What is this Tea stuff all about?
Begin your journey into the wide
and wondrous world of tea…
Let TeaTime be your own personal guide through your journey and discover your love for tea.
Terms to Know
an infusion of water and the Camellia Sinensis tea plant.
Camellia Sinensis (n.)-
the scientific name for the tea plant. It is important to realize that all true tea comes from a single plant, the Camellia Sinensis. How we receive all the different kinds of tea is dependent on the variety of Camellia Sinensis, the terroir in which the plant grows, and the processing a tea leaf undergoes after it has been plucked.
The Camellia Sinensis yields 3 varieties: Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Camellia Sinensis Assamica, and Camellia Sinensis Cambodiensis.
the environmental factors such as geography, climate, and soil that influences the natural notes and flavor profile of a tea plant.
Tea Processing (n.)-
a series of steps and methods used to create the dried form of tea leaves ready for brewing. Not all types of tea undergo every step and method of tea processing. The steps and methods used are dependent on which type or category of tea is manufactured. Tea processing includes:
Withering, Kill Green (Enzyme Kill), Rolling & Bruising (Leaf Maceration), Drying, Oxidation, Fermentation, and Aging.
meaning able to infuse with water, tisane is a term used to differentiate a true tea from Camellia Sinensis with all other plants, flowers, roots, and herbs.
Tea Blending (v.)-
the use of flowers, fruits, herbs, roots, essential oils, essences and botanicals to add flavor to a pure tea.
Types of Tea
White Tea is the baby leaf.
White Tea is made from the youngest tea leaves on the tea plant.
The youngest leaves of the tea plant are located on the top of the plant which is where white tea leaves are plucked from. The young tea leaves make for a lighter tea profile than most other types of teas such as greens and blacks.
White Tea has the least amount of caffeine in the spectrum of tea, but has the most amount of antioxidants!
Historically, Yellow Tea was reserved for the enjoyment of the Emperors of China.
Green Tea is most popular from its studied health benefits.
Green Tea has only a moderate amount of caffeine.
Purple Tea is an innovation to the Tea World.
Oolong Tea is a world in and of its own.
Most simply put, Oolong is the category of tea between Green and Black Tea. Meaning it encompasses a range of tea that looks and tastes like a Green Tea, or a Black tea, and maybe even somewhere in the middle.
Oolong Tea is also semi-fermented and semi-oxidized, resulting in a unique combination of tea processing.
Black Tea is one of the most popular categories of tea.
Phu-Erh is a fully fermented tea.
Tea is both an Art and a Science.
A good cup of tea is all in its steep.
You could have the most expensive tea in the world, but you might never be able to appreciate it if made improperly. The five components TeaTime emphasizes when it comes to steeping tea is:
Time, Temperature, Ratio, Water, Infuser
Time: Every tea has an optimal steep time. Through years of gathered experience, the tea industry follows recommended tea guidelines for steep times depending on category. Each category has a threshold of steep time when flavor is being extracted from the tea. After a certain point, flavor is no longer being extracted, but tannin is extracted instead. Tannin is a chemical naturally present in tea that causes an astringent taste and dry sensation in your mouth. The more tannin is present in the tea, the more bitter your tea will taste.
Myth: Steeping tea longer will make your tea stronger. After a certain point tea only gets more bitter the longer it is left sitting in water.
Temperature: Every tea has an optimal steeping temperature. To keep things simple, TeaTime follows steep temperatures per category. It is important to be cognizant of steep temperature because it is possible to burn your tea, causing it to taste bitter. It is also possible not to extract enough from hardier teas reducing the quality of flavor.
Water: If you have bad tasting water, you’ll have bad tasting tea. Use filtered water!
Infuser: The point of tea is that it is an infusion. What does that mean? Space! Tea and Tisanes need space to be able to float around, open up, expand, and fully infuse with the water. There are a number of different infusers for every kind of tea drinker. From traveling infusers, to more traditional tea pots, choose what is most convenient and works for you.
Tasting Tea: The secret? SLURP!
To fully taste a tea, or anything for that matter, slurping is the most proper and effective way. Slurping allows for the tea to travel the extend of your tongue and flavor pallet. It also allows the different taste buds which sit on different parts of your tongue to capture the molecules of tea and send information to your brain. In this way, you are able to fully analyze the flavor of tea.
Where is Tea From?
The first tea trees are from China! Through the Silk Roads and trade, tea found its way to other cultures like India and Japan, which are also known for their production of tea today.