There are claims that drinking several cups of Wu-Yi tea burns fat as well as having additional health benefits. Are these claims really true?
What Is Wu-Yi Tea?
Wu-Yi is not a single variety of tea but it refers to any tea grown on Mount Wuyi Shan of the Fujian Province in China. Wuyi Shan is well known for the exceptional oolong teas produced there. Because of the high mineral content of the soil in the area the tea has a highly individual flavor that is not reproduced anywhere else. The extremely humid climate is perfect, and the narrow valley means that the sun is weak for most of the day enabling the tea to grow without risk of scorching or bitterness.
The tea has been harvested here since the Yuan Dynasty when a royal tea garden was established and began production. It was not exported until the Ming Dynasty but rapidly gained in popularity and has become one of China's most treasured teas. The tea has a light, spicy flavor. Its taste can most often be described as slightly smoky with a natural sweetness. Flavor of the tea will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from year to year so this should be considered a guide only.
It is sometimes described as tasting like a mixture of green and black tea with floral notes or delicate chocolate notes. This is because the process for creating Oolong takes it partway between Green tea and Black tea. Oolong is oxidized at 20 percent to 70 percent.
How Does it Work?
All teas contain substances known as polyphenol but oolong tea has a higher concentration than the other teas. Polyphenol is a natural substance that stimulates the breakdown of fat by activating triglycerides in your body. The triglycerides act to break down fat and speed up your metabolism. When the metabolism is working at a higher rate you are burning fat even when resting.
Wu-Yi also has a generous amount of antioxidants. Drinking four cups of tea a day may:
- Protect against cancer
- Reduce the risk of heart attack
- Strengthen bones
- Protect teeth against plaque and decay
- Promotes healthy skin
- Reduces wrinkles
Is It a Scam?
Is this another diet scam? The answer to that is both yes and no. Wu-Yi does work to increase the metabolism because of the polyphenol, however so do all other teas because all tea, with the exception of herbal tea, comes from the same plant. They all have various levels of polyphenol and all of them are high in antioxidants.Many of the Wu-Yi teas have a tea concentrate added to increase the levels of polyphenol. This would not be necessarily significant enough to make that much difference day to day. In theory you should be able to get the same or very similar results with any tea.
Buying and Brewing Wu-Yi
There is a huge difference in the quality of tea from company to company. Going to the grocery store and buying the inexpensive tea bags of Wu-yi is probably not the best way to experience this delicious oolong. Tea has a short shelf life and gets stale very easily. For best flavor you should use the freshest tea available in the loose leaf form.
Heat filtered water in a kettle to near boiling. Use some of the water to rinse the teapot and warm it up. Add one teaspoon of Wu-Yi to the pot for every cup of tea that you will be making. Pour in the simmering water in a circular motion. The water should be poured steadily for best concentration of the tea.
Now, let it steep for three minutes. Swirl the leaves in the pot and then strain out the leaves.
Where to Buy Wu-Yi
Whether or not you are trying to lose weight, Wu-Yi tea is a healthy addition to your diet. Don't pay outrageous amounts for special Wu-Yi blends, but try several good Oolongs until you find one that you especially love. Drinking it several times a day can became a relaxing ritual that will increase your health.