Tea

Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage, after water. Tea drinking has health benefits, for example drinking green tea has been found to reduce levels of cortisol and feelings of stress, and seems to lower the risk of developing depression and dementia (1).

 

Tea, herbal and botanical medicine have a long and inextricable history. It is said that the venerable father of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Shen Nong (2nd Emperor of China), had his first cup of tea when a Camellia Sinensis leaf blew into his cup of hot water (2737 BCE).

 

Serendipitea teas are made from the finest quality ingredients, with health in mind. Here are the types of tea we offer:

brewing loose tea

Black Tea

Tea is produced by oxidation of the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. Under the oxidation process, tea leaves are exposed to moist oxygen-rich air and turn into a dark-brownish black colour to form black tea. Black, green white, oolong, and yellow teas are differentiated by the degree of oxidation, with black being allowed to fully oxidise resulting in its characteristic dark colour, rich malty aroma and strong flavour. 

 

Tea is considered a healthy beverage owing to the presence of a number of potent antioxidants known as flavonoids, which stabilize harmful free radicals in the body, and minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, & calcium. In addition, tea comprises vitamins C, K, B12, B6 and E, as well as trace amounts of the minerals potassium, manganese, magnesium, and calcium, and different amino acids such as L-theanine. Several studies suggest that regular consumption of tea helps reduce cell damage caused by free radicals, thus potentially preventing cancer, as well as lowering cholesterol levels, facilitating healthy weight loss and enhancing immunity. 

 

Black tea is usually considered to be more highly caffeinated than green or oolong teas, but steeping times play a role in the level of caffeine (2).

 

Are you a Darjeeling fan? Our Organic Darjeeling, from the Happy Valley estate, will easily become your favourite!

 

In the mood for some relaxation with a flavoured black tea? Why not let Woodland Whisper transport you to the peaceful Swedish forest?

Green Tea

Green tea is derived from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, which are slightly withered but prevented from being oxidised by heating the leaves, compared to back tea which is fully oxidised. Hence, green tea is the least processed form of tea and the leaves keep some of their original fresh green leaf color and flavor. It is brewed at lower temperatures, has less caffeine and a more subtle flavour compared with other teas. It originated from China during the Han Dynasty, being used originally as a herb in Chinese medicine, but has become very popular worldwide due to its delicate flavour and healthy benefits. It is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants (catechins being a major compound), and is anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and anti-bacterial. Drinking green tea has been associated with a number of health outcomes such as improved digestion, improvement in heart & mental health, weight loss, reduced tumour growth and reduced damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation. 

 

Green tea typically contains less caffeine than other types of tea, but this is affected by steeping times (1).

 

Green tea is delicate and requires careful brewing, to avoid a bitter flavour. If you think you don’t like green tea because it is too bitter, you may have been preparing it wrongly! The water should not be boiling (100°c) but between 75 and 80°c. If you don’t have a kettle with a temperature function, stop boiling when bubbles form at the base of the water but not at the top, or boil the water and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before pouring on your tea. Steeping times for green tea are short, again too long will result in bitterness. We provide times for each tea, usually in the range 2 to 3 minutes. Be strict with this timing to enjoy a beautifully delicate and aromatic cup!

 

Looking for a delightful flavoured green tea to start? Refreshing Oasis is simply lovely, a beautiful tea!

Green loose tea
Organic Pu-Erh tea

Pu-erh

Pu-erh teas hail from the Yunnan region of China and are post-fermented, “hei-cha” or “aged teas”: the cheeses of the tea world! After the oxidation process that creates black tea, the tea is subject to a fermentation process: traditionally it is treated with either a fungal or bacterial colony and left to age in a cave. Now teas are stored in a cool cellar or buried in the ground for one or more years. This creates a wonderfully intense spicy, woody and earthy flavour! 

 

Generally, pu-erh teas contain slightly more caffeine than black teas but the longer the tea is aged, the less caffeine it contains.

 

According to Traditional Oriental Medicine, Pu-erh clears heat and dispels toxicity. It also promotes the generation of body fluids, aids in digestion and even eases hangover. It is considered bitter and cold in nature and therefore is thought to help the body's immunity against infections (one mechanism of up-regulating liver detoxification). In one study with animals, the Pu-erh fed group had significant reduction in triglycerides and LDL.

 

Have you tried our Pistachio Pu-erh? It’s a real treat!

Oolong

Oolong is thought to be first developed in the Fuijan province of China (Taiwan also claims its origin) under the Tang Dynasty. It is produced by a process that involves withering leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis under strong sun, then allowing them to partially oxidise exposed to moist oxygen-rich air, before curling and twisting. Oolong is somewhere between a green and a black tea. Green tea is barely oxidised so the leaves keep some of their original fresh green leaf color and flavor, while black tea is allowed to fully oxidise producing its characteristic dark colour, rich malty aroma and strong flavour. Oxidation levels in oolong can vary greatly (8-85%) depending on the production style of the tea master, so the flavor profile varies on the fresh green tea to malty black tea scale. 

 

Oolong teas look very different to both black and green teas. Traditionally they are artisanally rolled, twisted or curled into tight balls or thin strands with the shaping techniques depending on the traditions of the tea master making the tea. The important rolling stage alters the appearance, color and aroma of the final tea leaves. In this way, oolong tea making is a truly artisanal endeavour requiring mastership. 

 

Oolong teas may be infused multiple times, with the caffeine content decreasing with each brew. The flavour of oolong tea has been compared to flowers or fruit. In China and other Asian countries, Oolong tea is an after dinner digestive tea. It is thought to be especially beneficial after consuming heavy, rich or oily foods.  

 

Want to try a gloriously fragrant delicate oolong? Think Pink will not disappoint!

 

Do you have a sweet tooth? Try Ooh-long Canada...Ooh yum! 

Oolong tea
rooibos tea
Rooibos

Rooibos is obtained using leaves from a shrub called Aspalathus linearis, usually grown on the western coast of South Africa. Since it is not derived from Camellia Sinensis, it is not strictly “tea” but a herbal infusion. It is created by fermenting the leaves and the resulting “tea” consists of thin, red-brown needle-like leaves. It has been used for centuries to support and promote cardiovascular health with its high antioxidant count. Rooibos is free of caffeine and tannic acid. For this reason, preparation is easy: too much tea or longer brewing times does not have a very negative effect on flavour. Our teas contain only the highest quality rooibos (“super grade”) with long and even needles, that have been subject to the highest level of sifting to ensure an even and high quality tea.  

 

Are you a rooibos fan who would like to try a novel flavour? Check out Sweet Aloe Melon for a lovely refreshing melon note! Or call the fire brigade and try Chilli Cherry!

Honeybush

Like rooibos, honeybush “tea” is a herbal infusion not related to green or black tea. It was discovered in South Africa in the 18th century. Honeybush has a wonderful sweet and aromatic flavour with a scent of honey. It contains a range of minerals and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. Research suggests it may help manage and prevent type 2 diabetes, and improve bone health. It is thought to be beautifying to the skin. Both drinking honeybush tea and topically applying a honeybush tea extract may improve skin health and protect skin from oxidation and aging. Honeybush has also been linked with anti-obesity, relief of menopausal symptoms (due to its phytoestrogen compounds), immune system support and alleviation of respiratory congestion. Honeybush contains no caffeine or tannic acid and is a perfect evening tea

 

Haven’t tried honeybush before? Our wonderfully aromatic Organic Honeybush is a must!

Honeybush tea
fruit tea
Fruit Teas

Fruit “teas” are actually infusions of fruits and botanical ingredients. A real treat, they are typically caffeine-free and their fruity flavour makes them a hit with the whole family, young and old. Many are also superb as iced teas in the summer, or chilled with sparkling mineral water or sparkling wine. The blends look as pretty as they taste scrumptious! 

 

Looking for something a little different, tasty and gloriously fragrant? Try the amazing Hawaiian Blue Sky with its beautiful lavender aroma and a natural blue sheen produced by the trendy butterfly pea flowers! A wonderful treat!

 

For a mild taste opt for the Low in Acid blends which offer full, fruity pleasure without tingling acidity (provided usually by hibiscus). 

Herbal Teas

No other drink offers such flavour variety as herbal infusions (referred to as herbal “teas”): sweet, sour, spicy, flowery. Typically these beverages do not contain caffeine and are very relaxing. Serendipitea herbal teas use the freshest quality ingredients sourced from the country of origin and carefully refined and blended to European Union standards in Germany, Sweden or the United Kingdom. 

 

The history of herbs dates back to the traditional cultures of China, India, Persia, Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire which was responsible for spreading the use of herbs in Europe, fusing their ideas with those of the Greeks. In the middle ages, the study of herbs extended in Europe where it was implemented and refined in monastery gardens, in particular the Benedictine Order whose research and cultivation divided herbs into the culinary and medicinal classifications still in use in the West today. Later the plants and spices brought by trading ships altered the vegetation of the gardens as novel herbs were blended with local ones. A long tradition of herbalism persists in the East. Chinese Medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems, thought to be over 5000 years old (the earliest known written record of Chinese medicine is the Huangdi neijing, the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, from the 3rd century BCE), with a practical philosophy of nurturing health through the use of different modalities including herbalism.

 

Looking for a lovely herb tea to relax and free your mind? Why not take a moment and drink some Free & Easy!

 

Check our herbal blends made for each stage of Your Life.

Herbal tea

References:

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00398-1 

  2. Chin J.M et al. (2008) Caffeine Content of Brewed Teas. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 32: 702-4