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"The Secret Truth About Tea"™

All of the tea’s nutrients and health properties are contained in the whole-leaf, not in the small broken leaves or “dusts” used in typical supermarket tea bags. This means that most tea drinkers are only getting a fraction of the wonderful benefits of this ancient plant.

PLAIN-T selects the best whole-leaf teas produced by each garden in each region we visit around the world. Quality and excellence is achieved through the work of skilled artisans, who individually craft small batches of our select whole-leaf teas and infusions.

 

There are five main types of tea:  Black  -  Oolong  -  Green  -  White  -  Pu-Erh

What few tea-drinkers realize is that all five are made from the same plant species, the Camellia Sinensis. So what accounts for the differences between the five types? The different processing methods they undergo. We refer to our teas as PLAIN teas, because we always deliver our teas in their purest form.

Within each type of tea you’ll find many, many varieties—totaling more than 3,000 teas worldwide. Black, green, and oolong teas are all used as a base to make scented and flavored teas.

Black Tea

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Black teas originated in China (where they are known as “red tea”). Today, however, they come from many growing regions throughout the world, most notably India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

The leaves are plucked and treated in a four-step process: withering, rolling, oxidation, and firing. Withering removes moisture from the freshly plucked leaves so they can be rolled. First-grade teas are hand-rolled: Each leaf is curled along its length and slightly twisted, to break apart cells and release enzymes that interact with the air, causing oxidation. During the oxidation process, the leaves are placed in a cool and humid room for about five hours.

The fourth and final stage is firing, which stops the oxidation. During firing, the leaves are placed in hot pans or drying chambers which maintain a constant temperature of 120° F. The resulting black tea infusion can vary from light, flowery, and crisp to rich and robust to sweet and even to a malty flavor.

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 212°F water (that is, water at the boiling point) over the leaves

  TIME: Steep black tea for 2-3 minutes

Oolong Tea

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The finest Oolong teas are hand-plucked in the spring and winter season in Southeast China and Taiwan (which was formerly known as Formosa, explaining why you might have heard of Formosa Oolong). The leaves are immediately processed after being picked. Processing is a combination of withering and a brief oxidation—approximately five hours under direct sunlight, with the leaves shaken in a large bamboo basket. As soon as the leaves begin giving off a distinctive fruit-like fragrance, this stage is halted.

Rolling by hand, or by the “crush, curl, tear” (C.T.C.) machine method, follows the withering stage. Firing is the last phase, with the baskets moved in and out of a charcoal fire’s flames. The resulting natural flavors can range from light and flowery to robust, sweet, and fruity. Oolong’s distinctive fragrance is sometimes compared to apples, orchids, or peaches.

 

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 212°F water over the leaves.

  Steep Oolong tea for 3-4 minutes.

PLAIN-T’s Oolongs can be steeped at least three consecutive times. You may increase the brewing time after the third steeping.

 

Green Tea

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The finest green teas are hand-plucked during in springtime in China and Japan. The leaves are immediately heated to prevent oxidation and preserve their pure essences. Leaves can be steamed, pan-fried, or fired in an oven, depending on the region and the tea.

The heating process makes the leaves soft and pliable, facilitating the next phase, which is either rolling or pressing. Pressing is particularly common in Japan, although some Chinese green teas are also pressed. Rolling is done either by hand or by C.T.C.

Firing is the last stage, during which the leaves are placed in a large mechanical dryer. Minimally oxidized, green tea has less caffeine than most other teas. The result? A very delicate, soft tea with a wonderful fresh taste.

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 180° F water over the leaves.

  TIME: Steep green tea for 1-3 minutes. 

PLAIN-T green teas can be brewed at least 3 times consecutively. Note: Some steamed green teas from Japan should not steep for more then 2 minutes; in some cases, such as Gyokuro, for only 1 minute.

 

White Tea

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The finest white teas come from the Fujian Province of southeast China. In early spring, the young leaves and buds are picked by hand the day before they open, while still covered with silky white hairs, and are simply steamed and dried without being rolled or fired. White tea has a subtle grassy flavor and virtually no caffeine. The absence of firing and shaping in the white tea process results in the many delicate shapes and unique tastes of white tea. Two other names for white tea are Silver Needles and Silver Rain, because of their resemblance to these delicate things.

A recent study found that the cancer-inhibiting polyphenols found in green tea appear in even greater concentration in white teas.

 Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 180° F water over the leaves.

  TIME: Steep white tea for 5-7 minutes.

PLAIN-T white teas are good for at least 3 consecutive steeping per serving. Note: Some steamed white teas should not steep for more then 2 minutes; your PLAIN-T consultant can fill you in.




Pu-Erh Tea

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Pu-Erh is a town in Yunnan, China, which was once famous for its tea trade. The term Pu-Erh does not refer to color (you’ll find black and green Pu-Erh teas), but to an unusual processing that lets the tea age and have a very long life. Actually, Pu-Erh is the only tea that gets better with age. Some better grades can be 50 years old!

Pu-Erh leaves are picked from very old trees, some reputedly as old as 1,800 years, and are withered like black and green teas. Still slightly moist, they are heaped in piles where a natural bacterium in the leaves creates a reaction. The leaf piles are constantly monitored to prevent excessive heat or moisture.

Green Pu-Erh leaves are partially fired to halt enzyme activity, and they’re slowly oxidized over time. Black Pu-Erh leaves are fully oxidized before firing, leading to a strong and distinctive flavor.

Pu-Erhs yield many health benefits, including the ability to lower cholesterol, reduce indigestion or diarrhea, and cleanse the blood (reducing the risk of heart attack).

 Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 212°F water (that is, at the boiling point) over leaves

  TIME: Rinse the nugget with boiling water. Steep for 1 minute

Grand-Cru Tea

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PLAIN-T curates a portfolio of the finest and most difficult-to-find whole-leaf teas in the world. They have to be exceptional to meet our rigorous selection criteria. New finds are added as they become available. Because of the limited quantities, certain selections are only available for a few days before supplies are exhausted; members of our T-Club are offered first access.

New finds will be added as they become available to us. Because of the limited quanties of these teas, certain selections will be available for only a few days before supplies are exhausted.

Brewing Instructions:

TEMPERATURE: Based on your Crand Cru tea of choice

TIME: Based on your Crand Cru tea of choice

Flavored & Scented Tea

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Black and green teas are used to make scented and flavored teas. The flavorings are mixed with the processed leaf right before the tea is packed. For jasmine tea, whole jasmine blossoms are added. Fruit-flavored teas are generally made by blending in the given fruit’s essential oil. Herbal, fruit, and flower tisanes are infusions that do not contain any actual tea—they are not products of the Camellia sinensis plant—and should not be confused with scented and flavored teas (and should not be labelled as such).

The base for PLAIN-T’s flavored black teas is Assam or Ceylon O.P. tea; our flavored green teas are based on high-quality Sencha. In both cases, we use natural flavors and essences.

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 200°F water over black teas; pour 180°F water over green teas

  TIME: Steep black teas for 2-3 minutes; for green teas, steep for 1-3 minutes.

PLAIN-T flavored green teas can be steeped at least 3 consecutive times. You may increase the brewing time after the first steeping.

Exclusive Blends

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PLAIN-T’s exclusive blends are made following carefully guarded recipes, made up of the finest whole-leaf teas, natural fruits, flowers, and spices. Ranging from light and delicate to full-bodied and aromatic, these blends please the most discriminating palates.

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 200° F water over black-tea blends; pour 180° F water over green-tea blends

  TIME: Steep black blends for 2-3 minutes; steep green blends for 1-3 minutes.

PLAIN-T flavored green teas can be steeped at least 3 consecutive times. You may increase the brewing time after the first steeping

Rooibos

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Rooibos (“red bush” in Dutch) is an herbal infusion; it is not from the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. Rooibos is an exotic shrub with needle-like leaves that grows in remote regions of South Africa. Rooibos can also be scented or flavored, just like tea leaves can, resulting in a deep-red cup with a round, full taste.

Studies show that Rooibos has the highest levels of antioxidants of any consumable plant. It’s also chock-full of important minerals and vitamins, has very little tannin, and no caffeine; it is said to relieve insomnia, stomachache, cramps, and colic.

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 212°F water (at the boiling point) over the leaves.

  TIME: Steep for 3-4 minutes.

Herbal Infusion

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Again, these are not actually teas; they are not made from the tea plant. Some common herbs that are dried and used as tisanes include peppermint, chamomile, rose hips, lemon verbena, and fennel. Other popular tisanes are made from dried fruits only, such as berries, pineapple, apricots, and black currants.

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 212°F water (at the boiling point) over the herbs or dried fruits.

  TIME: Steep for 3-4 minutes.

Matcha Tea

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Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea that is grown and produced mainly in Japan. The green tea leaves are shaded from the sun for the last few weeks of their growth, increasing the chlorophyll content and creating a gorgeous green hue. Then, the leaves are carefully crushed with grindstone wheels to produce a fine powder.

Matcha is a major trend and increasingly becoming one of the most sought-after beverages in the West. This is primarily due to its health benefits.  PLAIN-T’s Matcha is 100 percent natural, with no sugar added (unlike many of the so-called “healthy alternatives” that aren’t really all-natural and that contain too much sugar). 

A great source of nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber, matcha is an extremely versatile product to blend into a variety of beverages. Furthermore, it contains an amino acid called L-theanine that helps the body stay energized and the mind stay alert.

• Product of Japan

• 100 Percent Pure Matcha Powder – No Sugar

• Gluten-free & NON-GMO

• KOSHER-CERTIFIED

• 10 times the nutritional value of a cup of green tea

 Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Pour 180° F water over the matcha powder.

  TIME: Briskly whisk in a “W” or “M” motion, until a frothy layer forms on surface. We recommend a bamboo whisk

Wellness & Detox Tea

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Whole-leaf tea is one of the most natural, healthy, and potent beverages on Earth. PLAIN-T’s commitment to the wellbeing of its customers begins with its founder’s passion for healthy life-style choices.

PLAIN-T’s wellness and detox teas address our common need for good nutrition, for boosts of energy, for enhanced endurance, and for a range of health improvements, from digestion to weight loss to post-workout recovery. All our wellness and detox teas contain an unrivaled combination of antioxidants, caffeine, essential minerals, and electrolytes, and are a natural source of hydration.

Brewing Instructions:

    TEMPERATURE: Varies, depending on your choice

TIME: Also varies; your PLAIN-T consultant can fill you in.




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