We're often asked the same questions about tea during our monthly Teach training sessions and on social media. Here's our answers.

Is green tea good for you?

Probably: Green tea contains compounds that some studies have shown to reduce risk of certain diseases, but nothing has been conclusively proven. Our philosophy at Canton is to select tea based purely because it tastes great. Any health benefits are a bonus


Can green tea help you lose weight?

Not on its own. The Chinese believe that puerh tea in particular can help with weight loss but there is no direct proof. Tea without milk contains no calories so it may help you lose weight, if you drink it instead of sweet fizzy drinks, alcohol or milkshakes.


How much caffeine does tea contain?

It varies for each tea. All teas from the Camelia sinensis plant contain caffeine. The only teas that don't contain caffeine are herbal tissanes, such as chamomile or rooibos, which are strictly speaking, not 'tea'.

 

What is the difference between the various tea types?

All our teas come from different varietals of the same plant – Camellia sinensis. The difference between white, green, oolong, black and puerh teas is largely an effect of variations in the processing style of each tea.

How do you brew tea?

Although we believe there's more to brewing tea than simply boiling the kettle and pouring it on to a teabag in a mug, tt’s not hard to brew if you remember two key points:

Temperature: Avoid pouring boiling water directly onto the leaves. In particular, use cooler water to brew white, green and jasmine teas.


Timing: Don’t let your leaves sit steeping for too long, as this will leach out all the flavour. A series of relatively short infusions will allow you to appreciate the changing flavours of the leaves.

You’ll find a quick brewing guide to every tea we sell both on our website and the packaging.


What sort of cup should I use to drink tea?

You can use a range of vessels to infuse your tea: a normal Western-style tea or coffee mug works fine for olongs, a tall glass works well for greens and whites. If you are making tea Gong Fu style, you may want to use a Gaiwan or some small yixing or porcelain tasting cups. For most teas, a good teapot or glass infuser combined with any relatively small, thin-walled porcelain cup works fine.

What water temperature should I use?

This depends on the tea: generally the darker the tea, the hotter the water. Green and white teas need to be brewed with cooler water. We put our recommendation for water temperature on the packaging for each tea type.


How much tea should I use?

This depends on the type of tea you are using, the size of your infuser and your personal preference. As a very loose guide, we recommend 1 teaspoon per serving of the more compact, dense teas such as greens, Silver Needle (Yin Zhen) and rolled oolongs and 1 tablespoon per serving of the more open massy styles such as White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) or Dan Cong Teas. It’s best to experiment to find the way. You’ll find specific recommendations for every tea on the Canton Tea site and on the tea packaging.


How long can I store tea for?

As long as you keep them in an airtight container in a cool dark place, green and white teas should last for twelve to eighteen months. Oolongs and blacks should last longer, up to two years. Puerh improves with age and is often kept for 10 years or more.


How do I store tea?

In an airtight container in cool dark place ideally. Puerh is the exception to this rule as it needs mild airflow to encourage the maturing process. We also have a guide for storing tea.

How do you make iced tea?

You can make iced tea very easily: simply make a pot of normal tea, allow it to cool and put it in the fridge. You can serve with a couple of ice cubes but beware, your ice cubes can be tainted with food odours from your freezer.

You can also cold brew tea by slowly steeping the leaves in cold water overnight and some prefer this method.

You can also add sugar, honey, ginger, lemon, fruit juice (especially peach) and fresh berries.

We have a selection of iced tea recipes here.

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