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Crash Course in Tea – Jill Sung

We love to drink tea at JUARA. Although we had all grown up drinking different types of tea, few of us knew much about tea beyond the fact that it can have caffeine and has healthy antioxidants that help skin and body fight age-inducing free radicals. We’ve also all heard that tea can prevent cancer, calm the stomach, improve immune function, decrease cardiovascular risk, etc.

But did you know that tea comes from only 1 plant – the Camellia sinensis plant and that the different types of tea: White, Green, Black, Pu-erh, and Oolong differ based on the amount and type of processing each tea undergoes? All “teas” that come from other plants are “herbal teas” – but tasty nonetheless.

Indonesia is home to a rich tea culture, an inspiration to our JUARA products. In fact, JUARA co-founder Metta grew up drinking a beverage called “Tehbotol,” which literally means “Tea in a Bottle.” Tehbotol was – and is – the popular everyday beverage in Indonesia like Coca Cola is to the US – but just much healthier, with its delightful jasmine aroma from the sweet black tea.

Varieties of Teas

  • White (air dried buds, natural oxidation): Silver needle
  • Green (air dried leaves processed by steam or wok-fire, natural oxidation): Hojicha, High mountain tea
  • Black (rolled leaves, fully oxidized): Keemun, Darjeeling, Pekoe, Ceylon, Breakfast
  • Oolong (partially oxidized by baking for different flavors): Tie Guan Yin, Oolong
  • Pu-erh (cave-aged large-leaf, better with time, classified by age and region – like wine!): sheng (green/raw) types, shu (ripened/cooked)

The beauty about the caffeine in tea is that it doesn’t create that “crash” that so often happens with other caffeinated beverages, it’s a smooth and energy lifting awareness. A typical serving also has far less caffeine because tea is brewed more “weakly” than coffee.  Plus, color is NOT an indicator for caffeine content.

Tea Beverage Variations

A little bit of tea leaves goes a long way. You can brew tea with the same tea leaves multiple times, just add hot water on the first steep, and pour your first cup after a few minutes and immediately refill with hot water.

  • If you like it sweet but watching blood sugar levels, try agave. Agave doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels (thus preventing the sugar high and crash) and
  • Honey is naturally immune-boosting, especially Manuka honey, and the higher UMF, the better. (Mine is UMF 10+. The UMF grading system appraises natural markers found in Manuka Honey to assures purity and quality.)
  • No milk? Try soy milk, almond milk, any sort of milk really.
  • Metta’s herbal Tea no-sugar “sweetener” hack – add a stick of cinnamon when brewing your herbal tea. Not only is cinnamon good for regulating blood sugar, it adds a sweet aroma which may make for a nice substitute that adds “just the right sweetness touch.”
  • And sometimes, when you’re tired of the millions of teas we have in our cupboard, mix teas. Chai with herbal mint tea. Herbal antioxidant Rooibos with black tea. Choco-mint with Thai Chai.

So let’s drink to your health!

Note: If you don’t feel like drinking tea, the antioxidants area also great when applied to skin. JUARA has excellent anti-aging products which utilize the power of Kombucha tea, and Tea extracts here!

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