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Archive for August, 2010

Tea Varieties

Posted by Susan Lutfallah on August 9, 2010

 

  • White – White tea is processed differently than other teas.  The Chinese tea leaves are left in the sun to wilt slightly, causing them to lose the grassy taste of green teas. White tea may also have many health benefits including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It has also been rumored to halt the aging process.
  • Green – Green tea is only minimally oxidized and only needs a short steeping time. It does not have as much caffeine as black tea, and this Chinese tea has become a popular drink in the west. Green tea has been popularized for what many think are its many health benefits including lowering the chances of heart attack and cancer.
  • Oolong – Oolong tea is the most popular Chinese tea drank in restaurants; it has a strong, yet sweet aftertaste. Oolong requires quite a long steeping time of up to five minutes. Unlike other teas it can actually be reused throughout the day. Oolong may also have many health benefits. Like other teas it contains antioxidants that may help stop the spreading of free radicals which are harmful to the body and can create wrinkles and speed up the aging process.
  • Black – Black tea is the most oxidized of the Chinese teas. It has a strong, robust flavor and has more caffeine then the other Chinese tea types. Black tea can keep its flavor for several years compared to that of green tea, which usually loses its flavor after a year in the open air.
  • Herbal – teas made by infusing fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds, or roots. 
  • Scented – flowers or flavouring are added to actual tea leaves to infuse the leaves with the desired aroma.
  • Rooibos – pronounced roy-boss is the African name for “red bush”.  Rooibos in an African herb that is either oxidized to produce a reddish brown brew, or unoxidized to produce a green rooibos tea. 
  • Puerh – is a large leaf tea from the Camellia Sinensis plant.  Puerh tea can be classified as a green tea; or a black tea when it is fermented, however unlike most tea that should be consumed within a certain time period, puerh ages like a fine wine.  Tea connoisseurs will often spend $1000’s of dollars on one puerh cake. 

Puerh cakes were used as currency in early trading by the Chinese with other countries.

  • Flowering – these flowers are meticulously hand crafted.  Each bloom is made of dried tea leaves and flowers, tied together using a cotton thread.  When the bloom is steeped, the leaves unfurl slowly, giving the appearance of a a flower blooming. 
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Loose Leaf Tea

Posted by Susan Lutfallah on August 9, 2010

Loose Leaf Tea

There are many varieties of tea available today.  English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green Tea, and Flavoured Tea are all names that we recognize.  The most important thing to remember about all of these teas, is that they all come from the same plant, the camellia sinsensis. The taste difference in the various teas comes from the way in which tea leaves are processed.  The longer the leaves are processed, or oxidized, the darker the tea will be. 

White tea is the least oxidized of all tea varieties.  This gives white tea its very light, sweet, taste.  Green tea is oxidized slightly more than white, and as such will have a deeper colour and offer a stronger more vegetal taste than white tea.  There is much variety even within each kind of tea.   For instance, a green tea may be weak or strong, sweet or pungent, flowery or vegetal, all depending on the method that is used to oxidize the leaf as well as the length of time it was oxidized. 

The hierarchy of light to dark teas looks like this: White, Green, Oolong, Black.  Along with the teas from the  bush, we have also developed other teas from many plants that we have steeped in hot water over the years.  Herbal teas would fit into this category.  Chamomile is a great example of this and is recognized by most as a tea. 

Rooibos is a leaf from an African Red Bush.  It offers a somewhat spicy flavor to many teas and is the base in the most popular chai drink we all enjoy.  Chai simply means tea. 

As you can see, tea comes from many different regions of the world. 

To learn more about TeaScapes, visit us at www.TeaScapes.com

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