Organic Teas & Tisanes

What is tea?

Tea is the agricultural product of the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of various cultivars and sub-varieties of the Camellia sinensis plant, processed and cured using various methods.  There are five common types of tea represented by Sipndipatea and although it would be impossible to tell you everything there is to know about tea, especially since I don’t know all there is to tell, I will share this...

White Tea
The least complicated call of tea to describe, but not to create.  Grown and harvested almost exclusively in China, it consists of the the tender, unopened buds of the bush.  White tea is the younger leaves of the Camellia plant and picked early spring, no rain, dew or frost can occur during the harvest.  The last three weeks on the bush, the buds are shaded, this prevents “greening” and enables the fresh tea to dry rapidly. It is lightly oxidized, protecting not only the delicate flavor of the white tea, but also retaining high levels of the chemicals responsible for the tea's health benefits.  It is expensive to harvest and prepare, but the flavor is exquisite and the medicinal properties are abundant.  

Green Tea
There are 1000s of green teas in the market place and there is no limit to there complexities and uniqueness of character.  Even the preparation is complex, it can be air dried, sun dried, basket-fired, pan-fired, oven-dried, steamed and even tumble dried.  No matter how it is prepared, it is done with minimal oxidation during processing and that is what makes it uniquely, green tea.

Oolong Tea
The most complicated tea to manufacture.  There are a lot of steps involved from harvest to market place.  Oolong is made from large camellia leaves  “crafted” into the tea presented.  Many oolongs are plucked as a bud with an accompanying set of leaves, typically up to three. Oolongs are created through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting.  Truly an art form to be enjoyed and savored. 

Black Tea
One of the most popular classes of tea in the world.   Black tea is not fermented, it is oxidized.  Complete oxidation naturally traps the juice of the tea in the leaf structure creating a remarkable class of tea.  Black tea is withered and preparation is everything!  There is natural withering, chemical withering and trough withering. Then there is a rolling process and then oxidation (not fermentation).  It is more oxidized than white, green & oolong.  It also holds its flavor longer (by years) making it a wonderful tea in the trade market. 

Pu-erh Tea
This is a fermented tea.  It is a large leave, richly colored that can either be made from oxidized (cooked) or non oxidized (raw) leaf.  Microbial activity involving several different bacteria takes place on and in the leaf, true fermentation.  It can be  a loose tea, or commonly compressed into round cakes and other interesting shapes.