The Very Best Organic Teas
As you’ve probably noticed, TEA is rising to the status of “Super Beverage” due to the increased global focus on health and natural wellness trends. With the rise of information relative to the numerous benefits of the micronutrients and health benefits in tea; there seems to be a perfect storm brewing for tea’s everywhere.
Demand for the plethora of global flavors, which the Asian varietals continue to dominate, is growing, with organic tea brands growing most significantly. One of the main reasons for the expansive growth is that consumer’s interest in health and wellness is booming; tea has a high profit margin, and as food commodity costs continue to rise, the addition of tea is one tactic that the hospitality industry is using to offset increases in numerous categories of food products.
Lastly, an American and International consumer seems to have adopted tea as its new darling of the beverage world in several forms and styles of beverage service. So much so that according to data provided by the U.S. Tea Association, the tea market as a whole, has grown from $1.8 billion in revenue to more than $10.4 billion in little more than two decades!
So What’s All the Fuss About?
We’ll begin with Bulk teas — A.K.A.; loose-leaf tea or whole leaf teas. This category is where the best value can be found, as well as the best flavor quite often. The benefit of whole tea leaves is that they retain micronutrient elements of Camilla Sinensis , which diminish with processing of tea leaves (chopping, grinding and sifting) which is an integral step in bulk processing in tea production for tea bag portioning and packaging. Loose-leaf teas release their intrinsic nutrients while they steep, and release superior aromatics, essential oils and the nuance of the leaf variety dependent upon where they were grown and the conditions of the soil, air and weather. This is an essential factor in experiencing the best of what tea has to offer.
The new age consumer is also demanding wholesome and natural products, and prefer to consume tea that has been sustainably farmed and thoughtfully harvested; and this “social awareness benefit” adds another valuable step to the overall experience. Our partners are committed to offer only teas with which sustainability-farming practices are mandated and this in turn provides business and support for the communities that they live in and serve.
Our sister company, Health & Holistic – ‘The Online Health & Holistic Market’, offers a hand selected assortment of organic and Fair Trade Certified™ teas, as well as the highest quality sustainably grown tea varietals, including: green, oolong, Darjeeling, black and herbal flowering teas. More importantly, they offer “Lifestyle Health Plans © that show you how to integrate specific teas into your diet for maximum benefit!
The Choices Are Many.
Choices of Teas
The primary advantages in buying and properly storing bulk teas is that your selection of loose leaf teas is far greater than those which are packaged in bags and processed into ‘commodity’ brand lines. The highest quality teas in fact are only available in bulk. Some would argue this point, but the truth is that over processing and over-handling of teas to any extent, erodes the quality of teas, period. Additionally, the low quality teas, are made from the “fines” which is the lower quality ‘shake’ as it’s called, left behind from the handling of the whole tea leaves.
Any loyal tea fan will tell you in fact that as your appreciation of herbal tea grows, and your knowledge expands and you understand all that is involved in tea production, your appreciation of this serene beverage will grow as well! We’ll provide you with more information and education relative to traditional and modern tea flavors, tea growing regions, types and uses of teas here as you begin to drink and understand the health and wellness benefits of tea.
Making The Perfect Cup of Tea
Making a delicious high quality cup of tea is simple, but it isn’t easy! IF, you’re willing to follow a few but critical simple disciplines in making tea, it will transform your favorite loose leaf teas into a flavor revelation! By taking a few extra minutes and care in the way you brew your tea, you will optimize the natural flavor of the whole leaves of any quality bulk tea; and you’ll make the most of potential in flavor of the tea. The beauty of tea as well is that whether you prefer to relax or need a quick jolt of natural energy, tea is the way to go. Tea in fact is the original and still reigning champion in the “Energy Drink” category, many just don’t realize it. To find out how to make the best iced tea you’ve ever tried, check this out!
In addition to true organic tea varietals, which come from the Camilla Sinensis plant, many prefer and enjoy herbal teas, which are often referred to as tisanes, and are brewed from a wide variety of “tea fruits & herbs.” There are numerous botanical flavor options, which provide an almost unlimited approach to health, wellness, flavor and effect. Whether you choose the energizing South American sensation yerba mate, or incredible mellowing honeybush tea, you’ll fall in love when you find the tea that’s just right for you!
Our herbal tea lines offer a number of tea blends that combine several herbs or herbs and fruit for unique and enjoyable taste experiences. And why not make your own tea blends? There are plenty of possibilities one of my favorite combinations is to blend in equal parts, Octavia’s Citrus Breakfast tea with the Art of Tea’s Gunpowder Green Tea, and add a twist of orange zest and agave syrup after brewing.
We’ll feature recipes on our site, and combination of fresh herbs and spices that will elevate everything for you as you begin to explore and tantalize your taste buds with the infinite possibilities! We’ll teach you how to brew, serve, present and get your “tea party” on in future posts!
Choosing the highest quality and freshly plucked leaves of the Camellia Sinensis to a process of withering, rolling and drying produce black tea. What this process does is it oxidizes the leaf, and allows the complex and unique aromatics and flavor elements to develop and mature. Black teas are often highly floral, malty, smoky, medicinal, herbaceous, biscuity, smoky, fragrant and even grassy in some cases. The big robust “nose” of black tea is nicely accompanied by the addition of honey, agave, lemon, cream and coconut oil. As black teas do contain a higher percentage of caffeine than green and white teas, they still possess less caffeine than you’d ingest in a cup of coffee. Our chef selected black tea is chosen from key tea-growing regions throughout the world, including China, Nepal, India & Sri Lanka.
Chai Tea Beverage is a special flavored tea beverage created in India. Traditional chai is a strong black tea infused with aromatic Indian spices, including black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and others. Chai contains caffeine levels similar to black tea.
Green tea is uncured and possesses fresh, grassy, vegetal flavors due to the unique processing. Green tea leaves are plucked, withered, rolled and dried before any curing or oxidation takes place. Green teas have the least caffeine of all true teas (Camellia sinensis).
Oolong tea is only partially oxidized after the fresh leaves are plucked and withered. Before the leaves are fully cured, a quick drying preserves the flavor and aroma elements of the green leaf; and combine them with black tea characteristics that arise from the partial curing. Oolong has slightly less caffeine than black tea, but slightly more than green teas.
White tea is made from the very young, unfurled leaf tips of Camellia sinensis. The delicate young leaves and buds are covered with soft; silvery white hairs…thus “white” tea. White teas are generally uncured in the style of green teas and are similarly very low in caffeine.
Beverages brewed from herbs (or combinations of herbs) other than Camellia sinensis are technically “Tisanes”, but are commonly referred to as “herbal teas.” The herbs are blended to create unique flavors and/or desired health benefits. Herbal teas do not contain caffeine, and have extra layers and nuances of flavor that are not attainable with true tea. These teas can be refreshing, calming, invigorating– or simply a delight to the senses.
GRADES OF TEA
Tea grading is based on the size of the leaf and types of leaves included in the tea. Though leaf size is an important quality factor, it is not, by itself, a guarantee of quality.
Teas are often designated as OP or FOP. These designations are part of the grading system used for whole leaf black teas and refer to the leaf size and amount of tip in the tea. Pekoe means teas picked as 2 leaves & a bud. OP, or Orange Pekoe, is a full-leaf tea with no tip or buds. FOP, or Flowery Orange Pekoe, is a longer leaf than an OP and has some buds. Grading systems and terminology vary with tea type and country. Generally, the more whole the leaf is and the more buds it contains, the higher the grade of tea.
BLACK TEA LEAF GRADES
|P||Pekoe||smaller, shorter leave than OP|
|OP||Orange Pekoe||long, thin, tightly rolled leaves|
|FOP||Flowery Orange Pekoe||longer leaf than an OP but not as tightly rolled|
|GFOP||Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe||FOP with some golden tips|
|TGFOP||Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe||GFOP with more golden tips|
|FTGFOP||Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe||Better quality TGFOP teas|
|BOP||Broken Orange Pekoe||OP leaves that are broken|
|FBOP||Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe||FOP leaves that are broken|
Although there is no uniform grading system for green teas, the better quality green consist of a leaf & bud, then 2 leaves & a bud and so on. Some common green tea leaf terms are:
Gunpowder: also called pearl tea, young leaves & buds are rolled tightly into pellets, which unfurl in the cup
Imperial: loosely rolled pellets made from older leaves.
Young Hyson: young leaves rolled long & thin.
So we offer you a method to rediscover health deliciously and to join the new movement and join the millions who are reinventing the healthiest beverage in the world! In this new age of enlightenment, and as a new awareness of holistic health and wellness has begun to hit the mainstream, isn’t it time that you “get your tea on” and join the legions of tea fans worldwide?
Sit with us and spend some time exploring a powerful habit that when added to your health arsenal of enjoyable improvements in life, will add years, joy and warm and comforting flavor to everything you do!
Our best to you and all that you do!
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