A lesson on Tea
What is it?
Tea, is a variety of the Camellia plant called C-sinensis. It originated in Asia with records dating back to the 10th century BC. The first recorded consumption of Tea was in china, beginning a very fascinating and political history. To me, the flavors are as complex as wine, having everything to do with the region in which it is grown, growing conditions, and processing.
Tisanes are all other water infusions containing herbs, fruits, berries or plants that do not contain Camellia sinensis .
The way the camellia sinensis is processed determines what type of tea you get:
White tea: Wilted and unoxidized.
Yellow tea: Unwilted and unoxidized, but allowed to yellow
Green tea: Unwilted and unoxidized
Oolong: Wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized
Black tea: Wilted, sometimes crushed, and fully oxidized
Post-fermented tea: Green tea that has been allowed to ferment.
What’s in a name?
The names you see associated with Tea have to do with 1. The region in which the tea is grown, such as; Assam, Ceylon, or Darjeeling. 2. Blends, which are teas from different regions and or processing methods mixed together, such as; English breakfast, Earl gray, Irish breakfast, Ect.
Why drink it?
Tea, Camellia sinensis contains a high content of catechins, which make up 30% of the dry weight of the fresh leaves. Catechins are a type of antioxidant that studies have found to reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It has anti-ageing benefits as well. Consider this; caffeine makes up 3% of the dry weight of fresh tea leaves, and you can physically feel the effects of that on your body. Now consider what effect 30% of a positive element can have on your body. I think Tea is worth drinking. Post fermented tea has the highest amount of antioxidants because the fermentation process is said to elevate the level. Next is white and green tea, finally Oolong and black coming in last as the oxidization reduces the antioxidant level.