My interest in tea started many years ago. I remember visiting a tea shop/tea house and it intrigued me. Not only were there so many different types of tea, but most of the teas were loose and not in tea bags. The salesperson encouraged me to try several different teas and also explained all of the different health benefits that teas possess. This seemed like a new concept! I bought some tea and started my tea journey.
In the last 6 years, Rich and I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in China, specifically in Shanghai. There I met an American expat, Tracy, who owns the Shanghai and Beyond boutique tour company. She lives in Shanghai and provides tea tours around the Shanghai area.
Tracy is an amazing tour guide but also is very passionate about tea. She would bring visitors to local tea markets but also take them on day trips to places like Hangzhou to see where tea is being grown and picked. Most of my tea knowledge has come from Tracy and her tours and I encourage you to read her blog HERE.
Tea has become a passion for me and that is why we have decided to carry several tea related items on the C Larboard website. In next week's blog, I will highlight these tea items & tea EDC gadgets and explain why these 4 unique gifts are great for the tea lovers in your life.
Did you know that all types of tea come from the same plant? The tea plant or bush actually has 2 species and all types of tea originate from these plants. Different types of tea are the end result of how the tea leaves were processed or oxidized. Different types of tea, possess different types of health benefits.
There are many variations of tea. But here are some of the most popular and their health benefits.
**Many thanks to the Teavana Tea Tips Brochure from which I gathered some of my statistics and highlights.
If you have a little extra time, loose tea is the way to go. Unfortunately, traditional tea bags often contain bits and pieces of the tea leaves so this may not give you the freshest cup of tea. In China, there is a whole ceremony of washing the leaves with the first pass of hot water and then allowing the tea leaves to bloom or expand. Once you taste fresh tea, you will continually crave loose leaf tea!
I have 2 favorite teas…and shhhh one is not actually made from the tea plant.
First off is Oolong Tea (otherwise known as wūlóng chá in Mandarin). I enjoy the smoothness of this tea as well as the caffeine level. I enjoy this both hot or cold!
My favorite non-tea tea is chrysanthemum tea. Although it is called a tea it is actually made from the chrysanthemum flower. It is fantastic if you are getting a cold or having allergy symptoms. I swear by it and often travel with it in case I start feeling under the weather. Another YES to the question, "Is Tea Good for You?"!
If you are interested in tea and headed to Shanghai area – please check out Tracy’s website. You will not be disappointed with her tours and her vast knowledge of tea!! Of course, I need to thank her for all of the knowledge she has passed along to me! If you want to hear about my personal tea experiences with Tracy, visit my personal blog (livefoodtravel.com) and see my posts Hangzhou and YangMeiLing Tea Trek Part 1 and Part 2.
I also encourage to venture out and find a shop selling loose teas. There are so many interesting varieties and I believe you will taste the difference from so many of the bagged teas.
Happy Tea Shopping!
~Zoe' Coulcher, Co-Founder C Larboard
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