We thought it would be good to write a little about tea and the seasons. But to start, what is tea?
Tea comes from the plant camellia sinensis. All tea comes from the same plant but prepared slightly different. There are a variety of types of tea that come from this plant, such as green tea, oolong tea, black tea, Puerh tea, white tea, earl grey, and so on. Many do not know that all of these come from the same plant. So what’s the difference?
Green tea is very lightly oxidized and processed. For this reason, green tea has more of a grassy and light taste. White tea is very close to green tea, except there is no oxidation process. White tea uses the youngest shoots of the tea plant. It is best to brew green and white tea with water that has stopped boiling and cooled down a bit (175 degrees) to preserve the delicate nature of the tea leaf. Additionally, these two brews have the least amount of caffeine due to the low or minimal oxidation process used. Green and white tea are also energetically cooling to the body according to traditional medicine making them the best to drink during hot summer months to keep our bodies balanced and cool to counter the warm environment.
Oolong tea is partially oxidized. The taste and caffeine content is slightly more pronounced than that of white or green tea. Most oolongs have more of a flowery taste to them compared to the grassy flavor of green tea and handle a higher water temperature of 185 degrees. Oolong is best enjoyed any time of the year and is especially good with meals to help prevent weight gain.
Black teas wither before oxidization resulting in a longer process than that of green, white, or oolong teas. They have the darkest color (or black) than the other teas and have the highest caffeine content. Black teas are also warm energetically and best enjoyed in the Winter months.
There are a lot of other types of tea out there, but a good fact to keep in mind is that there is only one actual “tea plant” that creates all the previously mentioned variations.
Herbal tisanes include chamomile, hibiscus, mint, lemongrass, and many other herbs. In our clinic, we give a complimentary (biodegradable) to-go cup of an herbal blend to patients after each treatment. Because these infusions do not include leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, they do not have caffeine content and coined the less popular moniker “tisane.”
To read more about teas and tisanes check out the following books: