Green tea and oolong tea are considered to be the healthiest teas in the world due to their numerous health benefits. In fact, both teas are widely recognized in traditional medicine and studies, and have also been widely promoted as the best teas for weight loss. Yet, even with their almost similar health benefits, many tea drinkers and fanatics can’t seem to tell the difference between the two, especially when it comes to figuring out which is healthier than the other.
In this article, we break down the main differences between oolong tea and green tea so you can decide which is better for you.
Difference in Processing
One of the main differences between Oolong Tea and Green Tea is the method used during processing.
Oolong Tea is derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant, a plant that is widely cultivated in the Fujian province of China and Taiwan. It’s also known as the “black dragon tea” or “wulong tea.
To make oolong tea, the leaves are dried under the hot sun and allowed to oxidize for a short period of time right after picking. During the oxidation process, the tea leaves turn dark due to the extensive exposure to oxygen. Because the tea is only oxidized for a short time, oolong tea is said to be “semi-oxidized”, unlike black tea which is fully oxidized.
Although the oxidation process does not entirely eliminate the health properties of oolong tea, studies indicate that the process does reduce certain antioxidants while increasing the levels of other compounds.
Green Tea is also made from the leaves of Camellia sinesis plant. Unlike oolong and black teas, green tea does not undergo oxidation. Instead, the leaves are usually dried immediately after harvesting using methods like charcoal-firing and sun-drying. Steaming and oven-drying are also commonly used during green tea processing.
The unoxidized nature of green tea basically preserves the antioxidants in the tea- antioxidants that are responsible for the tea’s numerous health benefits.
Difference in Flavor
Another huge difference between these two teas is their flavor.
The oxidation of oolong tea leaves alters its flavor profile significantly. Because of this, the tea has quite a large spectrum of flavors and tastes. Some oolong teas can have roasted flavor that is woodsy and earthy. Others can a tasty, sweet, and honey-like aroma.
For this reason, oolong tea makes a much stronger brew compared to green tea.
Green Tea on the other hand has a grassy or bitter flavor. Actually, when it comes to taste and flavor, most tea lovers often prefer oolong tea, especially because it has a wider variety of flavors that suit different palates. However, avid green tea drinkers often don’t seem to mind the green tea flavor especially because of the numerous health benefits it provides.
Difference in Health Benefits- Which One is Healthier?
Both green and oolong tea are reputed for their numerous health benefits. In fact, the teas have been seriously gaining attention over the past years due to their prevention and healing properties.
But most tea drinkers can’t seem to decide which one is healthier than the other.
Well, here is the unbiased truth:
Both teas are packed with catechins like EGCG and polyphenols that deliver the wide range of health benefits they are reputed for. However, green tea is unoxidized during processing, which means that it retains its green color compared to oolong tea. Because of this, most of the healthy antioxidants in green tea are preserved.
Because of its high levels of antioxidants, green tea has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, improved brain function and health, reduced blood sugar levels, prevention/treatment of cancer, premature aging prevention, improved skin health, reduced blood cholesterol, reduced inflammation, reduced body weight, as well as reduced mortality risk.
But the fact that some of the antioxidants in oolong are depleted during processing doesn’t make it any less beneficial. In fact, the tea has been getting a lot of attention due to its wide range health benefits.
Numerous studies have linked oolong tea to various significant health benefits such as reduced body weight, protection against cancer, antiallergenic activity, improved eczema, Type II Diabetes treatment, control and prevention of dental carries, and many other benefits.
Both oolong tea and green tea are healthy. But if you are looking to reduce your risk of heart disease or maintain a healthy, glowing, youthful skin, green tea is your best bet.
If you’re looking to counteract blood sugar levels, prevent tooth decay, or even boost bone health, then including oolong tea in your daily diet can help a great deal.
Difference in Ability to Induce Weight Loss
Although studies indicate that both teas can promote weight loss, it seems like significant weight loss comes from green tea.
Because of its unoxidized nature, green tea contains higher concentrations of catechins like EGCG, which have been found to speed up metabolism and promote the fat burning. Green tea also contains a small amount of caffeine which is known to increase the amount of energy used by the body, thus promoting fat burning.
Still, studies indicate that although green tea contributes to weight loss, the weight lost is likely to be small. Using green tea alongside a healthy diet and workout regime may lead to more noticeable results.
Difference in Caffeine Concentrations
Although both teas contain a small amount of caffeine, oolong tea generally has higher concentrations compared to green tea. This has to do with the fact that the tea is more oxidized and a high amount of water is removed, making it more concentrated.
The more the tea is concentrated, the more its caffeine content.
Statistics by USDA indicate that 100 grams of oolong tea contain approximately 16g while the same amount of green tea contains approximately 12 gram of caffeine.
There is no better way to start your morning than with a cup of freshly brewed tea. It’s even better if the tea is either green tea or oolong tea. Despite their many differences, these teas are packed with numerous health benefits.
Give them both a try and even feel free to mix them up with different teas.