When we consider what fine teas, wines, coffees, and spirits add to our taste experience, it is no wonder that this beverage so steeped in a rich history is finally getting the recognition that it well deserves! Here at Light of Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop, we believe that we are in the midst of an overdue National immersion into the wonderful world of tea. Glad you found us!
Tea has so much to offer… from the colorful history, variations in origin, estate production and manufacture, the growing list of health benefits, to the most perfect way it lends itself to reflection and relaxation.
In our opinion, Tea is just the perfect beverage for today’s busy world. It is subtle, healthy, and sophisticated, and it reminds us that the world can wait until the cup is finished. So, please go nurture yourself today… by drinking some Light of Day Organic Teas or Tisanes (herbal teas that are naturally caffeine-free).
Tea, the beverage, is the second most widely consumed drink in the world, exceeded only by water. In many cases today, as in ancient times, tea is safer to drink than water because it is boiled first, killing any disease-carrying bacteria.
By most reports, tea was first consumed as a beverage in China, sometime between 2700 B.C and 220 A.D. Tea began to travel as a trade item as early as the fifth century, with some sources indicating Turkish traders bartering for tea on the Mongolian border. Tea made its way to Japan late in the sixth century, along with another famous Chinese export: Buddhism. By the end of the sixth century, Buddhist monks were planting tea in Japan. Prior to the devastating Tsunami in March of 2011, and the resulting radiation contamination, 99% of commercially available basket-steamed Green tea came from Japan. We anticipate many changes as other producing countries rise to meet the growing demand for this tea product as the land and people of Japan heal.
All tea, regardless of it’s origin, is the Camellia sinensis plant. Left to its own devices, tea plants will grow into a substantial tree (up to 40 feet.). On the farms, a few are allowed to do so for the purpose of growing seeds. For tea production, it is necessary to train the tea plants into bushes, and great care is taken to create a shape that lends itself to consistent picking, or “plucking”. This process, called frame formation, is achieved through pruning and pegging. “Pegging” is the practice of bending some branches down, and pegging them into position. This flattened area is referred to as the “plucking table.”
Tea is an indigenous plant throughout the forests of Southeast Asia. Tea’s origins lie in an indefinite area to the Southeast of the Tibetan plateau, including Szechuan, Yunnan, Burma, Siam, and Northern India. From these original locations, tea has spread throughout the world and today is cultivated in areas as diverse as Washington state on the West coast of the U.S and Guatemala in Central America. The small-leafed China plant remains fairly true-bred and has avoided much of the crossbreeding in agriculture. China is the birthplace of tea, and there is vast diversity in leaf style and grade here. Some famous provinces for tea production are: Anhui, Fujian, Yunnan, Zhejiang. The incredible diversity here is worth exploring.
Light of Day Organics presently has over 600 tea plants of whose Certified Organic and Demeter Biodynamic leaves contribute to our delicious White, Green and Oolong tea blends.
Please continue your education
Read more information about each tea – choose below:
If you are interested in participating in a more in-depth education of this remarkable plant, please consider attending one of our lively, educational tea events as we pass down oral traditions about teas and botanicals (see our Events page for the most updated schedule). We would love to get to know you, and invite you to come “cup” (ritualisic slurping samples!) Teas from around the globe with us. Please call us at the tea shop to sign up: 231-228-7234. Reservations required as seating is intentionally limited to keep classes intimate.