Tea guide

Organic Herbie’s tea guide

Whether you are an experienced tea lover or just starting your tea journey, this guide will give you an overview of tea world and help you discover new tastes, aromas and tea drinking traditions. We will be updating and expanding this tea guide regularly and invite you to be part of the process. Get in touch with us if you have interesting tea facts, scientific tea articles or simply want to tell the world about a cool way to drink tea that you came across!

Did you know that tea…?

We start our guide with some tea facts:

    • According to United Nations data, around 6 billion cups of tea are drunk every day in the world, making tea the second most popular beverage after water
    • Herbal, fruit and rooibos teas are becoming increasingly popular, even though these are not technically teas, but rather infuse of herbs, spices, fruits, berries, etc.
    • China and India produce about half of the total tea produced in the world (close to 3,000,000 tonnes)
    • Tea is produced from a plant Camellia sinensis and there are 6 main tea varieties:
    1.         White tea
    2.         Yellow tea
    3.         Green tea 
    4.         Oolong tea
    5.         Pu-erh tea
    6.         Black tea

    Black tea

    Black tea is arguably the most popular tea in the world. When processing black tea, the leaves usually undergo full oxidation process, resulting in a higher caffeine levels and stronger taste than other types of tea. Traditionally goes well with milk, cream, slice of lemon, honey or sugar.

    We invite you to learn about few of the most popular black tea varieties:

     Keemun tea : Black tea from China, which has been produced for the past 200 years. Keemun tea is known for its gentle and malty taste which resembles unsweetened cocoa. The brewed tea leaves produce a lovely red color and fruity aroma with some smoky notes. Keemun has less caffeine than other black teas.

    • Yunnan black tea: A tea produced in Yunnan province, China. This type of tea has brassy – golden color, sweet aroma and are less bitter than other black teas. Yunnan Pure Gold grade is considered the best of this type as it contains only golden tips. 
      Darjeeling black tea: Indian tea produced in West Bengal region. Can be distinguished by its slightly harsher taste. Unlike most of the black teas, Darjeeling teas do not go through full oxidation process which makes them similar to oolong teas in this aspect.
      Assam black tea: grown in Assam region in India, close to the Himalayas, which is the most tea-producing region in the world. Assam tea has a strong, malty taste and bright color. Breakfast teas are often blends which include Assam tea.
      Ceylon black tea: grown and processed in the island of Sri Lanka Ceylon teas have a citrusy aroma and smooth taste with a hint of mandarin peel or grapefruit. The unique taste and aroma of this tea is due to its growing conditions – plenty of rainfall, low temperatures and high humidity in the island.


    How to prepare black tea?

    You will find detailed instructions on preparation of specific tea or blend when you open a specific product, but in general, when preparing black tea you can follow these rules for loose leaf black teas:

    • 1 tablespoon of tea leaves (2 – 2.5 grams) should be enough for 1 regular cup (~200 ml) of tea
    • Recommended water temperature 100 ºC
    • Steep for 3 – 4 minutes

    The more tea leaves you add and the longer you steep, the stronger your tea will be. In case of black tea, it will become bitter.

    Green tea

    In contrast to black tea, green teas do notundergo full oxidation process. The process is stopped by roasting the tealeaves in a pan (Chinese method) or steaming (Japanese). As a result, Chinesegreen teas have sweeter and milder taste, while Japanese are more delicate andslightly bitter. Green tea originated in China in 7th century andbecame widely popular across all Asia. Some of the most popular green teavarieties include the following:

    • Matcha: very high quality tea from Japan. It is made from shade-grown tea leaves and the preparation for production starts few weeks before harvest. The tea plants are covered to prevent sunlight which causes the increased production of amino acids. After harvest, tea leaves are dried, de-veined, de-stemmed, and ground to powder. Stones of a particular temperature are used to grind the tea leaves which makes the process very time consuming. Matcha tea has a complex, vegetal taste with a sweetness aftertaste.
    • Sencha tea: the most popular tea type in Japan. The tea has a greenish-golden color and its flavor depends on the steeping temperature. When brewing Sencha in higher temperature, the tea is astringent, while cooler temperature results in a more mellow taste.
    • Bancha tea: considered as lowest grade green tea, but widely popular as a daily drink. It is harvested from the second flush of Sencha tea and processed the same way. Bancha tea has a unique flavor and may contain some stalks and stems. Lower amounts of caffeine are found in Bancha in comparison to other green teas.
    • Gunpowder green tea: this popular type of green tea has its tea leafs rolled into small, round pelletswhich resemble gunpowder. The tea has a thick, smoky flavor and a copperyaftertaste.

    How to prepare green tea? 

    Preparation of green tea will dependlargely on the type of tea that you are preparing. You will find detailedinstructions on how to prepare green tea on our product pages, but these aresome general rules you can follow when steeping a cup of green tea:

    • 1 tablespoon of tea leaves (2 – 2.5 grams) should be enough for 1 regular cup (~200 ml) of tea
    • Recommended water temperature 80 ºC
    • Steep for 1 - 2 minutes

    White tea

    White tea is the most natural and undergo the least fermentation. Most of the white tea types have been simply picked and dried in the sun. Contrary to its name, the color of the brewed tea is yellow, and it gets its name from silvery/white hairs on tea leaves instead. The tea exhibits a very gentle taste and is perfect for hot summer days. There are 2 main types of white tea:

    • Silver Needle: the best know white tea, which is made only from carefully chosen tea buds. The color of this tea is a pale yellow/green and has a light initial taste later changing to sweet and then delicate.
    • White Peony: this type of tea is made from combination of tea buds and young leaves. It has a darker and more full bodied color than  Silver Needle. The best White Peony tea is considered superior than Silver Needle.

    How to prepare white tea?

    The preparation process for white is fairly simple:

    • 1 tablespoon (2.5 - 3 grams) of tea leavis will make 1 regular cup of tea. 
    •  Recommended water temperature 90 ºC

    •  Steeping time is 3 - 5 minutes 

    Yellow tea 

    Yellow tea isone of the rarest and the most expensive tea varieties in the world. Itoriginated in China and the production technology of this tea has been kept asecret for a long time. Until 19th century it was forbidden to trade this teawith foreigners and the punishment for breaking this law was death.

    The productionprocess of this tea is similar to that of a green tea. The newly-plucked tealeaves are left to dry in the sun for a few hours, fried in pans and rolled. Theprocess continues by storing the tea leaves in a room with constant humidity,during which the colour of tea leaves changes to yellow. Yellow tea has asmooth taste with a hint of sweet and floral.

    How to prepare yellow tea?

    The recommendations on preparation of yellow tea are these:

    • 1 tablespoon (2.5 - 3 grams) of tea leavis will make 1 regular cup of tea. 
    •  Recommended water temperature 80 ºC

    •  Steeping time is 3 minutes
    Pu-erh tea

    Information will be available soon

    Herbal tea

    Information will be available soon

    Fruit tea

    Information will be available soon