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TEA 101 Camellia Estate: Herbal Brews
August 18, 2014
Herbal tea is any beverage made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant material in hot water, and usually does not contain caffeine. These drinks are distinguished from caffeinated true teas (black, green, white, yellow, oolong, etc., which are prepared from the cured leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis), as well as from decaffeinated tea, in which the caffeine has been removed. In addition to serving as a beverage, many herbal teas are also consumed for their perceived medicinal benefits.
Like beverages made from true teas, herbal teas can be served hot or cold. Herbal teas have been used for nearly as long as written history extends. Documents have been recovered dating back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient Chinathat discuss the enjoyment and uses of herbal teas.
Red tea is made from the indigenous wonder herb of South Africa called rooibos (ROY-boss, Dutch for "red bush"), which contains polyphenols and flavonoids. This aromatic herb is as tasty as it is beneficial, with low tannins and minimal bitterness. Like black tea, rooibos leaves are oxidized; unlike black tea, rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, so you can enjoy unlimited, healthful cups all day long. Naturally rich and mildly sweet, rooibos is delicious and satisfying served hot or over ice.
Green rooibos tea is made from South African rooibos leaves that are lightly steamed below 115° to halt the oxidation process (red rooibos is fully oxidized). The raw state preserves the plant's natural enzymes. This tasty cup is low in astringency, and great hot or iced with no caffeine or calories.
Not to be confused with ornamental hibiscus, Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers are a tropical marvel that steep a deep-crimson cup. Our exotic and refreshing Hibiscus Teas hail from Nigeria and are caffeine free. Hints of berry and bright citrus flavors make this cup tangy and refreshing. Enjoy it served hot or over ice.
The ground-up leaves of yerba maté make for a stimulating herbal cup. A relative of the holly bush, maté is a natural stimulant that contains all three xanthine stimulants — caffeine, theophylline and theobromine — that are found in varying amounts in coffee, tea and chocolate. Maté's caffeine level is similar to that of a cup of coffee, making for a well-rounded, mild alternative to coffee.
Roasted Brazilian yerba maté is the centerpiece of our Yerba Maté Latte, a caffeinated herb tea that incorporates rooibos, cocoa and almonds and is divine with steamed milk.
Combining individual herbal teas often leads to sublime and flavorful blends. Camellia Estate offers several delicious herbal blends that fall outside of the traditional herbal offerings above. One of our most popular blends is Savannah Lady. A bold, bright berry flavor with soothing strawberry and blackberry highlights.