W H A T I S T E A?
A plant? A beverage?
Tea is a plant and a beverage that heals our body and calms our minds.
One of the most studied plants by the scientific community is the tea plant or Camellia sinensis, a perennial plant that is said to have originated in China. Its leaves are usually consumed as beverage through infusion in hot water although the leaves can also be infused in very cold water for longer period of time.
Tea has always been regarded as a safe beverage. It is the second most consumed beverage in the world only next to water.
People are attracted to the basic sensory components of tea (aroma, flavor, appearance). It is popular because it very easy to brew; cost effective (e.g., 3 grams of full leaf, pan-fired tea can yield up to 1 liter of tea); and very versatile (can be hot or cold, can be infused along with other fruits, plants and flowers). It is also functional, cultural, artsy and attractive.
Tea is the ultimate master of chemical diversity. The science community is attracted to its therapeutic and pharmaceutical properties mainly due to the polyphenols of the tea plants. Many studies have suggested that tea is anti-oxidative, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory.
Recent studies suggest that long term consumption of food rich in polyphenols such as teas may contribute to preventing or delaying the onset of chronic diseases.
So, what makes up tea? More than 30,000 polyphenols that can help heal our body and calm our minds.