|Health Benefits of Drinking TEA
Did you know?
All tea comes from the "Camellia sinensis", an evergreen shrub that may grow up to 60 feet in the wild. When cultivated for harvest the tea bushes are kept to a height of about three feet. There are over 3000 varieties of tea each with its own specific characteristics. The naming and growing of teas has many similarities to wine. Just as Bordeaux wine is named after the Bordeaux region in France, Assam is named after the Assam region in India, and Keemun is named after the Keemun region of China. Like wine, tea comes from one bush, and where the tea is grown, the climate, soil conditions, and how the tea is processed, determines the flavor characteristics of the tea.
Tea is harvested after each flush - the sprouting of the top two leaves and bud. The top two leaves and bud are hand plucked and then processed into any of the four types of tea, which are Black, Green, Oolong, and White.
Black tea is withered, fully oxidized and dried. Black tea yields a hearty, amber-colored brew. Some of the popular black teas include English Breakfast, and Darjeeling.
Green tea skips the oxidizing step. It is simply withered and then dried. It has a more delicate taste and is pale green / golden in color.
Oolong tea popular in China, is withered, partially oxidized, and dried. Oolong is a cross between black and green tea in color and taste.
White tea is the least processed. A very rare tea from China, White tea is not oxidized or rolled, but simply withered and dried by steaming.
Tea is not to be confused with "herbal teas". Herbal teas are packaged like tea, infused like tea, and enjoyed like tea, however the herbs do not come from the camellia sinensis bush and therefore are not teas. Herbal teas are made of grasses like lemongrass, barks like cinnamon, fruits like orange peel, flowers like chamomile and hibiscus, and many other botanicals.