What is tea?
We drink it almost daily, but what is it really? Tea is a drink that can be hot or cold, or even used as a compress. Tea is a leaf or infusion that when steeped in hot water releases good properties for your body. Did you know that there are over 3000 different types of tea? This number doesn’t even reflect infusions, just tea!
Medicinal Purposes of Tea
Tea is also great for medicinal purposes such as antioxidants and L-theanine. Recently, there have even been studies that associate green tea with lower risks of cancer! How great is that?! It can be blended with herbs for a desired flavor or for specific medicinal properties. Tea can also be blended with other ingredients to make things such as mascara or ink, these are generally made with black teas.
Tea is derived from leaves off of tea plants. The species of plants that tea comes from is camellia sensis. Tea plants are flowering shrubs that after three years of growth the tea leaves are ready to be picked. Tea plants can grow to be like small trees or, in most cases, are kept shorter for easier picking. Once the tea leaves are picked they are either dried or exposed to a heat source, then they can be oxidized, rolled or cured!
What Makes Some Teas Darker?
Oxidation is a naturally occurring process for tea in which it starts to brown. This process creates an enzyme called polyphenoloxidase which reacts with certain substances and produces phenolic substrates. Long story short, this makes the tea darker. To stop this reaction, like in white tea, the tea is briefly cooked, or blanched. This process is not to be confused with fermentation as there are no microorganisms involved.
Why is the Tea in A Ball
If you look at Green tea, Oolong tea, or Gunpowder tea you will often notice that they are rolled into little balls. Rolling tea is done before the leaves are dried and this can be done either by modern machinery or by hand. By rolling the tea it changes the intensity and the amount of time the tea needs to steep in water.
To make certain teas they have to be cured. This can be the easiest of the three steps. The tea leaves can just be simply dried for a long time or roasted over a fire. With curing the tea is being changed into a completely different flavor, which in the end, gives the tea a new name.
Once any tea is finally ready it is then thoroughly dried and ready to enjoy!
Where does Tea Grow
Tea is native to China and India, but is also grown in other countries like Japan and Kenya. Only a few short years ago in 2010 China produces 1.4 MILLION tons of tea becoming the number 1 producer of tea in the world!
If you didn’t like tea before, go out and try some tea, organic I’ve found is the best tasting. There are lots of things that can be done with tea and blended with tea, educate yourself and have fun on your journey of learning about tea!
The products and information found on “OrganicHerbsAndTea.com” are not intended to replace professional medical advice or treatment. Our website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. “OrganicHerbsAndTea.com” urges you to seek the advice of a qualified professional for any health concern, and to share with your provider any information pertaining to your health and well-being, including the use of herbs, tea and/or supplemental nutrition. You should not stop taking any medications without first consulting your physician.