Loose Leaf Tea

The basics of why tea is a healthy drinking choice are easy. Teas are all made using hot water, naturally clearing out your sinuses and hydrating your over 70% water-based body. Yet at the molecular and chemical levels, the health benefits of different teas are astounding. Let this infograpic break down some of what modern science claims are the major contributors to tea's incredible health benefits.

 Polyphenols & Tea

By now, you've noticed a fun point: four of the major types of tea (White, Green, Oolong & Black) all stem from the same plant! Fresh tea leaves can be wilted, bruised (tossed, lightly crushed), oxidized, fixated (baked, panned or steamed), yellowed (sweltered), shaped (rolled), dried and cured (fired up, aged naturally, piled up wet). Each method of processing this plant, Camellia sinensis (see right), results in a different flavour and ultimately, different health benefits. 

Camellia sinensis

What are Polyphenols?

When you hear about health benefits associated with guilty pleasures such as dark chocolate and wine, chances are you can thank polyphenols. The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” describes polyphenols as abundant micronutrients including thousands of phytochemicals, or substances naturally produced by plants. There are literally thousands of known polyphenols. Above, we see two: Theaflavin & Thearubigin. As it can be hard to keep track of them all, remember this important point: Polyphenolas are antioxidants that offer numerous health benefits.

In their role as antioxidants, polyphenols:

  • Small Tea Graphicprevent cardiovascular disease by lowering inflammation and keeping your arteries healthy, according to research summarized in the March 2012 issue of “Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease” 
  • Small Tea Graphicneutralize reactive molecules called free radicals, protecting genetic material in your DNA from damage, which may lower the risk of cancer, reports the American Cancer Society and the University of Maryland Medical Centre
  • Small Tea Graphicsome polyphenols mimic the action of estrogen, which may protect you from breast and prostate cancer
  • Small Tea Graphicpositively influence your health by regulating cellular activity, reports a review in the January 2014 issue of “Redox Biology”


Make Tea a Staple in Your Life!

Next to water, tea is the most widely drank substance in the world. Yet the type of tea you choose has a lot to do with your personal taste. Gourmet Passions wants to help you sample the best choices available based on your love of both flavour and value to your health. We carry all of the following types of Loose Leaf Teas. Click on each label to arm yourself with more beneficial knowledge about each of these varieties!

Black Teas

Black teas go through the most processing. Once the leaves are picked, they are left in the sun to become slightly wilted. The leaves are then rolled to break open their tissue, causing the inner chemicals to react with air and begin to ferment. During the fermentation, the leaves darken and change from green to red and finally to black. After the fermenting is complete, the leaves are dried and then packaged.

White Teas

White tea is the least processed. White teas are usually very pale yellow with a light and sweet taste. 

Green Teas

Green teas are steamed or pan fired and do not go through an oxidation process. Green teas contain caffeine but much less than black teas. Green tea also has HGCG; the most powerful antioxidant known.

Herbal Teas

 Herbal teas don’t usually contain tea leaves. They are made from various flowers, herbs, spices and dried fruit which are naturally caffeine free.

Rooibos Teas

Rooibos tea stems from an African Bush called Aspalathus Linearis and are naturally caffeine free. There are two varieties, green and red. Green is un-oxidized, whereas red is oxidized. Rooibos has a sweet, woody/malty flavour.

Wellness Teas

Wellness teas have a very low caffeine level and a very high antioxidant level.

 Organic Teas

Our teas are certified organic by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. Check out the above link to learn what being organic really means!