The time has gone when people start their day with a cup of tea only for refreshing. Undeniably, now we drink tea regularly intending to keep ourselves fit both mentally and physically. And hence the science has brought us many kinds of diet focused beverages those are helping us to be healthy and fit. Oolong tea and green tea are of the main types of favorite drink in the world those have a host of health benefits that they are known for.
Both these beverages are less oxidized, but when it comes to oolong tea vs green tea, each one is filled with unique health benefits. Apart from this, both the tea has different ingredients and their production procedure, preservation process, preparing and tastes are also not similar to each other. So as an avid tea drinker or a novice experimenter, you might feel it tough to decide the right kind for your own. No worries… we are going to breakdown and explore each possible part in the following sections that might help you to choose the better one. But before we do, let’s know what those Oolong and green tea are referring, the origin and how they differ.
What is Oolong tea?
Neither a black tea nor a green tea, Oolong tea has its own distinctive characteristics which demanded it to be fallen into its own category of tea. The name in Chinese literally translates to “black dragon tea.” A study showed oolong tea is consumed only for 2% compared to other tea. But despite it’s being less popular, it has got some fantastic health benefits which drive it to be an integral part of our drinking habit. Though this beverage comes from the same plant as green tea, it’s the harvesting and process which makes it different from other tea.
What is green tea?
Undoubtedly green tea is the healthiest diet beverage on the planet that has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally. This beverage is rich in many vital antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that are great for your body and mind. The leaves are harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant, processed with either steam heat or with dry heat and then quickly preserved. This miracle beverage is effective at fighting almost everything starting from minor to major health issues but doesn’t go overboard because there are a lot of things coming- just sit tight.
So What's the Difference?
It’s pretty clear that both the beverages have their own kind of benefits and that is why it’s essential to find out which one is better. Green tea or Oolong tea….
Method Of Production And Preparing Process:
The production processes of these two tea types are quite different from each other. Spring is the last session for producing and processing green tea in greater China and Japan. Generally, after three years of plating tea plants, it becomes eligible and mature to providing the most delicate beverage and let you enjoy a refreshing, cold glass of iced tea or a warmed mug of hot tea.
Once the leaves are plucked from the tree leaves are dried in the sun. Since the intention here is to keep the freshness of the flavor, producers take special care so that the leaves can become free from oxidizing too much. It helps to prevent the fresh taste of the tea for a long time.
So after drying the leaves on the sun, these are shaped into pellets or small twigs. Pre-drying also done to add jasmine taste and finished with styling the leaves.
On the other hand, after collecting the most elegant tea leaves, this semi-oxidized tea is processed entirely using the intense rays of the sun and air. This step is crucial for reducing moisture content; and to keep the degree of oxidation in between 8–8.5%. And because of this process, the teas leaves turn into a deep brown and develop a rich flavor.
Most importantly since the leaves can be oxidized anywhere from 8 to 85 percent, the producers and manufacturers can offer various flavors. If leaves are oxidized for a shorter period, it produces sweet and floral flavor whereas for a more prolonged period create strong earthy notes.
The visible distinguish attribute in between green tea and oolong tea is the color. Green tea looks are green whereas oolong tea looks brownish color. In terms of taste green tea taste like a milder feel or more vegetal and grassy flavor with a slightly astringent and a somewhat bitter undertone. Because of the strong essence, this tea is heavenly beverage for active tea drinkers.
On the other hand, Oolong tea features the most diverse flavor profiles of all the true-tea types and can be noted quite a range of flavor like from sweet and floral to dark, rich and smoky with base notes of honey and wood. In addition to that this tea does not offer an astringent taste and can be rich, deep and intense. This is another reason most casual tea drinker prefer this tea, and regular tea drinker prefers green tea.
Presence of catechin compound:
Catechins are vital natural phenols and antioxidants that help us to stay healthy by lowering blood pressure, enhances weight loss and most importantly it helps us to protect our bran form sever diseases. But surprisingly not all tea contains the same of this crucial compound. Green tea is reported to be providing highest level than other tea types including oolong tea.
Not only that the green tea catechins make up around 25% of green tea leaf composition that makes this beverage one of the key ingredient that may reduce the risk of breast, prostate, ovarian and endometrial cancers. Oolong tea is actually off the charts for polyphenols and EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate. According to a study done by the University of South Florida shows that besides reducing toxins in the brain EGCG can help restore and protect mitochondrial function by 50-85%! Unexpectedly oolong tea is counted to be a great natural source of EGCG.
We all know caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world for diet lovers as it can boost the metabolic rate and foster fat burning journey. Just like regular tea, green tea contains caffeine, and the amount is stronger than the caffeine content in coffee when measured in dry form. The caffeinated level is lower than oolong tea. The caffeine level in green tea varies between 35-70 mg while in oolong tea it varies between 50-75 mg. But some argue that oolong tea is more oxidized meaning that producer extracts more water in the preparation process which results in lower caffeine concentration in the final product. On the other hand, the green tea is prepared with lower temperature water (80C), but oolong tea requires just cooking temperature to make.
Tea levels are reported to contain the highest level of fluoride content than even vegetable. Naturally, green tea has a higher level of fluoride than other tea. Though there are arguments about consuming this content the amount that people drink is unlikely to supply enough fluoride to reach toxic levels. Oolong tea contains a medium level of fluoride compared to other tea except for green tea. The fluoride content of tea depends on the fluoride content of the soil in which it is grown. The soil in Japan is naturally lower in fluoride compared to China that is the reason Japanese green tea will typically have lower fluoride levels than Chinese green tea.
Nutritional value of Oolong tea Vs Green tea:
Knowing nutritional elements are essential to determine which tea would best fit for your health type.
Brewed green tea is free of the usual macronutrients found in other foods and drinks. This tea is full of nutritional values and if higher than any other tea. The significant components are polyphenols (catechins), caffeine (called theine), tannin (flavonols), theophylline, theobromine, fat, wax, saponins, essential oils, carotene, vitamins A, D, E, C, B, B5, H and K, fluoride, iron, magnesium, calcium, strontium, copper, nickel, zinc, and trace of elements such as molybdenum and phosphorus. Since the water percentage is near about 99.5% which made this tea the second source of water and an ideal beverage for body hydration.
Similar to green tea, oolong tea also contain vital vitamins, minerals, and effective antioxidants but lower in percentage compared to green or black tea. A study shows 100 grams of Oolong tea displays 99.84 g of water, one calorie, 0.02g of ash and 0.15 g of carbohydrate. A cup of brewed tea will contain approximately 5–24% Fluoride, 26% Manganese, 1% Potassium, 1% Sodium, 1% Magnesium and Niacin of the RDI (reference daily intake), and 36 mg of Caffeine. Besides those, this tea also contains some other quintessential antioxidants known as tea polyphenols, are theaflavins, thearubigins, and EGCG and an amino acid called theanine.
Comparing The Health Benefits:
Already we have covered a lot of information here to demonstrate a valid comparison between these two tea types, but the surface barely needed to be brushed yet.
Researchers have found that regularly consuming tea antioxidants may also improve heart health. Though not many long-term studies have been done, green tea has shown impressive results in lowering high blood pressure (hypertension) and keep cholesterol in check which ultimately helps to reduce the risk of developing rare heart diseases. Green tea significantly lowered LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels- good news for the heart.
Key component epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG of green tea can help prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the arteries and help maintain a healthy heart and eradicate from a heart attack or stroke.
A specific study on oolong tea conducted by genius scientists in China found that people who drank at least 10 ounces of oolong tea per week had lower risks of having high cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. Not even that those people who were taking this tea for a long time subsequently reported to be a lower risk of having heart problems.
These studies were so impressive that Prof. Jeremy Pearson, the associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said in his research paper that if we could engineer the molecule a bit, the days are not so far that we will be able to introduce new medicine which can help us to control death for heart attack and stroke.
Some studies have shown that drinking 3 or more cups of oolong tea per day is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
People who are suffering people with diabetes can get benefit from drinking green tea as this drink helps the metabolic system function better than other beverages. The necessary chemical ingredients called polyphenols, an anti-oxidative property that helps to reduce oxidative stress and cause vasodilation which has a direct link in lowering blood pressure and prevent diabetic patients who are prone to cholesterol-related diseases.
This ingredient can also help regulate glucose in the body, helping to prevent or control diabetes.
Recent reviews show that both the tea can help to maintain brain function and shows promise for protecting brain health. A study by the International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases in 2015 revealed impressive results. It showed that the tea drinker especially drinking green tea can help to protect brain decline if it can be consumed for one to six days a week. This study result was the evidence that non-tea drinker might face a lower risk of dementia than regular tea-drinker.
A further study on 12 healthy volunteers with a mean age of 24.1 years found that those who were talking a milk whey-based soft drink that contains 27.5 grams of green tea extract have been reported to be promising results on boosting connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex of the brain.
Though there are some limitations in their study that needs to be considered before making the final call the research had a shred of substantial evidence that this tea may help in the treatment of dementia.
Consequently, it had been proven that the caffeine content of tea beverage can increase the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. Though in a smaller amount, oolong tea contains caffeine and theanine that are thought to benefit mood, attention relieves anxiety and brain function.
One study was conducted on elderly Chinese people. They were given to drink black and oolong tea regularly. It had been found that the brain decline of tea drinkers had up to a 64% lower risk of brain function decline. This might happen due to Oolong’s polyphenols that increase the cognitive and motor activities of the brain and might heighten the functions of the brain.
Enhancing cognitive capabilities is also related to memory loss and confusion. Not even that the other ingredients EGCG can help to maintain the hippocampus and prevent deterioration of brain function, improve mental alertness and performance in old age.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that tea drinkers (1256 women between the ages of 65-76) were reported to be increasing the bone density by an average of 5%. Oolong tea never consumes up the necessary calcium in your body that is important to repair bone and encourage them to remain healthy.
A further study over ten years on black, green or oolong tea drinker found that regular tea drinkers can have on an average 2% higher overall bone mineral density than the non-tea drinker. Similar several kinds of research have shown that oolong tea drinkers had 4.5–4.9% higher bone densities than non-tea-drinkers and can have positive effects of tea on bone mineral density. This indicates that if you take the drink for the long term, you can prevent osteoporosis.
Similarly, Green tea is full of antioxidant compounds and other bioactive components that may also improve bone health by stimulating the formation and slowing the breakdown of bone. This tea is rich in polyphenols vital antioxidant compounds, and several studies have found a definite link between the polyphenols in tea and higher bone mass and greater bone strength.
Another research has found that catechin ingredients of this tea can stimulate the action of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by up to 79% and increases the level of bone mineralization in the cells which ultimately help to increase the strength of bones.
There is evidence that regular drinking tea can help to boost the immune system. This happens due to tea’s powerful and disease-fighting antioxidants that help by protecting harmful free radicals. Green tea is full of polyphenols, and flavonoids keep our immune system healthy by destroying those radicals. One study showed that catechins, a particular type of polyphenols in this tea kill certain viruses and infections like influenza.
The other chemical properties of this drink like Alkylamines that are believed to help brew up the body’s defense system by protecting against bacteria, fungi, parasites, and mutated unhealthy cells. Besides, this tea is full of L-theanine which also has shown positive results in keeping the immune system secure by enhancing the capacity of gamma delta T-cells. These cells are known as the first line of defense that plays a crucial role in the central nervous system.
Oolong tea is also loaded with healthy antioxidants that can help you in maintaining a healthy immune system by preventing cellular damage. A study in 2002 journal Nutrition establishes that this tea phenol help in hunting free radicals.
Apart from various common health benefit, green tea provides unique advantages when it comes to energy and alertness. Because of the vital chemical L-theanine of this tea, a known amino acid that helps to inhibit the release of caffeine and allows the body to process the caffeine more effectively and results in a longer lasting energy kick.
Likewise, oolong tea contains a higher concentration of caffeine and essential vitamin C that can help us to boosts our energy level. One study showed consuming oolong tea also helps to rid the body of toxins that can cause damage to healthy cells and keep you active for hours.
What is the best tea for weight loss? A different study has been shown that green tea been linked to an increase in the number of calories burned than oolong tea. The extra amount of caffeine and antioxidants helps to stimulate the metabolism and aid the oxidation of fat. And this is the reason why the combination of these crucial ingredients helps the green tea drinker to improve overall weight management.
On top of that oolong tea is also loaded with potent antioxidants called catechins that can boost metabolism but at a lower speed. The winner here is green tea that contains a higher level of bioactive substances like caffeine and EGCG which can have powerful effects on metabolism. Therefore now-a-day you can see most of the commercial weight loss and fat-burning supplement contain green tea as one of the vital components.
Other possible health benefits:
Though there is not enough current research to support the following benefits but drinking both oolong and green tea can be brought you following fantastic health results.
- These drinks are great for gut
- Green and oolong tea compound could prevent Alzheimer’s
- Drinking tea can slow down the factors associated with Parkinson’s disease
- Help to form a natural defense to protect our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays