Tea is traditionally classified based on the techniques with which it is produced and processed.
The term "tea" is sometimes loosely used to refer to "herbal teas”, which are an infusion or tisane of leaves, flowers, fruit, herbs, or other plant material that contains no Camellia sinensis. In East Asian culture, the term "red tea" has always been used to represent what the West understands as "black tea". This can be confusing in the English speaking world because the same term is now also used to represent the drink made with the South African rooibos plant which contains no Camellia sinensis.
Camellia Sinesis is an evergreen plant that grows mainly in tropical and sub-tropical climates.
Tea plants are propagated from seed or by cutting; it takes approximately 4 to 12 years for a tea plant to bear seed, and about 3 years before a new plant is ready for harvesting. In addition to a zone 8 climate or warmer, tea plants require at least 127 cm. (50 inches) of rainfall a year and prefer acidic soils. Traditional Chinese Tea Cultivation and Studies believes that high-quality tea plants are cultivated at elevations of up to 1,500 metres (4,900 ft): at these heights, the plants grow more slowly and acquire a better flavor.
Only the top 1-2 inches of the mature plant are picked. These buds and leaves are called flushes. A plant will grow a new flush every seven to fifteen days during the growing season, and leaves that are slow in development always produce better flavored teas.
A tea plant will grow into a tree of up to 16 meters (52 ft) if left undisturbed; but cultivated plants are pruned to waist height for ease of plucking.
Two principal varieties are used: the China plant (C. sinensis sinensis), used for most Chinese, Formosan and Japanese teas (but not Pu-erh); and the clonal Assam plant (C. sinensis assamica), used in most Indian and other teas (but not Darjeeling). Within these botanical varieties, there are many strains and modern Indian clonal varieties. Leaf size is the chief criterion for the classification of tea plants, with three primary classifications being: Assam type, characterized by the largest leaves; China type, characterized by the smallest leaves; and Cambod, characterized by leaves of intermediate size.
White: White tea originated in the Chinese province of Fujian during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). White teas, which are un-oxidized, are produced from the new buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant during the months of April and May. The delicate flavor is very dependent upon correct harvesting and processing. White Tea can only be handpicked, and at 6,000 to 7,000 buds to the kilo of tea, these teas command high prices in the market. There are many misnomers about white tea, the most important of which is the caffeine content. White tea because of its' long withering process and because it is harvested from the top leaves and bud of the tea plant can be actually higher in caffeine than oxidized teas.
^Shou Mei White: This tea is one of the famous white teas from the Fujian area of China. The multi sized brownish-green leaves are produced from the naturally withered upper leaf and tips and brew to a pale ecru cup If you’re looking for a wonderfully refreshing, slightly sweet taste in a white tea, then we think you will enjoy this one. Steep for 4 minutes, will re-steep at least once.
Green: Manufacture of green tea in Japan is quite different than that of most other countries in that the majority of their teas are machine picked and nearly all their tea growing areas are on well manicured rolling hills. Japanese green tea leaves are quite distinct with their needle-like shape and deep green color from being steamed during processing. While Japanese green teas tend to be more expensive than others, they usually lend themselves to more than one or two extra steepings.
Many articles can be found on the "health" aspects of drinking green tea. The results of many studies are showing that green tea is 20 times more efficient in slowing down the aging process than taking vitamin E; works as an anti-carcinogen; is a good source of zinc for pregnant women; helps in the prevention of tooth decay and contains an enzyme that combats the causes of high blood pressure.
^Japan Sencha: Japanese Sencha Green Tea is the most popular green tea in Japan today. The long leaves produce a splendid tea with a subtle mixture of sweetness, bitterness and fresh green scent. Steep for 1-2 minutes, will re-steep up to 3 more times.
^Genmaicha: Genmaicha Green tea is a mixture of a Bancha and popped Genmai (hulled rice kernels), yielding a light brown tea with a most unique taste! Steep for 1-2 minutes, will re-steep up to 3 more times.
^Dragon Well: China's most famous tea! Dragon Well, (Longjing), is grown in the fertile Longjing mountain area of Hangzhou, southwest of the West Lake. This mountainous region holds back the cold currents from the north and the warm currents from the south, resulting in long periods of cloud cover. These ideal growing conditions produce what may be considered the best tea in China. Their flat, smooth leaves steep to an emerald green liquor, with a distinctive sweetness. Steep for 2 minutes, will re-steep up to 3 more times.
^Kyoto Jade Sencha: A beautifully sweet and full-flavored traditional Japanese green tea blend.
^Bolivian Green Orange Pekoe: Our newest Bolivian green tea is an excellent full bodied tea with a strong full flavor and a truly unusual taste. The tea is processed differently than most, using a rotovaned process that pulls the leaf through a drum that distorts, crushes and curls the leaf, while generating heat to add to the enzyme activity. The small leaves emit a honeydew aroma and yield a light jade green cup with a delightful touch of sweetness. Steep for 2 minutes, will re-steep up to 3 more times.
-Jasmine Green: Produced only in August when jasmine flowers are in bloom. Our growers blend the finest green tea with freshly picked blossoms, which are removed after they’ve imparted their floral essence. The delicately sweet taste and aroma offer instant enlightenment. Steep for 1-2 minutes.
Black: Black teas are fully oxidized leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant and are the most popular type of tea consumed in America.
^Earl Grey: If you enjoy the floral notes of Bergamot, this Earl Grey tea will become your favorite! This exceptional combination of Darjeeling, Assam, Chinese, and Sri Lankan teas, sprayed with the pure oil of Bergamot has been satisfying our customers for generations. Beyond compare! Steep for 3 minutes, will re-steep once. Certified Kosher.
*^Decaf Earl Grey: Brews to the flavor and aroma you love in our regular Earl Grey. So delicious you won't miss the caffeine! Naturally decaffeinated using the CO2 method. Steep for 3 minutes, will re-steep once. Certified Kosher.
^Organic Irish Breakfast: The bright copper colored cup produced from our formula of pungent organic Ceylon, China & Indian teas generates a full-bodied, robust tasting Irish Breakfast tea, with flowery notes. Steep for 3 minutes, will re-steep once.
^English Breakfast: These black, medium sized leaves produce a copper liquor that has a bright and fragrant cup. The tea is smooth and full-bodied with a malty aftertaste that stands up to a splash of milk or lemon. Steep for 3 minutes, will re-steep once.
^Darjeeling Margaret’s Hope 2nd Flush: While visiting from London in the 1930’s Margaret, the daughter of the tea estate owner, saw the tea garden and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, Margaret fell ill and passed away on her Indian holiday. Her father re-named his estate after her to honor her memory. The Margaret’s Hope tea bushes are almost entirely Chinese jat which accounts for the green tippy leaf appearance and the superb fragrance. The leaves yield an amber cup with a true Muscat flavor found only in rare Darjeeling teas. Steep for 3 minutes, will re-steep once.
-Darjeeling: Revel in this exquisite tea from India's premier tea-growing region. Our Darjeeling has a bright, fruity flavor and a subtle, floral aroma shaped by the mists and fog of the Himalayan Mountains. With a medium body and refreshing character, you’ll find it enchanting at any hour. Steep for 3 minutes, will re-steep once.
^Nepal Ilam Black: Grown high in the Himalayan mountains on the Ilam Estate, these olive green and brown leaves contain numerous tips with an invigorating aroma. When brewed, this medium bodied tea has an ecru cup with a sweet orange taste. Steep for 3 minutes, will re-steep once.
^Golden Tip Chinese Black: Description coming soon!
^Pu-Erh (Yunnan Province): The popularity of Pu-erh tea has been increasing mainly due to the many health benefits that are attributed to it. Studies show that pu-erh not only lowers blood cholesterol but also prevents bad cholesterol from forming in the arteries, that pu-erh has great antioxidant benefits, stimulates weight reduction and is beneficial to digestion.
^Chai Black Tea: Our much loved chai tea combines black teas with cinnamon pieces, cloves, cardamom seeds, anise seeds and natural spice flavors. Steep for 3 minutes. Certified Kosher.
-Oolong:Oolong (wulong) are semi-fermented (oxidized) teas classified between green and black tea. The production of this type of tea is more involved than any other, requiring many steps and great care. Their leaves range from bright green to brownish in color and are usually larger in appearance. Because of the leaf style, Oolongs lend themselves to additional infusions and until the leaves fully open they may even yield more than six steepings. They produce a very aromatic beverage with an array of interesting flavors.
The greener Oolongs, that are not cut by rolling, are less oxidized than the traditional oolongs, but more so than green teas, and are referred to as Pouchong teas.
-Dragon Eye Oolong: Somewhere between a green and a black tea, Dragon Eye Oolong begins with the finest quality Oolong tea available. This smooth, well-rounded elixir blends smoky Chinese oolong with safflower, peach and apricot.
-Yerba Mate: The yerba mate plant is a shrub or small tree growing up to 15 meters tall. The leaves are evergreen, 7–11 cm long and 3–5.5 cm wide, with a serrated margin. The flowers are small, greenish-white, with four petals. The fruit is a red drupe 4–6 mm in diameter. The leaf of this plant is praised for stimulating mental and physical energy and relieving fatigue and insomnia. The principle stimulant is caffeine, but it contains less than coffee, and yerba mate also contains Vitamin C.
-Guayaki Mint Mate: Pure Empower Mint is a refreshing yerba mate experience, energizing your body with yerba mate, peppermint, and spearmint.
-Guayaki Chai Spice Mate: Guayakí Chai Spice Mate is an invigorating spicy-sweet blend of yerba mate and chai spices. Makes a great Mate Chai Latté!
-Herbal: Rooibos & Honeybush, from South Africa, have been enjoying quite a lot of popularity due to their health benefits and delicious taste. Rooibos is more than just a deliciously refreshing beverage; it is also a healthy versatile drink, with a rich amber color, and a pure natural aroma. The ease of preparation of Rooibos and the fact that it can be enjoyed hot or cold makes it the perfect choice as a refreshing drink for any occasion. A delicious cup of Rooibos tea is completely pure and natural, containing no additives, preservatives or colorants of any kind. Studies show that Rooibos Tea contains far more anti-oxidants than any other drink.
-Rooibos: Rooibos from South Africa, has been enjoying quite a lot of popularity due to its health benefits and delicious taste. Rooibos is more than just a deliciously refreshing beverage; it is also a healthy versatile drink, with a rich amber color, and a pure natural aroma. The ease of preparation of Rooibos and the fact that it can be enjoyed hot or cold makes it the perfect choice as a refreshing drink for any occasion. A delicious cup of Rooibos tea is completely pure and natural, containing no additives, preservatives or colorants of any kind. Studies show that Rooibos Tea contains far more anti-oxidants than any other drink.
*Vanilla Rooibos: Vanilla flavored Rooibos. Steep for 5 minutes.
*Organic Rooibos Chai: With cinnamon pieces, cloves, cardamom seeds, anise seeds and natural spice flavors. Steep for 5 minutes. Certified Kosher.
*Silky Tissane: This fabulously heady blend of hibiscus flowers, organic cinnamon, cloves, sarsaparilla, coconut, allspice, and orange blossoms with vanilla and cinnamon flavors brews to a deep red cup. Definitely a palate pleaser! The taste is slightly spicy, with a creamy finish and a lingering spiciness that is uniquely refreshing.
^Orange Almond Lapacho: This tisane exemplifies what we love best about lapacho. Combining the soothing base lapacho is known for with the vivid flavors of almonds, hibiscus and orange peels, you will be taken to a place you've never known before, a perfect blend of boastfulness and subdued. We were electrified by this flavor the first time we tried it, and are still electrified every time we drink it today. As a precaution, we do not recommend serving lapacho to pregnant or nursing women or to young children. In studies done to determine the effect lapacho can have in fighting cancer, there are some indications that it fights against rapidly splitting cells, and as such may be harmful to your child's health.
^Green Leaf Tulsi: (Ocimum sanctum) Native to India , Tulsi is revered in Ayuvedic medicine as a powerful healing plant. Called "Queen of Herbs" and "The Elixir of Life", Tulsi, an anti-oxidant, has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties.
^Chai Spiced Pumpkin Fruit Tisane: Description coming soon!
*Chamomile: “The soothing sweet apple notes in this beloved tea are achieved by blending elegant chamomile flowers from around the world. Our golden Egyptian chamomile has a delicate floral quality, while chamomile from Mexico contributes a sweet, earthy flavor. You’ll take comfort in a cup of this perfectly blended chamomile tea any time of day.” — Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975.
^Organic Echinacea: A tasty and healthy blend of organic echinacea root, ginseng, damiana leaf, lemon peel and ginger root. Echinacea is reported to lessen the effects of colds and flu by strengthening the immune system. Steep in boiling water for 5 minutes.
*Throat Comfort: In this gently effective all organic herbal formula, we combine slippery elm bark with mullein, favorites of Western herbalism prized for their usefulness in soothing minor throat irritation. We include wild cherry bark for its soothing effects and licorice root for comforting sweet flavor.* Because Throat Comfort is naturally tasty, gentle and effective, both children and adults can enjoy it!
*Organic Cold Season: Cold Season is a soothing all organic herbal tea specially formulated for use during the cold-weather season. We start with the warming herbs of Ayurveda—ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and clove—known as “heating herbs” that support nasal and bronchial function. The blend is complemented with traditional herbs peppermint, eucalyptus and basil to support free breathing, as well as lemongrass, one of the best herbs for supporting a healthy sinus. So when the cold season has a hold of you, relax and sip a steaming cup of Cold Season tea to keep your internal fire blazing.*
*Peach Detox: Yogi Peach DeTox is a blend of traditional purifying herbs that support the body’s natural cleansing processes. Our formula uses an Ayurvedic combination called “trikatu” — a blend of ginger, black pepper and long pepper — that gently increases circulation. Organic dandelion supports the liver’s function to eliminate toxins, and fo-ti, a highly regarded herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine, supports liver and kidney function. When you drink Peach DeTox as a part of your regular wellness program, its mild but effective blend of herbs will help you revitalize.*
*Classic India Spice: Inspired by a spicy, revitalizing tea developed thousands of years ago by yogis in India, this traditional formula contains cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, with a touch of clove and black pepper. Appreciated for its transcendent flavor and exotic aroma, but also recognized for its beneficial qualities, this warmly spiced tea is known in Ayurveda to support the nervous system as well as invigorate and cleanse the body.* Discover the taste of tradition with caffeine-free Classic India Spice®.
*Raspberry Zinger: “The distinctive sweet-tart flavor and enticing aroma of American-grown raspberries are the perfect complement for fruity Thai hibiscus and tart and tangy Chinese hibiscus in this robust herbal blend. Soothing when served warm, this blend is satisfying and refreshing when served as iced tea.” — Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975.
*Tension Tamer: “This comforting blend begins with eleuthero, an Asian herb popular for centuries because of the sense of calm and well being it imparts. We’ve added cooling peppermint, spicy ginger and tangy lemons to create a remarkably uplifting herbal blend. Bring harmony to your hectic day with a cup of this flavorful and restorative tea.” — Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975.
*Peppermint: “The aromatic Oregon- and Washington-grown peppermint we’ve selected for this tea tastes so fresh and delicious that it requires no accompaniment – it’s the only ingredient here. Once reserved for exclusive use in cakes and candies, the whistling cool freshness of pure peppermint from the great Pacific Northwest is yours to enjoy in this comforting brew.” — Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975.
*Lemon Zinger: The classic lemonade stand-style refreshment of this enduring favorite starts with real lemons and lively Guatemalan lemongrass. We blend our lemons with hibiscus, whose tangy taste and ruby-red color are the signature of a Zinger, to create a bright tea that’s equally satisfying under the sun and the moon.” — Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975.
*Ginger: For millennia, herbalists throughout the world have known of the healing, soothing and invigorating qualities of ginger, considered the “universal medicine.” Naturally warming, ginger supports healthy digestion. Ayurvedic practitioners have used ginger as a way of activating the body’s internal energy to help regain balance and harmony.* In our organic ginger tea, we build on this therapeutic tradition by adding a unique blend of herbs and spices to complement ginger’s piquant flavor. Yogi’s Ginger tea tastes delicious and offers the highest quality of a timeless herb.