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Education - What is Tea


Tea 101

What is tea?

Tea is a plant, Camellia Sinensis is the name of this evergreen bush. The tea plant can grow up to 60 feet if left to grow on its own accord. However its much easier to pluck tea leaves when they are closer to the ground. This is why in most countries the tea plant is cultivated to a height of 3-5 feet. The plucking table is two leaves and the unopened leaf bud. Up to 80,000 hand-plucked shoots are needed to produce one pound of loose leaf tea.

The difference between the types of tea result from variations in the processing of the leaves after they are harvested. The processing affects flavor, aroma, caffeine levels and health benefits. This is best described by picturing and apple. If you take a bite out of an apple and allow the apple to sit out for a while the apple will begin to change color as oxidation sets in. The same goes for tea. Once the leaf is plucked it begins to oxidize. The farmer can halt oxidation by processing or firing the leaf. The least oxidized teas are the lightest color. A fully oxidized tea is a black tea.

To sum it all up all tea comes from the same plant except herbals and tisanes as they do not come from Camellia Sinensis aka the tea plant.

 

"Tea is also a sort of spiritual refreshment, an elixir of clarity and wakeful tranquility. Respectfully preparing tea and partaking of it mindfully create heart-to-heart conviviality, a way to go beyond this world and enter a realm apart. No pleasure is simpler, no luxury cheaper, no consciousness-altering agent more benign"

-James Norwood Pratt

Tea FAQ

What if I am caffeine sensitive?

Removing caffeine is simple. Steep your tea for 30 seconds then pour the water off. Re-steep and enjoy as 98% of the caffeine is now removed.

Tips on how to make a great cup of tea

Since tea is 99% water the quality of the water you use will have an impact on the flavor of your tea. We recommend using filtered water or spring water.

How Much Tea should I use? 

We recommend 1 teaspoon per 8oz cup of tea. If you like your tea a bit stronger or love to live life on the edge, feel free to experiment. After all, tea is an art.

What about water temperature?

The Lighter the tea the cooler the temperature of water for the most part. The easiest way to determine the water temperature is to allow the water to boil then simply let the water cool off for about a minute or more depending on the tea.

How long should I steep my tea for?

Lighter teas generally require less time for steeping. White tea will be best brewed for 90 seconds to 3 minutes, Green tea for 1-2 minutes and Black Tea for 3-5 minutes.

If stronger flavor is desired, add more tea, not time. Sensitive teas will taste bitter if infused longer than the recommended steep time.

How should I store my tea?

Think of tea as a sponge when it comes to absorbing heavy odors. It’s best to keep it stored in an air tight container. Don’t store your tea next to your spices.

Tea also needs to be stored away from direct sunlight and in a cool dry place.

How many infusions can tea withstand?

Quality tea can be infused multiple times. Many of our teas will yield an excellent flavor on the 2nd or 3rd infusion.