What Is Specialty Tea?
Specialty Tea is the segment of the tea industry that produces high quality loose leaf tea, single estate tea, fair trade and organic tea and rare tea such as white or pu-erh.
The art of tea began over 5,000 years ago in China, with skilled artisans handpicking and processing the top two leaves and bud from each tea shrub, known as camelia sinensis, and handcrafting in small batches. Their time honored practices are still followed today inspiring us to brew their fine tea leaves, while respecting the traditional way of brewing.
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life. – Thich Nhat Hanh
Thousands of tea estates around the world produce tea. Each estate masterfully crafts a unique tea all originating from the camellia sinensis plant. It is the process for picking and drying that determines the type of tea, white, green, yellow, oolong, black or pu-erh.
Much like wine, the region in which the tea is grown and subsequently processed, gives its own distinctive flavor. Specialty tea or fine tea is produced for its exceptional qualities. Unlike mass-market or commodity tea, specialty tea consists of whole leaf or partial leaf tea. Most commodity tea is finely cut and blended for use in tea bags.
Specialty teas have a superior flavor because the leaves are larger. They are not cut up into tiny little pieces, and so they impart more flavor than the finely cut leaves of tea bag tea.
Also known as loose-leaf tea, specialty teas are left loose for ease of brewing. They usually come form a single estate and each estate is revered for its unique flavor profile.
Regarded for thousands of years as a key to good health, happiness and wisdom, tea has caught the attention of researchers in the West, who are discovering its many health benefits. There are over 3,000 published, science-based studies regarding the health promoting benefits of tea, proving tea is the ultimate healthy beverage.
Because of its unique chemical properties, tea provides a calm focused energy. Tea is the vehicle that allows you to contemplate, share and connect.