All true teas contain caffeine. Decaffeinated teas are leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis that have had at least 97.5% of the caffeine removed. The term “decaffeinated” is different from “caffeine free.” Decaffeinated refers to a product that originally contained caffeine (like Camellia sinensis) and underwent a process to remove most of its caffeine content. Caffeine-free, on the other hand, refers to a product (like many of our herbal teas) that never contained caffeine to begin with. For our decaf teas, we exclusively use the carbon dioxide (CO2) method of decaffeination. We believe this is the safest form of decaffeination, and retains the greatest flavor and health benefits.
To produce black tea, the tea leaves are wilted after harvesting and then rolled to release the cell sap, which in conjunction with oxygen triggers the fermentation of the leaf and gives it its characteristic colour and flavour.
The wide colour spectrum of dried black teas ranges from bright rusty red to a deep, dark brown. After fermentation, the tea is dried and sorted by leaf grade, from large-leaf teas and broken to powdery fannings and dust.
In the production process of green teas, following the wilting, various heating methods are used to prevent fermentation, e.g. steaming (Japanese method) or roasting (Chinese method).
The tea thus retains its green leaf colour, which can range from a light, silvery green to a deep, dark green. Depending on the variety, the flavour varies from bitter to pleasantly sweet and aromatic.
White teas are among the mildest and most exquisite varieties in the world. For white tea, the young, unopened leaf buds are harvested. Their silvery down gives the tea its characteristic, light appearance.
The leaf buds are only briefly air-dried, and then sorted by hand.