Ada’s Tips for becoming a Tea Aficionado
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, second to water
All tea comes from ONE plant – Camellia Sinensis
White, green, oolong and black teas are all types of teas created from the same tea bush. The processes in which the plucked tea goes through determines the type of tea. The following is a simplified explanation of production.
White Tea is the least processed of all the teas. White tea is picked, withered and dried. There are no additional processing, rolling or oxidation.
Green Tea is picked, then steamed or fired to stop the oxidation process and retain as much of the vibrant green color as possible. The heating is rapid and the leaves are left pliable for manipulating by shaping, rolling, cutting, etc.
Oolong Tea is picked, withered and rattled or shaken to bruise the leaves, exposing the enzymes to air and beginning the oxidation process. Lightly oxidized oolongs are shaped into small, dark-green pellets, while more heavily oxidized become long, twisted leaves. Oolongs are partially oxidized between 15%-75% depending on what the Tea Master decides.
Black Tea is picked, withered, processed cracking the surface of the leaf exposing the leaf’s enzymes to oxygen initiating oxidation. Black teas are fully oxidized.
Tisanes are not tea (Camellia Sinensis). Tisanes are infusions of herbs, spices or Fruit blends to create their flavor profile. Most tisanes are naturally caffeine free.
Brew the Perfect Cup
99% of a cup of tea is water. The quality of water used to infuse the tea leaves has a major impact on the flavor of the tea. Use clean and odorless water that has been heated to the proper temperature.
Water temperatures and brew times will vary for different types of tea.
- Start with fresh, cold quality water. Do not use re-heated water.
- Use quality, fresh tea from a trusted source that has been properly stored.
- Heat water to appropriate temperature.
- Warm your teapot and teacup with hot water, then discard.
- Measure the appropriate amount of tea.
- Pour water over tea and steep according to recommended time
- Strain, Pour and enjoy!
Brew temperatures and times vary depending on tea. Pouring scalding hot water over delicate white or green tea will damage the leaves and make for an unpleasant taste, while black teas require higher temperatures and steep times to reach the full flavor.
Remember, steeping tea longer doesn’t make it any better, only bitter!
Brewing Ice Tea
1 – 1.5 (dry) oz Tea yields 1 (liquid) gallon Iced or Hot Tea
Place tea into any large receptacle, stock pot or tea dispenser, pour 1 or 1.25 gallon(s) of boiling water (or below boiling) over tea, let steep the appropriate amount of time, strain tea, let cool to room temperature, then serve over ice (ice will make up the remaining ½ or ¼ gallon of liquid).
For Cold Brew, add tea to stock pot or dispenser (with lid), pour 1 ½ gallons cold water over tea, cover, let steep overnight in refrigerator. Strain tea then serve over ice. Keep refrigerated, good for 2 days.
Note: Flavored Tea and Fruit Blends are best made Hot to Cold.
Proper Tea Storage
Loose leaf tea should be stored properly as it is affected by light, air and moisture. Tea’s dry leaves absorb aromas and flavors that they come in contact with, so keep them airtight, cool and dry.
- Store tea in an airtight, dark container made of tin, ceramic or stainless steel.
- If using a heavier quality or foil lined bag, be sure storage bags are tightly sealed after each use.
- Store in a cool, dry area away from any heat source or other spices.
- Avoid light and heat, such as above an oven or stove. It will degrade the tea leaves.
- Store flavored or scented teas away from each other. Odors are easily absorbed.
- Don’t store tea in the refrigerator, Freezer or other wet, warm or humid areas. The leaves will
absorb moisture and ruin the tea.
- Don’t use glass or plastic containers unless you plan to store them in a dark cabinet. Clear
containers allow light to penetrate degrading the tea.
- Don’t use plastic bags to store tea. Light, odor and air will penetrate the air.
Tea Shelf Life
Purchase tea in small enough quantities that it will be consumed quickly and replenished with a fresh supply. Even though tea feels very dry, it contains some moisture and oils which contribute to its flavor. Proper storage is critical to the following guidelines of shelf life:
- Green Tea: Shortest shelf life of 6-8 months
- White Tea: 6-8 months
- Oolongs: 1-2 years
- Black: Longest shelf life of over 2 years
What Our Clients Say…
I absolutely recommend these teas to any tea lover. They are the highest quality and a joy to steep and sip. Beautiful packaging makes for great gifts and when I get them in the mail I feel like I’m being pampered! My favorite is the white tea with rose, I love seeing the actual little roses and leaves. I’m not always a fan of floral teas, sometimes they taste like potpourri, but not this brand! So fresh and delicious.