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For the love of tea

Whether it’s black, green, herbal, iced or with a bubble; there’s countless ways for tea connoisseurs and customers everywhere to enjoy their favourite beverage. Read about the many varieties of tea, its benefits and its ability to help us connect, share and break social barriers.

It’s all in the leaves

Black (regular), oolong, green and white teas are all made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, a plant cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. But not all teas are the same.

The difference between green and black tea

Both black and green teas naturally contain the same substances – flavonoids, theanine, caffeine and fluoride – but in varying quantities. The differences in colour and taste relate to how the leaves are handled and dried after harvesting. Black tea leaves, rich in flavonoids called thearubigins and theaflavins, are crushed, exposed to the air and dried. The result is a form of oxidation bringing a richer, darker colour and flavour to the leaves, whilst green tea leaves are heated straight after harvesting and dried and are high in flavonoids called catechins, preserving the green colour.

Herbal teas: a flavour infusion

Herbal teas, or rather infusions or tisanes, are made from fresh or dried flowers, fruit, herbs and plants other than Camellia sinensis, each grown differently with distinct properties. This means they allow for a wide variety of tastes and flavours as in contrast to tea, almost all are naturally caffeine-free.

To consume effectively, the herbs are steeped in hot water for up to 15 minutes to release optimum flavour and active compounds. Some of the most popular varieties include chamomile, echinacea, ginger, hibiscus and turmeric.

Beverage benefits

Losing just 1-2% of bodily fluids can have an impact on mood and mental performance. Drinking tea regularly - made up of 99.5% water - is a simple tasty way to achieve the recommended fluid intake of 2-2.5 litres a day. In fact, dietary guidelines in several countries such as China, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US suggest that calorie-free beverages such as unsweetened tea can contribute to these requirements.

Tea has a unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid. Consuming caffeine-based tea when combined with L-theanine is shown to improve concentration and feelings of alertness.

It also contains plant pigments called flavonoids which are found in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables and chocolate. Diets rich in flavonoids are linked to some key health benefits, especially heart health. In Western populations, drinking tea provides the main source of flavonoids in the diet.

The health and wellbeing benefits of our tea brands

Our tea brands are constantly innovating their products to address consumers’ specific health and wellbeing needs. Lipton’s Good for Me range targets vitality-seeking millennials and includes best sellers like Do the Detox (herbal tea with nettle and rosemary) for when your stomach needs a pick-me-up, and Time to Relax (chamomille) for unwinding at night. We have recently launched our new Lipton’s Immune Support, which offers a simple black or green tea base boosted with vitamin C and nicely flavoured with ginger and turmeric to kick-off your day in the right way. PG tips Plus range (Caffeine, Immunity, Metabolism) is fortified with vitamins B6, C and B12 to help reduce tiredness and support normal immune and metabolic function. And Pukka’s range of almost 50 certified organic herbal teas combine the highest quality plants, ancient herbal wisdom and the latest plant science and research to benefit key wellbeing needs including sleep, energy, immunity, with teas such as Night Time expertly blended with chamomile, lavender and valerian.

Connecting people with tea

As well as its benefits for wellbeing, tea also has the special quality to unite people as they share a moment over their favourite cuppa.

Lipton’s purpose, to awaken the world to quality connections, is brought to life in its campaigns to connect tea lovers. As one example Time to listen, time to connect, a 7-day programme was launched alongside World Mental Health Day, encouraging consumers to take out 15 minutes a day for a moment of genuine connection with a friend, colleague or family member. For another part of the programme Lipton partnered with non-profit organisation Peace One Day to reach over three billion people with ‘Tea Time. Peace Time, its powerful message of global unity.

Brooke Bond 's purpose is to help people find common ground over tea, with the clear intent to contribute to making society more inclusive.

As part of living this purpose, Brooke Bond  has launched a series of social campaigns aimed at spreading the message of inclusivity and breaking age-old stereotypes. These ideas are based on the firm belief that a tasty cup of tea can go a long way in dissipating tensions and can bring people together. This purposeful communication helped confront and challenge prejudices that come in the way of inclusivity.

TAZO® believes life’s richest encounters and experiences happen when we break free of our comfort zones and veer off the beaten path. Since the time people started drinking tea, blends never strayed far from the usual black, green, and Earl Greys.

But for TAZO’s founder, Steven Smith, his travels taught him there were bolder, more unique blends to brew. His trek around the world introduced him to a plethora of mesmerizing flavours that cultures and communities have cultivated, perfected, and brewed for centuries.

With his taste buds tingling and a head swirling with tantalising flavour combinations, Steven realized tea blends could be so much more. So in 1994, he started TAZO® Tea.

In the years since, TAZO® has continued crafting unexpected blends that pop with flavour, invigorate the senses, and inspire new possibilities. But challenging the status quo doesn’t end with its teas; it continues with taking real, measurable action to protect the planet and its people for generations to come.

And in 2020, PG tips teamed up with emotional support charity The Samaritans, to encourage people to pledge to “Share a Cuppa” and a chat to help to connect people and address loneliness in the UK, continuing this scheme virtually as the pandemic hit. Prior to this, PG tips supplied over 300,000 “Cuppas Together” samples to Samaritan volunteers, who handed them out at 150 train stations across the UK. Its related partnership with mental health charity Time to Change saw 6000 tea coupons sent out to schools, offices and centres. Delivered in special “Chatterboxes”, the venture encouraged people to chat with a colleague and destigmatise loneliness.

Learn how ekaterra sources its teas for connoisseurs and customers everywhere under All About Tea and find out more about our world-famous brands on our brands description page.