Sunday, September 3, 2017

Chinese Tea Appreciation Session, with Ms. Rocel Valeroso-Leoncio of DulceTierra Tea Station

Ms. Rocel Valeroso-Leoncio of DulceTierra Tea Station is a Certified Tea Master and Affiliate Trainer of the International Tea Masters Association (ITMA).

I never liked tea, the smell of it and even more the taste of it. Before I only think about tea as an slimming drink so I had tried drinking tea just for the thought of getting slim other than that nothing more..... and I failed.

I had heared once that to fully appreciate and love something you have to dig deep to embrace how it is made and what value it provides.

Like what I said I never liked tea BEFORE. Not until I seldom see it on movies and felt curious about why are those in the scenes seldom drink tea and not coffee. 

I was invited before for a tea sessions i was hesitant at first because it wasn't my interest yet I joined. It was my first encounter of people really "appreciating" the tea they're drinking much more the way they prepared it is like preparing something so precious that you can't get your eyes of.

I was invited in an intimate tea appreciation to experience how it was prepared, how to drink it, how to really enjoy it with appreciation. Ms. Rocel introduced and educated us about everything that has to do with Tea form where it all started and how it was produced.

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world next to water. It is the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. 

  • Black, Green, Oolong, Dark and White teas all come from the same plant, a warm-weather evergreen named Camellia sinensis. Differences among the five types of tea result from the various degrees of processing and the level of oxidization. Black tea is fully oxidized and Oolong teas are partially oxidized. After withering and rolling, the tea leaves undergo natural chemical reactions resulting in taste and color changes and that develop the teas distinguishing characteristics. Green & White teas are not oxidized after leaf harvesting. Oolong tea is midway between Black and Green teas in strength and color. Dark teas are fermented after manufacture.

Grown In:
  • Much of the world’s tea is grown in mountainous areas 3,000 – 7,000 feet above sea level, situated between the Tropics in mineral-rich and acidic soil. Leading tea-producing countries include Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Taiwan. Tea is nearly 5,000 years old. It was discovered in 2737 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung, also known as the “Divine Healer,” when as legend goes, some tea leaves accidentally blew into the Emperor’s pot of boiling water.

  • Tea is an all-natural and environmentally sound product from a renewable source. The tea plant is naturally resistant to most insects; oxidation of the tea leaf is a natural process; and, many tea packers use recycled paper for packaging.

Health Qualities:
  • Tea is a refreshing beverage that contains no sodium, fat, carbonation, or sugar. It is virtually calorie-free. Tea helps maintain proper fluid balance and may contribute to overall good health. Tea contains flavonoids, naturally occurring compounds that are believed to have antioxidant properties. Tea flavonoids often provide bioactive compounds that help to neutralize free radicals, which scientists believe, over time, damage elements in the body, such as genetic material and lipids, and contribute to chronic disease.

If you are trying to improve your health or drop a few pounds, think beyond superfoods and supplements, because this "super-drink" deserves your attention. The things we chew are not the only dietary factors that contribute to weight management, disease fighting, energy boosting and stress reducing. Consumed for thousands of years, tea has provided delicious medicinal benefits to many cultures around the globe. Studies show that the components found in such a small little teabag can do wonders for your health. Drink up - your overall health is about to get a lot better!

There are four main types of tea - Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea and White Tea. There are also non-traditional teas known as Fruit and Herbal Infusions.

Black Tea
  • All teas are 'plucked' and the tea pluckers select the new shoots, typically the first two leaves and a bud. Tea pluckers recognize the exact moment the tea should be removed from the bush to ensure only the tender leaves are used to produce the finest tea. 

Green Tea
  • Green tea goes through a slightly different process to black tea. Depending on the type of green tea, the leaves may or may not be withered. The tea is then either steamed or pan-fired to stop the oxidation process. The leaves are then rolled and fired. The color of green tea is retained as the heating process stops any chemical reaction with oxygen (oxidation) preserving its greenness.

  • Oolong tea is semi-oxidised and therefore falls between black and green tea. There are many types of Oolong tea, ranging from very light, fragrant teas to dark coppery teas with the taste of burnt caramel. The leaves are wilted and are then shaken in baskets to lightly bruise the edges and left only until oxidisation has set in along the leaves’ outer edges. 

White Tea
  • White teas are rarer than other teas and can only be plucked once a year. These teas are produced using only the first bud and top leaf from the new season’s tea bush. The tea is withered and then dried. White tea got its name due to the fine white downy hairs that covers the first bud. These teas are very pale in color, light and delicate in taste.

  • There are also other types of non-traditional teas known as Fruit and Herbal Infusions. Herbal infusions are produced from plants, fruits and spices which do not originate from the tea plant Camellia sinensis but are infused using boiling water. There is a huge selection of plants such as Camomile, Peppermint, Linden, Hibiscus and Rooibos to choose from that can be blended together to give a delicious alternative to other beverages. Twinings sources over 100 different ingredients from around the world. The process of manufacture is different for infusions than that of tea. For example, Camomile and Peppermint leaves are placed in the sun to dry and then cut, cleaned, sieved, blended and steam treated to the requirements of the buyer.

Like what I said preparing the tea with different pot and accessories is much more complicated than I could have imagined...

So always remember that when you take a sip of a tea have a moment to close your eyes and just be relaxed let your body absorb the serene moment to be at peace.
The best ways to enjoy a cup of tea with your friends is a set of sweet delicacies such as cupcakes, cakes, muffins, etc......

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