Q: What is Tea?
A: Tea is the common name of Camellia Sinensis -the "Chinese Camellia"- a flowering evergreen shrub native to southern China. "Tea" is also the name of the processed dry leaves of this shrub and the infused beverage produced by soaking these leaves in hot water. This means that different tea varieties, such as white tea, green tea, oolong, and black tea are all derived from the same plant.
Q: How is tea made?
A: Like most other herbs, White tea is simply picked and dried, however, all other types of teas go through many distinct stages of processing between harvest and infusion. Green tea is (generally speaking) processed least, usually undergoing only 2 or 3 processes, as follows. After plucking, the leaves are allowed to "wither", during which time they loose some of their moisture content, becoming soft and fragrant. Next, they are heated by steaming or pan-firing in order to prevent oxidation and preserve their green color and fresh flavor. This heating may dry the tea completely, or the leaves may be shaped as in rolling before final drying. Oolong and Black tea undergo additional processing (such as shaking, tumbling or crushing) which bruises or breaks open the surface of the leaf in order to encourage oxidation. During oxidation enzymes exposed to the air cause the leaf to darken, thus developing the tea's color, aroma, and flavor. Upon achieving the desired level of oxidation, the process is halted by heating and drying.
Q: Is there a difference between loose leaf tea and bagged tea?
A: Loose tea is generally whole leaf, or large broken pieces. Bagged tea is usually small bits of fanning’s, and dust. Mechanized crushing of the leaves creates the broken grades. Broken, torn, and shredded pieces of tea leaves infuse more quickly, which is desirable in a tea bag. But because of their exposed surface area, shredded leaves also become stale more quickly. Processed tea is sieved to insure that leaves of uniform size are packaged together. Fanning’s and dust are bits and pieces of tea-leaves left over from the sieving that separate out whole leaves and large pieces of leaf. Fanning’s are slightly larger than dust.
Q: Is the flavor and quality different for tea bags than loose leaf tea?
A: The fuller the leaf the more pronounced the flavor. Whole leaf and large pieces of leaf are superior in flavor, quality, appearance, and one might argue its virtues as an over all value of the tea. The special processing involved in plucking, sorting, and delicate handling is of course more labor intensive but the final product of fresh premium quality tea is one of life’s fine enjoyments. Often an inspired distinctive tea begins in the hands of an experienced tea picker. Loose-Leaf tea also provides for a wide range of tea varieties and blends, which are not typically offered in tea bags.
Q: Is Organic Better? Is the taste better?
A: Fortunately there are many fine and well established tea estates world wide which take seriously the customers need for organic tea which is grown without the use of chemicals. As far as taste goes, we think it to be a matter of preference, for customers who want flavor there is no difference in quality of flavor, except the peace of mind that comes from devouring your favorite cup, free of chemicals, with only the natural nutrients that are healthful to you.
Q: What makes this tea organic, how can I be sure?
A: Da Cha Teas organic teas are all USDA certified organic. What this means is that the USDA, an independent organization which is accountable to NOP (National Organic Program) USA verify that this tea comes from tea farms and estates which comply with USA standards of organic tea practices. In essence, organic certification is a simple concept. A third party—an organic certifying agent—evaluates producers, processors, and handlers to determine whether they conform to an established set of operating guidelines called organic standards. Those who conform are certified by the agent and allowed to use a logo, product statement, or certificate to document their product as certified organic. In other words, the certifier vouches for the producer and assures buyers of the organic product's integrity.
Q: What does Fair Trade mean?
A: Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace. To be exact, you are helping to encourage the following principles, such as healthy working conditions, fair wages, no child labor, with financial support for schools and hospitals. For more details visit; http://www.transfairusa.org/content/about/overview.php
Q: Why is tea drinking so good for your health?
A: Tea is loaded with antioxidants that cleanse the body of free radicals, which damage good cells and cause cancer. Studies show drinking 2-5 cups of tea daily can reduce cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels that can lead to diabetes, can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke as well as reduce the risk of colon and other cancers linked to our digestive system. In addition, fresh brewed tea contains fluoride for strong bones, vitamin B and has less than 1 calorie per serving.
Q: Is green tea better than black tea?
A: All tea, White, Green, Oolong, and Black are healthy. Green tea was the first tea studied because scientists wondered why there was 0-rate of esophagus and stomach cancers in Shizuoka, Japan. They discovered residents of Shizuoka drank more green tea compared to other Japanese citizens because Shizuoka is where most Japanese tea is grown. US and UK researchers conclude black tea is also a potent anti-cancer fighter.
Q: Is Herbal Tea really Tea?
A: Herbal tea is not derived from the leaves of the Camellia plant and so is not technically a tea. Herbal Teas are infusions made with herbs, flowers, roots, spices or other parts of some plants. The proper term for this type of beverage is "tisane."
Q: Is Rooibos Tea a tea or a tisane?
A: Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the Aspalathus Linearis (or "red bush") plant, which grows only in the small Cederberg region of South Africa. Because it does not derive from the Camillia Sinensis plant (like Black, White, Green or Oolong teas), Rooibos tea is considered more of an herbal drink or tisane than a "true" tea. It has no caffeine.
However, Ever since it’s first discovery several centuries ago, Rooibos tea drinkers knew that this herbal drink had medicinal powers. As researchers demystify Rooibos tea, subjecting it to studies to determine exactly what health benefits it provides, they too are continually astounded by the wide range of health benefits associated with drinking Rooibos tea
Q: Does tea have more caffeine than coffee?
A: A cup of Black tea has about one-third the caffeine of an equal portion of Coffee. Green tea, processed less than Black tea, has even less caffeine.
Caffeine occurs naturally in the leaves of the tea plant, camellia sinensis. The amount of caffeine that is transferred from a leaf into your cup depends on many things: varietal, age of leaf, method of manufacture, production techniques, steeping time, and the water temperature used during steeping.
Despite the many variables that determine caffeine content, there are some simple rules of thumb when it comes to determining how much caffeine is in a single cup.
All tea even decaffeinated teas have a small amount of caffeine.
When brewed at the recommended serving size, any variety of tea, black, green, oolong, and white tea will have significantly less caffeine than coffee.
Green tea brewed at 180-degree water has less caffeine than black, oolong, and white tea. Because a lower water temperature is used during steeping, less caffeine will be extracted from the tea leaf.
Gen Mai Cha green tea is also considered to have little caffeine when compared to the others.