What's in a tea bag? This seems like a very simple question; the answer is a paper bag filled with herbs, affixed on top and put into hot water for flavour. However, there is much more to the fine art of tea production. Here we provide a brief and simplified description of Black, Green, White and Oolong Teas with a few additional interesting facts.
The first thing to understand is the common trait, Camellia sinensis. All teas are derived from this one plant with the exception of most Herbal Teas. The difference branches out in how they are treated.
Black teas go through the most processing (full fermentation) and have higher levels of caffeine making them an ideal breakfast beverage. Black teas tend to be full-bodied and flavourful with a reddish brown colour. English breakfast is the most popular tea in England known for its strong and robust profile going great with milk and sugar. Earl Grey is mixed with bergamont oil giving it a specific sharp and smooth taste. For a lighter afternoon tea, Ceylon Black Tea from Sri Lanka offers a citrusy flavour with a crisp aroma.
This tea has undergone minimal oxidation during processing (unfermented) and has lower caffeine levels than Black Tea. Its profile is light and grassy. Green tea contains strong antioxidants, vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals; including EGCG, a powerful antioxidant that is only found in green tea. There are countless health benefits including improvement of cholesterol levels, regulating body temperature and promoting better digestion.
White tea is the least processed tea (unfermented). It comes from the buds of the Camellia sinensis before the buds have opened giving the plant a whitish appearance even though the actual tea is yellow. It produces a light and lightly sweet tea (not grassy). It is lightly oxidized and packed with antioxidants and flavonoids which may help to lower blood pressure, prevent cancer and heart disease, promote healthier teeth and gums and boost your immune system.
Oolong has lower caffeine levels than black tea and is produced through withering under a strong sun and oxidation prior to curling and twisting (semi-fermented). Oolong tea produces golden or light brown tea with a very delicate flavor. There are great benefits from feelings of well-being though the western world focuses on it’s benefits of weight loss and claim of cancer prevention.
This tea is made from the infusion of herbs, spices and other plant material and are distinguished from other caffeinated tea beverages like those mentioned above. They are made with Tisanes that are enjoyed for their physical and medicinal effects as well as their relaxant or sedative properties found in chamomile or citrus tea.
Come out on March 10, 2013 to our location in Barrie, (642 Yonge St.) and take part in our Mad Hatter's Tea Party, bring along your funky Tea Hat, favourite Teacup and make sure to enjoy yourself!