By Janet Webb Lee, Yoga International
From its strong health properties to its millennia-old cultural history, tea provides a rich and nourishing experience in every cup. While all tea is derived from the vibrant leaves of Camellia sinensis, each variety—much like cheese and wine—has its own regional home, processing technique, and unique taste characteristics. As you discover the vast world of tea, you may develop favorite flavors and even regional loyalties (we list a global selection of organic teas below, each rich in antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals). The journey starts by creating a personal ritual of preparation and appreciation—soothing your senses along the way.
Formed by withering, rolling, oxidizing, and drying the fresh leaves, black tea today hails largely from the mountainous areas of India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. Enjoy the touch of honey flavor in Mighty Leaf Tea’s Organic Darjeeling Estate.
Chinese and Taiwanese tea makers create the characteristically complex flavor of oolong tea—with a bouquet ranging from apricot to spice—by tossing, bruising, and roasting the leaves. For a woody flavor, try Art of Tea’s Iron Goddess of Mercy Roasted.
Fine green teas are the products of spring’s first flush, when warming weather quickly matures dormant nutrients. Minimal processing prevents oxidation, so the leaf retains its natural hue. Numi’s Monkey King Jasmine offers a crisp tea with floral high notes.