Tea is a beverage made from the leaf of the Camellia Sinensis bush, a warm weather evergreen, which can grow to 90 feet and higher.

In the past, some countries trained monkeys to pick the tea leaves and toss them to the ground. Today, the Camellia Sinensis bush is grown to a height of three feet for easy cultivation.

Flavoured Tea – what type of tea do we use and how do we flavour our tea ?

We only use natural flowers, fruit or nuts.  When using flavouring, it is natural oils not crystals.

We only use and buy high quality and high grown teas from the top 3 tea growing regions of Sri Lanka – Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva.

High quality tea tastes good and natural flavours do not mask the taste of the  tea.  Natural flavours do not leave an aftertaste,  giving the tea a clean and true character.  It should be noted that natural flavours tend to be somewhat ‘soft ‘ and the flavours slightly muted, but for many this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavoured teas.

(The norm for many making flavoured tea is to use overpowering artificial flavours, which can be used to hide lower quality tea).

  • Tea Terms

    Type Definition
    Agony of the leaves The unfurling of tea leaves during steeping. Certain teas provide a show if steeped in a glass teapot
    Antioxidant Compound that retards oxidization
    Aroma Also known as the nose, the odor of brewed tea
    Assam Tea growing region in India
    Astringency Dry mouth sensation caused by certain teas
    Autumnal Tea produced late in the growing season – often used in reference to Darjeeling 4th flush teas
    Bergamont A citrus oil from the bergamot orange used to flavor black tea to make Earl Grey tea
    Black Tea Fully oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. Also known as Red tea in China referring to the color of the Tea in the cup
    Blend Method to establish consistency between lots of teas
    Body Term to denote strength and viscosity of a brewed tea
    Brick Tea Tea leaves that have been steamed and compressed into bricks
    Caffeine An alkaloid which acts as a Central Nervous System stimulant and diuretic
    Catechins The class of polyphenol found in tea which function as antioxidants
    Ceylon tea Tea from Sri Lanka
    Chai The word for tea on the Indian subcontinent. In the west it generally means a spiced black tea (masala chai)
    Chest Traditional container made of wood with a metal lining used to ship tea from tea estates
    Chesty A term for an odor in tea absorbed from the wood of a traditional storage chest
    Congou Chinese Black, or Red, Tea
    CTC Acronym for Cut, Tear, and Curl, a machine process which cuts the withered leaves into uniform particles for a complete oxidation
    Darjeeling Tea Tea grown in the Darjeeling Hills of India. These teas are renowned for their muscatel flavor
    Dust The smallest grade of tea, typically associated with lower quality. Dust is prized for its quick extraction and is commonly used in teabags
    Fannings Small particles of tea one grade larger than Dust produced as a by product of the tea making process
    Fermentation Also termed Oxidation. Describes the process of enzymic oxidation, where elements in the leaf react with air to the resulting tea
    Firing The process where the tea leaves are dried to stop enzymic changes. This makes the tea fit for packing and storing
    Flush Flush refers to the four separate plucking seasons throughout the year, each known for it’s distinctive flavor
    Formosa Tea Tea produced in Taiwan, typically oolong teas
    Genmaicha Green tea blended with roasted rice
    Golden Refers to the orange colored tips present in high quality black tea
    Gong Fu Meaning skill and patience. The style of brewing tea with a high proportion of leaf to water and repeated short infusions
    Green Tea Un-oxidized, dried tea
    Gunpowder Green tea rolled into pellets
    Guywan A traditional Chinese lidded tea drinking vessel with accompanying saucer
    Keemun Chinese Black Tea from Anhui Province and often used in English Breakfast blends
    Lapsang Souchong Chinese Black Tea, leaves are smoked over pine fire giving strong smoked flavour
    Muscatel A muscat grape like taste associated with many Darjeeling Teas
    Nose Aroma of brewed tea
    Oolong Derived from ‘wu long’ the Chinese term for black dragon. A type of tea that is semi-oxidized resulting in a brew that is between a Green and a Black Tea
    Orange Pekoe The larger leaves of the tea bush
    Pekoe A term used to describe the largest leaves used to produce whole leaf teas
    Plucking The process of harvesting and collecting tea leaves
    Polyphenols Antioxidant compounds present in tea
    Pu-erh Tea A type of tea originally from the Yunnan province of China
    Tippy Term for the tea leaf that contains white or golden tips, indicative of high quality
    White Tea Similar to Green Tea. Identifiable by the presence of the white hairs on the leaf tips, and a light infusion
    Withering The operation which removes moisture from the plucked leaves making them less brittle and preparing them for processing
    Yunnana A province in southwestern China known as the birthplace of tea

    Types of Tea

    All teas come from the Camellia Sinensis evergreen bush, it is how the leaves are treated once plucked that determines the type; Black, Black Flavoured, Oolong, White & Green.

    Herbal and Tisane Teas are herbs, fruits, spices, plants or flowers that are used to create a beverage and are referred to as Tea.

    Black tea leaves are withered, rolled or cut, fully fermented and then fired (dried).

    Oolong tea leaves are withered, shaken or rolled, short fermentation, pan fried and then dried.

    Green tea leaves are withered, panfried/steamed or fired, rolled/shaped and dried.

    White tea leaves are steamed and dried.

    Herba/Tisanes are blends of flowers, herbs, spices, berries, fruits and other plants.

    Rooibos is a natural herb only grown in the South African Cedarberg Mountains. It is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, antioxidants, and flavanoids.

    Brewing Tea

    • Fill kettle with freshly drawn cold water (fresh & filtered water is recommended)
    • Measure one teaspoon or one teabag for each cup, a tea ball or filter may be used for removing tea leaves from the pot after brewing time
    • Bring water to a full rolling boil
    • Pour water onto the tea:
      Blacks & Herbal Tea; pour boiling water onto the leaves or tea bags
      Green, Oolong & White Tea; allow boiled water to sit just under
      1 minute (or to 180 degrees F.) before pouring onto the leaves
    • Brewing Time Guide
      Black Tea 3-5 minutes
      Black Tea Flavoured 3-5 minutes
      Oolong Tea 4-6 minutes
      Green Tea 1-3 minutes
      White Tea 1-3 minutes
      Herbal Tea 4-5 minutes
    • Adjust brewing times to suit your taste for stronger or weaker tea. Within each type of tea, there may be exceptions to the guide.

    Caffeine in Tea

    All Tea of the Camellia Sinensis bush contains caffeine.The amount is based on many factors; brewing time, length of time of fermentation, where the leaf is picked from the branch, cut or size of the leaf.

    Caffeine Comparison (based on 5 oz cup)
    Green Tea 8-16 mg of caffeine
    Oolong Tea 12-55 mg
    Black Tea 25-110 mg
    Decaffeinated Tea 2-5 mg
    Instant Coffee 30-120 mg
    Drip Coffee 60-180 mg

    As much as 80% of caffeine can be removed from regular tea by pouring hot water over the leaves. To decaffeinate a regular tea, pour boiling water over leaves and let brew for30 seconds. Remove water from tea leaves and re-use leaves.

    Storing Tea

    The enemy of tea is air, moisture, odors and direct light. To preserve your tea’s shelf life, store in a cool dry place, in a container that is airtight. Do not refrigerate or freeze tea.

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