What do you know about tea? Today I would like to talk about tea, the second most consumed beverage in the world, behind water. What are its benefits? What types of teas can we find? What plants can be obtained from?
Well, green, black and white tea are obtained from the Camellia synesis plant. It is typical from the southern China and Southeast Asia, although it is found in many regions close to the tropics. Pu-erh red tea also comes from this plant, although it undergoes a special process of fermentation and only certain mature leaves of the plant are used.
Rooibos tea, unlike the other teas, comes from the plant Aspalathus linearis, originally from South Africa.
Broadly speaking, the difference between green, black and white tea is the oxidation process to which they are subjected. White tea is made from the youngest shoots of the plant and does not undergo any oxidation. Green tea and black tea come from the same leaves, with longer oxidation time for black tea. Oxidation occurs after crushing tea leaves to contact substances that will oxidize and form the typical flavors and aromas of each tea. Then it is allowed to dry until the water content is less than 3%.
Do benefits depend on the type of tea? Yes, and also of the infusion time. Many antioxidant properties are attributed to green tea, which can help fight some problems such as cholesterol and other cardiovascular diseases as well as aging. Black tea is also rich in antioxidant compounds, although different from those from green tea. It must be taken into account that when drinking a tea, only a small percentage corresponds to dry matter, the rest is water, so the differences between one and the other are small.
As for the infusion time, the longer we leave it in contact with the hot water, the more it extracts the beneficial substances, increasing its concentration. The content of theine is greater in black tea and decreases in green tea and white to rooibos (different plant) that does not contain theine.
Tea is one of the most ancient forms of medicine and drinking it can be very relaxing and pleasant. In addition, teas are very hydrating and if are mixed with herbs rich in minerals and medicinal compounds, hot water extracts most of them very well. Teas also can be used in relaxing baths or even in the shower, spraying it to the body.
"Tea is a complete act in its simplicity. When I drink tea, we're just the tea and me. The rest of the world dissolves. There are no worries about the future. There is no worry about past mistakes. The tea is simple: tea leaves, pure hot water. I inhale the smell, small and delicate pieces of tea float on the cup. I drink the tea, the essence of the leaves become part of me. " Thich Nhat Hanb.