The Truth About Tea


Some information are essentially common: when it’s chilly and damp exterior, the human physique craves one thing heat. Now, whether or not that warmness be within the type of steaming soup, scorching tea or fresh-brewed espresso is as much as the chilly client. But whereas the United States has turn out to be a seemingly Starbucks-infested espresso tradition, a rising variety of Americans are selecting tea for extra causes than merely heat.

In 2005, the tea trade had its fourteenth consecutive yr of gross sales will increase, whereas retail grocery store gross sales alone surpassed $1.9 billion. This quantity is predicted to proceed to develop over the following 5 years. No longer only for the British, tea is preventing again because the beverage that’s onerous to disregard. In truth, 1.42 million kilos of tea is consumed daily within the U.S. and 519 million kilos are imported into the nation annually.

But much like selecting the proper espresso bean or a complimentary bottle of wine, choosing out the tea in your style could be a dizzying job. Amazingly, all tea comes from the identical plant referred to as the Camellia sinensis, which is an evergreen native to China. It can develop as much as 90 toes tall and up to now, some cultures taught monkeys to select the tea leaves that they could not attain. However, trendy instances and expertise have allowed farmers to develop the bushes to only three toes for simpler cultivation. The plant’s leaves vary from easy and glossy to fuzzy and white-haired – every making up a particular sort of tea. In complete, the plant yields as much as 3,000 kinds of tea, which may simply be damaged up into three essential classes: inexperienced, black, and oolong teas. Flavored and natural teas additionally need to be talked about, although they aren’t formally “tea.”

Green Tea

What it’s: Making up about 10 % of the world’s tea consumption, inexperienced tea has gotten lots of latest media protection for its well being advantages.

Where it grows: Far East: China and Japan

What is tastes like: Green tea is greenish-yellow in coloration with a fragile style that’s barely astringent and grassy.

What it’s best to know: It is excessive in antioxidants and will defend in opposition to sure varieties of most cancers (lung, ovarian, breast, prostate and abdomen) in addition to the precancerous situation of abdomen most cancers, gastritis.

White tea

What it’s: The rarest of all teas, the leaves are the identical as inexperienced tea leaves, however they’re plucked from the plant when they’re nonetheless very younger, giving them their extraordinarily mild coloration.

Where it grows: a Fujian province on China’s east coast

What is tastes like: As one would count on, the tea is sort of colorless and is delicate in taste with a slighty candy and nutty high quality.

What it’s best to know: You could acknowledge white tea from latest Snapple commercials launching their new line of “Good For You” white and inexperienced tea bottled drinks.

Black tea

What it’s: This is the most typical sort of tea, which accounts for about 87 % of America’s tea consumption.

Where it grows: Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia

What is tastes like: Black tea can are available a variety of flavors, however is often discovered to have a heartier style than inexperienced or oolong teas.

What it’s best to know: The essential distinction between black tea and inexperienced tea is the oxidation course of. Black tea leaves are totally oxidized whereas inexperienced tea leaves are calmly steamed earlier than they’re dried. This course of contributes to the tea’s style in addition to caffeine content material. Like inexperienced tea, black tea has additionally been proven to have well being advantages. Research has instructed that the antioxidants present in black tea could play a preventive position in circumstances like coronary heart illness, stroke and a few cancers.

Pu-erh tea

What it’s: Also speller Puer, this tea technically falls within the black tea household, however is fermented twice (as an alternative of as soon as), which elevates it to its personal class. The double oxidation course of adopted by a interval of maturation permits the leaves to develop a skinny layer of mildew.

Where it grows: Southwest China, Burma, Vietnam and Laos

What is tastes like: Due to the layer of mildew, pu-erh tea takes on a soil-like taste with a powerful, earthy high quality.

What it’s best to know: Although the tea is distinctly dirt-tasting, pu-erh is usually used for medicinal functions as a digestive help.

Oolong tea

What it’s: Considered to be among the many best (and most costly) teas on this planet, oolong

Tea is semi-fermented, which signifies that it goes by means of a brief oxidation interval that turns the leaves from inexperienced to a red-brown coloration.

Where it grows: Taiwan

What it tastes like: Pale yellow in coloration, the tea has a floral, fruity taste harking back to peaches with a touch of smoke.

What it’s best to know: Tea connoisseurs contemplate the oolong taste to be essentially the most delicate and frown on consuming it with milk, sugar or lemon as to protect the pure style.

Flavored tea, Blends, Herbal Infusions and Tisanes

Because tea naturally absorbs different flavors fairly simply, cultures have been including herbs, spices, oils and flowers to their tea for hundreds of years. In China, including flowers resembling jasmine, orchard, rose and magnolia to teas is sort of standard. In many Arabic nations, they add contemporary mint leaves and heaping spoonfuls of sugar to their tea. And in India, they make spicy masala tea by including spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and peppers.

If black and inexperienced teas are thought of “purebreds,” then blended teas are thought of “mutts.” Tea producers use totally different strains of tea to create flavors like English Breakfast and Earl Grey.

Unlike flavored tea and different blends, natural infusions and tisanes aren’t technically tea as they aren’t made with leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant. Instead, tisane (tee-ZAHN) is an natural tea made out of herbs, spices and flowers and added to boiling water. Herbal drinks are usually acknowledged for his or her caffeine-free high quality and in addition for soothing and rejuvenating results. Commonly discovered natural teas embrace chamomile, peppermint, fennel, rose hip and lemon verbena.

Caffeine Conundrum

People discover all kinds of causes to not drink tea, however two of the most typical middle across the avoidance or obsession with caffeine. Consider these information about tea and caffeine from the UK tea council:

– four cups of tea per day supply good well being advantages with out the contraindications of different caffeinated drinks.

– Four cups of tea include solely average quantities of caffeine, which has been proven to extend focus, thereby bettering efficiency.

– When consuming a traditional cup of tea, you eat considerably much less caffeine than a cup of instantaneous espresso or one you’ll purchase at a espresso store.

– Tea comprises no less than half the extent of caffeine than espresso.

Tea Traditions

Though not practically as frequent in America as in different elements of the world like Ireland and Britain, the customized of tea nonetheless penetrates many households on this nation. Afternoon tea is claimed to have originated within the early 1800s by Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford who wished some kind of mid-afternoon snack to thrust back starvation pains till dinner. The custom continues right now, and whereas each British household doesn’t sit down for a proper tea every day, most of the most elegant accommodations in London (and in America) nonetheless serve a lavish unfold for tea every afternoon. International chains just like the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons typically supply a tea time deal with, however verify along with your native accommodations for instances and pricing.

Plan Your Own

Nothing is extra elegant and lady-like than a tea celebration. A artistic thought for a bathe, celebration or only a woman’s luncheon, here is the whole lot you will want make tea match for the queen.

Tea: purchase your favourite black or natural tea on the retailer or make your personal:

Spicy Green Tea

Relaxing Tea Blend

Chamomile Herb Tea

Lemongrass and Mint Tea

Spicy Ginger Tea

Tea Accessories: milk (present 2 % and skim), sugar (could also be cubed or unfastened, brown or white), lemon


Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Shrimp Butter Tea Sandwiches

Finger Sandwiches

Mini Ham and Cheese Rolls


White Chocolate and Dried Cherry Scones

Apricot Scones

Orange Poppy Seed Scones

Orange Pecan Scones

Strawberry Scones

Maple Scones

Breads and Cakes

Mini Lemon Tea Bread

Buttermilk Scones with Raisins

Thyme-Rosemary Tea Bread

Chocolate Tea Bread

Lemon Verbena Tea Bread

Lemon Blueberry Tea Muffins

Mrs. Perry’s Crockpot Pumpkin Tea Bread

Cherry Almond Tea Ring


United Kingdom Tea Council – An expansive database of knowledge on tea. Everything from well being advantages to varieties of tea – even a printable type that will help you bear in mind how your colleagues take their tea.

Tea Association of the USA, Inc. – Facts and figures about tea within the US.

StarChefs – An straightforward reference information for all issues tea-related.

Copyright © 2006 Ampere Media LLC

Source by Maxine Glass