tea refers to tea that has been grown and treated using natural
chemicals only. This includes the fertilizers used to grow the plants
and pesticides used for the leaves. Only animal and vegetable products
are used and no synthetic chemicals are involved.
Organic tea may also contain no preservatives or natural preservatives only.
tea must be verified by the relevant organization, such as the USDA.
Only tea that has been verified can be labeled as organic tea. Before
being verified, the tea must past several specific requirements.
organic tea may also be labeled as "Fair Trade", which refers to their
origins. Organic tea labeled "Fair Trade" have been sourced from local
growers using traditional methods or from companies prepared to pay
workers a livable wage.
organic tea is usually more expensive and difficult to find than tea
produced using conventional methods, proponents claim organic tea is
more beneficial. The scarcity of organic tea in comparison to
conventional tea is partly due to the smaller yield organic farming
produces. Organic farming is also more intensive, hence the higher
prices to cover the extra cost.
tea has become increasingly popular as drinkers have become more aware
of some of the health issues surrounding conventional chemicals used to
treat tea plants.
Benefits of organic tea
Organic tea is beneficial for several reasons.
organic tea is non-toxic. Several pesticides containing artificial
chemicals can have an adverse effect on humans. For instance, certain
chemicals used in conventional pesticides can mimic hormones such as
estrogen when inside the human body.
tea is better for the environment because it does not release foreign
free radicals into the surrounding area. Organic tea production also
consumes less fertilizer and pesticides, and the latter is due partly
to the concept of "natural pesticides". This concept is based on the
idea that a plant will produce its own pesticides when healthy.
Organic tea is claimed to be more nutritious and also more fully-flavored than tea produced using conventional methods.
Black organic tea
organic tea is black tea grown organically. It is becoming increasingly
popular in India and Sri Lanka, two places where black tea is widely
Green organic Tea
Green organic tea is green tea grown organically. Japanese green teas are increasingly being grown using this method.
Herbal organic Tea
organic tea refers to herbal tea whose ingredients are grown
organically. This can include any and all herbs used in the tea.
Pu-erh Chinese Tea
tea is a fermented Chinese Tea from the Yunnan province in China.
Pu-erh Tea is unusual in that it is usually aged between 1-4 years
before consumption, with some tea aged after over 50 years.
Pu-erh tea usually comes in either brick or cake form.
tea has an earthy and mellow flavor, due to its lengthy fermentation
period. When poured, it has a dark brown to black color. Pu-erh tea can
be quite strong.
tea is usually allowed to brew for a lengthy period before serving, to
allow the flavors to steep out of the leaves. Pu-erh tea is often
served Gong-Fu style (a type of Chinese tea ceremony) using special tea
ware. Due to its long fermentation process, Pu-erh tea often fails to
develop the bitterness of other teas, and can be brewed for a much
tea has been the subject of several scientific studies, which seems to
suggest that Pu-erh tea can help reduce cholesterol levels and
saturated fats in humans. Pu-erh tea may also assist in weight loss.
Varieties of Pu-erh tea
tea is sometimes erroneously classified as a black tea, but it does not
belong to that category. It is also not possible to create Pu-erh tea
from black tea.
There are two varieties of Pu-erh tea:
(qing bing): This variety of Pu-erh tea is allowed to ferment naturally
after drying. Green Pu-erh tea takes longer to mature, but is
considered the superior variety.
- Mutual/Oolong (shu bing): The fermentation process of this variety of Pu-erh tea is manipulated to quicken the process.
Processing of Pu-erh tea
tea is traditionally made from older leaves - that is, not the first
flush leaves or budding leaves - from old trees. These old trees are
only found in Yunnan, and are known as broad leaf tea.
leaves from these leaves are covered with fine hairs and are known as
"broad leaf" because they are larger than other varieties.
leaves are left either green or moderately fermented before being
dried. They are then made into cakes or bricks, wrapped in paper or
pomelo rings and stored outside. The outside storage is to allow the
tea to mature by being exposed to outside air, moisture and heat.
Finally, the leaves are stored underground for several years.
Rooibos Tea (Red Tea)
Rooibos tea is tea made from the rooibos plant. The name "rooibos" (pronounced "roy-boss") originates from South Africa and is Afrikaans for "red bush".
Despite this name, the live rooibos plant is not
red in color, and is actually green until fermented. Only then does it
take on its distinctive appearance as narrow, red, twig-like leaves.
tea is currently quite popular in the United States. It is known to
have similar antioxidant properties to tea made from traditional tea
leaves, but without the caffeine content. Rooibos tea is often marketed
as Red Tea.
tea is brewed like most conventional tea by pouring hot water over the
leaves. Rooibos tea is a versatile tea that can be drunk both hot and
cold. Milk can be added at the drinker's discretion.
Processing of rooibos tea
rooibos plant is firstly harvested, and then the leaves bruised and
finely chopped. Afterwards it is wet and allowed to ferment in rolls or
mounds. When the fermentation has finished, the leaves are dried in the
The fermentation process enriches the flavor of the tea, and also imparts its red appearance.
Health benefits of rooibos tea
scientific researches have found that it contains a flavonoid called
Aspalathin, which can be used to treat skin and circulatory disorders.
Rooibos tea also contains trace elements of fluoride (important for
maintaining strong, healthy teeth), calcium (for maintaining bones) and
Rooibos tea contains oligosaccharides, a sugar compound that may aid the immune system in fighting viral infections.
antioxidants found in rooibos tea may help prevent cancer, as they
prevent the cells from damage. Damage to cells is a precursor to cancer.
following health benefits have not yet been supported through
scientific studies, but have been reported by some drinkers of Rooibos
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
- Anti-allergic properties, making rooibos tea beneficial for hayfever and asthma sufferers.
- Relaxing properties, that can aid sufferers of insomnia and nervous tension.
- Relief of digestive problems such as constipation, stomach cramps and colic in infants.
- Easing of skin conditions such as acne, eczema and nappy/diaper rash.
Sun Tea Preparation Guide
tea refers to tea that has been brewed by sitting in the heat of the
sun. Sun tea is usually made in summer, when the temperature is at
least 100°F. Sun tea is not a form of tea - the term instead refers to
the method of brewing tea.
tea is brewed slowly, and tea brewed using this method is said to have
a mellower taste than tea brewed using conventional methods. The lower
temperature of brewing is not as likely to destroy some of the delicate
oils and flavors of the tea.
Sun tea is usually drunk as iced tea.
Preparation of sun tea
To make sun tea, place 4-6 tea bags
into a clean two-quart glass container, then fill the container with
water. Close the lid, and place the container in an area where it can
bask in sunlight for 3-5 hours.
actual length of time the tea should be brewed depends on the strength
desired. Once the strength has been reached, the tea should be removed
from the sun and placed in the refrigerator.
tea should be consumed within 1-2 days of brewing. As the water has not
been boiled, the tea does not maintain as well as iced tea.
Health warnings on sun tea
Sun tea has some health warnings that users should be aware before preparing tea using this method.
tea is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, due to a
combination of liquid and warmth. Sun tea that has a thick or syrupy
appearance should not be drunk, as it may contain bacteria called Alcaligenes viscolactis.
water used in making sun tea should be preheated at a minimum of 195°F
for 3-5 minutes before using. Sun tea that has been brewed should not
remain at room temperature for longer than eight hours. After eight
hours, the sun tea should be discarded.