The truth of the matter is warm sunny days and seemingly endless summer nights will be here soon before you know it. And that means you’ll definitely have your time horsing around with the family and loved ones on the best beaches on the English Riviera or if you chose to, on the most pristine island beaches the world can offer, from Aruba to the Philippines. When that time comes, having a perfect summer-ready beach body would certainly come in handy — and that’s exactly why zeroing in on flower oolong teas makes sense.
A closer look will tell you oolong has what it takes to help you sculpt those washboard abs to perfection and make you stand out in a crowd. What you may not realise is how much power the olfactory nerve wields over your eventual perception of food that affects your overall dining experience, whether you like it or not.
It’s inescapable. If you want to bring all the goodies that oolong can bring to your health and body, putting the fragrance is thinking straight. Then, making sure you pick nothing less than a flower oolong tea is the way to go. Read on.
The Amazing Power of Smell
Well, we always think of the dining experience from a visual POV (point of view). So, now that the pandemic is winding down, going out to the best restaurants that the UK can offer means taking a peek at their table offerings online to know if they have what we long for. More often than not, we put those pictures in our heads, without knowing that a central factor to it all is not what we see but what we smell.
Indeed, you may not think much of it when you dine but your sense of smell plays a bigger role than you may realise. Specifically, how satisfying and how mouth-watering your dining experience hinges on your nose. And yes, this could give us a hint why COVID-19 patients who have lost their sense of smell also lost their appetites.
Behold the Largely Underrated Olfactory Nerves
It certainly comes as a surprise that the nose plays a prominent role in one’s appetite. After all, isn’t it enough to see the food for our mouths to water? Well, a study posted in 2020 says otherwise.
- The research was simple. Two sets of participants were made to taste a host of snacks. These participants rate their desire for food by either vision or by smell prior to eating.
To validate their hypothesis, one group can only sense the snacks by sight while the other sense only by smell. After which, in the next phase, each participant was made to take part in the food with all their senses available. Surprise, surprise. Those that smell the food had the highest desire. Visually-based ratings simply didn’t hold up and went downhill faster compared to those ratings based on smell. In short, when it comes to food, the nose wins over the eyes.
The power of your nose goes even further than just getting your appetite up prior to eating. It also gives you a more complete tasting experience. One research found out that for the brain to process the dining experience to the full, it needs both the tongue and the nose.
The taste bud of one’s tongue can identify certain tastes (e.g, salty, bitter, sour and sweet) but more complex flavours (e.g., raspberry) can hardly be recognised by the brain without the sense of smell. So, if the nerves of the nose so-called olfactory nerves are not functional either to a medical condition or the flu, the taste is adversely affected.
- The pinch-nose test is a practical method to discover how important the nose is to a more desirable dining experience.
Pinching one’s nose is a fast and easy way to discover how one’s smell actually holds a big role in the whole dining experience. The gist of the experiment is to have someone tell the taste of a set of different candies (with different tastes) while blindfolded and while his nose is pinched. An assistant ensures that the process runs smoothly and is documented.
The researchers found out that the nose knows. The tongue alone may be able to pinpoint four distinct tastes: sweet, bitter, sour and salty. However, to be able to distinguish more complex tastes require the nose. Thus, a total dining experience would need both the smell and taste receptors.
This has been confirmed by a recent scientific study which looked into the seminal Pavlov theories on appetite. To note, one of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov’s greatest findings is the “physic phase” of digestion. Simply put, mammals undergo activation of gastric, pancreatic, and salivary phases when feeding but this comes before the entry of food to the mouth.
- What the new researchers found out is that the main driver for these physic phases is not the sense of sight but rather the olfactory nerves or the sense of smell.
Also, they established a strong possibility that it’s the sense of smell that affects the body’s metabolic pathways after digestion.
How Flower Oolong Got the Floral Fragrance
If you’re a neophyte in the world of tea, you may wonder how on earth did oolong and the rest of the tea family get to be as fragrant and as aromatic as can be. In short, how did flower oolong teas go from being just ordinary, a dull and mundane set of dry leaves, and transform into a joy for the noses?
First up, know that when it comes to the aroma department, tea or the dried leaves of the Camella Sinensis evergreen shrub won’t really stand out. No matter from what the tea plant you source them, tea leaves will not carry any head-turning scent other than the run-of-the-mill herbal aroma that’s common to grasses or trees.
Of course, as they are processed, tea leaves also change in chemical composition. And with that, their fragrances. For instance, you’ll notice that the tea leaves will harbour a grassy smell after the harvest. Such a distinct smell is caused by the freshly-picked leaves releasing GLVs or “green leaf volatiles”.
However, all that doesn’t explain how flower oolong teas harbour such a sweet-smelling aroma of flowers. That has to do with man’s direct hand. A table below shows some of the most common of these flower teas with their distinct characteristics:
|Flower Oolong Tea||Characteristics|
|1.||Rose Oolong Tea||Lightly fermented tea that’s beautifully accented using fragrant rose petals. A classic medley of sweet-yet-subtle floral flavours grounded on a long finish and savoury, smooth notes.|
|2.||Lavender Oolong Tea||Rich in antioxidants oolong tea with powerful fragrance from fresh lavender spicing up the tea leaves’ plant notes.|
|3.||Mint Oolong Tea||Another high-altitude oolong tea that’s filled with antioxidants and scented with an intense mint aroma. Enjoy a fragrant finish with a long yet sweet after-taste.|
Table 1: Three of the Most In-demand Flower Oolong Tea
Of course, if you want to know which best fits your taste, getting a set of these flower teas would be spot on. It would put you right at the heart of the most aromatic oolong teas in town in a bundle, not to mention save you some.
So how do you get to enjoy such a slew of nose-catching floral-scented oolongs?
Well, the secret lies in the tea leaves themselves. Scenting tea, in particular, is a manufacturing process of altering naturally the taste and aroma of the tea leaves. The reason why this is possible is rooted in the fact that tea leaves are hygroscopic.
What on earth does the word hygroscopic mean? Simply put, it means that the tea leaves can readily absorb the moisture of their surroundings — and thereby the aroma too. So by laying powerfully scented flowers along with the dried tea leaves after harvesting, scenting happens.
It could take the entire night or some four hours for tea leaves to “magically” absorb the scents. Take note that it’s not just the aroma that’s affected here. As flowers and tea leaves are placed side by side, scenting alters the tea leave’s taste and aroma.
In the world of tea, there are tons of flowers and even fruits that have been used to scent teas (e.g., jasmine, chrysanthemum, rose, lotus, pomelo). Plus, as wide as the variety of teas are and as many as the artisans, there are bazillion ways scenting is achieved.
However, if you are serious about those washboard abs that make everyone on the beach steal a look, then exploring flower oolong tea should be most logical.
Let Flower Oolong Tea Sculpt Those Washboard Abs
There are only a few commonly-accepted indicators of a well-built healthy body. While strong and powerful biceps is one of them, there may not be a most coveted piece than washboard abs. Indeed, getting a six-pack and flaunting them on the best beaches of Europe from Haukland Beach Norway to Navagio Beach, Greece can be a penultimate moment for any fitness enthusiast.
And who wouldn’t be proud when getting those shredded abdominal muscles means a lot of attention, focus and determination for any individual? Moreover, getting those abs necessitates being careful about your daily intake. It sure takes a lot of willpower to do so. In short, it’s never a walk in the park.
Of course, making those rectus abdominis muscles happen has tons of health benefits. As has been oft-repeated, too much belly fat has been described as a precursor to a host of life-threatening diseases. Top of the line is heart disease, UK’s biggest killer disease.
The good news is flower oolong tea can help you let go of those belly fat and carve those washboard abs. Even better, floral tea’s sweet aroma should make the experience even more palatable, and hence definitely worth pursuing. Here’s how.
1.) Oolong Aid Fat Breakdown While You Sleep
Losing weight is one of the most talked-about topics in any adult’s life, perhaps even more than getting married or having a child. Why? Simply because people tend to add weight over the years. Just a quick scan at people in a bar or at the grocery should tell you that.
Recent research done in Japan should have your hopes up. Published in the Nutrients journal, the study focused on how oolong, the tea type all flower oolongs are part of, can help in weight loss.
Oolong, as all teas are, harbour caffeine which can help boost the breakdown of fat by as much as 20%. Yet, oolong may have something more. Oolong doesn’t just rest when you’re asleep; it works wonders even while you’re in bed.
The study was done by a research team from the University of Tsukuba and was led by Professor Kumpei Tokuyama. They had three sample groups made up of healthy volunteers. One group drank either pure caffeine or oolong tea. While a third group took a placebo, unbeknownst to them over a two-week period.
The results were simply amazing.
Compared to the placebo group, those who drank either coffee or oolong had increased fat breakdown by as much as 20%. But what separated oolong from coffee is it keeps on working even while the person is asleep. Best of all, there was no noticeable difference in the sleeping pattern of those who drank oolong compared to the placebo group despite the notorious reputation of caffeine disrupting sleep.
"The stimulatory effects of oolong tea on fat breakdown during sleep could have real clinical relevance for controlling body weight."
-Professor Kumpei Tokuyama
It’s a big shot in the arm. When you drink oolong, you can rest assured that the tea is working for you even when you are doing nothing but sleeping. Here’s a copy of the article on the study from the University of Tsukuba.
2.) Oolong Boosts Metabolism
Oolong teas are some of the most fragrant and sweet-tasting teas on the planet, most especially flower oolong teas. What’s truly astounding is they contain polyphenols or plant nutrients that help induce weight loss. Even better, it has anti-inflammatory effects.
This is possible as oolong’s polyphenols boost metabolism by as much as 10%, speeding up the burning of the tummy and upper arm fat. A glorious example is EGCG or epigallo catechins. Take note that this plant nutrient added with caffeine facilitates the acceleration of fat breakdown.
You could be wondering what is metabolism and what has it got to do with weight loss. Simply put, the metabolism in your body converts what you eat into energy your body can use. During such a complex process, calories from your intake are mixed with oxygen so the energy your body needs can be released.
Metabolism is a personal process. So, even sisters or brothers who have the same weight, people will have different metabolic rates. It’s pretty simple actually if you look at it from an energy point of view.
You gain weight if you eat calories more than you burn them.
If there is an imbalance in that energy equation, (e.g., you burn fewer calories than what you eat), you gain.
So, to lose weight you need to come up with an energy deficit. You can do this by eating fewer calories or burning more by being active. That is why exercise is a great way to lose weight.
Fortunately, oolong can do its magic and speed up your metabolic rates. One Japanese study involved rats to prove this. They had rats on a high-fat diet for 10 days then they administered oolong in particular. Upon observation, they found out that the tea has induced fat breakdown as represented by a rising pancreatic lipase activity. The study also pointed out that oolong can be used to treat obesity and fatty liver.
3.) Oolong Increases the PH Levels of Your Digestive Tract
The acidity or alkalinity of your tummy is critical to the proper breakdown of foods. The pH levels also act as the body’s first line of defence against harmful viruses and bacteria. An over-acidic environment is usually where bad bacteria thrive.
This is where oolong can come in handy. It can increase the pH levels to a level that the body needs. Doing so facilitates better digestion and also prevents stomach ulcers and other health complications such as acid reflux and bacterial infection.
In the long run, that ultimately aids in better digestion which in turn means faster weight loss for you.
First and foremost, you should strive to drink as much as two cups of oolong per day. More than that may not be as effective in weight loss. Here’s a guide on how to make your flower oolong tea right.
To Wrap Things Up
Flower oolong allows a better oolong experience for you. And as oolongs can boost your chances of slimming, getting that summer beach-ready body should be a breeze.
That’s not all that flower oolong has to offer though. There’s a host of health benefits that flower oolong can give you more than other tea types. When it comes to health, the aroma of a flower oolong is a treasure trove.
It should lead you to a more summer beach-ready body. Indeed, you’re one step closer to all the fun the beaches of the world can offer when you let the sweet smell guide you. And resolve to make a habit of indulging in the wonderful aromas of flower oolong tea — starting today.