Basics About TEA, Otherwise Known as Camellia sinensis
There is absolutely nothing better than a cup of tea...in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening! I put teas into two categories: Herbal (also called a tisane) and Regular. What is regular old tea? Otherwise known as Camellia sinensis, there are all kinds of varieties---but only FOUR main types!
I love to blend "regular" tea with medicinal and/or nutritive herbs. I love the way you can blend and combine them for an amazing taste experience while helping your body self-heal. Lately I have been making quite a bit of refreshing probiotic Kombucha (a fermented drink that requires a base of white, green, oolong, or black tea---what I call "regular" tea) and mixing that with medicinal and/or nutritive herbs.
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What is Tea?
Tea comes from a plant called Camellia sinensis. This is the tea as we know it---not herbal teas, which consist of dried herbs and plants other than Camellia sinensis. I have been playing around with adding the Camellia tea leaves to my herbal teas, and I really like the results.
There are four basic types of Camellia sinensis: White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, and Black Tea. Their differences lie in how they are processed. White Tea is the least processed, all the way up to Black Tea, the most processed. The amount of caffeine grows from White to on the scale to Black Tea as well, if that is a concern of yours.
I found this great chart from The Rosemary House that clearly shows the differences between the four types of tea. It's probably the best graphic representation of tea I have come across! It was created by The Rosemary House, and they do have a great website to check out. The magazine in which I found it is my newest favorite: The Essential Herbal. I highly recommend the herbal journal for its interesting articles.
Regardless of the type of Camellia sinensis you like best, they are all filled with varying levels of nutrition and compounds that help regulate blood sugar levels, may improve weight loss, contain anti-oxidants to help your body fight free radicals, and many other health benefits.
I buy all four types of tea in bulk, and have experimented with them in creating herbal blends and Kombuchas and also just to drink alone. In my experience in making kombucha, the more the tea is processed, the better it seems to do. I'm not sure of the reasons behind this, but when I brew tea to make kombucha, I say it's best to use black or oolong tea!
At any rate, try some tea, and enjoy!!!
Where do I get my teas and herbs?
I purchase my teas and bulk herbs from Starwest Botanicals. They are fast, have an incredible range of products, and I find they operate with integrity. Plus, their prices are reasonable, and they ship FAST.
Want to find out how to make a great tea infusion?
Here is an article about how to make the perfect infusion of herbal and/or Camellia sinensis tea.
Need some tea accessories?
Here is an excellent Tea Lover's Gift Guide! Spread the love or keep for yourself! :-)
Here are a few of my favorite things having to do with tea:
This Asobu tea infuser mug is my very favorite when I'm drinking my tea at home! It makes the perfect one serving amount, and the infuser works great---even on finely ground teas! It's also beautiful and reasonable priced!
Here is another great infuser for on the go! Also reasonably priced! Most of these sell for upwards of $10 more, so this is a great price for a double-walled glass tea infuser!
I love glass tea pots! I don't actually have this particular one, and I couldn't find the one I have online or I would have linked to it. But this one is very similar. You can also use if to brew blooming teas!
Blooming teas are generally a combination of the Camellia sinensis teas along with flowers. They are just gorgeous and make for great gifts for yourself or others! So fun to watch unfurl!
And if you are interested in reading further:
Final Thoughts on Tea
I love all the teas, no matter how they are processed. I find them delicious. Not to mention…they contain antioxidants, are high in polyphenols, and catechins. Green tea, especially, is wonderful for supporting your heart health and helping regulate blood sugar levels.
So now you know! When you are drinking a tea that contains no black tea, oolong tea, green tea, or white tea, you are actually not drinking tea at all! You’re drinking a tisane, or herbal tea.
Hugs, Health, and Self-Reliance!
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