3 min read
Tea has been around for centuries, dating all the way back to 59 BC. It’s one of the most popular drinks in the world, and tea farmers have long mastered the art of tea growing and fermentation. Today we have thousands of types of teas that people enjoy sipping on each day.
THE 6 BASIC TYPES OF TEAS
All teas come from the Camellia Sinensis plant and contain caffeine. The teas listed below have different fermentation processes, and therefore offer different amounts of caffeine, steeping temperature, color and taste. Fermentation (aka oxidation) is the process in which a tea absorbs oxygen.
Black tea is one of the most popular teas in the world. This rich, flavorful tea undergoes the most oxidation, which causes higher caffeine and makes the leaves appear darker. Due to its high caffeine content, it makes for a great morning drink. Black teas are typically produced in China and India. Common examples of black teas include Assam, Darjeeling, and Ceylon. It’s also used to create popular tea blends like Earl Grey, English breakfast and Masala chai.
Green tea originated in China and later spread to Japan and Europe. Today it’s tremendously popular in the United States. To create green tea, Camellia Sinensis undergoes light oxidation. That is why the dry leaves maintain their green color. Green tea contains a large amount of catechins, which are antioxidants that help fight free radicals from damaging cells. Sometimes green tea is infused and mixed with other plants, seeds and flowers to create specific blends. For example, our Jasmine Gold Dragon tea is created by adding jasmine flowers, which creates a wonderful floral aroma. In Japan sencha green tea is mixed with popped rice to create the savory Genmaicha tea.
Oolong tea is closer to green tea in color, taste and caffeine. During the oxidation process, it’s fermented longer than green tea, but not as long as black tea. Oolong tea is famous for its floral and fruity aroma. The largest producers of oolong are Taiwan and China. Sometimes the tea is aged just like Pu-erh teas to create deeper and more interesting notes.
White tea is very gentle and light in color compared to other teas. It’s also the least processed tea. When steeping, it’s important to use a lower temperature (175-185 F or 80-85C). If it’s too hot, the flavor will be lost and the tea will become bitter and unpleasant. Great examples of white teas include Silver Needle tea and Pai Mu Tan tea produced in the Fujian Province of China.
Yellow tea is not very common and is hard to find. The oxidation process is similar to green tea however, tea leaves are allowed to sit and yellow, creating a pale yellow brew when the tea is steeped.
Fermented Pu-erh comes in bricks, cakes or loose leaves. High quality Pu-erh is very rare and can be very expensive. To create Pu-erh the tea is aged for months or years, which makes for unique earthy notes and an unusual dark color. The taste of Pu-erh is achieved by allowing bacteria and fungus to influence it. Some people describe the flavor as very earthy. Pu-erh tea can also be used in the making of kombucha.
HOW ABOUT HERBAL TEA?
We call all teas tea. However, herbal teas (aka tisanes) are created by blending and infusing different plants, dried fruits, berries or twigs. Most herbal teas do not contain caffeine. The most popular examples of herbal teas are chamomile tea, peppermint tea, elderberry tea, rooibos tea, and lavender tea.
There are so many great teas found across the globe and from different plants. No matter which tea you choose, you’ll get to enjoy the health benefits all teas have to offer.
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Social Distancing…. How are you coping?
Here, at Hummingcup Tea we were wondering how you are all doing? These are unprecedented times and we are all having to learn new coping mechanisms for our new way of life. Here are a few ideas for ways to help you cope.
1. INCREASE YOUR SELF-CARE
Most of the time we are so busy with daily life we do minimal self-care if any at all. Now is the time to step it up a notch. We are all working through a trauma and it is important that you give you mind and body time to reflect on what is actually going on. This is one of the most important things to do to come out of this with good mental health.
2. SHARE YOU FEELINGS
However you are feeling right now, share these feelings with someone, anyone, that you know you can trust. A problem shared is a problem halved and this has never been truer. Yes, we are having to self-isolate, but we are so lucky to have so many ways now to keep in touch and so not feel quite so isolated. Call, email, text your loved ones as much as you need to.
3. START JOURNALING
A great way to find time to reflect is to journal your day. It gives you a chance to express your feelings creatively through writing or art and release tension and stress that could be building up. Journal the day away.
4. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
It’s easy to forget to be kind to yourself. Use positive self-talk. Give yourself permission to have bad days, to have productive days or to have good days. They are all OK. Talk to yourself with love and kindness.
5. REDUCE SCARY NEWS
I can’t stress this enough because it really can be the difference between getting through this pandemic with good mental health or poor. Please do not watch too much news or go on social media too much. Our brains soak up whatever we choose to feed it, so feed it with positivity. Focus it on the good around you. Distract it with goals and activities or even rest. Its important to stay up to date with information but this can be done swiftly with one short catch up of the news. Its tough we know but it’s a must.
Exercise, exercise, exercise!! Your body will love you for it and your mind will too. This can be anything from a spot of gardening to a long walk or even a run. Whatever you like but try not to get into a sedentary way of life during social distancing. It’s very easy to do if you don’t give it some thought.
7. EAT HEALTHY
Get as much vitamins as you can from choosing a healthy diet of fresh or frozen vegetables, organic fruits and berries. If this is difficult for you then consider a vitamin supplement (but consult your wellness practitioner first).
8. STAY HYDRATED
Keep drinking water and green tea because it removes toxins from your body and hydrates it too. Green tea contains less caffeine and promotes stress reduction and chamomile tea helps reduce cold symptoms, promotes relaxation and sleep.
See how our Self-Care& Tea Monthly Box can help you