If you are health conscious, chances are you already know ginseng and its remarkable benefits. In Asia, people use ginseng in beverage and food to boost energy and protect themselves against illness. There are various combinations of ginseng with other items, one of such is ginseng oolong tea. It intends to bring the best of both worlds to your tea ritual.
What is Ginseng Oolong tea?
Ginseng oolong tea, just like its name, is the combination of oolong tea and ginseng. The ginseng component can come from the root, whole, or crushed leaves of ginseng. Even though the tea does not have an overwhelming ginseng flavor, it is more suitable if you are ready to move beyond regular oolong tea.
In the past, people served this tea to the Emperor of China. This royal drink has acquired taste and significant health benefits. The tea originated from Fujian province in China, later brought to Taiwan for tea cultivation. Now Taiwan is famous for high-grade oolong tea in general, or ginseng oolong tea in particular. You can drink this tea in the afternoon or after meals.
Ginseng oolong tea is not the same as ginseng tea. Ginseng tea is a traditional Korean drink made from ground or slice ginseng roots with no tea leaves. Consider a herbal tea blend, fresh ginseng or red ginseng are used along with jujubes and other ingredients to make ginseng tea.
How is ginseng oolong tea made? How is it different from regular oolong tea?
Ginseng oolong tea requires more time and effort to make than other tea. In Taiwan, people cultivate and harvest oolong tea leaves in high mountainous areas. The tea leaves go through traditional processing methods like other types of oolong tea. Unlike fully fermented black tea, oolong tea is only partially fermented.
The most significant difference between regular oolong tea and ginseng oolong tea is the ginseng component. With the later, ginseng powder made from ginseng roots is incorporated with the oolong tea leaves before rolling it into small tea balls. This way, the flavor is well kept inside each tea leaf, provides a more pleasant taste profile even after several steeping.
Lower-grade ginseng oolong tea is made by coating the rolled and dried oolong tea with ginseng powder. After first steeping, the ginseng powder coat is easily washed off.
The process of making this tea can be different from maker to maker. Fresh osmanthus flowers or licorice can be used to give oolong tea a floral note and sweet flavor. While most places use ginseng roots, some use ginseng leaves to blend with the oolong tea.
What is ginseng oolong tea taste like?
Unlike other oolong tea, ginseng oolong tea has the distinctive aroma and flavor from ginseng. While keeping the rich, full-bodied flavor of oolong tea, it carries sweet and slightly bitter taste. The taste lingers in our mouth, and its unique character seems to awaken our body.
It gives tea drinkers both the crisp taste of oolong and the pleasant lingering ginseng aftertaste. The refreshing, rejuvenating aroma and flavor of ginseng oolong tea are indeed hard to forget.
One 8 fl. oz (236 ml) of brewed oolong tea contains 10 to 60 milligrams of caffeine. It is not easy to find out the exact caffeine amount in ginseng oolong tea. The caffeine content varies depending on the tea variety, the quantity of tea used, and the brewing method.
A cup of ginseng oolong tea carries much less caffeine than your regular cup of coffee. But be mindful of the amount, especially strong brewed tea, if you are sensitive to caffeine.
Ginseng Oolong Tea Health Benefits
When it comes to health benefits, ginseng oolong tea can be a real health powerhouse. The various health benefits of oolong tea combine with those of ginseng make it a prominent performer.
In many studies, researchers found out that drink oolong tea regularly ( 1 or more cups per day) can lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. It also decreases the risk of heart disease.
This tea is also suitable for weight loss and detoxification. It helps boost digestive health, reduce the absorption of fat and carbohydrate.
In Chinese medicine studies, this tea is famous for its anti-aging ability. People believe that drink ginseng oolong tea not only restores energy but also prolong life. The ginseng health attributes improve the body’s immune system, help keep us strong and fight against diseases. That makes it a drink of choice in the imperial palace of China in the past.
These days, people seek out to buy this tea for the aroma, taste, and some added health benefits. It is also an excellent gift for business partners and the tea lover in your family. However, since the quantity of ginseng used can be quite minimal, most health benefits of this tea come from the oolong tea itself. If you want more of ginseng benefits, it is better to look out for genuine ginseng roots or ginseng health supplements.
Where to buy Ginseng Oolong Tea?
This tea might not be available at your local coffee shops or supermarket in your neighborhood. However, you can easily find it online. There are dozen of online tea shops carry this tea. You also can buy it on Amazon. There are huge selections from different brands for you to choose from. Tea bag is also available for your convenience.
To brew ginseng oolong tea, you can follow these simple steps:
- Prepare a pot of boiling water (6 to 8 fl. oz)
- Put one teaspoon, about 3 grams of tea on a clean teapot or tea mug
- Pour hot water (205 Degrees Fahrenheit – 92 Degrees Celsius) into the pot, cover with a lid
- Steep the tea for about 3 to 5 minutes depending on different varieties
- Pour to your tea cup and enjoy.
You can steep it for 2 to 3 times. The second steeping time can be a bit shorter than the first time as the tea leaves are already opened up. Avoid steeping the tea for too long. A strong brew of this half fermented tea with lots of compounds and nutrients can bring stomach discomfort at some levels.
If you buy the tea from a tea shop, ask for the exact brewing direction suitable with that particular ginseng oolong tea.