Introduction to Herbal Teas and Tisanes
The Healing Power of Tea is one of the very first books on teas and tisanes I read when I became interested in herbal teas for their nutritive and healing powers.
Below you'll find an introduction to some of the more common teas and then throughout the month of March we will dive more into tea territory!
These delicate teas are produced on a very limited scale. In order to harvest white
tea, the buds are picked before they open, along with the youngest leaves. This
meticulous harvest is allowed to wilt very slightly and then is dried using hot air to
prevent oxidation. This process creates a smooth-tasting, pale green to clear liquor
that emits a delicate grassy aroma.
Yellow tea is a type of green tea. Yellow teas are produced in very limited quantities
and only in China. In fact, the quantities are so limited that this tea is difficult to ob-
tain in the US. Because this tea oxidizes more slowly than green teas, the damp
leaves turn yellow. The leaves are hand-rolled in cowhide while still damp and then
air-dried for a day or more. The health benefits are the same as for white or green
teas, but the aroma is flowery and the taste subtle and sweet, without the grassi-
ness associated with most green teas.
Green tea begins its journey to the cup by plucking the top two leaves and un-
opened leaf buds, the most tender and desirable parts of the tea bush. Harvesting
can be accomplished by machine, but truly outstanding green teas are hand-
plucked. The leaves are steamed or pan-fired to wither them slightly. Then they are
quickly rolled or shaken either by hand or machine to release essential oils and
then dried to prevent as much oxidation as possible. This process endows the
leaves with a subtle aroma and light grassy taste, signature characteristics of many
The term oolong is a variation of a word in Chinese that means “black
dragon.” This type of tea originated in the Fujian province of China. Oolong teas
are partially oxidized teas. To create an oolong, leaves are withered and gently shak-
en to bruise the edges, then semi-oxidized, rolled, and dried. The process results in
a tea that displays a wide range of flavors.
Black tea is probably the type most familiar to readers. It is served frequently in
restaurants and until the recent upsurge of interest in this beverage, was almost the
only kind found on grocery store shelves. The leaves are withered and either rolled
or cut. The key difference between black teas and all other kinds is that the leaves
are fully oxidized before being dried or fired.
Improve Your Health & Wellness with the Power of Tea
Excerpted from The Healing Power of Tea: Filled with “tea-riffic” knowledge, this comprehensive guide to the healing world of teas and tisanes helps you live a healthier and happier life.
And be sure to check out the collection of herbal wellness teas at Herbal Cafe today!