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The Tea Process
White, green, oolong, black—sometimes it’s confusing between what is called a tea and what is actually considered a tea leaf.
It all comes down to how the initial, fresh tea leaf is handled and processed. The “camellia sinensis,” or tea leaf, is harvested and processed depending on the flavor that’s trying to be achieved. If a tea is less processed, it has higher amounts of antioxidants and lower amounts of caffeine and vice versa.
White tea is the least processed, meaning the leaves are picked, steamed, and dried giving the brew a very light and delicate flavor.
Green tea is slightly more processed that White teas. The leaves are picked, withered, and then depending on the region the leaves are coming from, they are either steamed or pan fired before being rolled out and dried. Steaming the leaves gives a more vegetal and fresh flavor, while pan firing makes a nutty, roasted brew.
Oolong teas are slightly more processed than green teas, but less than black teas. These leaves are picked, withered, shaken to bruise the edges, partially fermented in the heat, then dried. These teas tend to have a more toasted and nutty flavor and are the best for digestion and weight loss.
Black teas are the most caffeinated, but lowest in antioxidants. The leaves are picked, withered, rolled, fully fermented in the heat, and then dried. These teas have a full and robust flavor and tend to help more specifically with heart health.
Knowing the difference between the types of tea leaves helps you pick which one works best for your body and what ails you. Even a popular grocery store, Whole Foods, has a quick guide on their website.
Next week I’ll dive more into the benefits of each tea. Stay tuned.
Kelley Scruby is the owner of Do You Tea? in Hoboken, New Jersey. As the owner of a small, loose leaf tea business, Kelley is passionate about educating her customers on the benefits that come from drinking loose leaf tea. With a background at a major tea company, she was able to become an expert on the versatility of the beverage and is inspired in her own creations by the changing of the seasons and also desserts. Kelley created Do You Tea? with the confidence that she can help find a tea blend that works for any of her customers’ lifestyle and palate. As Do You Tea? continues to grow, Kelley hosts events and tastings that add a more interactive approach to the expansive world of loose leaf teas. Do You Tea? hopes to have a truck out on the streets of the NYC metro area soon! You are able to purchase her seasonal blends and gift sets online at www.doyoutea.com and follow her on instagram and twitter @doyoutea for updates on tastings and new blends. Please email requests and questions to email@example.com.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.