Tag Archives: Tea Bush

What is the Difference Between Green Tea, Black Tea and White Tea?

There are a number of different teas: white, green, black, rooibos and herbal. It can seem very overwhelming at times to keep them all straight and what their differences are. Today I'd like to talk about the difference between green tea, black tea and white tea. One of the most surprising things of all is that they come from the same tea bush, Camellia sinensis. Especially when you look at them:

White Tea Leaves

White Tea Leaves

Green Tea Leaves

Green Tea Leaves

Black Tea Leaves

Black Tea Leaves

It is all in the picking and processing of the leaves that make the difference. White tea is harvested from the very top of the tea bush early in the year. They only pick the top leaf and a bud. These tea leaves are then dried in the sun and that is it.

Green tea are tea leaves from the whole bush and they also undergo a step of being steamed or pan fired. Before being dried it is often rolled into different shapes depending on the type of green tea. For instance Jasmine tea is sometimes rolled into a pearl shape.

Black tea undergoes the most processing. Tea leaves from all over the bush are picked and then left in the sun to wilt. The tea leaves are then rolled allowing the tea leaves to ferment as they react with the air. The fermenting process turns the tea leaves black. They are then dried.

So that is the basics. Look for another post coming soon discussing the various types of teas within each class and why they taste so different. Hope you enjoyed reading about the differences between green tea, black tea, and white tea. Check out our Tea Shop and order some to try today.

Growing Your Own Tea

Grow Your Own TeaI have a bit of a green thumb and I love to be surrounded by plants. I came across this site the other day and got very excited. They sell tea seeds to grow your own tea bush with!

They say that you need a patience and preferebly a hillside with good drainage, but that you can also grow them in zones 6 to 8. If you are not in those zones, it says you may be able to grow them either in a greenhouse or by bringing it inside when the weather grows colder. I'm in zone 5, so I would need to do that.

I'm thinking this would be a fun project to try, so I will be ordering some seeds soon and documenting how they do here.

Herbal Tea Garden Starter KitIf herbal tea is more your style, I also found this great Herbal Tea Garden Starter Kit on Amazon.com that contains everything you need to grow herbs such as chamomile, lavender, and lemongrass.

Top 5 Tea Books

There are so many books on tea that it can be hard to know where to start. But, several seem to shine above the rest. Filled with recipes, tricks of the trade, and blending advice, the books I’ve listed will enable you to create that perfect cup of tea in no time. I thought a variety of ideas, both in the tea world (from the tea bush: black, green, etc) and in the infusion/decoction realm (purely herbal) would be beneficial for you to explore.

  1. 20,000 Secrets of Tea by Victoria Zak – filled with detailed descriptions of herbs (including a history of their uses), this book is jam packed with information from tea to herbs. It is quite easy to follow and helpful in the sense that the symptoms or herbs you are looking for are easily cross-referenced. This one will most definitely be a keeper in your collection, especially with the huge array of recipes. Be mindful, though, that many of the ingredients require online shopping to obtain.
  2. Tea for You by Tracy Stern – this is a FANTASTIC book that focuses on the camellia sinensis plant, but combines the leaves with such delicious, whimsical, and fun ingredients. For example, did you ever think of blending white tea with chamomile, cacao, and coconut flakes? This is for sure a must have.
  3. Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars – for a great jumping off point, Mars makes a lovely read. Her writing is passionate, informative, and seems to contain the verbage of ancient Vedic texts on our relationship with the Plant Kingdom. The tasty recipes will encourage your experimentation without having to hunt for exotic ingredients.
  4. Herbal Teas: 101 Nourishing Blends for Daily Health & Vitalityby Kathleen Brown – this book contains a wealth of herbal recipes, including helpful side notes, detailed information, and a sweet written humor.
  5. The Yoga of Herbsby David Frawley – this is just simply my go-to book when researching particular herbs for medicinal purposes. Frawly goes into great depth by listing the areas of the body affected by the herb (tissues and systems), specific actions (such as antiseptic or diaphoretic), indications, precautions, and methods of preparation. If you are expanding your herbal tea knowledge for healing, then by all means, get this book.

What are your favorite Tea Books? Please share in the comments below.

What is a Tisane?

Tea, infusion, decoction, tisane? With all the various titles, it can be a little confusing, if not daunting when it comes to herbal preparation. Simply put – a tisane is an infusion of herbs without any leaves from the tea bush (although, camellia sinensis, tea is considered an herb). Thus, tisane and infusion mean exactly the same thing.

A tisane is an easy way to prepare herbs, made in much the same way as tea, and especially calls for flowers and leafy parts. The standard quantities for medicinal use are often 30 g of dried herb to 500 ml of water. For just a simple beverage, 2-3 teaspoons per cup of water should suffice. Be sure to only “just” boil the water as vigorous boiling dispserses the volatile oils in the steam. Merely place your herbs in a tea pot with a close fitting lid, pour hot water over, cover, and let steep 10 minutes.

Try mixing together herbs like:

-          Lavender, rose hips, and cinnamon

-          Chamomile, lemon balm, and cloves

-          Raspberry leaf, lavender, and orange peel

-          Red clover and Nettle leaf

I think you will enjoy the process of discovering great tasting drinks with helpful benefits. Definitely check out Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars for a delightful compilation of recipes, instructions, and inspiration.

How is Matcha Powder Made?

You may know matcha as the powdery green tea that is blended with hot water in order to make a refreshing & healthy cup of tea.  Have you ever wondered how matcha powder is made?  Well I did so I set out to do some research in order to find out.

Tea leaves that are going to become matcha powder must be specially prepared while they are still growing on the tea bush.  A few weeks before they are harvested they are covered so that they do not receive any sunlight.  This prevents the sun from reaching the leaves, which slows down the growth and makes the leaves darker and sweeter.

After the tea leaves are picked they are laid out flat to dry.  This causes the leaves to crumble. The stems and veins are removed and then the leaves are stone ground to create matcha powder.  This powder is then whisked into hot water to make matcha tea. I also enjoy matcha lattes where you add milk and sweetener.

Here is a great video on how to make Matcha:


A great source of Matcha is American Tea Room. They have everything that you will need to start preparing Matcha tea at home. Order some today.