Home Brewing, Winemaking and Tea
Find out the basics of Home brewing and Winemaking and the varieties of Tea available for your enjoyment through our Guide and Product Information listed above.
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Q. Does tea contain caffeine?
A. Yes, unless it is decaffeinated or it is a herbal tisane, tea contains caffeine. Health Canada reported that a 6 oz. cup of regular coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine whereas a 6oz. serving of tea contains about 34mg of caffeine. It should be pointed out that a pound of tea contains the same amount of caffeine as a pound of coffee. The difference is that a pound of tea will make about 180 servings whereas a pound if coffee makes about 60 servings. Even though tea and coffee contain the same amounts of caffeine pound for pound, the difference in yield results in a cup of tea having about 1/3 of the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
Q. Is tea good for you?
A. - Recent studies in the last 10 years undertaken at major medical universities in the United States have found that black and green tea are rich in polyphenols which are antioxidants. Antioxidants are known cancer inhibitors and studies have shown that people who consume 4 or 5 cups of tea per day have exhibited up to a 50% lower probability of contracting specific types of cancer such as breast and colon cancer. Also in the last 2 or 3 years initial study results are showing that there is a lower incidence of heart disease amongst those who consume 3 or more cups of tea per day.
Q. Does green tea have less caffeine than black tea?
A. Green tea and black tea come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis and as such contain more or less the same amount of caffeine. The difference is in the method of preparation. Caffeine is highly water-soluble at high temperatures and goes into solution very quickly. Generally green tea is prepared with water that is between 170°F to 180°F whereas black tea is prepared with water that is between 200°F and 212°F. Since black tea is generally prepared with water that is a higher temperature, more of the caffeine leaches into the tea resulting in higher caffeine readings. If green tea is prepared at the same temperature as black tea the caffeine levels are virtually the same.
Q. What does milk do to tea?
A. Milk alters the pH balance of tea and tends to make the tea smoother by reducing the acidic nature of tea.
Q. Should I drink tea with milk or without milk?
A. The consumption of tea with or without milk is a personal preference and it is for the tea drinker to make their choice and consume the tea in the manner they enjoy best.
Q. What is the difference between green and black tea?
A. Green tea is not fermented whereas black tea is fermented. Green tea is dried immediately after processing and very often the level of processing is less than black tea. Fermentation gives a tea strength and body resulting in a stronger brew. Green tea tends to be somewhat weaker and has a vegetative character on account of the fact that it does not go through the fermentation process.
Q. Why is tea sometimes bitter?
A. Tea contains tannins and if a tea is allowed to steep too long, more of the tannins are released causing what some people say is a bitter taste. A dash of sugar can reduce this bitterness or alternatively add some milk, as this will reduce the pH level of the tea.
Q. How much tea should I use?
A. The traditional rule is "one teaspoon for each person, plus one for the pot". But the rule does not specify how big the cups are nor does it explain if the teaspoon is level or heaping. For loose tea we recommend about 2.5 grams (.1 oz.) for every 228 ml (8 fluid oz.) of filtered or bottled water. Ultimately the amount of tea you use depends on many variables. If you plan to add milk and sugar you should probably use more leaves. The best recommendation is that you experiment and decide upon the amount that suits you best.
Q. How long should I steep my tea?
A. 3 to 5 minutes is fine for most varieties. Oolong has larger leaves which benefit from a longer steeping time, whereas Darjeeling is often best with a steeping time of less then 3 minutes. Premium high grown naturally flavored tea is best when steeped between 3-5 minutes. This allows the delicate flavor of the base tea to fully develop and "link" with the natural flavoring oils. We also recommend a dash of sugar as a light sweetness enhances the natural flavors by about 20%. ENJOY!
Q. How should I store my premium loose tea?
A. Our teas are packaged in special oxygen barrier bags and vacuum sealed for freshness and are stored away from light source until purchase. When it comes to freshness, we encourage our guests to buy 4 oz of tea at a time and keep it in an airtight, opaque canister on the counter or in the cupboard. If using glass jar, store it away from light source.