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The perfect cup of tea with Villeroy & Boch

A short story about tea – how it all began

The history of tea dates back almost 5,000 years. Countless myths and stories have sprung up around the discovery of this aromatic hot beverage. According to a Chinese legend, in the year 2737 before Christ, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was boiling water under a tree when a strong wind blew some leaves into his cauldron. These leaves from a tea plant turned the water slightly golden and gave off a pleasant aroma. The emperor tasted the drink and found it delicious and refreshing.

Green tea – Asian tea, rich in ingredients

Green tea is considered to be a true wellspring of health and prevents many illnesses – it was not without reason that, in previous times, it was primarily drunk for medical reasons. The delicious elixir detoxifies and strengthens the immune system. It also has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and the metabolism. The growing regions for green tea are located primarily in the provinces of South and Central China and in Japan. The tea takes its name from its particularly gentle production process, during which the green colour of the tea plant and virtually all the original substances are maintained.

To ensure a high-quality end product, only the most tender leaves are picked in the spring. These leaves are particularly rich in flavours, vitamins and minerals.

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To maintain the tea's precious ingredients to the full, make sure that the temperature of the hot water poured over the leaves does not exceed 80°C.

Black tea – aromatic richness

If you are looking for a reliable stimulant, black tea is the right one for you. This extremely popular tea variety contains as much caffeine as coffee and has the same invigorating, concentration-enhancing effect. The tannins in this aromatic hot drink also have a positive impact on the stomach and the intestines. In addition, the polyphenols contained bind free radicals which can help with allergies.

The most famous varieties of black tea include delightful Darjeeling, invigorating Assam, and Ceylon with its fruity-tangy aroma. The names reflect the respective growing regions in India and Sri Lanka. Unlike green tea, during the production of black tea, the cell walls of the leaves are broken open, causing the cell sap to react with oxygen. This produces the tea's precious flavours which significantly impact the taste of the subsequent beverage.

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For a stimulating effect, allow black tea to infuse for about 2-3 minutes.

Mate tea – pure health from South America

Originally from South America, the trendy beverage, Mate tea, has been enjoying great popularity for a few years now in our part of the word too. That's no surprise, as this refreshing drink with its sweet, slightly bitter taste due to its high caffeine content is considered to be a stimulant with a performance boosting effect for sport and study. Mate tea is also very good for the digestion and curbs the appetite – the ideal beverage when on a diet.

The term “Mate” originally referred to the drinking vessel from which the tea was traditionally drunk. However, nowadays, the term refers to the beverage itself. Like Rooibos tea, Mate tea is not produced from Camellia leaves but from the leaves and stems of the Ilex plant.
 

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To enjoy Mate tea in a cup in traditional European style, brew it in boiling water and allow to infuse for 3-5 minutes.

Matcha tea – refined green tea powder

No other tea supplies more cell protecting antioxidants than intensive green Matcha tea. As this drink is not a traditional tea infusion, but rather a powdered extract of fresh leaves, it contains a particularly high proportion of health-promoting antioxidants. Matcha tea is convincingly full of flavour with its light herbal taste, perfectly rounded off by creamy, sometimes nutty or fruity aromas.

Matcha tea originally came from Japan where it had always been part of traditional tea ceremonies. Unlike the production of other types of tea, Matcha tea bushes are completely shaded during the four weeks leading up to harvest in order to prolong the ripening period. This process promotes the concentration of
essential ingredients.

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To prepare Matcha tea, first add a small amount of cold water to the powder and mix into a creamy consistency before adding water, heated to 80°C.

Oolong tea – China's secret tip

Oolong tea is deliciously convincing and has a whole host of positive effects on the human body. The polyphenols and amino acids contained strengthen the immune system and have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Oolong tea also stimulates burning of fat, eliminates toxins and reduces the feeling of hunger. So this delicious tea is perfect for helping with weight loss. Unlike other tea flavours, particularly ripe leaves are picked to produce this tea which is mainly gown in China.

Oolong is a partially fermented tea which is considered to be very wholesome as it contains relatively few tanning agents. To achieve partial oxidation, the leaves are carefully turned in drums or rocked in wicker baskets.

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To prepare: pour boiling water over the leaves and allow the tea to infuse for about 1-3 minutes.

Rooibos tea – decaffeinated enjoyment

A source of numerous minerals and trace elements, Rooibos tea claims an entire range of health-promoting effects. For instance, this amber-coloured hot drink has an antioxidant, anti-cancerous, antispasmodic and anti-allergenic effect. This delicious tea is also a genuine anti-depressant. This is down to the flavonoid quercetin contained in the tea which stimulates secretion of the “happiness” hormone, serotonin – the perfect stimulant for gloomy days!

Unlike many other teas, Rooibos tea is not produced from the traditional tea plant, but comes from a small bush belonging to the pulse family. The natural distribution area of this “red bush” tea is in the Cedarberg Mountains in the South African province of Western Cape, where the tea has evolved into a national drink. Roobois tea has a pleasantly mild taste, is extremely palatable and caffeine-free.

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To achieve the best results, use boiling water and allow the tea to infuse for 2-3 minutes.

White tea – exquisite mildness

The finest of all varieties of tea, white tea has a particularly gentle energizing effect. In Ancient China, this light herbal infusion drink with its slightly sweet taste was known for its healing properties. This is hardly surprising – the health promoting beverage contains a particularly high concentration of essential vitamins and minerals. Today, high-quality white teas are not just grown in China but also in India, Sri Lanka and Africa.

Only the young, still closed leaf buds taken from the tea bush in spring are used to produce this fine tea. This particularly mild tea variety takes its name from the fine white down that coats these buds.

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Fermenting the white tea to a maximum of up to two percent in a natural process ensures that it preserves its essential goodness and taste. To protect the tea, the temperature of the infusion water must not exceed 75°C.

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