For the uninitiated, Camellia Sinensis is more commonly known as “tea” and is sold in three or four highly recognized forms, the most popular being green, black, white and oolong tea.
Many don’t realize that these teas are all products of the same plant. What people HAVE grasped all around the world are the health benefits of consuming the tea plant.
Lets briefly explore the differences between the most popular forms of the Camellia Sinensis plant.
White tea is arguably the purest form of the family and is selected under the strictest set of guidlines, taking only the newest two leaves and the bud. After plucking the leaves and the bud the tea is then graded before being packaged and shipped to the world markets. White tea and green have the most anti-oxidants of the true camellia teas.(There are a few herbal teas that are believed to be more antioxidant filled, namely Rooibos tea.)
Green tea follows a similar but slightly less selective harvesting procedure. Having been plucked the tea is further processed by steaming or pan-frying the freshly harvested and dried tea leaves to arrest fermentation of the leaves.
Black tea preparation follows a more complicated process. The tea leaves are harvested, cut and graded, and laid out to ferment for a variable time dependent on the style of tea desired. Once the leaves have been oxidized the final product is tested for flavor and brought to market.
Oolong tea is somewhat a hybrid of green and black tea, being partially fermented before being pan fried to arrest further fermentation. Oolong tea is considered to be beneficial in weight loss.
As the worlds most popular drink, tea is consumed more often than any other beverage save for plain water. Tea infusions are reported to deliver a number of health benefits. Of these benefits a high concentration of poly-phenols and antioxidants are the most exciting. Studies indicate that green tea consumption not only bolsters the immune system, it can also help prevent a bevy of illnesses and stave off the effects of aging.
All this being said, some people still maintain an aversion to even the most legitimate clinical studies that paint an herbal or natural remedy in a positive light. Even to these more cynical people tea can still prove to be a viable option when attempting a healthier lifestyle. Tea, when served without sugar or milk, can be very flavorful and contains zero calories, yet delivers a number of minerals and a lower caffeine yield than coffee. Tried and true skeptics should be hard pressed to argue this benefit.
We recommend Jasmine Green Tea and Pai Mu Tan White Tea as our favorite healthy teas. Both are aromatic with natural sweetness, and have been enjoyed for thousands of years.
At the end of the day it is the intent of this blog to investigate the multitude of healthy choice options available to the educated consumer, and often it turns out that these healthy choices are both delicious and rewarding.