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January is National Tea Month! Get it while its HOT!

Just a reminder that January is National Tea Month!  Here is a great opportunity to honor the deliciousness and health benefits of all types of tea whilst you sip your way through the colder winter months.

Here is a mini-"Tea 101" to peak your interest:

The Origins of Tea

The tea story started in China circa 2737 BC. During this time, the tea plant was found to have a number of medicinal properties. Legend says that Emperor Shen Nung (The Divine Healer) was sitting in the shade of a wild tea tree, boiling some drinking water, when a breeze blew a few leaves from the tree into the pot and gave the water a flavor that he found delicious. He experimented further and found it to have medicinal properties, as well as a pleasing flavor. He urged the Chinese people to cultivate the plant for the benefit of the entire nation. Over time, he has become the Legendary Father of Tea.

All teas come from the same plant:  Camellia sinensis. 

 

Varieties of Tea  (click any of the links for tea type to be taken to our selections)

How the leaves are processed will determine their final classification as black, green, and oolong teas.  The main difference between the many tea varieties is how much oxygen the leaves are allowed to absorb during processing.  Much oxygen produces dark-colored black teas. Little oxygen results in green tea. Unprocessed leaves are called white tea.

Black Tea undergoes a full fermentation process composed of four basic steps – withering, rolling, fermenting, and firing (or drying). First, the plucked leaves are spread out to wither. The withered leaves are then rolled, in order to release the chemicals within the leaf that are essential to its final color and flavor. The rolled leaves are spread out once more to absorb oxygen (oxidize), causing the leaves to turn from green to coppery red. Finally, the oxidized leaves are fired in order to arrest fermentation, turning the leaf black and giving it the recognizable tea scent.

Green Tea is often referred to as "unfermented" tea. The freshly picked leaves are allowed to dry, then are heat-treated to stop any fermentation (also referred to as oxidation). In China, traditional hand-making methods are still employed in many places, particularly in the manufacture of the finest green teas you'll find offered here.

Oolong Tea is generally referred to as "semi-fermented" tea and is principally manufactured in China and Taiwan (often called Formosa, its old Dutch name). For the manufacture of oolongs, the leaves are wilted in direct sunlight, then shaken in bamboo baskets to lightly bruise the edges. Next, the leaves are spread out to dry until the surface of the leaf turns slightly yellow. Oolongs are always whole leaf teas, never broken by rolling. The least fermented of oolong teas, almost green in appearance, is called Pouchong.

White Tea is produced on a very limited scale in China and India. It is the least processed of its many varieties. The new tea buds are plucked before they open and simply allowed to dry. 

Tea is one of the healthiest beverages in the world!

The Health Benefits of Tea

From fighting bad breath to cancerous tumors, the health benefits from tea are immense, and it is likely that even more will be discovered in the near future.  There is a lot of research currently focused on the health benefits of tea.

All types of high quality, loose teas offer health benefits, so find a flavor that appeals to your palate.  Here are some health benefits associated with tea:

(These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  These statement have not been evaluated by the FDA.)

White Tea

· Contains cancer fighting anti-oxidants

· Cooling and detoxifying

· Has the lowest content of caffeine found in all teas

· Anti-aging and anti-stress properties

· High L-theanine amino acid content promotes longevity and concentration

Green Tea

· Highest content of cancer fighting anti-oxidants

· Antiseptic and anti-viral effects

· Fights degenerative diseases and supports immune system function

· Potent source of vitamins and minerals

· Effective for slimming and weight loss

Oolong Tea

· High content of tea polysaccharides

· Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

· High content of anti-oxidants

· Potent source of vitamins and minerals

· Effective for slimming and weight loss

Black Tea

· Heart health:  black tea can prevent heart attacks

· Helps prevent plaque build-up in arteries

· Increases bone density

· Fights bad breath & kills bacteria in the mouth that can cause cavities.

 

 

 

 

 

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