Posts Tagged ‘wine’

White loose tea – with anti-cancer properties as well as having the highest concentration of anti-oxidants

White Loose Tea – With Anti-Cancer Properties as well as having the highest Concentration of Anti-Oxidants

White loose teas are known for their anti-cancer properties as well as having the highest concentration of anti-oxidants of any tea. This type of tea offers immune boosting elements that are also great for clearing the complexion and smoothing skin. There are many varieties of white loose teas including Champagne Infused Tea, First Love, Peony White, Silver Needle, Snow Bud and White Pomegranate.

Champagne Infused White Raspberry tea offers the delicate flavor of white loose teas that have been lightly cured and dried. White teas accept sweet flavors well, and the suffusion of light white wine champagne into this herbal tea blend brings the safflower, red raspberry to a higher level. As an afternoon tea, this beverage is sure to please even the pickiest of palates.

First Love white loose tea has a beautiful combination of Silver Needle white tea leaves with pink rose buds. The leaves appear much like blades with small tufts of white fur, and the scented pink rose bud petals creates the aroma of a rose bouquet. A visually attractive blend with a slightly sweet taste and floral overtones, this white loose tea is sure to wake up all the senses.

Peony White loose tea  also known as Bai Mu Dan, is made from the finest Chinese tea buds and leaves that are picked early in the spring in the Fujian province. Steamed and dried after picking, the anti-oxidants and flavors of the peony flower are preserved until the moment of steeping. With a striking appearance of white petals and light green tea leaves, this mixture is sure to please.

Silver Needle white loose tea or Bai Hao Yinzhen, is a gorgeous blend of whites and greens, in long and slender leaves. Being one of the highest grades of white teas available, and one of the rarest, the silver leaf buds give a fresh and tangy flavor. The floral undertones offer a delicate astringency, with bold colors and a sweet aroma and flavor for a more than satisfying drink.

Snow Bud white loose tea offers a visually exquisite sight, made of flat green leaves and buds of curled silver tea leaves. Presenting as a rosy and amber like color, this brew offers a floral sweetness unlike any other. This tea is ideal for breakfast or afternoon indulgence, and offers the vitamins of A and C to aid the immune system for colder months.

White Pomegranate loose tea presents in a colorful blend of reds, yellows and greens. A very subtle and elegant blend, this tea offers a pale and naturally sweetened brew. Fruity undertones and vitamin C from rosehips allows the immune system a wake-up call, while safflower gives amino acids that are essential for health.

White loose teas are uncured and unoxidized tea leaves that come from the Camellia sinensis plant. The white loose tea normally contain buds and young leaves, so as to utilize the higher anti-oxidant content as well as higher level of caffeine. A specialty of Fujian, China this fragrant and delicious type of tea has been perfected over the years.

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Organic black tea – the best loved tea sets the bar higher

Organic Black Tea – The Best Loved Tea Sets the Bar Higher

Although green tea is steadily gaining up on black tea in popularity, majority of tea aficionados, particularly in the west, still prefer black over green. One of the reasons is because black tea has a stronger taste and aroma than its green counterpart. Black tea is also known to have more caffeine and generally has a longer shelf life.

There are two extremely popular kinds of black tea: Darjeeling and Assam. Both types got their names from the regions from which they were and are primarily grown. Darjeeling is mainly found in the Darjeeling region of India while Assam is found in the Assam region, also in India. They can easily be identified at first sight since the plants that produce Darjeeling teas have small leaves, while those of Assam have large leaves.

This type of naming convention has been patterned after another popular European beverage: wine. The really prized wines are those that are named after the regions from which they are grown. Burgundy, Bordeaux, and of course, Champagne are examples of such beverages.

The same concept holds true with teas. Darjeeling and Assam are thus the best types of teas. Hence, as the demand for tea increases due to their alleged health benefits, Darjeeling and Assam are at the forefront of this shoot up in popularity.

Today, people are concerned not only for their own welfare but for nature as well. As such, moves to go ‘green’ are extremely popular. This has resulted in the drive to grow edible plants, including teas, organically. Hence, organic herbal teas are in demand nowadays.

Thus, you can see more tea producers promoting their organic green tea and organic black tea products. Labels announcing that the products inside their packaging are ‘organically grown’ are no longer surprising to see. Organic Darjeeling and organic Assam teas are steadily becoming in demand.

The argument for preferring organic herbal teas is understandable especially from an environment-friendly perspective. If the vast tracks of land that grow tea plants use harmful chemicals that destroy the environment and take large carbon footprints to produce, then the negative effects can far outweigh the positive effects, i.e., being bearers of anti-oxidants.

Types of tea

Types of Tea

The are five major categories of tea. White, green, Oolong-style (brown), and black teas come from the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. Herbal teas are made from herbs, spices, fruits, flowers, and bark, and contain no tea leaves. Similar to wine varieties, sometimes the name of a tea indicates the region in which it is grown, which affects it’s flavor. Examples of these names would be: Ceylon, Darjeeling, Assam, Lapsang Suchong. Some teas, such as Jasmine, and Earl Gray, are tea leaves with added flavors. Orange Pekoe does not refer to adding orange flavor to the tea, but rather refers to the size of the leaf and it’s grade.

Green tea is made from tea leaves which are steamed or pan-fried to prevent fermentation (oxidization). This gives it a delicate flavor. Green tea is very high in anti-oxidants and studies have shown it prevents tooth decay and gum disease. Green teas are particularly characteristic of Japan.

White tea is grown in the Fujian region of Eastern China. White tea contains the white buds of the tea plant, and like green tea it is unfermented and has a delicate flavor. White tea has a very pale color when brewed.

Oolong-style (brown) teas are teas that have been semi-fermented, meaning the leaves are slightly oxidized and turn brown in color.

Black teas are fully fermented tea leaves. Darjeeling, Russian Black Tea, Lapsang Suchong, and English Breakfast, are examples of fully fermented tea. Darjeeling has a mild flavor, and breakfast teas, Russian teas and Lapsang Suchong have a strong taste and are very stimulating.

All teas contain polyphenols, though black teas contain less polyphenols than other varieties. Polyphenols are a type of anti-oxidant that inhibits inflamation and may discourage the occurrence of heart disease, tumors, and some of the effects of aging.

Pu-erh tea – with tremendous benefits of careful aging

Pu-Erh Tea – With tremendous Benefits of careful aging

When dealing with pu-erh tea, we are dealing with the “fine wine” of China!  There is the same intense devotion of the lovers of the beverage, the same labyrinth of grading and certification, the same conflicts over the best soil, the best leaves, the best methods of processing, the best way to serve the brew.

Pu-erh also can benefit tremendously from careful aging.  It is variously spelled as “pu’er” and “pu-erh,” and is sometimes known as bolay tea among the Cantonese Chinese.  Pu-erh tea is almost always sold in the form of compressed bricks of tea, in several sizes and shapes, from oval balls to perfect cubes weighing anywhere between 10 and 2000 grams.

While some pu-erh tea is manufactured in counties of Guangdong and Hunan provinces, almost 90 percent of pu-erh tea is made in Yunan Province, bordering the nations of Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam in the mountains that give birth to the Mekong River.  In the 1600’s the Chinese government set aside six mountains to specifically grow the tea trees used in pu-erh tea.

Pu-erh tea leaves go through the same treatments as green tea until the stage of drying is done.  Then, the green tea that is intended for pu-erh production is separated out.  It is referred to a “maocha” at this point.  Depending on the intended market, the maocha might be allowed to sit and age in a loose state, called “raw pu-erh.”

It might also be compressed and allowed to age in that condition, as “ripened pu-erh.”  Some bricks have been stored for hundreds of years!  Ripened pu-erh that has aged undergoes a process of fermentation that creates to the true flavors of the pu-erh tea, and for this reason, pu-erh is often describes as a “post-fermentation” tea.

There is a relatively new technique called “wet piling” that can be applied to ripened pu-erh, which duplicates the aging process and ensures a fermentation of the leaves.  Wet piling is not considered an illegitimate method of manufacture in China, but it is significant that pu-erh tea fermented by natural aging still brings a much higher price in the marketplace.

Pu-erh tea is beloved for its dark red color and earthy flavor.  It can be completely free of the astringent quality of almost all other teas.  Good pu-erh is clear and fragrant.  The sweetness of pu-erh can be strong or light.

It is often used for several brewing, with the first steeping considered to be inferior to the second and third.  Traditional Chinese Medicine posits that pu-erh tea is a fine treatment for weight loss.  Modern studies indicate that pu-erh tea is an excellent material for lowering LDL cholesterol.

Because gourmands of tea will pay top prices for aged pu-erh tea, there is a considerable problem with certification in the market.  Fraudulent labels are common.  Many factories that specialize in Pu-erh production are taking steps to combat this problem, adding multiple micro labels to assure their customers of quality and source.

You can fid legitimate cakes of pu-erh that are 50 years old, and there are even some bricks that date to the Ming Dynasty still for sale at thousands of dollars!

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April 2020
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