces organic tea.

Organic Mountain Copper Oolong

Now, the packaging may not look exciting but that is because this is a bulk option. The brand does get exceptional reviews and the tea itself is also organic – which is appealing if you are trying to buy the best oolong tea.

This company is also interesting because it produces a range of different varieties, including a second type of oolong tea. For example, the tea in the image is Mountain Copper Oolong but the company does also have Quilan China Oolong, not to mention many other non-oolong teas.

Of course, this is just one example, and later in this list we’ll take a look at other answers for ‘what is the best oolong tea’. But first, let’s look at why you might choose this particular drink.

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

First of all, the most distinctive thing about oolong tea is oxidation. In fact, this is what differentiates the key types of tea. For example, green tea does not go through much oxidation, while black tea is allowed to go through significantly more. That process is what turns the tea leaves black.

Oolong tea

In contrast, oolong is somewhere in the middle. This plays a key role in the color of the tea and also its taste (3). Still, as you can probably imagine, there is considerable variation between individual brands in terms of both color and flavor.

As with other types of tea, oolong contains a number of significant antioxidants, including EGCG.

These may be connected to a range of benefits (4). Likewise, the amino acid theanine in oolong tea promotes a relaxing effect, which is a key reason why many people enjoy the tea (5).

Research has also linked the various compounds to specific implications for human health.

However, it is important to note that oolong tea hasn’t been studied nearly as much as either black tea or green tea. As a result, we know much less about the benefits of oolong tea specifically. Still, there are many observed benefits that occur across different types of tea and these will also apply to oolong.

Promotion of Heart Health

Regularly drinking tea has been linked to improved heart health, as a result of the antioxidants present (6). For example, these can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease, along with decreased blood pressure and cholesterol (7,8,9).

One study found that drinking 8 oz or more oolong tea could decrease heart disease risk by as much as 61% (10), while a similar study found a decrease in stroke risk of 39% for people drinking more than 16 oz of oolong or green tea daily (11).

Oolong tea poured

Likewise, oolong and green tea can decrease the risk of developing high blood pressure (12,13).

However, as is often the case, not all research agrees with these conclusions (14,15).

It’s also important to mention that some effects may vary from one person to the next.

In particular, oolong tea does contain caffeine and this can raise blood pressure in some people, especially those who rarely have caffeine. Still, tea can still be a good choice for anybody sensitive to caffeine, simply because it contains much less than coffee.

Diabetes Prevention and Management

Regular tea consumption has also been linked to a decrease in the risk of diabetes and also improved control of blood sugar levels (16,17,18). Some research has also found this effect specifically for oolong tea (19,20,21).

However, in many of these studies, the level of tea consumption has been fairly high, like 33 oz (around 1 liter) (22) or 50 oz (1.5 liters) (23) per day. As a result, you may not see significant benefits from normal levels of tea consumption.

Additionally, some studies have failed to find such an impact (24,25,26).

Oolong Tea Weight Loss

Woman drinking tea

As with green tea, oolong has also been associated with weight loss – based on improving metabolism and potentially decreasing fat absorption (27,28,29,30,31). Research suggests that the impact on fat burning is connected to the polyphenols in the tea and also the caffeine (32).

However, studies haven’t confirmed whether the effect contributes to increased weight loss.

Realistically, weight loss impacts are likely to vary from one person to another anyway, especially as behavior plays a key role in the weight that you lose.

Other Health Benefits

Tea may also be relevant for improving brain function and even potentially helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (33,34,35,36). This effect is partly connected to the caffeine (37,38), to theanine (39) and possibly other polyphenols.

The antioxidants in the tea may also help promote teeth and bone strength (40,41,42,43) and some polyphenols might even help improve eczema symptoms (44).

Oolong Tea Safety

Generally speaking, oolong tea is considered safe. After all, it is a common component of modern diets and has been used throughout history.

Nevertheless, just like anything, you do still need to be aware of your consumption.

For one thing, oolong tea does contain caffeine (although, not as much as coffee). When you have too much, caffeine can cause a range of side effects, including high blood pressure, headaches and insomnia (45,46,47). Still, in moderation, caffeine is associated with many health benefits.

Man with tea

At the same time, some people are especially sensitive to caffeine.

As a consequence, you do still need to be careful with oolong tea, even though it has less caffeine than coffee.

Additionally, excessive consumption of antioxidants isn’t always a good thing.

You probably won’t end up with too much from tea alone, however this is something to be aware of, especially if you’re relying heavily on supplements and options like tart cherry juice for antioxidants.

The end result is that oolong tea is likely to be completely safe, as long as you’re not drinking an excessive amount (e.g. 8+ cups per day). Realistically, the main area to be concerned about is caffeine and you can easily tell how your own body responds to that as you go.

Powerful Oolong Tea Brands

So then, it’s clear that there are many significant benefits to oolong tea. That brings us back to the original question: What is the best oolong tea?

As I mentioned earlier, there is no single best brand. But, there are some good ones to get you started.

The Tao of Tea – Green Dragon Oolong Tea

Green Dragon Oolong Tea

This tea is a little unusual and is on the more expensive side. However, it does work out to be relatively affordable, especially as it is loose leaf tea, rather than tea bags.

The tea is a greener option for oolong tea, which does mean that it has less oxidation. This may make it an especially appealing flavor for people that already enjoy green tea and are looking for something a little different.

At the same time, the traditional style of the tea is appealing. There are also other teas from the same brand, including a Black Dragon version, which will be darker with a significantly different taste.

Bigelow Chinese Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea

Another interesting option comes from the brand Bigelow. For many people, this brand may be more conventional, especially as it comes in tea bags rather than as loose leaf.

The tea is a darker option and is well-known for its mellow overtones. It is also a popular option overall and is fairly common.

However, as is often the case, the flavor isn’t going to suit everybody. Even though many people do love the flavor, there are still some that cannot stand it and think that the product tastes cheap and unappealing.

This product can still be a good place to start if you’re trying oolong tea for the first time, especially as it is inexpensive and easier to manage than tea leaves. As such, it can be a valuable introduction and give you an idea about whether you like the taste of oolong.

Prince of Peace Oolong Tea

Prince of Peace Oolong Tea

This tea is another great option for anybody who wants bagged oolong tea. It has the additional advantage of being organic, which is ideal for getting the best health benefits.

It is also the current best seller for oolong tea on Amazon, with an extremely large number of positive reviews. It’s easy to see why this is too.

For one thing, the tea is inexpensive, making it another good way to try out oolong tea. Likewise, the taste is appealing, with many people saying that it is refreshing and smooth.

Foojoy China Classic Oolong

Foojoy China Classic Oolong

Foojoy is a fairly well-known brand, offering a range of different types of teas. However, their oolong certainly appears to be the company’s most popular product and the reviews suggest that the flavor here is appealing.

In this case, the tea has a fuller flavor and aftertaste than many of the other brands on the list. As a result, it may be best suited for people who like black tea, rather than those looking for a relatively mild taste.

It is worth noting that the teabags here are not individually wrapped, which may be a problem for some people. But, if you’re just looking for basic oolong tea, then the brand is certainly one to try.

Vahdam High Mountain Oolong Tea

High Mountain Oolong Tea

One final option is this oolong tea from Vahdam. As with some of the earlier examples, this is a loose leaf tea and the company also has a strong emphasis on quality.

The tea itself is much closer to black tea than many others on the list, resulting in a full-bodied flavor and strong aroma. The company is also very transparent about where the tea comes from and the shipping processes used, which is always a plus.

What is the Best Oolong Tea?

From this list alone, it should be clear that there is no single best oolong tea. Indeed, there is considerable variation in flavor across brands. In many ways, the simple answer is to start trying oolong tea and work out from there which brands and styles you prefer.

For example, some people tend to rely on tea bags, while others would rather go with loose leaf tea. Likewise, some may lean towards oolong tea that is greener and others have the opposite preference.

Still, there is no shortage of options out there, including many that are extremely popular.

If you want more information about the way that various teas taste - check out the tea reviews at Pinkiebag. The author shares her personal experiences with many different teas. It's a great place to learn more about tea and what you can expect. 

For that matter, if you find that you don't like oolong tea, there are many healthy alternatives to choose from, including green tea and yerba mate tea. You can visit the site The Tea Spot to find out more about the different types of tea available. 

However, it is important to note that many of the teas currently on the market are different than they have been historically. ​For example, many companies promote weight loss or detox teas, such as Iaso tea. This type of product typically involves a range of added herbs and compounds. 

Whether or not detox teas are healthy is a matter of intense debate. One side of this discussion is highlighted over at The Debrief and their article is worth reading. But regardless, you're likely to find more benefits by simply drinking options like oolong or green tea on a regular basis. 

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Better health starts in the kitchen, with the food that you eat and the meals you prepare. Getting the best outcomes involves making good choices about the food and the ingredients that you use. 

Check out my recommended products to see where you can get started. 

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13 thoughts on “What is the Best Oolong Tea for Your Health?”

  1. Vince, this is a great article on Oolong tea, I’ve been drinking tea every day since 2007 but I usually drink white tea or green tea. But I’ve never had Oolong tea before, based on what I read in this article Oolong tea has quite a bit of health benefits. Maybe I should give it a try? How long have you been drinking Oolong tea?

    Reply
    • I’ve found oolong tea enjoyable for a long time. When it comes to tea benefits, the best option is really to vary what you are consuming. This gives you the best range of nutrients, which offers the most potential for health. 

      Reply
  2. Good oolong tea is a long time favorite of older Chinese people. This is especially true of those who like king fu cha which is a concentrated one drink thing which is analogical to espresso in coffee. Nowadays, tea is popular all around America because of all the befits it provides including helping preventing heart problems and even cancer with its antioxidants. I love tea too. Unfortunately, my favorite tea are the expensive loose leaves version. Do you recommend any tea that is extra relaxing?

    Reply
    • I would suggest looking for companies that offer relaxing blends, which often involves the use of herbs like chamomile. Some of the brands in this list offer blends, so that can be a good place to start. 

      Reply
  3. My mum loves tea, I dont drink tea but after reading the benefits i think i need to start drinking oo long tea! Which one do you think is best and tastes the best, my mum would definitley love to try these . We come from Asia so drinking tea is very common , many people drink oo long tea and now I know why x

    Reply
    • It can take a while to get into tea but the benefits really are worth it. Plus, with so many different types out there, you’re spoiled for choice. 

      Reply
  4. Loved the article. As a Primal-Paleo advocate I am a tea lover my self and appreciate and relate to all the Health benefits attainable by adding tea to your diet. For me drinking tea should be a part of any Primal-Paleo diet.

    This would definitely be an option I would consider. Thank you so much for sharing this information with your readers.

    Reply
    • I think one of the most powerful things about tea is that it works on almost any type of diet. So, it’s almost always a healthy choice and offers a range of nutrients. 

      Reply
    • You’re welcome. I love the tea reviews you do. It’s refreshing to find reviews that are so honest and realistic. You’re a great writer too.

      Reply
  5. Excellent article without bias, which is greatly appreciated. Somehow, I’ve drifted away from drinking tea regularly and excited to try a few oolong varieties. Thank you!

    Reply

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