Tea Guide

Legendary Discovery of Tea
According to Chinese legend, the story of Green Tea began in 2737 BC when Emperor Shen Nung, who was known at that time as the "Divine Healer", always boiled his water before he would drink it. He had noticed that his subjects who boiled their water before drinking it seemed to enjoy longevity and better health. One afternoon, as he knelt before his boiling water, some leaves from a nearby tree blew into the pot. The Emperor noted a delightful aroma and, upon sipping the beverage, proclaimed it as "heaven sent".

Tea Facts and Health Benefits

  • “Tea is becoming the new coffee” quotes one of the national newspapers
  • 40% of the nation's fluid intake is tea
  • Tea hydrates us as well as water and can help protect us against diseases like cancers and help diabetes
  • Tea can reduce stress
  • Tea can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Green and white tea contain especially high levels of antioxidants
  • Tea is believed to help prevent the build up of cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and suppress the ageing process
  • Tea is said to help control the percentage of body fat to muscle by thermo-genesis, therefore, increasing the body’s metabolic rate which aids weight loss
  • We don’t sell tea in bags (ugh!) - instead, really experience the taste by drinking loose leaf
  • The Financial Times tells us that sales of specialised black teas have risen by 3.3 %, fruit and organic teas by 10% and green teas by 28%. ``Coffee may be the oil that turns the wheels of the day, but drinking tea is far more of a contemplative "me" moment``
  • “ BETTER TO BE DEPRIVED OF FOOD FOR THREE DAYS THAN OF TEA FOR ONE” Chinese proverb

Types of tea

All tea is produced from the "Camellia sinensis" plant, however, where the tea is grown, the climate, soil conditions, altitude, etc., and how the tea is processed, all determine the flavour and characteristics of the tea.

Black Tea
Black tea is withered, fully oxidized (fermented) and dried. Black tea leaves are allowed to oxidize which gives it the distinctive stronger flavour. After the leaves have been picked, they are dried, rolled and allowed to oxidize.

Green Tea
Green tea leaves are immediately pan-fired, steamed or baked to prevent oxidization. The heating process destroys the enzymes that cause oxidation. The leaves are then rolled and dried. Green tea has a much more gentle, subtle flavour due to the way it is produced.

Green Tea is believed to

  • Help prevent and ease Arthritis
  • Help lower cholesterol
  • Help diabetes, as studies confirm its ability to lower blood sugar levels
  • The anti viral catechins in green tea help keep off flu and help prevent thrombosis
  • prevent halitosis ulcers and prevent dental cavities
  • boosts the immune system protecting us against bugs
  • due to the high levels of anti oxidants can slows down the aging process and can hep prevent certain types of cancer heart disease and strokes
  • Natural source of zinc
  • Increases endorphin levels therefore helps reduce pain and anxiety and lighten mood .
  • No artificial anything in our teas and infusions
  • Contains no calories
  • Important source of vitamins and minerals-Thiamin(vitamin B1) Riboflavin (vitaminB2) Ascorbic acid (vitamin c) vitamin B6 Folic acid Manganese, Potasium and Floride.
  • Said to help control the percentage of body fat to muscle by thermo-genesis therefore increasing the body’s metabolic rate which aids weight loss
  • Just four cups a day can have a significant benefit to your health.
  • The first mention of tea as a drink in Europe is found in a Venetian book of 1559

They take of that herb, whether dry or fresh , and boil it well in water . one or two cups of this decoction taken on an empty stomach removes fever, headache stomach ache, pain in the side or in the joints and it should be taken as hot as you a can bear it.

White tea
Like green teas this tea is unfermented. White teas go through the least amount of processing of all the teas. White teas are withered and then immediately dried by steaming. Only special ‘two leaves and a bud’ are selected from a rare variety of tea bush. White tea is only grown in the Fujian province in China

White tea is especially potent in that it is has three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green or black tea and has been shown to be 100% more effective in mopping up free radicals that cause skin to sag.

Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon tested white teas on selected rats to test for the ability of white teas to inhibit natural mutations in bacteria and to protect the rats from colon cancer. Interestingly, white teas were found to be more effective than green tea in inhibiting the early stages of cancer but researchers were quick to point out that their study was on rats and the effects should not be extrapolated to humans

All infusions are caffeine free

Oolong tea
is withered, partially oxidized (fermented), and dried. Oolong tea is generally wilted in direct sunlight (solar withering). The leaves are then shaken in tubular bamboo basketes to to bruise the leaf edges, making the edges oxidize faster than the centre of the leaf. The leaves are shaken and spread out to air-dry several times until the leaf veins become apparent and the surface yellows.The edges become reddish from oxidization while the centre remains green. Fermentation is stopped halfway through by firing

Pu-erh
The tealeaves are picked, rolled, withered in the hot sun, after which they are steamed and pressed into cakes.(can be broken up later to make use easier ) The steaming process generates some moisture and when compressed (without drying) into the cakes, in the course of time the tea takes on a musty and earthy character. Pu-erh that gets somewhat moldy before it naturally dries is considered the best. Pu-erh is then stored for years. As with wine, young pu-erh is considered the least valuable whereas pu-erh 5 years or older is more highly prized. Some Pu-erh are over 50 years old and are very rare.

Fruit and Herbal Infusions ( also called tisanes )
These infusions are not tea at all, although often called fruit and herbal teas, they are produced using fruit, flowers, leaves, spices, and roots They have a number of health and wellbeing properties and produce a refreshing healthy drink which can be drank hot or over ice.

Plucking
Top quality tea is hand plucked and the best tea comes from the new shoots which are the top two leaves and the bud of this shoot. It takes 4.5 pounds of green leaf to produce one pound of black tea

Withering
The leaves are spread out on long trays in warm temperatures for 12-16 hours so that they loose water (approx 50% of moisture content).

Rolling
In the the withered leaves are first rolled by machine then often crushed torn and curled (CTC method) to break open the tea cells.

Fermentation
The tea is left open to the air for one to two hours. Oxidation occurs affecting both the taste and the color of the tea.

Drying
After the fermentation stage the leaves are passed through a drier stopping the oxidization process. After processing, the tea is sorted and tasted and, if desired, the tea is blended and/or flavored.

When brewing
Always use freshly drawn water do not re-boil as it is the oxygen in the water that releases the flavour . For black teas use water at 100 For green white and Oolong use water at about 90 Infusions use water 100

Remember to experiment with your tea and drink it just the way you enjoy it there are no set rules.

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