Tea has a great history, known about for almost 5000 years. It's the second most consumed beverage in the world (beaten only by water) and recent statistics suggest that tea drinkers are collectively enjoying over 165 million cups of tea… a DAY.
In Britain, and now countries further afield, tea plays an integral part in many peoples' lives. A curious thing is that many may never stop to explore the unique leaves brewing regularly in their teacups, or investigate how a plant originally from China – ended up being one of the nation's favourite beverages.
At Tea Palace, we're helping you get to know the teas you are drinking, help you explore the hundreds of blends we have available and most importantly - enjoy the cups you are drinking!
Did you know? - All tea comes from one plant 'Camellia Sinensis'
It is the different processes from picking all the way through to drying which determine whether the tea will be classified as a Black, Green, Oolong or White Tea. This classification effects not only the taste, but the level of caffeine and antioxidants present.
Different Types of Tea
There are four main varieties of tea:
Black teas get their characteristic flavour and colour from a natural oxidation process, which follows initial drying and rolling of the leaves after they have been picked. Tea Palace offers a wide range of single estate black teas including world famous Assams, Darjeelings and Ceylons and a range of bespoke Black Blends.
Green tea is made from unoxidized leaves which are simply heated after picking to destroy the enzymes that cause oxidation. They are then rolled to release their flavour. Green teas are sweet and contain many of the vitamins and antioxidant properties of the fresh green tea leaf, making them highly regarded as a healthy, fragrant and delicious drink.
Oolong, meaning Black Dragon, is usually from China and Taiwan (often called Formosa, its old Portuguese name). It is a semi-fermented tea, a cross between green and black teas, which is widely prized for its digestive benefits. Tea Palace offers a range of the finest oolong teas from both China and Taiwan, including Iron Goddess of Mercy (Ti Kuan Yin) and the highest grades of Formosa Oolong teas.
White tea is the world's rarest tea as it can only be picked for a few weeks in any one year. Authentic white tea is only grown in the Fujian province in China where the exact method of processing is kept secret. What we do know is that white tea is made from a specific tea plant variety, as well as a particular processing method which raises small silvery hairs on the leaves and buds.
White tea has seen a recent increase in popularity and has well-documented antioxidant and detoxifying benefits.
There are other drinks widely accepted as 'teas' such as Chamomile, Peppermint or Rooibos. At Tea Palace we refer to these as Infusions as they are natural botanicals which are not related to the actual tea plant. Many of our Infusions are naturally caffeine free and many are 100% organic. Tea Palace Organic Teas are Certified Organic by the Soil Association.
The range includes:
Our herbal infusions are all blended using real herbs, flowers and seeds and contain no artificial flavourings or colourings.
Tea Palace offers a Tea Tonics selection of infusions, specifically blended to improve well-being according to Ayurvedic practices. The infusions improve health and well-being by addressing various minor ailments such as indigestion, insomnia, stress, weakened immune system, anxiety and are blended in accordance with Ayurvedic recipes from Kerala.
Rooibos & Honeybush
Rooibos, or Redbush, is grown in South Africa. Naturally caffeine free, it contains high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as anti-ageing properties.
All our fruit infusions are made with only real visible pieces of fruit, whole berries and flowers. They contain no artificial colours or flavourings and are sugar-free.