The Tea Leaf
Surprisingly all teas, white, green, oolong, black and pu-erh are made from the leaves of the same species Camellia sinensis. The Camellia sinensis plant is the base and the weather conditions and soil contribute to the final taste of the tea. The significant differences of tea type develop in the processing of the leaves.
The distinguishing factor that determines whether a tea plant will become white, green, oolong, or black tea is oxidation. Oxidation begins after the leaf has been plucked from the plant and begins a process of being dried, withered, rolled, and heat treated. Black tea is fully oxidized, causing it to turn black, while white tea is barely oxidized at all, thus retaining its soft, silvery down.
We tend to call many things that we infuse in hot water a tea. But technically, it’s only tea if it’s made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen plant indigenous to China and India. Today tea is grown in over one hundred countries to meet the worldwide demand.
Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage, after water. People in South Africa are drinking tea than ever before, joining a booming worldwide trend. An increased understanding of the role antioxidants plays in weight loss as well as the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease has revealed tea as an ideal health beverage. Fresh brewed tea is 100% natural, fat-free, calorie-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, and low in caffeine—tea is the healthy choice.
Benefits of Tea
We are committed to sourcing premium teas and botanicals from around the world and creating an unforgettable experience in every cup. This is an exciting time in the world of tea. It’s become more popular globally, and with that, a greater demand for information about this amazing beverage has emerged. There are many historical references and modern scientific studies that tout the health and medicinal benefits of tea. While this is not our area of expertise, we support the growing field of tea research and education, and are happy to provide access to these new studies and enriching articles. We invite you to explore away and share with us your insights as we continue our journey through tea together. Enjoy!
White Tea Benefits
The short processing of white tea helps keep more of the medicinal elements in the tea intact. White tea is the closest thing to a fresh tea leaf that most of us in the Western hemisphere will ever see. And those of us who drink it know that white tea leaves even look fresh and healthy!
Studies conducted at Pace University USA have indicated that white tea has the ability to retard the growth of bacteria that causes infections, pneumonia, and tooth decay.
White tea can create a calmer but more alert state of mind. Studies have shown that the amino acid L–theanine found in the tea plant alters the attention networks in the brain and can have demonstrable effects on the brain waves. More simply, tea can help you relax and concentrate more fully on tasks. Buddhist monks drank white tea to keep them from falling asleep during meditation.
Green Tea Benefits
Green tea leaves are oxidized more than white tea, but less than oolong and black teas, creating a unique chemical composition of the leaf. Every year scientists are finding more and more health benefits in green tea.15 to 20% of dried green tea is made up of catechins. Catechins have very potent antimicrobial actions. Catechins have been proven to lower cholesterol and inhibit the increase of blood pressure. In the dental field, green tea has been shown to suppress the process by which cariogenic bacteria create glucan, thus suppressing the formation of plaque on teeth and preventing cavities.
Black Tea Benefits
Black tea contains a number of vitamins considered essential for maintaining health, including Carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, has antioxidant and protective properties, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.
Black tea is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can be topically applied to cuts, bruises and burns, and is famous for its sunburn relief and has been shown to have a positive effect on preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
How to Brew
There are 3 elements to making the perfect cup of tea.
Quality – original handcrafting of tea leaves & freshness matter.
Quantity – in proportion to the amount of water used.
Quality – use the freshest filtered water available.
Quantity – in proportion to the amount of tea used.
Vessel – ceramic is best, glass is great, metal can give an unwanted flavour.
Time – key to getting the perfect balance in flavour and tannins.
If you like stronger tea, try using more tea leaves, longer brewing time, or hotter water. All of those factors will affect your infusion. Experiment with shorter steeping times and cooler water if your tea is too strong, bitter, or astringent. In all cases, use the freshest filtered water possible. Water quality is almost as critical to making delicious tea as the quality of the tea leaves.