“Just like eating fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods, regular tea consumption has been shown to have significant health benefits.”– Peter Goggi, President of the Tea Council of the USA.
The weather may be warm outside, but that doesn’t mean Orlando and Central Florida employees can’t enjoy a delicious cup of hot or cold tea during their workday or on the weekend. With so many different types available, it can feel overwhelming when trying to choose one. Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning.
Tea starts as a single plant, the Camellia sinensis. How the leaves are cared for, plucked and dried or oxidized will determine the end result. The five main types are black, white, green, oolong and puerh (or dark).
Black tea is the most commonly consumed type in the world. In the United States, over 80 percent of the tea consumed is black. The key is to make sure that the leaves are fully fermented or oxidized.
Green tea is known to have many health benefits including stress reduction and improved memory, attention and brain function. To make green tea, the leaves are heated after being plucked to prevent oxidation.
Oolong tea is made by only partially fermenting the leaves. Once the plucked leaves have withered, they are then fermented before beginning the drying process.
White tea is one of the most unique types. It can only be produced by following strict harvesting and processing guidelines developed in the Fujian Province in China. A simple description of the process includes the following steps. The leaves are hand-picked, delicately handled, steamed and then dried.
Puerh or “dark” tea is also unique because it is aged for decades before it is consumed. By storing it for so many years after processing, the microbes on the leaves are able to ferment to create a distinct beverage.
To brew an excellent hot beverage, the Tea Council of the USA recommends following the Four Golden Rules:
- “use a teapot
- bring fresh, cold tap water to a full boil (Note: If your water is heavily chlorinated or contains other objectionable odors, filter before boiling)
- use one teaspoon or one tea bag per cup
- pour boiling water over bag and brew by the clock 3 to 5 minutes and serve”
The following times are recommended steep times for creating the perfect cup: white for 1-3 minutes, green for 3 minutes and black, oolong and dark for 3-5 minutes. To make smaller quantities of iced tea, pour the hot beverage over ice, and enjoy. (Be careful when pouring hot water into a glass. Hot water can cause the glass to crack.)
Whether Orlando and Central Florida employees choose black, green or herbal tea will depend on their taste preferences and the health benefits they are looking for. The best approach to meet a variety of needs is to offer a wide selection of different hot beverages as part of your break room’s office coffee service. And don’t forget to offer cream, including a dairy-free option, and sugar for those who don’t drink their tea or coffee black.
For more information about customizing your coffee service or other break room refreshment services, The Vending Station can help. We offer comprehensive vending services including snack, cold beverage and fresh food vending machines, micro-markets and pantry service. To schedule a product sampling, call us today at (407) 891.7632.