Tea 101

All tea comes from the same plant

All tea whether it is Black, Green, Oolong, White, Yellow or Pu-er all comes from one plant. The Camellia Sinensis is an evergreen tree with small elliptical shaped leaves, and much like all wine comes from the grape so does all tea come from the Camellia Sinensis .  There are different varieties of the Camellia Sinensis tree and like wine it is the differences between the varieties and the terroir in which the tea grows which helps to shape the taste profile of the tea. This combined with many different picking, and processing methods result in the kaleidoscope of flavour and colour which populates the world of tea.         

Steeping Your Tea 

Water quality, temperature and time are all key elements to creating an exceptional cup of tea. Below is a chart that outlines the recommended times and temperatures to steep your tea at. 

TYPE OF TEA Water Temperature Steeping Time Multiple Infusions

Japanese Green Teas

Gyokuro

Sencha

Hojicha & Genmaicha

 

60ºC (140ºF)

65-70ºC (149-158ºF)

80ºC (176ºF)

 

1-2 minutes

1-2 minutes

1-2 minutes

 

YES

YES

YES

Chinese Green Tea 76-80ºC (170-175ºF) 2 minutes YES
White Tea 76-82ºC (170-180ºF) 2-3 minutes YES
Oolong Tea 80ºC (180ºF) 3-5 minutes YES
Black Tea 98ºC (208ºF) 3-4 minutes NO
Rooibos Boiling water 3-4 minutes NO
Herbal Tea/Tisanes Boiling water 3-4 minutes NO

 

Caffeine and Tea 

Tea naturally contains many different chemical compounds including caffeine. Although the caffeine in tea is identical to that of the caffeine found in coffee, it is because of the presence of polyphenols in tea that make the caffeine interact differently in our bodies. When caffeine is released into the tea it combines with polyphenols (sometimes referred to as tannins) and the outcome is a stabilizing effect. This allows for the caffeine to release over a longer period of time. The caffeine in tea results in being more of a stimulant then an excitant as it is in coffee. Therefore the effects of tea are different then that of coffee. Tea sharpens the mind, eliminates fatigue, relaxes the body, and increases concentration. 

 

Health Benefits of Tea