Frequently Asked Questions
TEA - a caffeinated beverage, is an infusion made by steeping the dried leaves or buds of the shrub Camellia sinensis in hot water. In addition, tea may also include other herbs, spices, or fruit flavors. The word "tea" is also used, by extension, for any fruit or herb infusion; for example, "rosehip tea" or "chamomile tea". In cases where they contain no tea leaves, some people prefer to call these beverages "tisanes" or "herbal teas" to avoid confusion.
Are there different types of Tea?
Fresh-picked tea leaves are withered, spread out on racks to dry then crushed by rollers to release the leaves’ juices (fermented or oxidized). The leaves turn brown, and are then fired (or dried) by hot air and sorted into grades. Black tea has a fuller, richer flavor.
Unfermented tea that is immediately heated (or steamed) to kill the fermentation enzymes. It is then rolled and dried. Naturally low in caffeine, the brew is very light in color. Green teas range from a light, fragrant taste to a very bold vegetal flavor. Green tea is very rich in antioxidents.
Semi-oxidized tea from China or Formosa; a diplomatic tea in that oolong is a compromise between black tea and green tea. They are more delicate than black tea and stronger than green tea. The floral Ti Kuan Yin produces a clear mellow brew and is famous for its light fragrance.
A rare tea produced from full-grown buds of "Big White" tea bush, not rolled or fermented; only steamed. White tea leaves are picked and harvested before the leaves are fully open.
Sometimes called "herbal tea" or "tisane", it is not a tea but an herbal mixture containing no caffeine. Roots, stems, flowers and parts of plants are used to make herbal teas.
Why Revolution teas? How are they different?
Revolution takes great pride in offering the highest quality full leaf teas on the market. We have spent years experimenting with teas from all over the world to develop the finest flavor combinations, which are truly designed for today’s palate. In addition, we are proud of our product and want you to see what you are tasting. This is why we offer several of our teas in the unique see through Infuser Tea Bag™, a unique point of differentiation that enables us to retain the freshness and flavor of the product by using full leaf tea versus the fannings or dust that most other tea companies use.
What does it mean to allow the tea to Steep?
- To infuse or subject thoroughly to.
- To make thoroughly wet; saturate
What is infusion?
The process of steeping a substance in water to extract its soluble principles.
How much caffeine is there in tea?
Caffeine content is affected by the length of the infusion in water. Black tea infused for 5 minutes yields 40-100 milligrams, whereas a 3-minute infusion produces 20-40 milligrams, or half as much. Twenty cups of green tea yield 240 milligrams, or about 12 milligrams per cup. Because tea bags contain broken leaves of smaller size, they produce an infusion with more caffeine than loose tea does. This is also true of very fine loose tea
*Assumes 8 ounces of water per tea bag
History of Caffeine in Tea
Caffeine was first discovered in tea in 1827, and was named theine. It was later found in mate and various other plants. Eventually it was shown that the theine of tea was identical with the caffeine of coffee, and the term theine was then dropped. (Ref.: All About Tea by William H. Ukers)
Does Tea Contain More Caffeine Than Coffee?
While coffee and tea are both sources of caffeine, the amount of caffeine in any single serving of these beverages varies significantly. An average serving of coffee contains the most caffeine, yet the same serving size of tea provides only 1/2 to 1/3 as much.(Ref.: Caffeine by The Institute of Food Technologists' Expert Panel on Food Safety & Nutrition.) One of the more confusing aspects of caffeine content is the fact that coffee contains less caffeine than tea when measured in its dry form. The caffeine content of a prepared cup of coffee is significantly higher than the caffeine content of a prepared cup of tea. The difference is the dilution ratio.
Herbal infusions & Caffeine
All real tea comes from the same botanical, Camellia sinensis, which contains caffeine. Herbal infusions are made from botanicals not related to Camellia sinensis and they are naturally caffeine free. Chamomile and Peppermint are examples of herbal infusions (herbal tea).
Does Caffeine Pose Health Concerns?
During the past decade, extensive research on caffeine in relation to cardiovascular disease, fibrocystic breast disease, reproductive function, behavior in children, birth defects, and cancer has identified no significant health hazard from normal caffeine consumption.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has conducted research and reviewed the extensive scientific literature on caffeine. In a Federal Register notice published in May 1987, the FDA stated that the agency had reviewed " studies on teratology, reproduction behavior, carcinogenicity, and cardiovascular disease...but found no evidence to show that the use of caffeine in carbonated beverages would render theses beverages injurious to health." The American Medical Association has examined the research on caffeine and came to a similarly confident position on its safety. A 1984 report from AMA Council on Scientific Affairs stated, "Moderate tea or coffee drinkers probably need have no concern for their health relative to their caffeine consumption provided other lifestyle habits (diet, alcohol consumption) are moderate, as well." (Ref: International Food Information Council)
Additional Facts on Caffeine
- Decaffeinated tea is not caffeine free. It still contains up to .4% by dry weight caffeine content.
- The longer the tea leaves have fermented, the greater their caffeine content.
- The smaller the tea leaf, the stronger the extraction of caffeine.
- The first and second leaves of the tea plant are believed to contain the largest amount of caffeine at 3.4 %.
What process is used to decaffeinate Revolution Tea?
We use a process called Super Critical Fluid Method, which is also called CO2 Extraction Method. The tea is subjected to 300 atmospheres of pressurized CO2 and eliminates 99% of the caffeine content.
Can you make Iced Tea from the tea bags?
Of Course! Revolution tea bags can be used like any other tea bag you might purchase. However, when making iced tea, you might want to use more tea or tea bags, or allow it to steep for a longer period of time. This will help you to achieve the flavor you are accustomed to, once you add ice and chill.
White Tea / Mold complaints
oung tea leaf buds of the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) are covered with a dense layer of silky hairs. These hairs give the buds a silvery or white appearance and are generally present in greater proportions in White Teas than in other types of tea. Because this tea has been minimally processed (not fermented), the young buds have retained much of their original anatomical features, including trichomes “hairs” on the leaf surfaces. Many of these trichomes will become golden colored with age and drying, they may also detach from the young leaves and settle out of the tea bags, clinging to the packaging – appearing to look like mold, but it's not.
How long do I steep my tea and what is the ideal water temperature recommended?
You should steep your tea with the water just under boiling – see below
What is tannin? Is it beneficial or not?
Tannins are substances present in the seeds and stems of grapes, the bark of some trees, and yes, tea leaves. They are described as interfering with digestive processes, and until more effective synthetics were found, were used to tan animal hides and turn them into leather.
After tea leaves are picked, they are withered in fresh air or in a dryer, mechanically rolled to crush the cells and mix various chemical components. Then they are fermented for one to three hours at about 80°F (27°C), during which time colorless and flavorless substances in the leaves are transformed into colorful and astringent tannins. Without the development of the tannins, the tea would lack color and its characteristic full-bodied flavor. Different varieties of tea are treated in different ways. Green tea has a pale yellow color and less complex taste because of a relative absence of tannins. Black tea is at the other extreme, with a much darker color and fuller taste. Oolong tea falls somewhere in between.
If you add milk to your tea, the tannins attack the proteins in the milk rather than those in your mouth, and the taste is much less astringent.
In moderation, tannins are not concentrated enough in tea to interfere with digestion. We’d say after 5,000 to 8,000 years or so of tea drinking (depending on whose legend you believe) and with humanity having continued thus far, you’d have to assume that tannins can’t be all that bad.