Loose Leaf Tea: The Oldest Health Food

Tea, which comes from the plant Camellia sinensis, is well known around the world for its health benefits.  Although no one knows for sure how it was first discovered (one tale asserts that wayward leaves were carried by wind into the Emperor’s cup of hot water), there are records of tea being consumed in Asia as early as the 10th century BC.  Even then, it appears that tea was highly valued for its medicinal properties.  Early European explorers, interested in this new beverage, quickly spread tea cultivation west.  By the late 19th century, tea had become an important daily ritual across Britain and Ireland.  It spread with European immigrants to America, and its popularity around the world continues.  Today, peoples all over the globe have put their own unique stamp on tea, and it remains an important part of many cultures. 

Modern science proves that the ancient belief was right; tea does, indeed, pack a healthy punch.  Tea leaves contain over 700 compounds that contribute to and support a healthy body.  With cancer of all kinds running rampant and no cure, many people have turned to a more healthy and natural lifestyle as a form of defense against the devastating disease.  Tea, particularly green tea, contains a number of known anti-oxidants, which have proven to help protect against many cancers (including breast, prostate, skin, and lung cancer).  Several types of teas aid in the prevention of other chronic diseases, too.  Because it can help to moderate blood sugar, regular tea consumption can help protect against type 2 diabetes.  Green tea can also help lower cholesterol, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

The abundance of vitamins and amino acids found in tea are essential in maintaining good health.  It can help boost your immune system and improve intestinal microflora (crucial for proper nutrient absorption, metabolic function, preventing conditions like IBS, and repressing microbial growth).  Catechins, a flavanol found in tea, provide anti-inflammatory properties, and can help to suppress uncomfortable sensations like pain and nausea.  Another powerful compound in tea, L-theanine, has been shown to encourage a calm yet alert mental state in the human mind. 

Perhaps the greatest concern, at least for many Americans, is maintaining a healthy weight.  Dozens of fad diets come and go.  Some are effective for a short time, some are ineffective, and some are even proven to be unsafe.  One safe, effective, reliable weight loss tool is tasty, convenient, and inexpensive:  green tea.  Numerous studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea stimulates fat oxidation.  Additionally, tea is an almost calorie-free way to indulge in warm, rich flavor without compromising your diet.  While green tea won’t miraculously take off those extra pounds, it will certainly contribute to your healthy diet.  With its ability to help you maintain a more fit body, not to mention its delicious flavor, a few regular doses of this ancient Asian medicinal wonder is the natural addition to a healthful lifestyle.

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.

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.


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)


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


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!