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Where To Find Tea Leaves

Quality Loose Tea Leaves

How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea

Here at our loose leaf tea company, we source, import, & blend with only the finest premium teas, herbs, spices, & botanicals the world has to offer. This is why whenever possible, we use organic ingredients. Along with tasting better & being farmed more consciously, these premium ingredients lead to the highest quality beverage in your cup, and ultimately, your body.

Is Your Tea Adulterated Here’s How To Find Out

  • Love your morning cup of tea? Then you must make sure it is not adulterated with exhausted leaves. Here’s how to find out.

If you like many others swear by your daily cup of tea, you must make sure it is not adulterated to reap its maximum benefit. Moderate amount of tea can actually be beneficial for you as some studies have shown that tea being rich in flavonoids and antioxidants can reduce your risk of heart diseases. It is also linked to lowering cholesterol and improved blood vessel function. But when tea is adulterated, its health benefits too are not the same. It can even be harmful for your health depending on what substance is used to adulterate it.

The adulterants commonly present in tea are exhausted tea leaves and colouring substances. The use of pre-used tea leaves and processed and coloured tea could put you at risk of liver disorders and other health problems.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India regularly posts videos to inform general public about common adulterations and the way to test the authenticity of food products. A recent video is on checking adulteration of tea with exhausted tea leaves:

Here are the steps to check adulteration in your tea with exhausted leaves:

No staining will be observed on the filter paper with unadulterated tea leaves. The filter paper with adulterated tea leaves will have blackish brown coloured strain on it.

Obstacle #: High Shelf Prices

The price tag on a package of tea from The Great Mississippi Tea Company, compared with a box of teabags from a big-name brand like Lipton or Bigelow, is obviously much higher. But when you’ve done a bit of math and figured out the cost per cup of the Mississippi tea, it suddenly seems a lot more reasonable.

The fact that specialty tea is often sold in loose-leaf form by weight, while commodity tea comes in bags, results in a phenomenon called unit distortion, which makes it difficult for consumers to accurately compare prices and leads them to conclude, erroneously, that specialty tea is always more expensive.

Jason and Timothy’s Black Magnolia Tea currently sells on tea and coffee purveyor The Cultured Cup for $9 an ounce, while I recently found Lipton English Breakfast Black Tea at Walmart for $3.17 for 20 bags, or a mere 15 cents a cup. But a buyer can make 12 cups from one ounce of Black Magnolia tea and steep the leaves twice , meaning the Black Magnolia is only 37 cents a cupmore than twice as much as the supermarket tea, sure, but still only 37 cents a cup.

Regardless, Jason isn’t worried about competing with Lipton and Bigelow, who prioritize consistency and low prices. Hes found more success by catering to young tea drinkers, who are willing to pay more for sustainability. What Jason calls millennial buyers’ “conscientious consumerism” is a driving force behind the specialty-tea market.

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Tea Leaf Reading Cups And Saucers

You dont need a special teacup or saucer to read tea leaves. Any teacup that has a rounded handle will do nicely. Many tea leaf readers like to use an antique tea set, but that is entirely up to you. A new tea set works just as well as an old one. Does your saucer have to match the teacup? Not at all. Use what you have. You may want to use a tea set that you actually favor though, as you tend to just become better attached to objects that you favor. If you dont have a tea set, you can find one easily at most department stores, antique stores, or a flea market.

The Tea Blenders Of Nepal

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During all this tea tasting I quickly learned of the great tea blenders of Nepal. I include Jagannath as a great tea blender after learning how he blends his own tea in his house. From golden tips to silver tips, darjeeling to green tea everything in his shop has been chosen and blended personally.

He even goes so far to pack a lot of his tea in ornate wooden boxes which make for beautiful gifts which can later be used as jewelry boxes or the like.

Alternatively you can choose traditional tea chests or handcrafted bags of tea. His repeat customers simply settle for a couple of kilos wrapped air tight to maintain their freshness.

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Health Benefits Of Tea

Health benefits of the worlds greatest teas

People have been aware of the health benefits of tea for nearly five millennia. Since the first leaves allegedly fluttered down from their branch into the cup of an unsuspecting Chinese Emperor, this remarkable beverage has played an important role in keeping us healthy and curing what ails us. Although derived from the same plant, different tea varieties offer drinkers a healthy hand in a surprising number of areas.

White Tea

Although its flavor is delicate and mild, white tea is no pushover when it comes to packing a powerful punch. Less processed than other varieties, its leaves retain more of their positive benefits. One of the most notable is a high concentration of antioxidants nutrients that protect the body from free radicals which accelerate aging and damage DNA. Antioxidants act like sentries, cruising around until they catch free radicals that are up to no good and neutralize them. Some of the most powerful antioxidants are known as flavonoids. Known to inhibit cell growth, flavonoids help to combat colon, stomach, bladder, breast, and other cancers. This may be good news for cancer sufferers who want to avoid the side effects of certain medications.

Green Tea

Oolong Tea

Pu’er Tea

Black Tea

Why Does This Matter

When tea is broken down, its flavor, aroma, and health properties are degraded. When steeped, broken and fanning grades have higher levels of tannis making the tea bitter.Whole leaf tea expands and unfurls as it steeps. This expansion produces more flavor and provides a taste of freshness to the drink.

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How Do I Choose Which Tea To Drink

Choosing which teas to drink can be challenging. Theres a multitude of flavors, health benefits, and whether the tea is caffeinated or not.Below weve outlined several teas, their health benefits, and flavors to help you decide. Want to sample something? We love to gift samplers to every order if you have a specific request, leave a message in your order notes!

Preparation Flavour And Aroma

Searching for Chinas Ancient Tea Leaves

With the exception of the first flush, orthodox Darjeeling teas are generally prepared in the same manner as other black teas. Tea connoisseurs recommend a water temperature ranging between 90 °C to 95 °C in a single infusion of 3 to 4 minutes, whereas first flushes, like other early spring teas such as Jin Jun Mei tea, use water of slightly lower temperature at 85 to 90 °C and an infusion time of 2 to 3 minutes. For every 150 milliliters ” rel=”nofollow”> cup) of water used, 2 to 3 grams of loose leaf tea is added. As Darjeeling teas are low in malt and bitter characteristics and is appreciated for its delicate floral and fruit aromas, milk and sweeteners are typically not added. Their high tannin content allows them to be paired well with carbohydrate-rich foods, such as baked goods and pasta.

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The Connoisseur Of Tea

Sure enough there was quite a difference between golden tips and Ilam tea. Jagannath then opened up an old tin tea box of silver tips. Id never seen the like before. Silver tea? It was indeed.

It seemed I had stumbled onto the sommelier of tea in Nepal. Jagannath treated his tea like fine wines. Each one had a unique blend and vintage depending on the area it was produced, the season it was plucked, the drying process and so much more. Jagannath offered to teach me about each blend.

Each day I returned I would sit with him with a new blend of hot tea in my hand as we savoured the different tastes until I would find one I liked.

Obstacle #: Unfavorable Growing Regions

Part of the joy of sipping tea lies in the ability to taste the nuances of its roots, its terroir, which is why many people believe great tea can be grown only in tropical equatorial climatesnotably, large swaths of China, Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya. Camellia plants thrive in these climates because the growing season is longer, more gentle, and more consistent, allowing the crops to mature slowly. Its like low-and-slow cooking for tea.

On top of this, these countries have just been doing it way longer. The Camellia sinensis plant is native to China and India, and tea has been produced there for thousands of years. Many of the farmers operating in those countries now are steeped in generations of family knowledge and technique. Its going to take a lot of hard work and ingenuity for US growers to catch up, but that doesn’t make the project a nonstarter.

When they take the leaves out of the bread proofer, theyre spongy, black, and wiltednot the most appetizing sight. But after the drying process is complete and the leaves are allowed to sit for two weeks, the resulting Black Magnolia Tea will be full-bodied, dark, and honey-scented, almost like molasses.

Fleming and Bill Hall, an expert tea tester, eventually bought the land, in 1987. After its first 17 years in commercial operation, it was sold to the Bigelow family and grew into the Charleston Tea Plantation of today, where the strongest of those 220 varieties continue to thrive.

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My Attempts At Liking Tea Around The World

To be frank, across Europe I was never impressed with tea. In China I liked the little shops but found the flavors very watered down. In Iran it was served with great pomp which was far more impressive than the taste. Likewise in Turkey.

In India the chai tasted nothing like tea. It was more like a milky malted chocolate drink. So naturally I liked it due to it tasting nothing like tea!

I was also never impressed with tea in Nepal. In fact this is where I was first introduced to the mouth wrenching yak butter tea Buddhist monks like so much. Likewise in Tibet I was left with a near gag reflex over the clarified butter globules I found floating in the tea. Vile.

In Malaysia I visited the tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands and drank fresh tea. Again, for me, it was nothing to get excited about.

In Nepal nearly everyone invites you in for tea. I always opt for a plain glass of water. But on one fourtuate day my friend Jagganath, who owns a tea shop, questioned my ire for tea.

What about golden tips or Ilam? Have you tried these? His knowledgeable smile told me he already knew more than most.

I shook my head trying to avoid the pending invite, No thanks, I really dont like tea. I like coffee.

Jagannath smile blended with a curios shake of the head as he invited me in just to smell two different types of tea, You dont have to taste it. Just smell the different aromas.

Fancy Having Some Fun And Giving It A Go Yourself

Organic Green Tea Leaves From China Good Tea Leaves

So how does it work exactly? Theres a lot of speculation on the accuracy of tea leaf reading to actually predict the future, but even if youre not a believer then its still a really fun thing to try over afternoon tea.When finishing off a cup of loose leaf tea, leaves often line the sides and base of the cup.The idea behind reading tea leaves is that whilst drinking, a persons movements affect the leaves swirling around so that when they settle the shapes are unique to them.It is then up to the reader to interpret these shapes.

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Warm Up The Mug And/or Teapot Before Steeping

Warming a mug or teapot prior to making tea will help maintain the desired water temperature.

If you add hot water to a vessel that is cold, the water temperature will lower more quickly. Therefore, it would no longer be at the temperature needed to properly steep the tea leaves.

To warm a mug or teapot before steeping simply add hot water to it. After the mug or teapot is warm, discard the water.

Simple Loose Leaf Blood Orange Tea

Looking for something flavorful but without any caffeine? Simple Loose Leafs teas are just what youre looking for. The brand sells a wide variety of herbal teas, one of which will surely please your palate, be it black orange, citrus hibiscus, simple raspberry or any of a number of other mixes. And despite their strong flavor, these teas are caffeine-free, making them perfect for when you need to calm down and relax.


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How To Identify Quality Tea

How to Identify Quality Tea

Whether youre new to tea or have been sipping for years, its important to be able to identify high-quality loose leaf tea. Simply relying on four of your senses will help you on your path to becoming a tea connoisseur. Heres what to note each step of the way.

Sight: Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of tea processing: CTC and Orthodox. In the CTC method, tea leaves are sent through a machine that cuts, tears and curls them into small pellets. CTC processing is suitable for teabags and delivers a dark stong brew quickly, though sometimes at the expense of the more subtle aromas of tea. In the Orthodox method, tea leaves are delicately handled to ensure minimal breakage. Orthodox-prepared teas are rolled, preserving the leaves aromatic compounds and retaining the teas complex flavors. Therefore, high-quality loose leaf tea leaves should look, well, like tea leaves. Avoid loose leaf tea that looks crumbly or appears to contain a lot of stalks and woody fragments, as it will be less flavorful and complex. As you steep the tea, the leaves should unfurl slowly.

Next time you sample a new tea, be sure to run through these four senses: sight, touch, smell and taste. The more tea youre able to try, the easier it will become to tell high-quality tea apart from lesser options. Interested in learning more about tea-making and preparation? Be sure to check our short documentary, Journey with a Tea Master.

What Is Western Style Tea Brewing

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Throughout this loose leaf tea steeping guide youll see me referring to this steeping method as western style. This is an easy steeping method that is used in a lot of households, restaurants, cafes, etc.

If you typically prepare tea with tea bags, youre most likely already steeping western style. Preparing loose leaf tea with this method is fairly simple too.

In comparison to other steeping methods like gongfu style, western style uses a lower tea leaf to water ratio. The steeping times are also much longer. This allows the tea drinker to extract as much flavour possible at once.

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What Types Of Tea Are Best For Reading Tea Leaves

You can essentially use any type of tea, but loose tea like black, white, or green is considered to be the best. Sure, it may be easier to purchase tea leaves in bags and use the tea inside, but those tea leaves arent as easy to read due to the processing breaking them down quite a bit. Loose tea leaves have not been processed and the patterns left by them are simply easier to read.

Its best to avoid tea leaves that are super big, as theyre not as easy to read. In fact, its great if you use tea leaves of different sizes and shapes, as they tend to leave clearer images in the cup. Can you read tea leaves that have added ingredients? Some say no, but others say that they have used tea leaves that have things like orange peel in them and have read them fine. Whatever tea leaves you decide to use, just be sure that you actually like the tea, as you will be the one drinking it.

Where Do Tea Leaves Come From

Are you drinking real teas but dont know where do tea leaves come from?

The best leaves come from the Camellia sinensis plant that tea countries produce. Nowadays we love to drink real teas that are made from this plant. Each type of tea is produced differently.

If we look at tea history, we see that it is home in Asia. A legend says that the Chinese emperor Cheng-Nung discovered tea in 2374 B.C. when tea leaves fell into his hot water.

Another legend claims that Indian monk Bodhidharma discovered it when he took a 9-year meditation trip to China.

Nevertheless, who discovered it, we have tea producing countries that give us the best quality teas in the world. Do you want to know where does your tea come from?

Read on and you will find interesting information about tea production in different parts of the world.

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