What is Wuyi tea? Being Chinese, and somewhat of a heavy tea drinker having been influenced by my father and uncles who are all heavy tea drinkers, I have to admit that I've actually never heard of such thing as "Wuyi Tea". Certainly, I've heard of Wuyi Mountain (武夷山), and I'm well aware of the fact that it's one of the most renowned Chinese tea production sites, and I know of Wu Yi mountain teas, which are tea products grown in Wuyi Mountain. But this latest craze you see everywhere about a "Wuyi Tea", being promoted as a 4,000 year old ancient Chinese secret that will help you lose weight - well, that's just selling you a mountain's name!
Not sure if that last sentence made much sense. What I mean is that they're selling the idea that "Wu Yi Tea" is some ancient Chinese tea, but in fact, it's simply the name of the mountain (Wu Yi) where some of the most famous Chinese tea are grown. Don't buy in to the hype! In fact, if you read carefully on the different websites selling the so called "Wuyi Tea", you'll see that it is simply one of the many varieties of Oolong tea (Wulong). This also brings into question whether the Wu Yi tea sold are actually sourced from the Wu Yi Mountain. Who knows? Regardless, we'll get into a little detail about Chinese tea and Fujian province, where Wu Yi Mountain is located.
The earliest written record of tea production in Fujian is kept on a stone tablet at the Lian Hua Feng (Lotus Peak) in Nan'an County. The name of the tablet is "Lian Hua Cha Jin" (Lotus Flower Tea Book) inscribed in 376 A.D. In the Tang dynasty, tea sage Lu Yu in his book "Tea Classics" noted: Tea is grown south of the Five--Ridge Mountains, in Fuzhou, Jianzhou, Shaozhou and Xiangzhou.'
Wu Yi Mountain Tea
One of the most sought after tourist destinations in Fujian province is Wuyi Mountain, which is renowned for its natural beauty. This is also a very famous tea growing region with a long history. According to the written record found at the moment, it has a history lasting well over 1,600 years. Quite a bit off from the claimed 4,000 years that you might read about else where. The different types of teas produced here include oolong tea, white tea, black tea, green tea, and scented tea. In Fujiang province, there are over 330 varieties of tea trees.
As you can see, there are many, many varieties of tea available. Oolong tea has many different types, and most of which offer the same health and weight loss benefits. So there's no sense in believing that the heavily marketed "Wu Yi Tea" is 'THE' special tea that offers health and weight loss benefits. After all, it is one of the many types of Oolong tea available. Really, it doesn't make much sense to over spend on these hyped wuyi tea bags when you can purchase many varieties of loose leaf Oolong tea at a much cheaper cost!
Health Benefit of Oolong Tea
We've established that Wuyi tea is just one of the varieties of Oolong tea - so there really isn't anything exceptionally special about it, other than that it is over hyped and over priced Oolong tea. Because of its many health and weight loss benefits, Oolong tea has been gaining popularity in the west. There are numerous studies demonstrating the health benefits and weight loss effects of Oolong tea. Studies have found Oolong tea to have antioxidant boosting effects , and Oolong tea also increases energy expenditure after consumption .
Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese females.
Komatsu T, Nakamori M, Komatsu K, Hosoda K, Okamura M, Toyama K, Ishikura Y, Sakai T, Kunii D, Yamamoto S.
This study evaluated the effect of Oolong tea on energy expenditure compared to green tea. Eleven healthy Japanese females consumed 3 treatments in a crossover design. They consumed, water, Oolong tea, and green tea. Their energy expenditure at rest and after consuming the beverage (for 2 hours) was measured.
This study found that the energy expenditure increased by 10% after consuming Oolong tea compared to 4% increase after consuming green tea. They concluded that Oolong increased energy expenditure, and it increased energy expenditure more than green tea did.
Oolong tea increases metabolic rate and fat oxidation in men.
Rumpler W, Seale J, Clevidence B, Judd J, Wiley E, Yamamoto S, Komatsu T, Sawaki T, Ishikura Y, Hosoda K.
This was a randomized cross over study designed to measure the impact of tea on energy expenditure in humans. Twelve male subjects consumed each of 4 treatments including water, full strength tea, half strength tea, and water containing 270mg of caffeine. The subjects consumed each treatment for 3 days, and on day 3, energy expenditure was measured. The study found that energy expenditure increased by 3.4%, and found that fat oxidation was 12% higher compared to the water treatment. 
There are plenty of studies like these that demonstrate the many health and weight loss benefits of Oolong tea, so I won't bore you by listing them all here. The bottom line is that there is no need to buy into the hype of these "WuYi Tea" marketers, and end up over paying for something that you can buy elsewhere for a fraction of the cost that still conveys the same benefits. Take a look at the websites selling Wu Yi tea offering 14 day risk free trials. Sounds great right? No so fast... After the trial period, you're automatically enrolled in their monthly refill program, and will pay over $30 for a monthly refill. Search around, and you'll easily find many horror stories of upset consumers who kept receiving refills even after they cancelled, and others who had to cancel their credit cards to stop the recurring monthly billings. Save yourself some headaches and money, and simply buy loose leaf Oolong tea.
The taste of Wuyi tea, or should I say Oolong tea, is somewhat of an acquired taste. No matter what these websites selling Wuyi tea is telling you, the chances are that if you've never tasted Oolong tea or other Chinese tea before, you'll probably need a little time to get used to the taste. Drink it enough, and you might come to appreciate the unique taste of different varieties of Chinese teas.
Buy Wuyi Tea:
1. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jan;54(1):87-92
A single dose of tea with or without milk increases plasma antioxidant activity in humans.
2. Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese females.
Komatsu T, Nakamori M, Komatsu K, Hosoda K, Okamura M, Toyama K, Ishikura Y, Sakai T,