The Chinese and Japanese have almost exclusively consumed the type of tea referred to as "green tea" dating back to the first millennium A.D. and, in particular, to tea ceremonies from the twelfth century. Green tea has gradually become more widely consumed in the West, yet black teas, including popular brands like Lipton Tea, continue to remain the most popular type of tea consumed.
Records of the consumption of tea date to the third century B.C. However, teas of all kinds were consumed prior to that. There is evidence through the third century A.D. suggesting tea was administered for increasing alertness, alleviating the effects of depression, digestive, and nervous conditions. It appears the primary usage of the fresh green tea leaves was medicinal until early cultivation and processing developed, especially into in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. During the Tang Dynasty of A.D. 618-906, tea cultivation and trade increased rapidly leading to a period considered the "golden age" of tea. Steaming of the leaves became standard practice, along with clearly defined rules for processing the leaves and brewing the mild, subtly sweet beverage that was now consumed both for pleasure as well as for medicinal purposes.
Though mechanization has replaced handpicking in some large estates and lower-quality tea production, for quality purposes the standards of harvesting established during the Tang Dynasty have remained largely intact.
The Chinese allow leaves to dry naturally before roasting them briefly or steaming them so the natural moisture evaporates from the leaves. This process stops the fermentation process and results in a soft tea that is typically rolled by hand on bamboo tables to remove residual moisture. The rolled leaves are re-roasted with constant movement and then rolled again. The final loose-leaf tea product is now separated and graded.
In recent years, special health benefits have been discovered through scientific and medical research. These findings have increased green tea's popularity across the globe. Green tea is minimally processed and has a long tradition of consumption in the East. In the West, however, tea has continued to compete with coffee. In particular, American interest in loose-leaf tea has spurred an influx of high-quality and exotic-sounding single-origin teas and blends, hand selected by specialty producers and tea sommeliers of the modern teahouses.
At coffee house expresss, you'll find a large selction of the best green tea and organic tea around. Our tea products include Lipton Tea, Chai Tea, Organic Tea and more.