Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World

Ahhh… tea. The Brits love it. The Chinese love it. It’s an impeccable drink that has been around the world for centuries. And did you know it’s even the cheapest drink next to water?

If you’re a casual drinker looking to deepen your love for tea or a beginner wanting to satiate your curiosity on what the hype is all about, this guide is definitely for you.

Table Of Contents

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What’s The Hype? Why Should I Drink Tea? 🍵

It has been studied that green tea slows down salivary chromogranin A (CgA), a biological indicator of stress.

Drinking tea comes with many benefits, with green tea in particular. It has been studied that green tea slows down salivary chromogranin A (CgA), a biological indicator of stress.

Higher green tea consumption is also associated with lower chances of cognitive decline (such as dementia or mild cognitive impairment – MCI).

Since tea has catechins that are natural polyphenolic phytochemicals, it acts an anti-inflammatory agent. These catechins have a slight potential for improving inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gut-related conditions due to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and anti-bacteria activation.

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Catechins as antioxidants also suppress the damage to cells and tissues coming from the imbalance between oxidation and antioxidant system by enhancing the antioxidant related enzymes.

Tea has lower quantities of caffeine as well, which places it as a better alternative to coffee of which the caffeine level is more than double than tea and could be a catalyst to other health risks.

And not to mention, it’s the ultimate internal hug you need for wellness and serenity!

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Other health benefits include:

  • Betters cardiovascular health through BP lowering, improved dyslipidemia (or elevation of lipids like triglycerides, cholesterol and/or fat phospholipids), insulin sensitivity, endothelial function (endothelium is the thin membrane lining in the heart and blood vessels), platelet inhibition and many others
  • Weight loss through thermogenic and fat oxidation properties of tea
  • Type II Diabetes management through reduction of glucose level by balancing energy, endocrine systems, food intake (see weight loss point above), lipid and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Immunity through tea intake which decreases trigger of histamine that causes cold and flu
  • Prevention of other chronic diseases such as arthritis and cancer, particularly with squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. In one population-based control study, the brewing time of hot black tea has implied a significantly lower risk to tea drinkers compared to non-tea drinkers.
    To date, clinical trials are being done to assess the efficacy of tea against cancer.

Whole Leaf Tea Vs. Tea Bag 🍃

Difference in size

  • Whole leaf tea (black, green, and oolong) also known as “loose leaf tea” originates from one bush called Camellia sinensis. The tea bush is distinguished by its dark green leaves.
  • Tea bag uses little flecks of tea that are known as “fannings”. These are bigger than finely ground tea.

While size may be the obvious contrast, there’s more to this comparison.

Flavor

  • Whole leaf tea allows tea leaves to preserve their natural and flavorful properties. This gives you a better and bolder cup to enjoy. Whole leaf teas are placed into plus-size tea bags so they produce better and higher quality brews.
While tea has lower caffeine level than coffee, caffeine levels between whole leaf tea vs. tea bags cannot be distinguished simply by the two varieties.
Factors such as tea grade (or how broken the tea leaf is) and tea variety can affect the caffeine content.
  • Tea bag flavors are milder and are limited due to the way the tea leaves have been processed and placed inside the standard small tea bag size. While this may give you a flavorful cup, it isn’t as high grade like whole leaf tea.

Steeping

  • Whole leaf tea unfurls its leaves during the steeping process which in turn releases the flavor into the water.
  • Tea bags have a more limited expansion than whole leaf tea due to the size of its casing, therefore also limiting its infusion.

Caffeine Levels

While tea has lower caffeine level than coffee, caffeine levels between whole leaf tea vs. tea bags cannot be distinguished simply by the two varieties.

Factors such as tea grade (or how broken the tea leaf is) and tea variety can affect the caffeine content.

Learning The Story And Process Of Tea

Last July 27, 2017, The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf® has hosted The Art Of Tea Workshop at Ayala Malls The 30th in Ortigas, Pasig City, Metro Manila.

This was one of the many rounds they have conducted this year that started around June.

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

I was actually confused where Ayala Malls The 30th was. I thought it was in Makati City (because Ayala, you know!). I wasn’t familiar that this new CBTL branch was at the back of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Traveling all the way from Cavite by van and hopping onto the MRT train, I walked about 2 miles in my chunky black boots after getting off my stop: Ortigas station.

It was rainy and challenging. I even tripped in one pothole, I kid you not!

But this new The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf® branch made up for all that walking. It was pretty. And I do mean reaaaaally pretty! Come on, take a look:

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin
Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Right?!

So anyway… back to the story:

The workshop was limited to 30 slots and I was one of the few lucky ones to win an invite. The event’s focus was to give a deep knowledge on the art behind every cup they serve.

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin
The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf’s® Marketing Manager, Nella Lomotan giving a tea pop quiz.

Apart from the intensive tea lessons, I met these nice people who became my lovely Instagram friends: Maddee, Paula and Mark.

 

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin
Left to right: Mark, Paula, Maddee

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin
Maddee so giddy about her GCs. She won after answering the tea quiz!

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin
Tea tasting and cupping were so fun, Maddee and Paula enjoyed flipping the tea pot and infuser. And Mark even ate this one type of tea variant called Genmaicha Green!

Safe to say, everybody enjoyed the event. It felt so posh learning about these teas but at the same time CBTL made sure it was as casual as a group homework.

This experience formed me a richer understanding of how tea is prepared, to what kinds of teas to choose and the varieties that there are.

It was truly an enlightening experience for a tea lover like me.

 

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

So Why Choose The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® Whole Leaf Tea Bags? 🌱

For over 50 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has remained true to their vision of bringing their customers the most extraordinary collection of unique, hand-plucked, premium whole leaf tea harvested from the world’s most exclusive tea growing estates.

Their long standing relationships with these growers allows them to continually offer Simply The Best™ teas and infusions.

And with their convenient single-serving tea bags, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® gives you the pleasure to enjoy the finest teas in the world.

The unique pyramid shape of their tea bag allows two whole leaves and a bud to fully expand, providing maximum flavor infusion and the same richness and aroma you savor when brewing your premium tea in an infuser or teapot.

 

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The 18 Finest Teas In The World

The best thing about The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is that they carry the 18 finest teas in the world. Amazing isn’t it?

So if you want to revel in the goodness of whole leaf teas, you really don’t need to look further. ☺

Here is the list of teas that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® have on their menu:

  • 1. African Sunrise
  • 2. Apricot Ceylon
  • 3. Chai
  • 4. Earl Grey
  • 5. English Breakfast
  • 6. Genmaicha Green
  • 7. Ginseng Peppermint
  • 8. Lemon Chamomile
  • 9. Lung Ching Dragonwell
  • 10. Moroccan Mint
  • 11. Strawberry Cream
  • 12. Tropical Passion
  • 13. Vanilla Ceylon
  • 14. Sencha
  • 15. Pomegranate Blueberry
  • 16. Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl
  • 17. Houjicha
  • 18. Estate Darjeeling

These teas are divided into 5 categories:

  1. Black Teas
  2. Green Teas
  3. Flavored Black Teas
  4. Flavored Green Teas
  5. Herbal Infusions

Black Teas

The finest black teas are distinguished by extensive hand processing to achieve the full oxidation that is crucial in the development of the exceptional black teas available at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®.

Chai Tea

Their special recipe is blended by hand using only the finest blend of black tea, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and other spices. These give an exotic aroma and spicy taste to this flavorful tea.

  • Aroma: spicy
  • Body: full
  • Flavor: cardamom, clove, cinnamon

English Breakfast

The perfect blend of Shree Dwarika Darjeeling tea and Bogawantalawa Estate Ceylon teas! Their original recipe yields a balanced cup with a medium body and brisk flavor. Great with milk.

  • Aroma: sweet
  • Body: medium
  • Flavor: brisk
  • Origin: Sri Lanka & Darjeeling, India

Estate Darjeeling

Grown on the misty heights of the Himalayan foothills, their Darjeeling Tea is one of the world’s finest, yielding a fragrant aroma, lively flavor and full body.

  • Aroma: floral
  • Body: full
  • Flavor: lively
  • Origin: India

Green Teas

Directly after plucking, the green tea leaves are pan-fired or steamed in order to stop the oxidation process. The tea is then dried once again to remove excess moisture. During the entire process, the leaves maintain their soft and supple structure.

 

 

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Genmaicha Green

Genmaicha Green is a blend of high quality Sencha tea, toasted rice, and puffed rice. The Sencha leaf provides a delicate taste while the toasted rice adds body and sweetness to the finish.

  • Aroma: tasty
  • Body: light
  • Flavor: tasty, full-flavored with sweet finish
  • Origin: Japan

Lung Ching Dragonwell

This delicate green tea is known for its emerald green color and unique shape. It yields a mild and smooth flavor with a well-balanced, sweet finish. Lung Ching is only produced near the beautiful West Lake of Hangzhou and is meticulously prepared from tender leaves using a traditional handmade technique.

  • Aroma: mild
  • Body: smooth
  • Flavor: delicate
  • Origin: West Lake Hangzhou, China

Sencha

A grassy and slightly sweet green tea with a refreshing, mild astringency and a crisp, floral aroma.

  • Aroma: crisp & floral
  • Body: medium
  • Flavor: balanced with refreshing astringency & natural sweetness
  • Origin: Japan

Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl

A delicate Chinese green tea scented with jasmine flowers, according to a 9th century recipe and rolled into a pearl known for its pale jade color and delicious taste. Mild, smooth flavors, well-balanced finish and fresh aroma.

  • Aroma: fragrant Jasmine
  • Body: full
  • Flavor: delicate green tea
  • Origin: China

Houjicha

Delightful and calming with a lightly sweet and woodsy flavor with hints of grass and roasted leaves aroma. Houjicha infusions have a light to reddish-brown appearance and are less astringent due to the high-temperature roasting process.

  • Aroma: sweet & delicately roasted
  • Body: full
  • Flavor: light woodsy with hints of sweet grass & roasted leaves
  • Origin: Japan

Flavored Black Teas

Their flavored teas are seasoned by hand to create a unique, distinctive taste that is perfectly balanced with the essence of the whole leaf tea.

Apricot Ceylon

Bogawantalawa Estate Ceylon black tea from Sri Lanka is known for its special mellowness. Flavored with apricot, this tea is well-balanced with a fruity aroma and a light body.

  • Aroma: floral & fruity
  • Body: full
  • Flavor: apricot
  • Origin: Sri Lanka

Earl Grey

One of the strongest teas, Earl Grey derives its distinctive taste from oil of bergamot, a Mediterranean citrus fruit. This fragrant tea is great served plain or with milk.

  • Aroma: fragrant & citrusy
  • Body: full
  • Flavor: with citrus
  • Origin: Sri Lanka
Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin
Tropical Passion (top left)

Tropical Passion

This tea is a perfect combination of Ceylon black tea, passion fruit, and guava fruit flavoring along with malva and marigold flowers. Ideal as a steeped tea and as a tea latte.

  • Aroma: tropical
  • Body: light
  • Flavor: refreshing
  • Origin: Sri Lanka

Vanilla Ceylon

Bogawantalawa Estate Ceylon black tea that is infused with vanilla flavoring, creating a rich, full-bodied tea with a sweet, buttery vanilla flavor. This tea is especially good as a tea latte with milk or over ice.

  • Aroma: sweet
  • Body: full
  • Flavor: rich vanilla
  • Origin: Sri Lanka

Pomegranate Blueberry

The fresh, fruity aroma from this tea yields a bright flavor with subtle berry notes and a naturally sweet finish.

  • Aroma: fresh & fruity
  • Body: medium
  • Flavor: bright with berry notes & fruity
  • Origin: China, Sri Lanka, Thailand

Flavored Green Teas

Their flavored green teas are hand-spiced to create exceptional green teas that are invigorating and well-balanced.

Strawberry Cream

The choicest grade of Chinese pan-fired green tea is delicately scented with flavors of strawberries and cream and includes bits of strawberries. The end result is a harmonious, creamy tea with a light body.

  • Aroma: fruity, creamy
  • Body: light
  • Flavor: vanilla, strawberry
  • Origin: China

Moroccan Mint

Hand-crafted from the finest Gunpowder green tea and flavored with aromatic peppermint, this revitalizing green tea closely follows the classic 18th century recipe created by tea traders in Casablanca.

  • Aroma: fresh, minty
  • Body: subtle
  • Flavor: vanilla, bright, minty
  • Origin: China

Herbal Infusions

All of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s® herbal infusions are 100% caffeine-free, making them the best alternative in regular tea or coffee. They offer an array of flavors that are both delectable and satisfying.

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

African Sunrise

Their hand-harvested honeybush has a mild, sweet taste, and aroma, somewhat like honey, and is infused with aromatic vanilla flavoring to create a unique infusion. This mixture yields a vibrant reddish orange liquor not unlike the famous red glowing sunrises known throughout Africa.

  • Aroma: sweet & creamy
  • Flavor: vanilla, citrus
  • Origin: South Africa

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Ginseng Peppermint

Blended with ginseng, eleuthero root, peppermint, and other herbs, the end creation is an ‘energy’ infusion that is said to increase stamina, reduce stress, and boost the immune system.

  • Aroma: minty, peppermint
  • Flavor: peppermint with ginseng note

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Lemon Chamomile

This honey colored infusion is light and soothing. The addition of orange peel adds a delicate citrus flavor.

  • Aroma: fresh, crisp, lemony
  • Flavor: well-balanced, bright lemon
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What’s The Right Water To Use For Tea?

Use bottled or filtered water only to ensure that most impurities have been removed.

Distilled water is not recommended since the water is flat therefore it has no minerals. You will not be able to enjoy a much fuller tea experience that water minerals bring.

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

How To Steep Whole Leaf Teas

These are the following guidelines recommended for steeping your tea:

  1. Begin with fresh, bottled or filtered water.
  2. Bring water to a rolling boil. A rolling boil means with just enough bubbling activity but not reaching the extreme boiling point.
  3. Place one (1) teaspoon of tea leaves per 8 oz. cup of water into a teapot or infuser or place one (1) tea bag directly into a 12 to 16 oz. cup.
  4. Pour water directly over the tea leaves or tea bag.

Note: Over-steeping your tea may make your drink bitter. For a stronger and bolder tea, add more leaves instead of infusing longer than recommended.

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

Recommended Steeping Times

  • Green Teas – 3 minutes
  • Black Teas – 5 minutes
  • Oolong Teas – 5 minutes
  • Herbal & Fruit Infusions – 7 minutes

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

How To Make A Homemade Authentic Iced Tea

  1. Fill tea filter with one (1) tablespoon of loose tea (whole tea leaf) or use one (1) tea bag per 12 to 16 oz. of hot filtered or bottled water.
  2. Steep in hot filtered or bottled water using the recommended time for your type of tea.
  3. Remove tea filter or tea bag after steeping.
  4. Chill and serve over ice.
  5. Always keep the iced tea refrigerated.

Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World | The Art Of Tea Workshop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines | Earth Love Skin

How To Store Whole Leaf Teas

To ensure freshness, store tea in an airtight container and in a dark, cool dry place. Every The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® whole leaf tea product comes with their retail tins. These tins help preserve flavor and prevent the teas from getting stale.

Can Tea Be Harmful?

Since we have already been talking about so many benefits of tea, you may be wondering, “does tea have toxic effects?”.

The answer may surprise you.

As much as coffee does more harm than tea, tea also comes with a caveat in consumption.

Excessive intake may bring an onset to different health risks:

  • Green tea: Hepatotoxicity, Oxidative stress, Mitochondrial toxicity, Side effects such as Headache, Nausea, Muscle pain. The LD50 dose of caffeine in Green Tea is estimated to be 10–14 g (150–200 mg/kg of Green Tea).
  • Black tea: Precipitation of digestive enzymes, affects useful microflora of intestine, Reduced iron absorption, Rectum cancer and fluoride toxicity.
  • White tea: Reduced iron absorption by forming insoluble complexes in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Oolong tea: Affects functioning of pancreatic lipase, Increased risk of diabetes. Too much of this tea results in osteoporosis by excreting calcium in urine because of its more caffeine content. It should not be taken more than 3 cups a day.
  • Pu-erh tea: Osteoporosis, Increased blood pressure, Arsenic level high, not advised in pregnant women. It has high caffeine content
  • Tea and Pregnancy: EGCH can inhibit an enzyme called dihydrofolatereductase (DHFR) can induce folic acid deficiency, causing abnormal neural tube development. Spina bifida may result. Also, caffeine present in tea may pass through the placenta and produce harmful effects. It increases urine flow also. There are increased risks of miscarriage.Please consult your doctor regarding tea intake during pregnancy.

Other side-effects of tea:

  • Hot drinking temperature of tea may degrade teeth enamel
  • Oxalates present in tea may result in kidney bones
  • Aluminum present in tea leaves may produce toxicity

This section is not here to scare you away from drinking tea as it is with coffee. These health risks are not a surefire guarantee in case you exceed.

As with all other foods that come with a potential risk like coffee, fatty foods, and commercially processed foods, everything including tea, should be taken in moderation.

Conclusion

Tea is definitely beneficial for your health. It presents less caffeine than coffee which makes it a great alternative for your morning or afternoon fix.

When choosing tea, make sure to opt for whole leaf tea (also called loose leaf tea) because they provide a more robust flavor than commercial tea bags.

To enjoy the best cup of tea, only use the finest kinds of tea available and follow infusion time, recommended water type for steeping and storage.

Even though tea may have less caffeine than coffee, it is still important to note that adequate drinking will bring you the optimal health benefit you’re looking for.


💻 Bloopers: I’ve spent 20 straight hours writing this article so I sincerely wish this helps you in knowing more about your tea.

Send me some love, will you? This mama needs a break! 😂

No, but seriously if you reached this far… I’d appreciate if you come comment any of the following:

  • Any idea or topic you want me to blog next?
  • What’s your favorite tea?
  • How long have you been drinking?

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Note: This post was sponsored by The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf®. Read more about this blog’s partnerships & disclosure policy for more information.

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2 thoughts on “Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World

  1. Bae Milanes Reply

    I’m not a huge tea drinker. I actually used to hate the taste (what kid doesn’t?) but one day after touring Manila, I was so hungry, I went ahead and drank house tea. It actually tasted good and served well as an appetizer. I drink tea when I’m not feeling well or when I want a reset and start my day calmly. I stick with green tea because research shows it’s good for weight loss so it’s a 2-in-1 for me.

    Very nice blog post, btw! Very well researched & written. This is not easy to blog straight. 😂

    For your next blog post, maybe something artsy? Or about motherhood?

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    1. Iris Buenconsejo Reply

      Thanks Bae! Yeah me too. I used to find green tea so… yucky! I think it was because of the Haagen-Dazs ice cream I ate. But years later I fell in love with green tea again – worth the second chance!

      And thanks for reading it! I hope you didn’t get exhausted, I tried putting a Table of Contents so you can jump to whatever you felt like reading. 🙂 I’ll see what I can do with your pitches – I actually have a draft on motherhood. Something artsy… what do you have in mind in particular? A tutorial, skill feature (i.e. skills that can lead to what profession) or something else?

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