Most people don’t know their pekoe from their earl grey—the average person just knows their opinion of hot tea. If you’ve never found the tea that floats your boat, but would like to give it a try, take a trip with Price & Kensington and Pacific Merchants and learn what you need to know in order to find the right tea for your teapot!
Tea is made from the dried processed leaves of camellia sinensis. Chinese teas are smaller leaves that tend to grow at higher altitudes, while Indian teas usually have larger leaves and grow at lower altitudes. There are four types of tea: black, white, green, and oolong, and they differ due to the techniques used in processing.
White teas, the latest trend in tea, are not oxidized during production, so they are fired as quickly as possible in order to prevent the opportunity for oxidization. These leaves are not rolled, broken, or bruised in order to ensure a premium product, and often times you will still find tiny silver hairs of new growth present on the buds, which has led to them being dubbed “silver needle” teas. A 2004 study found that white tea can help your immune system and it is also purported that white tea has the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea variety, giving it the highest cancer-fighting power.
Black teas are leaves that are fully oxidized. Typically, these leaves are rolled and left out for up to a day in order to allow all of the moisture from within the leaves to evaporate. Often, the most caffeine is found within black teas. Black teas are known for their power in preventing strokes as they help promote high-functioning arteries, as well as their excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea leaves are not allowed to oxidize, much like white teas. The leaves are often laid out to allow for evaporation, but are then immediately steamed or pan fried in order to neutralize enzymes. The leaves are then rolled in preparation for their final drying, and then packaged. Green tea is high in antioxidants and has been found to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, green tea has been found to aid in weight loss in many studies.
Finally, oolong tea is a bruised leaf that is partially oxidized, and then steamed in order to end the oxidization process and neutralize enzymes. Some oolong teas are more like black teas, while some are more toward a green tea. Oxidization rates range from 10-70%. Some of the noted benefits of oolong tea include possible reduction in cholesterol and many people have claimed that it aids in treating digestive disorders.
No matter what type of tea you choose, or what benefits you are seeking to receive from your tea (even if it’s just a moment of relaxation), Pacific Merchants has a full variety of teapots, tea sets, and tea cups perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re having a spot of tea by yourself, or having a full-fledged tea party, take a look at Pacific Merchants wide selection of traditional Price & Kensington tea items.