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Why Loose Leaf Tea?

Tea is the second-most popular beverage in the world, so the chances are good that you’ve enjoyed a hot cup of this soothing brew.  Maybe it’s even one of your favorite drinks.  Given the global popularity that tea has enjoyed for the past few hundred years, it’s not surprising that it has evolved into a quick, convenient option.  For many people around the world (including most Americans), brewing tea is as easy as steeping a store-bought tea bag in a cup of boiling water.  In fact, since its inception in the early 1900s, the tea bag has become extremely popular for its convenience.  A trip to nearly any grocery store will reveal the immense success of the tea bag; in an aisle full of various flavors, styles, and types of tea available in bags, you’ll scarcely find a serving of the tea bag’s predecessor:  loose tea leaves.

But with tea bags so convenient, so easy, so readily available, why make the switch to loose-leaf tea?  You might be surprised to learn that loose leaf tea actually offers lots of benefits over its pre-bagged cousin.  Perhaps the most important difference is the quality of flavor.  Bagged teas contain broken (or even ground) tea leaves, which are usually the waste left over from sorting out the far superior whole leaves to be used in loose leaf tea.  Much of the leaves’ essential oils are lost in the breaking or grinding process used in producing bagged tea.  Whole tea leaves retain their essential oils far longer, resulting in a more true and robust flavor.  The bag itself can compromise the flavor of your tea, as well.  For the tea leaves to properly steep and fully develop their flavor, they must have enough room for water to circulate through them.  The small, flat design of most tea bags restricts water flow, thus limiting the steeping process (and your enjoyment of your tea!).  As an added bonus, buying your tea loose allows you to experiment with different blends and discover the flavor combinations that perfectly suit your taste.

If better flavor isn’t enough to inspire you to switch to loose leaf tea, maybe the nutritional benefits will.  Ounce for ounce, it’s hard to find another natural beverage that packs a more powerful nutritional punch than a cup of brewed, loose leaf tea.  The essential oils are the key here, too; it’s these oils that contain the natural chemical compounds which are so beneficial.  Loose leaf tea isn’t just good for your body, either.  It’s also healthier for your wallet.  When you buy your tea pre-bagged, you’re buying a lot of packaging.  There’s the tin or cardboard container, some kind of inner lining to keep the tea fresh during shipping (which is funny, considering the tea inside isn’t really that fresh to begin with), and of course, the tea bags themselves.  Loose leaf tea is much more economical.  Less cost, less waste, better flavor, and greater health benefits:  loose leaf is the clear choice for a great cup of tea.

The Ancient Chinese Origins Of Oolong Tea

Like many types of loose leaf tea, oolong has been used for thousands of years. It was first cultivated in China thousands of years ago, and to this day, oolong tea plays an important role in Chinese culture. In fact, its name translated to English means ‘black dragon tea’.


Making oolong tea

Oolong tea has a complicated cultivation process. Before it can be used in tea, the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant must be placed in the sun and oxidized. During this process, the leaves wither, curl and twist to form the recognizable shape that we know today from popular blends like the Flower of Asia (Mango) Oolong Tea

The preparation process for oolong tea is known as gongfu tea-making, an ancient Chinese art that originated in the Fujian and Guangdong provinces of China. Its name literally translates to ‘making tea with efforts’, and the entire process of making oolong is very controlled and labor-intensive.

Ultimately, the process used to make oolong tea means that it tastes surprisingly similar to green tea and black tea. Since oolong tea ranges between 10% and 70% oxidation, it can be placed between green and black tea varieties on the oxidation scale. The tea itself has a dark brownish color.

Health benefits of oolong

As with many Chinese teas, oolong tea is rumored to hold a number of powerful health benefits. Here are just a few of the suspected benefits of drinking oolong tea:

Reduce cholesterol build-up: Many people believe that oolong tea reduces cholesterol build-up in the bloodstream, making it a very healthy drink for anybody who struggles with high blood pressure.

Eliminates digestive problems: Oolong tea has been shown to clear up all sorts of digestive problems. As a whole, it’s a very gentle drink for the digestive track to handle, making it a popular tea for people of all age groups.

Healthier bones: Some researchers have suggested that oolong tea can protect people from diseases like osteoporosis. Overall, oolong tea has been shown to promote stronger bones and prevent tooth decay.

Immune system booster: Like other types of Chinese tea, oolong is rumored to boost the functioning of the immune system, making our bodies stronger and helping prevent all sorts of diseases.

Weight loss: Many people drink oolong tea on a regular basis due to its weight loss properties. Along with all of the other benefits listed above, oolong tea has been rumored to increase metabolism and help reduce fat buildup throughout the body.

Overall, oolong tea has a number of ingredients that can benefit your health. Its antioxidants will repair the damage done by free radicals, for example, while the high potassium content improves brain functioning and aids your nervous system. Oolong tea has even been used to treat diabetes, as it often contains ingredients that help to regulate insulin levels in the body.

Conclusion

Overall, oolong tea is one of the healthiest types of tea on the planet. It is regularly drunk throughout China and the world due to its health benefits. Today, oolong tea is growing in popularity and is a healthy drink for people of all age levels and demographics.

How Do They Make Decaffeinated Tea?

Some people like having caffeine in their tea, while others don’t. For those that don’t, ESP Emporium has a wide selection of decaffeinated tea available. But what is decaffeinated tea? And how is it made? Today, we’re going to show you how they remove caffeine from tea.


Caffeine is a natural ingredient that is found in over 60 plants. It can be found in the plants that make coffee (Arabica plant), chocolate (cacao tree), and cola (kola nut tree), for example. Of course, it’s also found in the Camellia sinensis plant, from which many types of tea (including decaffeinated black tea) is made.


Removing caffeine from these plants isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are four different ways to remove caffeine from its natural source:


Water processing: This is the most natural way to remove caffeine from plants. However, it is most often used with coffee as opposed to tea. In this method, no chemicals are used, and the caffeine leaches out of the plant after being soaked in hot water for a period of time. The caffeine is removed from the water solution using a carbon filter, after which the water is returned to the plants in order to reabsorb flavors and oils.


Carbon dioxide processing: Carbon dioxide is a natural part of the air and physically harmless. In this method, tea is produced under carbon dioxide high pressure, one of the most modern technologies existing so far. The suitable selection of processing conditions leads to a very smooth and safe decaffeinated quality. Once the CO2 reaches a certain level of pressure, it effectively becomes a liquid, binding with the caffeine molecules and removing them from the plant.


Methylene chloride processing: While carbon dioxide and water processing can remove caffeine from plants, they’re not as effective as using chemicals like methylene chloride. During methylene chloride processing, tea leaves soak in a chemical-based solution. The caffeine is extracted after binding with the methylene chloride. There is also an indirect method of methylene chloride processing in which the methylene chloride solution never actually touches the tea leaves. 


Ethyl acetate processing: As strange as the name may sound, ethyl acetate is actually one of the most natural ways to decaffeinate tea.  Ethyl acetate is found naturally in many fruits, and when placed in a water solution, it binds with caffeine and removes it from the Camellia sinensis leaves.


Of course, even decaffeinated tea has trace amounts of caffeine in it. While each decaffeination method varies in effectiveness, none of these processes will remove 100% of all caffeine from a plant. American federal law does dictate that any tea product labelled as ‘decaffeinated’ must contain a caffeine amount lower than 2.5% of the total product.


What do they do with the remaining caffeine?


All right, now that the caffeine has been removed from the tea leaves, you may be wondering what happens to it afterwards. After being extracted from plants, caffeine is a bitter white powdery substance. The caffeine powder is collected and then used in medicines or soft drinks. In fact, most of the caffeine used in soft drinks comes from decaffeination processing factories as opposed to being naturally sourced from the kola nut.

Benefits Of Drinking Ayurvedic Tea

You may not have heard about Ayurvedic tea. However, it’s making waves among tea fans and health advocates as one part of a healthy lifestyle.


Today, we’re going to teach you a few of the most important benefits of drinking Ayurvedic tea. 


Increased energy: Ayurvedic tea has been shown to increase energy levels in our bodies. Since Ayurvedic tea doesn’t contain caffeine, this is a cleaner and more natural energy boost. Say goodbye to jitters and other unnatural side effects!


Better metabolism: Ayurvedic tea also promotes a healthier metabolism in your body, which means that you can digest food more easily. As you might know, a better metabolism leads to weight loss, which is something everybody can appreciate. In fact, one of the main reasons why people purchase Ayurvedic tea is for its weight loss properties.


Body cleanser: Research has shown that Ayurvedic tea can remove toxins from your body. In fact, many people use it as part of a full body cleanse diet.


Anti-inflammatory properties: Whether you’re experiencing chronic pain or you just want to lower blood pressure, anti-inflammatory ingredients are good for your body. Ayurvedic tea has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which promote a wide range of benefits all over the body.


Caffeine free: Unlike other types of tea, Ayurvedic tea has no caffeine in it. Caffeine is a drug that can be harmful in large doses, and it’s important to limit your intake.


A collection of healthy herbs and ingredients: At ESP Emporium, our most popular Ayurvedic teas feature a blend of herbs that promote a healthy lifestyle. Our Ayurvedic Balance Herb Tea Blend, for example, contains ingredients like cinnamon, coriander, fennel, ginger roots, rose leaves, and licorice, all of which affect your body’s health in varying ways. Other ingredients – like juniper root – have antiseptic properties that can cure a number of different diseases, including urinary tract infections and kidney problems.


Promote memory retention: Certain herbs in Ayurvedic tea blends promote healthy brain activity and increase memory retention. Licorice root, ginkgo leaf, coriander, mint, and fennel, for example, all contribute to healthy brain activity in a number of different ways.

Ayurvedic holistic healthcare

Modern tea drinkers aren’t the first to discover the benefits of drinking Ayurvedic tea. In fact, people have known about its benefits for thousands of years.
The name Ayurveda comes from an ancient medicine practiced in India over 4,500 years ago. The Ayurvedic treatment system used a number of natural ingredients in order to promote healthy living and a balanced lifestyle. It involved balancing three ‘Doshas’ (energies) within the body.
In that sense, Ayurvedic tea was just one element of a wider range of natural health products. However, Ayurvedic tea remains popular today because of its connection with the ancient Hindu medicine.


Conclusion

In Sanskrit, ‘Ayur’ means life or longevity while ‘Veda’ means knowledge or science. When you drink Ayurvedic tea, you’re not just experience a rich and complex taste: you’re also making changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Celebrating National Iced Tea Month With A Perfect Glass Of Trendy Pu-Erh

One of the most popular cold beverages in America is iced tea. What can be more refreshing on a hot summer day than a perfect icy glass of tea? Endless varieties of iced tea recipes can keep you cool throughout the hot season and benefit your body. Try a new twist on traditional recipes and experiment with pure and flavored teas, rooibos, herbal blends, fruit teas... Let's enter a world of iced tea together with our trendy Iced Minty Organic Pu-Erh recipe.

Minty Organic Pu-Erh Iced Tea (makes 1 quart)

Ingredients:

8 level teaspoons of China Yunnan Pu-Erh Organic Black Tea
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 cup fresh mint
4 tablespoons honey
ice for serving

Directions:

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil.
2. Combine tea leaves and fresh mint.
3. Pour water and let steep for 5 minutes. We recommend our Iced Tea Maker "Control", which will allow brewing fresh iced tea in a simple way!
4. Add honey and lemon juice
5. Serve in tall glasses over ice garnished with fresh mint and slice of lemon. Enjoy!