Everything You Wanted to Know About Tea and Caffeine

By Jennifer Jackson on April 08, 2015   /   antioxidants black tea blueberry caffeine Camellia Sinensis chinese Chinese Teas decaffeinated Fruit healthy heart disease Indian Teas Japanese Teas serenity blue tea tea 101 tisane wellness white cherry rose white tea    /   2 Comments



Tea Is Now The Popular Kid

Whether it is a cool pitcher of your favorite Serenity Blue iced tea or a steaming cup of White Cherry Rose, tea for many people is a way of life. Being the second most consumed beverage in the world, just behind water, tea is consumed in almost every country, on almost every continent.  True tea aficionados swear by using loose tea instead of tea that comes packaged in tea bags that are usually made from bleached paper or plastics. Not only does using loose tea save money per cup and cut down on packaging waste, it also tastes better and supposedly contains more antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Tea = Camellia Sinensis Plant

To be considered “tea” a beverage must contain leaves and or stems of the Camellia Sinensis tree; otherwise it is considered an herbal or fruit tisane. There are many tea producing nations that each have a unique variety and flavor in tea.  At Not Just Tea, we love Japanese, Chinese and Indian teas for their full and rich flavor and unique characters.

 

Same Plant = Different Teas
Since all tea comes from the same plant, what is the difference between the types of tea? Processing! How the tea is processed will determine whether it is a black tea, white tea, oolong, pu-erh or green tea. Flavor of the tea and caffeine content also are determined by the processing method as well as where the tea is grown i.e. soil condition, the time of the picking.


Decaffeinated -vs- Caffeine Free Teas

Many people do not realize ‘decaffeinated’ means that the tea still contains caffeine, although very little. Regular black teas can be decaffeinated by brewing the leaves for 30 seconds and then straining, after which, brew the same leaves again for the full amount of time. This will yield a slightly lesser aroma and taste, but with 80-85% less caffeine. Those teas marked ‘Decaf” go thru a CO2-decaffeination; the tea leaves are soaked in a carbon dioxide solution, separated, filtered with charcoal to remove caffeine, then re-immersed in the solution to reabsorb nutrients. This process decaffeinates and preserves 95% of the tea’s compounds and flavors with no chemical residue.
Note that decaffeinated teas are teas previously with caffeine and then have gone thru a process of decaffeination; they still contain some caffeine.

While caffeine-free teas like Serenity Blue are teas that have NEVER had caffeine!



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Tea 101: Weight Loss Miracle? Myths about Oolong Teas

By Jennifer Jackson on February 24, 2015   /   195 autumn sunset caffeine caribbean breeze chinese detoxing digestion formosa green jade jasmine garden oolong ooling steep taiwan tea tea 101 weight loss wellness    /   0 Comments

Tea 101: Oolong Teas - Easy, Breezy Weight Loss?

I love Oolong teas!  They are literally my favorite teas because they are a delicious hybrid of the best parts of green and black teas.  

Oolong teas are made through centuries-old, complex techniques and produce an exotic and exciting elixir. Oolong teas are the most difficult of the artisan teas to produce. In some cases, the process can exceed 2 days preparation with constant monitoring of aroma, feel and look. As with any artisan tea, it is the expertise of the tea master which will ultimately determine the quality and desirability of the final product.

There are two types of Oolongs:

Jade Oolong - Light, airy like an earthy sweet robust green tea

This legendary oolong is a cup of pure romance. It produces a beautiful jade colored infusion. The flavor has a natural sweetness, with lingering notes of Spring greens. The Iron Goddess is a Tie Guan Yin oolong from Fujian Province, China. Hand harvested and produced through a traditional process whereby the large tea leaves are very tightly rolled. This is the one of the most revered Chinese oolongs.

We are introducing a new Organic Jade Oolong into our tea line at the Somerset, NJ Sugarloaf Festival in March called Organic Slimming Jade Oolong.  

Formosa or Taiwanese Oolong - Dark and Robust 

Formosa Oolongs have had longer oxidation exposure then the Chinese oolongs; this accounts for their darker appearance. Often referred to for their weight loss characteristics, oolong teas are used in many diet and health plans.

 We carry 3 different Formosa oolongs at Not Just Tea - Caribbean Breeze, Jasmine Garden Oolong and Autumn Sunset.


Proper Steeping Instructions:
Oolong teas support multiple infusions;  they can be infused 6-7 times. With each steeping, oolong teas leaves unfurl more and impart differing flavors making it one of the most interesting teas as well. 

 - Use 2 tsp per 6-8 oz cup

 - Heat water to 195 degrees and pour over the leaves then dump the steep out after 20 seconds. T

 - The Chinese say you have “awakened the Dragon"!

 - For the next steep, use same temperature water and allow to steep 2 minute

 - The more steeps you have, the longer the steeping time up to 3-4 minutes

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Tea 101: Caffeine-Free Teas: The "Tisanes" That Just Keep On Giving

By Jennifer Jackson on February 18, 2015   /   anxiety caffeine depression fruit iced tea tea tea 101 tisane wellness    /   0 Comments

 

Tea 101: Caffeine-Free Herbal Teas - The 'Tisane' That Just Keeps On Giving

Herbal teas are both the most requested and least understood of all teas.  First, the term 'herbal tea' is just all wrong. To be considered “tea” a beverage must contain leaves and or stems of the Camellia Sinensis tree (think white, green, oolong and black tea leaves); otherwise it is considered an herbal infusion or fruit tisane.

Therefore, peppermint or chamomile teas are actually tisanes and not teas.

Next, there are just SO many herbal tisanes and infusions with so many healthy benefits.  But some common benefits across all tisanes include anti-anxiety and anti-depression.  At Not Just Tea, we love them and are expanding our line this year with 4 new herbal infusions.

 

Health Benefits:

  • Believed to reduce stress and calm anxiety
  • May aid in fighting sleeping disorders
  • Has been shown to quiet symptoms of indigestion and nausea
  • Has antibacterial properties that may help relieve symptoms from the common cold

 

 At Not Just Tea, our customers love herbal tisanes.  Our first tea was a herbal tea, Sassy Strawberry, which was a delicious blend of strawberries, mango and papaya.  We have since expanded to 5 different teas.  We are so excited to offer 4 new teas to our herbal infusion line. 

Visit us at Sugarloaf Craft Festival in March to taste our new teas:

  • Lemony Goodness - Delicious blend of tangy lemons, strawberries, South African Rooibos and peaches.
  • Very Berry Berry - Bold and tart blend of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
  • Apricot Supreme - Lovely, sweet of apricots stone fruit blended with green South African Rooibos
  • Peachy Keen - Delightfully innocent blend of peaches, marigolds and green South African Rooibos  

 

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Tea 101 : Magical Black Teas? Fact or Fiction

By Jennifer Jackson on February 12, 2015   /   antioxidants black tea caffeine cholesterol hair growth healthy heart disease recipes tea tea 101 wellness    /   0 Comments

Tea 101: Black Tea: The Full-Bodies Beauties of The Tea World

Black tea is the most popular tea in North America.  Black tea is normally the first tea consumed as children.  Who does remember the Lipton tea bag and little piece of lemon that you received at the local restaurant or diner.  My first tea experience was black tea.  My parent's lived in Flushing, Queens near Chinatown.  There was a little Chinese restaurant that they frequented often.  Even though I was only 5 or 6, I still remember the piping hot sweet black tea that arrived at the table as soon as sat down.  Who would have thought that a few decades after I would create Not Just Tea whose mission it is to create that wonderful feeling that I still remember from my first tea experience.

 

Top 5 : Healthy Benefits of Black Tea

 - Excellent source of antioxidants

 - Lowers risk of heart disease and heart attacks

 - Reduces cholesterol

 - Higher caffeine level gives a boost in the morning without jitters

 - Stimulates hair growth

What Makes Black Tea So Wonderful?

All true tea types come from the Camellia Sinensis plant; what makes the difference is how the tea is processed.  All teas have varying flavors and colors but are processed in basically the same way.  Black teas are special because unlike white, green, or oolong teas, the tea leaves are fully oxidized (think of an apple that has been cut and has browned).  Leaves are picked either by hand (this is rare and expensive) or by plucking machines. After picked the leaves are laid out to wither and dry.  The dried leaves are then rolled between two disks that accelerates that oxidation process.  Black teas are fully oxidized which gives them their deep, robust taste and black coloring.

The best way to prepare black teas:

2 TSP of Black Tea

Water Temperature: 195 F

Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

 

 

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