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: The Cleanest, Greenest of Green Teas

By Jennifer Jackson on March 25, 2015   /     /   2 Comments

What is green tea?

Green teas are world renown for it's healthy benefits.  Green teas come from un-oxidized tea leaves that have been steamed or pan-fired resulting in a refreshing and natural taste. Green tea has remained the beverage of choice in Asia for centuries.  Its natural aroma and widely acclaimed health benefits make green tea appealing to both tea lovers and non tea drinkers. When blended with herbs, spices, or fruits like in our #1 customer favorite, Strawberry Fields, green teas excite the palate with a flavorful and healthy beverage. High in antioxidants, green tea provides for a healthy alternative to juice and sports drinks.

How is green tea made?

The main green tea producing countries are China and Japan. Typically green tea production is as follows:

1. Tea is picked and no oxidation is allowed to take place. The tea is heated immediately in one of two ways:

  • Dry Heat  – Leaves are either heated in a large wok over a flame or placed in revolving cylinders that hot air is blown into. These are the traditional methods used in China.
  • Moist heat – Leaves are placed in a large bamboo basket suspended above steam baths. This is the traditional method used in Japan. This also keeps the greenness of the leaves and produces a more vegetal flavor.

2. Tea is then rolled which gives the tea its final shape and color. In both China and Japan, the visual qualities of tea are as important as its aroma.

What are the health benefits of tea?

  1. Great source of Antioxidants
  2. Shown to lower the risk of heart disease
  3. Studies show green tea consumption can aide in decreasing blood pressure
  4. May aid in lowering cholesterol
  5. May help in promoting the immune system

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This Weekend - Sugarloaf Craft Festival - Oaks, PA

By Jennifer Jackson on March 18, 2015   /   center expo formosa fruit greater oaks PA philadelphia shows sugarloaf tea tisane    /   0 Comments
March 20-23, 2015
10 - 6 PM
100 STATION AVENUE • OAKS, PA 19456

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Stock Up On Tea This Weekend - Somerset, NJ - Sugarloaf Craft Festival

By Jennifer Jackson on March 12, 2015   /     /   0 Comments
Join Not Just Tea @ Sugarloaf Craft Festival
March 13-15, 2015
10 - 6 PM
Garden State Exhibit Center
50 Atrium Drive · Somerset, NJ 08873

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Tea 101: Organic Teas - Nature's Bounty

By Jennifer Jackson on March 04, 2015   /     /   0 Comments

Tea 101: Organic Teas - Nature's Bounty

Organic teas are hard to find.  In most of the tea growing world (Japan, China, Kenya, etc), there is no such concept as 'organic'.  Most of the tea that we source are directly from family-owned farms that have been using the same tea growing techniques for centuries.  Yet, when a community has committed itself to organic teas, we have to take notice.

Benefits of Organic Teas

Organic is good for the ecosystem: Organic tea gardens support ecosystems and don’t contaminate local water supplies. 

Organic tastes better: By using organic fertilizers, like cover crops and manures, tea plants are allowed to blossom and ripen at their own, natural pace.  They have more time to develop the natural sugars in compounds that helps the flavor.  This allows the teas to have a stronger flavor than conventional teas.

Organic is certified: Organic teas are now certified organic by government agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture. In the past, anyone could say that a tea was organic even it was not.

New Organic Teas At Not Just Tea

We know that our customers are health conscious and want to know that they are getting the best teas.  Therefore, we have introduced 5 new organic teas to our tea line.  We will also be replacing some of our existing teas with organic teas throughout the year.  Check out these new organic teas at the Sugarloaf Festival in Somerset, NJ from March 13-15! 

  • Organic Blue Nile Chamomile - Egyptian chamomile produces a fragrant and soothing cup with a hint of honey
  • Organic Slimming Jade Oolong - Organic oolong tea with flowery aroma with a subtle, buttery finish.
  • Organic White Peony -  Organic white tea with bright apricot color and naturally light floral fragrance.
  • Organic English Breakfast - Feel like royalty with this robust organic black tea with malty and oaky undertones.
  • Organic Green Gunpowder - Organic green tea that is tightly rolled and fire roasted.

 

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