I love tea.  Almost as much as I love coffee.  I can drink tea just about any time of day at just about any temperature.  Tea is a happy drink, and perfect for sharing.  So I was thrilled when I learned from George about the health benefits of Green Tea

Except that it’s hard for me to feel like green tea is real tea.  I mean, it’s so… weak.

Suffice it to say that I prefer my tea strong.  It’s gotta have some flavor, some body.  I can’t stand to get a glass of iced tea at a restaurant and be able to see straight through the tea enough to count the French fries on a plate across the table.  As any Southern lady will tell you, weak tea is for pansies…(and poppies and begonias… you get the picture.)

Howevah, a strong black tea or orange pekoe tea is right up my alley.  And while tea is known for a few health benefits, strong black teas have not gotten their true due.  Until now.

My friend Jill pointed out that Dr. Oz (of Oprah fame) suggested that drinking Oolong tea (which is an entire class of tea, as well as a specific taste) provides several health benefits.  And to my sweet surprise, it is suggested that drinking the tea three times a day (say, after meals) provides the most benefit. 

What might these benefits be, you ask…?  Check THIS out:

  • Oolong tea is supposed to be beneficial in our efforts to lose weight.  Um, can I get an Amen?!
  • Oolong tea is also strong in antioxidants, fighting those free radicals we get smothered by each and every day.  (I have to make this side comment since we’ve ventured into the subject of free radicals.  On his website, George addresses the misuse of light oils in cooking…to be more specific, olive oil should not be used as a sauté oil.  You know how it starts to smoke rather quickly as the pan gets hot when you’re cooking with olive oil?  That’s because the oil is too light and burns at a much lower temp.  The smoke you see rising from the pan is full of harmful free radicals. Blech, right?!  I have made a conscious effort to sauté with chicken broth or vegetable broth ever since I learned this.  Save the olive oil for your salad dressing.)  Now back to our tea…
  • Skin problems like eczema can be fought with oolong tea. One source says drinking oolong tea three times a day can improve skin condition within a week.  I don’t have skin issues, but I can imagine this might be a welcome suggestion for anyone who does. 
  • Bones and teeth can actually grow healthier thanks to the antioxidants found in the tea. 
  • I read in a few places (though I can’t remember all the sites I visited) that oolong tea is used in treatment and (sometimes) prevention of Type 2 diabetes. 
  • Natural polyphenols in oolong tea help reduce stress.  Sign me up for that one!

So where do we get this stuff?  Good question.  I cannot find oolong tea at any of my regular chain grocery stores.  I do know both Drug Emporium/Vitamins Plus and Sunshine Health Foods in Shreveport sell various brands of organic oolong teabags, and I have learned that oolong can be purchased in bulk through Amazon.com.  If you’re looking for a ready-to-go drink, Honest Tea makes a peach oolong. I think I need, like, a case of that! 

I just love it when my vices find justification!!  Cheers!