Who loves that delicious blend of all natural leaves, leaf buds, fruits, and flowers?
List your FAVORITE type of Tea ~
[COLOR="#48d1cc"][COLOR="#2e8b57"]I'm on a Hunt to expand my Relaxation, and Calming Teas ; any advice on plants/flowers/teas that induce relaxation would be greatly appreciated [/COLOR][/COLOR]
(Excerpt taken from http://www.herbs-teas.com/whatistea.html)
What is Tea?
There are over 3000 varieties of tea, not including botanicals and fruit infusions. To be a tea, it must come from the camellia sinensis plant. There are several varieties of this plant, producing many types of teas. Types depend on the manufacturing and crafting of the leaf. The flavor profiles and quality change year to year, like wine, and is influenced by soil, temperature, rainfall, elevation and other elements in nature. Even the botanicals growing nearby can affect the flavors of the tea.
The flowing is a list of some tea categories:
This tea is the unopened bud of the tealeaf. After the bud is picked, it is withered and the moisture is allowed to evaporate and dry. It is very high in antioxidants and low in caffeine. When the buds are picked, the tea farmers lose the leaves that make popular and marketable teas. This is why white tea is rare and expensive. A true white tea is only produced in Fujian China and has a silvery and fuzzy appearance. The infusion is very pale and has a mild flavor.
This tea is rarely found in the states. It is a green tea with yellow leaves that were encouraged to turn yellow by the stir-frying stage of the tea making process. We now carry yellow tea. Please visit Shop Online.
This tea is high in antioxidants, Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals. The freshly picked leaves are allowed to dry, then are heated to stop the oxidation. This tea has antioxidants and more caffeine than white tea. China greens have a smoky or toasty flavor and green teas from Japan have a grassy or herbal taste.
Pronounced woolong. Oolongs or Black Dragon, which is its literal translation, is sometimes referred to as semi-fermented and is manufactured in China and Taiwan or Formosa. The leaves are processed immediately after plucking. They are wilted in the sunlight, shaken in bamboo baskets to bruise the edges, then shaken again and spread out to dry until the leaf turns slightly yellow. We have two categories of oolong- fragrant and amber. Fragrant is closer to a green tea and has notes of flowers and Amber is closer to a black tea with notes of riped fruit. Our Bao Zhong is a fragrant oolong and our Amber and Plum are Amber oolongs.
This is a compressed tea produced only in China. This tea has health benefits reputed to aid in digestion and weight loss. It also helps to lower cholesterol.
Pu ehr is shaped into nests, bricks, and balls or sold loose. We carry Tu cha, shaped like bird’s nest. This tea is actually a living organism and improves with age. It has an earthy flavor and the recipe is highly guarded. During the Ming dynasty, anyone found trespassing where the tea was produced would be killed.
The methods of producing a black tea vary greatly from country to country. This tea is fully oxidized and is very high in caffeine. There are 4 steps involved in the production of this tea; withering, rolling, oxidizing and firing or drying. It loses some of its vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants from the manufacturing process.
These teas are scented with the addition of flowers or herbs and can be a white, green, oolong or black tea. We carry a White Jasmine that has been scented multiple times with the fresh blossoms of jasmine. To scent the tea, the tealeaves are layered with jasmine, orchids or other blossoms and herbs. They are left overnight and the next day the blossoms are removed. The tealeaf is very porous and picks up the scent of the blossom.
Most teas varieties can be flavored, but a rare and complex tea should be enjoyed with no flavors added. Flavors can come from the addition of fruits, essence and herbs.
These are unusual teas produced in the tiny villages in China. It takes an entire day just to make 20 pieces. The shape can be balls or flowers made with many leaves tied together with silk thread. Ours opens up like a flower when steeped in hot water, revealing 3 chrysanthemums.
The following blends are called infusions. These are concoctions from herbs and fruits and are also referred to as tisanes. These do not have actual tealeaves from the camellia sinensis plant.
An herbal can be a blend of roots, bark, flowers, leaves, and stems to produce a beverage with many health benefits. Most are caffeine-free.
This is a beverage made from the red bush from the legume family that grows in the Cedarburg Mountain Region 150 West of Cape Town, South Africa. Rooibos is Dutch for red bush and is pronounced ROY BOSS. It has the most antioxidants known to man and is rich in minerals and vitamins. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties and helps to protect the DNA from free radicals. See the Health Benefits section for more information.
These tisanes were developed in Europe and consist of apples, rosehips, hibiscus and a myriad of other fruits and botanicals. This is a great beverage for kids because it is high in vitamin c and is caffeine-free. Fruit infusion can be enjoyed hot or iced and you can even freeze into pops.
This plant grows in Argentina and is consumed throughout South America. It is high in caffeine and slightly bitter. The traditional way of consuming this beverage is in a gourd with a bombilla straw. Many people can be seen in the streets of Buenos Aries sipping on their bombilla.
Oxidation is a term used to describe the browning that takes place when a leaf is crushed. This chemical reaction is what turns a tea into a green, oolong or black tea.
The oxidation process is halted using a variety of methods. In Japan, the tealeaves are steamed and dried. In China the leaves are stir-fried in woks or dryers. Sometimes the leaves are smoked over burning pine needles. In India, the leaves are placed in big dyers and tumbled dry.