Tea 101: An Introduction To Tea

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By Cooking Panda

Tea dazzles us with its diversity. One plant, many dimensions. While the teas of the world reveal endless complexities and variations, all tea springs from a singular plant species: Camellia sinensis. The four varieties of tea include:

Black Tea

  • Average caffeine content is 50mg per 6-ounce cup.

  • Black tea is produced when withered tea leaves are rolled and oxidized, causing the leaves to turn dark. Once the desired color and pungency is reached, the tea is dried. A robust cup with bright or lively notes is produced.

Oolong

  • Average caffeine content is midway between green and black tea.

  • Oolong gains its alluring character by withering and briefly oxidizing the tea leaves in direct sunlight. As soon as the leaves give off a distinctive fragrance — often compared to apples, orchids or peaches — this stage is halted. The leaves are rolled and then fired to halt oxidation when it is about halfway between black and green tea.

Green Tea

  • Average caffeine content is 25mg per 6-ounce cup.

  • Green tea is produced when tea leaves are exposed to heat, stopping the oxidation process just after harvest. This allows the leaf to retain its emerald hue. Next, the leaves are rolled or twisted and fired. A bright cup is produced with fresh grassy/vegetal notes.

100% White Tea

  • Only trace amounts of caffeine.

  • 100% white tea is the most minimally processed of all tea varietals. The fragile tea buds are neither rolled nor oxidized and must be carefully monitored as they are dried. This precise and subtle technique produces a subtle cup with mellow, sweet notes.

We invite you to explore The Republic of Tea and discover the many types of teas readily available to our Citizens. Steep in your favorite teapot or cup, then sip slowly. Find your smile and repeat.

Tags: Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Tea, The Republic Of Tea, White Tea
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How To Steep Iced Tea

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By Cooking Panda

You will extract the most pleasure from fine tea, steeped with care. The Republic of Tea’s Minister of Fire & Water suggests the following step-by-step ritual for infusing hot tea before cooling and icing it:

1. Heat Your Water

  • It begins with the water, the element that brings tea to its full potential. Fresh water yields a better cup. We recommend using filtered, spring or bottled water.
  • Fill your kettle with fresh, cold water and heat to a rolling boil — unless you’re making green or 100% White Tea. In that case, stop short of boiling to avoid “cooking” the delicate tea.
  • Iced tea requires a double-strength infusion (compared to hot tea). So plan on about two teaspoons of tea or herbs or two tea bags per 6-ounce cup. If using whole-leaf tea, place in a tea-infusing basket or teapot.

2. Time Your Steeping

  • Pour the water over the tea, cover if in a pot, and infuse to taste. Different teas take well to different infusing times. Experiment to find your ideal time, but take care — don’t steep for too long, or you’ll find your tea has gone bitter or acidic.

3. Enjoy Your Homemade Iced Tea

  • Remove the tea bag or infuser, or use a strainer for the leaves. Allow the tea to come to room temperature.
  • Serve in an iced tea pitcher and sweeten to your liking. Pour into an iced tea glass or cup served over ice. Now you can enjoy real bottled iced tea flavor by making it yourself at home. Sip and savor the nuances, the complexity and character. This is refreshment.
Tags: iced tea, Tea, The Republic Of Tea
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What Is Matcha?

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By Cooking Panda

Overview

Matcha is a special form of green tea where premium green tea leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder. Traditionally used in Japanese Tea Ceremonies, matcha has seen a recent growth in popularity due to its health benefits, distinct taste and versatility in healthy recipes.

History

Matcha has a long history that dates back as far as the 11th century in Japan. It is thought that a Zen Monk by the name of Eisai brought green tea seeds from China and began planting the tea in monasteries. Believing the tea leaves had the ability to promote longevity and to cure certain ailments, Eisai would crush the leaves into a rough powder and drink them blended in water. This first form of matcha was considered a precious medicine and was only consumed by a select few.

By the late 12th century, matcha was incorporated into Buddhist ceremonies, and by the 13th century, Samurai warriors had begun preparing and drinking matcha before battle. The Samurai warriors’ tea traditions evolved into what is today known as the Japanese tea ceremony

Caffeine Content

Unlike other teas, which use tea bags or tea leaves that are removed from the hot water after steeping, matcha preparation involves consuming the ground tea leaves themselves. Because you are ingesting the entire green tea leaf, the caffeine content is much greater than green tea that is steeped.

The caffeine content in matcha varies depending on the quality of tea leaves and whether you are making thick (koicha) matcha or thin (usucha) matcha. On average, matcha contains less than half the amount of caffeine per cup than in a similar-sized cup of coffee.

Health Benefits

Because matcha is prepared using the entire green tea leaf, it is thought to have as much as 10 times the antioxidants and health benefits of regular green tea. In addition, matcha is packed with catechin, or EGCg, which is one of the most powerful forms of antioxidants, known to help prevent and fight cancer. Other benefits of matcha include boosting metabolism, burning fat, and improving memory and concentration.*

How to Steep

Matcha is prepared by adding hot water to matcha green tea powder. To make your own matcha at home, we recommend adding about 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to a cup of hot, steaming water. Whisk vigorously with either a bamboo matcha whisk or electric frother until foamy on top. Matcha is traditionally served in a tea bowl. To make a matcha green tea latte, simply add some steamed milk and a drizzle of honey.

Recipes

Matcha powder is versatile in that it can be used in various recipes including smoothies, muffins, energy balls, puddings and soups. For over a dozen ways to enjoy, see our matcha tea recipes.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Tags: Matcha, Tea, The Republic Of Tea
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