WHITE TEAS

  • were originally produced in Jian Yang county, Fujian province, China
  • are processed from young shoots and early growth leaves
  • are plucked and dried, either in the sun or an oven
  • have a delicate appearance, gentle aroma and subtle, sweet taste
  • are very low in caffeine and very high in antioxidants

True white tea comes only from the Chinese Da Bai Hao bush. This bush can be used for both green and white teas. One of the big differences between green and white tea is how the tea is processed. To make white tea the pickers choose the bud and the leaf together and then separate it into three general grades creating the three types of white tea: Silver Needle, Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) and Shou Mei (Long Life Eyebrow).

Unlike green tea production which involves relatively high temperatures to remove moisture, white tea is dried naturally in sunlight, or at lower temperatures indoors, which helps to preserve tea polyphenals. The preferred method is drying by the sun which occurs very quickly. If processed indoors, drying takes about 40 hours of careful monitoring at low temperatures.

Flavour profiles can include notes of melon, sweet chestnut, light peach and wood accents, with a velvety texture and clean aftertaste.

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green TEAS

  • are un-oxidized tea
  • originated in China – the traditional producers are China and Japan
  • are valued for their cooling effect in Chinese medicine
  • have more caffeine than white tea, but less than black tea

Green tea is the oldest tea in Chinese history. Of the thousand varieties that green tea offers, each can be classified according to leaf shape and processing method. The leaves are plucked, withered and dried. It undergoes no oxidation process, distinguishing it from other oxidized teas such as oolong and black.

Traditionally, China uses two drying heat methods: the leaves are either heated in woks over a flame, or placed in revolving cylinders with hot air blown over them. The finest quality green teas are then hand rolled to protect the delicate bud on the young shoots with the leaves. The shoots can be rolled and twisted into various shapes or formed into flattened sticks or needle shapes before the final drying. The leaves take on a green-yellow color and have dominant cooked vegetable notes when infused.

In Japan, the tradition is to place the leaves in large bamboo baskets suspended above steam baths, which dries the leaf with a wet heat process. Then the leaf is formed into a pine needle shape using many stages of rolling, pressing and kneading, leaving a glossy, dark green appearance.

The deep green pigment is retained in the leaf and the flavor develops dominant marine and green-plant notes. There should be both briskness and sweetness in a good green tea.

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black TEAS

  • are referred to as ‘red tea’ in China
  • have been fully oxidized
  • were first produced in Fujian province, China
  • are known for their robust, full-bodied and malty characteristics
  • are higher in caffeine than both green and oolong teas

Black tea, also known as fully oxidized tea, first appeared in Fujian Province, China, where it is commonly known as ‘souchong’, or ‘small variety’ in English. There are three major sub-categories of black tea: the Fujianese ‘small variety’, ‘gong fu’ and chopped black tea (largely popularized by English tea companies in India). Major black tea producing countries are India, China, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

The processing of black tea involves five steps: plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation and drying. The withering and rolling stages activate the oxidization process. Oxidization gives black tea the familiar characteristics of dark black leaf and red infusion.

Flavor profiles can range from smooth, robust and malty, to soft muscatel, to brisk and astringent, to full bodied and winey. The qualities are dependent on the varietal of the camellia sinensis plant, weather and soil conditions, seasons of the year and of course the timing of processing used by the tea master.

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oolong TEAS

  • are also referred to as Wulong and Black Dragon
  • are semi-oxidized
  • have the most intricate processing method, requiring expertise and handcrafting
  • contain caffeine, ranging between that of black and green teas
  • present an aromatic infusion which varies according to the degree of oxidation

Oolong Tea is best defined in terms of the degree of oxidation in relationship to both green and black tea. Green tea is not oxidized and black tea is fully oxidized. Oolong is semi-oxidized and can range in oxidation levels from 20-80%.

Oolong leaves are hand plucked, withered to start oxidization, twisted or rolled and then fired or roasted.

In terms of flavor and composition, lower oxidation levels create lighter, flowery aromas and tastes. Alternatively, higher oxidation levels tend to produce more mellow, robust infusions.

Flavor profiles range from sweet, fresh floral to very ripe stone fruit, with toasty, roasted richness.

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pu-erh TEAS

  • take their name from an ancient tea trading post in Yunnan province, China
  • are made from Yunnan, broad-leaf, sun-dried tea leaves can be divided into two categories – uncooked and cooked
  • like fine wine or barrel-aged Scotch, can be aged naturally are also known as ‘detox tea’, known for outstanding health benefits
  • depending on the variety, may contain very low or moderate levels of caffeine

Over the last 50 years, Pu-erh (pronounced puu-ehr) has become well known both inside and out of China for its naturally aged qualities which allow the tea to become richer and smoother over time. With an almost endless array of vintages, Pu-erh can be categorized in terms of production year, seasonality, leaf origin, blend quality and production skill. And much like a fine wine, Pu-erh tends to command higher prices with the passing of time.

Typically, Pu-erh tea is classified into two major categories; uncooked or ‘sheng’ Pu-erh and cooked or ‘shu’ Pu-erh. Uncooked Pu-erh consists of sun-dried, large leaf tea leaves compressed into differing forms (i.e., disc, brick, bowl and so on) for continued storage and aging. Cooked Pu-erh, differs in that it undergoes an additional step in the processing method whereby heat and water are used to induce a short or long period of fermentation.

Flavour profiles can range across sweet, smooth, sweet, thick, woody, earthy and deep.

 

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chakra TEAS

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  SHOP HERBAL TEAS

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herbal TEAS

  • are not, strictly speaking, teas
  • are made from bark, flowers, roots, spices, seeds and fruit
  • are also known as tisanes
  • are caffeine-free
  • have a long medicinal history

Herbal blends are prepared like tea. They are soothing and refreshing and can be enjoyed for their pure taste or restorative properties. Infusions have bountiful health benefits. Herbal teas can be relaxing, energizing or balancing in their effect and contain antioxidants and minerals that can help cleanse and fortify.

Flavour profiles can be simple and vegetative to intense and sophisticated.

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