Why Choose Specialty Loose Leaf Tea?


Why Choose Specialty

Loose Leaf Tea?

         The Camelia Sinensis plant is a hearty evergreen shrub.  It can be cultivated and grown in many different environments.  But WHERE it’s gown means everything!

         Originally only grown in 5 countries: China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, India and Japan, the true Tea plant has been a daily staple of cultures and lifestyles for thousands of years.  Over the last 75 years, Tea has been an added crop to more than 50 other countries. 

         In it’s original environment, Camelia Sinensis goes through a very slow, annual growing cycle.  It is usually harvested in the spring, taking the newly formed leaves and buds from the top of the bush.  The Tea plants go through an annual hibernation in the winter which loads up all the natural compounds within the structure of the plant so when the spring sunshine hits, it shoots out the fullest, fresh leaves of the year.  Those new leaves have the ability to become, White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Pu-erh Tea or Black Tea, depending on how it is processed.

         Specialty Tea leaves are plucked by hand.  The pluckers are generally women who work by hand all day to return with one wicker basket of raw tea leaves.  Some of the best pluckers are actually flown to the mountain tops by helicopter during harvest season.

         Traditionally, the harvest season would require the help of the entire village.  For a few weeks every year, the only focus of all the people was to pluck, sort and process the tea while it was at its peak quality.

         More recently, many large companies have found profits in the Tea Industry and created a second side, Commercial Tea.  They have found that Camelia Sinensis and it’s sister species Camelia Sinensis Assamica (Indian Tea) can be grown in sub-tropical climates.  There it will grow very quickly and produce more product than the mountains where it was intended to grow.

         However, growing the Camelia plant in warmer climates causes the plant to produce leaves year-round.  It does not have the season to go through that hibernation process where it loads up all its volatile compounds.  Instead, it just keeps shooting out leaves that lack many of the things you’re looking for.

You’ll want to find tea leaves that are freshly plucked and processed.  Tea has its best integrity within the first year of harvest.  Tea Madame believes that quality Tea makes a world of difference!


Tea Madame