Did you know that process variations determine what type of tea will be made from a particular bush: yellow, white, green, red/black, blue/oolong or dark tea? Some varietals are better suited to making one or two types of tea, others are more flexible. The artisan teamaker can craft not only different types of tea, but different styles within that type.
To make a green tea for example, the teamaker will choose minimal processing and treatment. Either steaming or roasting the tea will produce vastly different flavour profiles.
On the opposite end are the black or red teas, which undergo more processing: withering, rolling, cutting, oxidation, drying and sorting.
Different countries and indeed different teamakers all have a slightly different recipes for making the same or similar tea. Satemwa’s tea recipes have been created and perfected over three generations. The gentle automatic rolling of a typical green 2.TeaCru tea is shown on these pages.
Most people believe that the green teas are healthier and more rich in antioxidants than black teas. Actually, all teas are rich in antioxidants and therefore almost equally healthy. Different types of antioxidant do however exist in different types of teas.
Caffeine exists in tea just as is does in coffee. You don’t get the same kickwhen drinking tea is due to the other components, which gives a more subtleand gentle boost of energy from the caffeine.
In tea, caffeine comibines with catechins, antioxidants found in abundance in tea. The body has to break down this compound before absorbing the caffeine. (In coffee, caffeine is a free molecule, readily absorbed and moved around the bloodstream.)
In tea, small amounts of caffeine are “leaked” into the body over many hours. Furthermore, tea contains theanine, an amino acid that has a tempering effect on caffeine on the synapses in the brain. Studies also show that it helps to put the brain into alpha mode: an alert yet calm state where the brain is able to take in lots of information. Caffeine alone tends to put the brain into a beta , or excitable state. Bonus info: a Japanese Life sciences institute study in the early 2000s showed some varieties of Malawi teas to have the highest levels of theanine in the world.