Where does tea come from?
It’s easy to think that white teas, Green teas, Black teas and Oolongs come from different plants, when in actuality all teas are derived from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis. Regional growing conditions, handling, plucking and processing determine the specific type of tea (white, green, black, Oolong) the leaf will become. Also the “varietal” of the camellia sinensis will add a certain character.
Many of the finest teas are still picked by hand (plucked), usually by women who harvest the tea gardens and estates with extremely sharp blades attached to their finger tips. Harvesting tea in this fashion takes a great deal of skill and experience and is considered to be very skilled labor. Many of the finest tea leaves picked in this manner include only the first two leaves and a bud from the uppermost tip of the stem. The bud refers to the leaf bud and not that of the flower, which grows lower on the bush. Depending on the climate, tea may be harvested from the same plants as many as 7 times per year. Each harvest is called a flush and each flush has its own character.
Most teas come from China, India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon teas), and Japan. In China and Japan, the great majority of tea consumed is green tea. Black teas are most popular in India and Sri Lanka. Our teas are all hand picked (Orthodox method) teas.
Tea is made up of only three components – essential oils, polyphenols and caffeine. Polyphenols is what gives the tea its health benefits, the essential oils is what gives the tea the aroma and flavor and caffeine gives the tea the natural energy lift. DON'T FORGET: A key ingredient of tea is water - the better the water, the better the tea. Many large cities across the U.S. and abroad have chemically treated tap water, so as a general rule, it is best to always use filtered or bottled water when brewing tea, though distilled or reverse osmosis water is not recommended.