En Jie Rudd

Chinese tea was discovered for enjoyment first

Chinese tea is an enjoyable beverage first, health benefits second.

The discovery of Chinese green tea

Tea was discovered by the Chinese more than 2000 years ago. It is believed that the Chinese emperor Shennong was resting under a tree while travelling, when some leaves fell from the tree above into the pot in which his servants were boiling water for him to drink. The brew turned out to be immensely refreshing and thirst-quenching and this marked the beginning of human tea consumption. Tale or not, there was one thing for sure, tea consumption did not start as a result of the health benefits reported by laboratory studies today; such as it being high in anti-oxidants and able to reduce blood cholesterol levels etc. The ancient Chinese needed a drink, and this leaf brew happened to serve the purpose. A supply met a demand and a new product was born.

The varieties of Chinese teas are a result of various drying processes

To preserve these leaves for later use, people started drying them. The various methods of drying have since produced hundreds of varieties of Chinese teas, beginning with the unfermented green teas. Chinese teas have always been categorised according to the level of fermentation during the drying process; for example green teas are not fermented; Oolong teas are semi-fermented and black teas are fully fermented. Through the modification of tea making skills, numerous tea varieties have been developed, taking many factors into account such as climate conditions, soil conditions, tea bush/plant variety and local diet etc.

Chinese tea was born to be enjoyed first, health benefits second

During the history of tea consumption in China, the Chinese have made a connection between tea drinking and better health. Part of my fond memory of my grandmother was that she always made a strong cup of tea first thing in the morning, often followed by the comment: ‘tea is good for you’, although she did not know how and why. There is no doubt that Chinese tea was born first as a drink to be enjoyed.



DEHP contamination concerns

There has been recent media scrutiny regarding certain food products from Taiwan containing chemical DEHP which is potentially cancer-causing. What teas are exposed to these risks?

There has been recent media scrutiny regarding certain food products from Taiwan containing chemical DEHP which is potentially cancer-causing. Valley Green Tea would like to inform our customers that this concern should NOT be associated with any of our products:

  1. This particular contamination is solely associated with a Taiwanese manufacturer ‘Yu Shen Chemical Co’, and the local factories using their products as ingredients for their own. None of Valley Green Tea’s product is imported from Taiwan, and therefore impossible to be affected.
  2. DEHP is believed to be ‘a banned chemical acting as a clouding agent’, presumably used in pre-processed foods and drinks that benefit from the ‘clouding effects’. There have been reports that certain ‘bubble milk tea (a mixed drink of tea, milk, men made pearls and other additives sold in plastic cups read to drink) ingredients imported from Taiwan carry the risk of contamination.  All Valley Green Tea products are raw dry tea leaves, without any preservative or additives added. We advise to brew only with water and avoid milk. ‘Clouding agent’ is not necessary at any stage of the tea preparation and thus totally irrelevant to our products.

We assure our customers who are not aware of the above facts that all teas sold at Valley Green Tea are free of DEHP.


How to make intelligent choice when purchasing premium teas online

Online business is booming. Valley Green Tea offers hints on how to make intelligent choice when purchasing premium teas online

Interest in premium teas

Interest in premium teas is growing rapidly mainly due to their numerous health benefits discovered during recent years. Many tea consumers are becoming aware that teabags are at the low end of the quality spectrum, while the premium quality teas are simply not to be found on the supermarket shelves. So where to go to find and purchase quality teas?  Online of course, with a few deft clicks. Discerning whether a tea is of premium quality however can be quite a challenge for many. Purchasing online sometimes could be even more a gamble. A few tips to assist tea consumers when considering this shopping option:

Advantages of purchasing online:

  • It is a source of concentrated and relevant information:  Most sites will only display information relevant to the products they supply, but a good website should be a comprehensive source for gathering information about the different tea varieties, their health benefits and instructions for preparation.
  • You are more likely to obtain fresh teas:  Freshness is crucial when it comes to tea quality (except aged teas such as Pu-erh tea).  For example, Valley Green Tea source new season fresh teas directly from the tea farmers in China.  Certain teas are imported to Australia by Air freight and stored under refrigeration when required.  The tea orders are then sent directly to the tea drinkers.  With the absence of lengthy shelf exposure, storage at sub-optimal temperatures and other tea damaging factors, the likelihood of tea remaining fresh and of premium quality is significantly increased.

Pitfalls of purchasing premium teas

There is however a pitfall. Unlike commercial teabags, there is a wide range of quality for each type of loose leaf tea (please visit our Tea Quality page for further info: http://www.valleygreentea.com.au/chinese-tea-quality ).  It therefore offers an opportunity for the more unscrupulous tea merchants to supply low quality teas to fetch a bigger profit margin.

Precautions when purchasing premium teas online

A few precautions you can take in order to help you to avoid potential disappointments are:

  • Request tea samples before purchase, if possible.
  • Find a reputable supplier and stay with it. Like all other businesses, good tea suppliers invest in building their credentials around the quality of their products and services.  Recommendation by someone you know is invaluable, otherwise voluntary online reviews posted by genuine tea consumers also provide excellent indications.
  • If anything appears to be too good to be true, the chances are that it is not true; (unless the arguments are backed by solid evidence such as original research reports).  There have been many false claims and testimonials posted on certain websites during recent years, especially in relation to certain weight loss teas. Terms such as ‘super fat burner’ and ‘secret slimming tea’ have been used to lure those vulnerable people looking for fast track weight loss.  Dealing with these websites can lead to far more than just a disappointing experience.
  • Use a local supplier if possible. When there is a dispute either about the product or the service, dealing with an overseas company becomes almost impossible. 

For those who have only used teabags before, premium loose tea is a completely different experience altogether.


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