A SIMPLE INTRO INTO THE WORLD OF TEA
There are many varieties of tea consumed around the world. Surprisingly, all true teas (infusions made from herbs, fruit, roots, spices or grasses are technically called tisanes) start from the fresh green leaves of the tea plant, camellia sinensis. What makes each tea look and taste different? The difference comes from the region the plant is grown, the time of year the leaves are harvested, and the method of processing. The main categories of tea are white, green, oolong, black, and rooibos (or red tea is a tisane).
White tea, which is very rare, is the least processed of all teas. It's unfermented, made from the unopened silver buds and outer leaf tips, which are simply air-dried. It usually comes from two regions in China and has a very brief picking season. It's a fragrant, almost colorless brew with very little caffeine, and has a lighter, sweeter taste than green. White tea also contains the highest antioxidant properties and is known to help lower cholesterol levels.
How to brew:
Heat the water as you would for green tea, then steep one teaspoon per cup for 3 to 10 minutes.
Green tea popular in Japan and China, and the tea most studied for its potential health benefits, this yellow-green brew has a light, earthy, sweet taste. It's unfermented. Leaves are heated to destroy the enzymes that cause oxidation. Green tea is also high in antioxidants and helps to detoxify and fight cancer. It is documented in helping to lower blood pressure, fight gingivitis and cavities, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
How to brew:
To avoid bitterness, heat the water to just below the boil, or let it boil, then set it aside for 10 minutes. Steep one teaspoon or bag per cup for one to two minutes.
Oolong tea is a hybrid between black tea's strength and green tea's freshness. Oolong is medium-bodied, smoky, and a bit nutty. This tea is semi-fermented, which gives it approximately 15% of the caffeine in one cup of coffee. Oolong tea is known to promote weight loss by boosting the metabolism rate and aid in digestion by breaking down oils and fats.
How to brew:
To avoid bitterness, heat the water to just below boilling or let it boil, then set it aside for 10 minutes. Steep one teaspoon or bag per cup for one to two minutes.
Accounting for 80% of all tea sold worldwide (90 percent in the United States), black tea is brisk and full-bodied It's fully fermented, meaning the leaves are dried long enough to oxidize fully, which produces the dark color and flavor.
Black tea is believed to help prevent the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream, which helps to prevent heart disease. It is also good to prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and it helps regular blood sugar level and blood pressure.
How to brew:
Bring the water to a rolling boil. Steep one teaspoon or bag per cup for three to five minutes.
Rooibos, or red tea, is a tisane made from a South African red bush. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein and is high in antioxidants. Naturally caffeine free, Rooibos teas are known for aiding digestion, relieving allergies, and promoting healthy skin, teeth and bones.
HOW TO STORE TEA:
Tea needs to be kept away from heat, light, air, and moisture. Unlike coffee, tea shouldn’t be wrapped up and put it in the freezer. Store your teas at room temperature. Tea will lose its flavor and scent quickly if stored or kept near a heat source, such as a stove or next to the toaster in your kitchen. Resist the urge to store teas in glass containers for display. Use our re-sealable pouches and our airtight, slip-in lid tins for storage.