All types of tea begin with a tea leaf from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. How the tea leaf is processed after it is picked determines if it becomes white, green, oolong, black or pu-erh tea. After a tea is processed into one of the five basic types, it can also be blended, flavored or scented.
Mixtures of tea and other botanical ingredients and flavorings have increased the selection of tea available in the marketplace exponentially. Tea (Camellia sinensis) is grown in thousands of tea gardens and estates throughout the world. While tea is manufactured in dozens of countries, the five traditional tea producing countries are China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Taiwan (Formosa). As with wine, variations in plant strains, soil types, altitudes and climates lend character and flavor unique to each tea estate. Tea Botanics' teas come from Taiwan.
All tea from the plant Camellia sinensis contains caffeine. Decaffeinated tea is a great option for tea lovers who wish to avoid much of the caffeine naturally found in the tea leaf. However, a true caffeine-free beverage is only found in herbal infusions.
WHAT IS DECAFFEINATED TEA?
All forms of tea (black, oolong, green, white and pu-erh) can be decaffeinated, but only black and green teas are regularly decaffeinated. It must be noted that decaffeinated tea is NOT caffeine-free. The decaffeination process leaves a minute amount of caffeine in the leaf. By law, tea labeled as “decaffeinated” must have less than 2.5 percent of its original caffeine level, which usually equates to less than 2 mg per cup. In the marketplace, tea decaffeinated using ethyl acetate is often misleadingly referred to as “naturally decaffeinated.” Currently, there are four methods of decaffeination: methylene chloride, ethyl acetate, carbon dioxide and water. In the United States, ethyl acetate is the most widely used decaffeination method.