With the icy arrival of winter and the pandemic leaving us more conscious about our health than ever, we thought to ourselves, ‘what better way to beat the chilly season than with a delicious cup of tea that’s also really good for you?’. And so, we decided to pay a visit to the Market’s resident tea expert, Kaishan of Libertea, to delve a little deeper into the world of tea and find out what brews we should be sipping over the next few months.
Firstly, Kaishan recommends seasonal tea drinking to help your body adjust to the changes that come with the time of year. For example, green tea is great for spring and summer, whereas black tea is better for autumn and winter. For more of an all-rounder to go with Melbourne’s four seasons in one day, she suggests steering towards oolong to keep your energy and spirits up.
Now for those of you that don’t yet know, Libertea sources teas from all around the world. ‘Old world tea countries’, like China and Japan, are more likely to produce mountain tea that is fragrant, clear and meant to be drunk on its own. ‘New world tea’, such as that from India and Sri Lanka, is mostly grown on flat land and likely processed into black tea. Then there is herbal tea from Egypt and Europe.
“Recently we started stocking tea from New Zealand and Australia, as well as Vietnam and Thailand,” says Kaishan.
“We actually have some Japanese style green teas that are grown locally in Victoria that are great quality.”
White tea may hold health benefits due to the high antioxidant levels. Matcha has also recently gained attention from health enthusiasts because the whole leaf is consumed, and provides 10 times as much antioxidants as infused green tea.
“My recommendation is our artisan tea range, more specifically our oolong range and our yunnan black tea, continues Kaishan.
“Camellia Sinensis contains a wide range of antioxidants and vitamins. For example, L-theanine in tea reduces acute stress and anxiety and catechin in tea has shown positive results in controlling prostate cancer in trials.”
Libertea also has an organic immunity blend in-store that contains Olive Leaf, Lemongrass, Ginger, Rosehips, Echinacea, Cat’s Claw and Ginko.
And did you know that most artisan teas are loose leaf?
“Teabags, no matter what material they’re made of, usually a mixture of paper and plastic, have a chemical taste of their own. Many teabags also contain sweetener to mask the taste. Not to mention they can release micro-plastic into your drink,” says Kaishan.
If you are looking for the best taste and maximum benefits, it is important to store your tea correctly. “Teas are best kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Ideally away from strong odours,” continues Kaishan.
“And remember to brew your tea with the correct temperature water.”
USE THIS HELPFUL BREWING GUIDE WHEN MAKING YOUR NEXT CUPPA:
- Green Tea – 80 degrees
- Matcha – 80 degrees
- Black Tea – 90 degrees without milk, 100 degrees with milk
- Oolong – 100 degrees
- Herbal – 100 degrees
Kaishan sells so many different varieties of tea, which are now available in-store and online via Food Lovers’ Direct. She’s a wonderful source of knowledge and takes regular trips around the world to taste and research different teas, so pop by Libertea in Harvest Hall to say ‘hi’ or give her a call to find out more.