Figure conscious tea drinkers need to look no further than oolong, known as the weight loss tea. But this beverage boasts many more health benefits than fighting the battle of the bulge.

Originating in China’s Fujian province, oolong, or wulong, means “black dragon” and is one of the most popular types of teas served in typical Chinese restaurants. Somewhere between green and black in oxidation, oolongs range from 10 to 70 percent in oxidation and come in a variety of colors and flavors. Although they have fewer anti-oxidants than green tea, they still mop up free radicals, which cause signs of aging such as wrinkles. And they can increase your metabolism, help burn fat and block fat absorption, hence, the moniker “the weight loss tea.” Imagine eating a bag of potato chips and having only 50 percent of the fat absorbed because you’re drinking oolong tea as well.

In addition, oolong tea promotes heart health by decreasing cholesterol and triglycerides, treats skin disorders such as eczema, helps diabetics or people with high sugar levels by decreasing plasma glucose after drinking it on a regular basis for a month, lowers blood pressure and prevents tooth decay.

Oolong tea leaves can be processed in two different ways: rolled into long curly leaves, which is the older method, or pressed into a ball-like form similar to gunpowder tea.

With a taste that is neither grassy like green tea nor rosy nor sweet like black tea, it still is closer to green in flavor and is usually brewed to be strong, with the bitterness leaving a sweet aftertaste. Boil water, cool to 180 to 190 degrees, pour over leaves, seep three to five minutes and enjoy, knowing the good it is doing your body and mind.