About our teas
All tea comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis. There are two different sub species, Camellia Sinensis Sinensis from China and Camellia Sinensis Assamica from India. The Chinese tea plant has more branches and smaller leaves that gives aromatic teas. The Indian tea plant is more robust, has bigger leaves and more earthier taste.
All tea leaves are green from the beginning. The different treatments of the tea leaves create the taste of the end product. The more exclusive leaves are picked by hand, like our Long Jing tea, other are harvested by machine. As soon as the tea is harvested it needs to be under treatment before the leaves wither.
The difference in taste and nutrition depends on the height and the climate where the tea grows when it is harvested, as well as the treatment process. Tea is divided into the different grade of oxidation. Oxidation is a natural process starting when the enzymes in the leaves are exposed to the oxygen in air. The more the tea is oxidized, the darker are the leaves, the brew and the stronger is the taste.
Green teas are heated directly after the harvest and this makes the tea remain green. The heating process stops the oxidation of the tea leaves and it gives the tea its taste and character. The Chinese tea Long Jing, that we are selling, is hand picked when the top bud is the most nutritional, and then roasted in big woks. They are therefore full of vitamins and antioxidants. The same tea leaves can preferably be brewed up to three times and yet, keep the same sublime taste.
Oolong is in between green and black tea. Bigger and more fully grown tea leaves are used to produce Oolong, than in green tea. The leaves are rolled to create a weak oxidation process which is stopped through roasting in a wok. The art of Oolong is to find the right level of oxidation. You can therefore find Oolong on a scale from greener to darker. The quality changes from harvest to harvest. Oolong can also be used for several brewings.
Black tea is first dried for 24 hours and then rolled vigorously to open the cells and have the enzymes meet the air to start the powerful oxidation process. The oxidation is fully stopped through a heating treatment.
High water quality is of great importance to get the nice taste of tea appear. Water rich in lime or other substances will affect your cup of tea, both in appearance and taste.
The green teas and Oolong are preferably brewed by putting two pinches of the beautiful tea leaves or the pearls in a glass. Pour 80 degrees Celcius hot water on top and watch how the leaves unfold and sink down to the bottom of the glass. When most of the leaves are lying on the bottom, it is time to enjoy the tea. When using 80 degrees hot water the tea will be less bitter and the vitamins are not destroyed. When using boiling water the antioxidants are all out in the first brew, and that makes the taste more bitter.
The green teas and Oolong are preferably used for up to three brewings. The first brewing is stronger, sometimes more bitter and contains more nutrition. In the second and third brewing, the taste gets milder but with less nutrition. According to many tea specialists the second brewing is the best.
For exclusive green teas, like our Long Jing, glass should be used to make it possible to watch the beautiful colour, and the fully unfolded leaves. Avoid using a strainer as that prevents the leaves from fully develop their aroma. Green tea sinks to the bottom by itself, no need for a strainer or bag. Let tea takes its time.
Black tea is brewed best by putting loose tea in a pot and pouring boiling water over them. If a strainer is needed, use it when pouring the tea from the pot into a cup. Black tea is the tea in our assortment that suits the best with milk.
Green tea is the least processed tea and therefore contains the most nutrition, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Green tea contains caffeine which keeps you awake. It is less caffeine than in black tea, but still to be avoided in the evening if you are sensitive to insomnia. Black tea is still a healthy drink, but a big part of the antioxidants and vitamins has disappeared in the oxidation process.
High quality green tea strengthens the immune system and the antioxidants help the body neutralize the free radicals. The radicals can make us age before our time or turn healthy cells carcinogenic. Tea also has a positive effect on cholesterol and blood pressure. Green tea contains fluoride that strenghtens the natural defence of our teeth.
Tea is sensitive to light, oxygen and strong scents. Store your tea in a dry and dark place, preferably in the refrigerator to best preserve the taste and nutrition.