STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 2

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 31 of 83

32 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 2, 2015 (April/May) U By Jane Pettigrew ntil 15 years ago, the tea offering of most tea stores outside China, Japan, and Taiwan included very few green teas and no whites. Green teas were usually limited to gunpowder, chun mei, jasmine, and a few unappealing teabags, while white tea to most meant a cup of black tea with milk added. Not any more. Browse through the lists of specialty tea retailers today and you will find an impres- sively expansive offering of green teas ranging from Chinese Long Jing, Mao Feng, Mao Jian, Pi Lo Chun, Taiping Huokui, Jasmine Pearls, Japanese Gyokuro, Sencha, Kukicha, Karigane, Genmaicha, unusual greens from Nepal, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, and South Korea, and hundreds of blends flavored with rose, mint, lemon, berries, salted caramel, apple and pear, mango, raspberry, etc. As suppliers have seen interest grow, so they have created innovative blends using the most popular flavors and ingredients. The range also includes organic, bio-dynamic, ethically traded, Fair Trade certified, and GABA teas that are exposed to nitrogen during processing to ensure a high level of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, a neurotransmitter for the central nervous system that reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Consumers may even find themselves buying green teas that have been processed in a microwave oven rather than in conventional steaming and panning equipment. A similar explosion is occurring in the number of white teas available. White tea has been hitting the headlines regularly for the past 15 years with stories about both its high price and its high level of antioxidants. And public interest has pushed stores and online retailers into stocking an engaging array that includes top quality China Yin Zhen with its plump downy buds, Bai Mu Dan's little shoots of silvery bud and one or two open leaves, the slightly larger and more mature Shou Mei, white teas plucked from ancient wild trees in Yunnan province, compressed cakes of white buds, Ceylon Silver and Golden Needles, Hawaii-grown whites, Snow Mountain White from Nepal, and a wide variety of flavored whites. But why are consumers so attracted to these beautiful and sometimes very expen- sive, specialty teas? A Taste for Green and White Tea drinkers around the world who traditionally drank black teas are now switching to whites and greens. Is this because there are so many types available today? Or because they are perceived as offering more powerful health benefits? Or simply because people like them? Tea picker in the mountains of China Leo Kwan's Tea Hong Taiping Houkui dry leaf from Taiping Village, China

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of STiR coffee and tea magazine - Volume 4, Number 2