Loose leaf teas offer a much higher concentration of health benefitting antioxidants than its more processed counterparts, which include but not limited to instant processed tea bags or ready-to-drink (RTD) bottled teas. Along with having a higher level of antioxidants, teas brewed with loose leaves are more aromatic and flavorful leaving the drinker with a much stronger impression.
Types of Teas
Tea is produced from the processing of tea leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. The categorization of the different teas depend on the manufacturing process. The teas are categorized based on level of oxidation, fermentation, caffeine, and antioxidants.
Herbal teas are infusions of leaves, flowers, seeds, and other plant products. They are, however, not from the camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas do carry unique characteristics of traditional teas, but may have different health benefits.
main types from tea leaves
White teas are processed the least out of all teas. There is no rolling or oxidation. When leaves are picked or cut from the tea trees, they must be dried immediately to avoid oxidation and transported to the manufacturer.
Green tea leaves are usually withered, a process allowing the moisture from the leaves to evaporate. Green tea is either steamed or pan-fried to stop oxidation. In the final step of processing, the leaves are rolled in a variety of ways. The leaves are then dried to preserve the green color.
Oolong tea is processed similar to black tea but only oxidized half the time. It is withered and rolled or shaken. There are two types of oolong. The darker oolong involves bruising the leaves and the lighter or greener oolong involves rolling and unrolling the leaves in cloth to control oxidation.
Pu-erh is oxidized at a rate similar to green teas. It is different than other types of teas in that it is made from fermented and aged leaves. After the leaves are dried, they are allowed to ferment to develop the flavor.
Black tea leaves are withered for a number of hours and rolled. The oxidation process for black tea takes many hours. During this process, the green leaves will take on a bright copper color. The leaves are then heated in an oven and dried with wooded fire to a brown or dark brown color.
herbal and other teas
A South American herbal tea from a plant of the holly bush. The leaves and twigs are dried using wooded fire and are also broken up. The brewed flavor of Yerba Mate has some reminiscent of green tea.
Rooibos is from a South African plant that is caffeine free and contains more antioxidants than teas from camellia sinensis. There are red and green rooibos and are often used in herbal teas.
Honeybush is a sister plant of the rooibos and is also a South African plant. Like rooibos, honeybush is caffeine free, high in antioxidant, and often used in herbal teas.
Store tea in a dark, airtight, and cool place. Exposure to sunlight, moisture, and heat will damage the teas. Although teas don't necessarily go bad because they are nonperishable products, flavor and nutrients of the teas will diminish over time. That is why we suggest careful storage to preserve and prolong the life of the teas.
There are general guides to brewing tea, but there is no one best way of brewing tea. Brewing styles and techniques are dependent upon your preference in taste or darkness of the tea. The best method is through trial and error to find the style and technique that best suits your taste. Play with varying proportions of tea to water to find the mix that best suits your taste preference. However, keep in mind that teas are very sensitive to heat and the water temperature can greatly affect the taste. It is best to stick to the suggested temperature range for each tea type.
|White||1-2 tsp||8 oz||175-185° F||1-3 mins|
|Green||1 tsp||8 oz||180-185° F||3 mins|
|Yellow||1 tsp||8 oz||170-180° F||1-3 mins|
|Japanese Green||1 tsp||8 oz||170-180° F||3 mins|
|Oolong||1 tsp||8 oz||185-206° F||3-5 mins|
|Pu-erh||1 tsp||8 oz||200 - 210° F||3-5 mins|
|Black||1 tsp||8 oz||206° F||3-4 mins|
|Yerba Mate||1 tsp||8 oz||206° F||4-6 mins|
|Rooibos||1 tsp||8 oz||206° F||5-7 mins|
|Honey Bush||1 tsp||8 oz||206° F||5-7 mins|
|Matcha Powder||1-2 tsp||8 oz||150-180° F||1 min|
Organic teas and botanicals are grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides. For this reason, organic teas have a more subtle taste than conventional teas. You may think that a more flavorful tea will taste better, but it is not necessarily as good for your health.
We invest a great amount of time in searching for quality organic tea ingredients. Our ingredients are of high quality and we will continue to strive to search for the best ingredients. As of October 2015, we are officially Certified Organic by CCOF.
There are three types of flavorings: artificial, natural, and natural OC (Organic Compliant). We do not use any artificial flavors whatsoever. We only use natural flavors that are organic compliant. Organic Compliant flavors are more strictly regulated than non-OC natural flavors and they are non-GMO grown without pesticides.
Why T.H.A.O Tea?
We personally pick and taste every single tea that comes through our door. We are very particular on what we offer our valued customers. We carry unique blends that possess an adequate level of flavor without compromising the natural taste of the tea leaves. Many tea blends on the market are over blended. What we mean by this is that the teas have a high level of inclusions (dried fruits, herbs, botanicals, etc.) to the proportion of tea leaves. In other words, the blend is diluted by artificial flavors and plant products causing diminished tea flavors and nutrients.