Tea is the world's oldest and most popular beverage. All true teas are brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush and is consumed by millions of people all over the world every day. Today, the word tea is used to refer to a wide variety of brewed beverages including herbal, rooibos, floral and fruit infusions and tisanes. Whether you are sipping a hot cup of Japanese green tea with your dinner, enjoying a cup of mint chamomile to relax, or drinking a tall glass of ice cold golden Yunnan with honey, the high quality teas from Cha Tea Company will be a healthy and refreshing daily beverage to enjoy.
Loose leaf tea is sold by the ounce. 10% discount is given for 4oz or more, 15% for 8oz or more, and 20% for 16oz or more, these discounts appear automatically in checkout. One ounce of loose leaf tea is enough to brew approximately 10 to 20 cups of tea per infusion. Many of our teas can be and should be infused more than one time to fully enjoy the complexity of its flavors. It is recommended that you purchase 2-4 ounces when sampling a tea to fully understand its flavors.
While tea has been enjoyed by the Chinese since the 10th century BC, tea bags were popularized in the 1950's as a convenient way to package and distribute teas. Unfortunately, there are many drawbacks to today's packaged tea bags. Tea utilized in most tea bags is called 'fannings' or 'dust'. This refers to the left over broken pieces of tea leaves from the production of high quality teas. The use of this tea dust results in an inferior tasting and less healthy tea. Due to the high surface area in this tea dust, the lack of flavored oils naturally occurring in teas, and the lack of space for the tea leaves to expand and fully develop its flavor, typical tea bags brew a far inferior quality tea even compared to our least expensive full leaf teas.
As the name implies, loose leaf tea such as those sold by Cha Tea Company are made from full tea leaves or buds of the tea plant. Brewed correctly, loose leaf teas typical expand to several times its size when dried and develop a wonderful complex range of tastes and aromas. Loose leaf teas also can be brewed multiple times without loss of flavor, some teas benefit from multiple brews due the release of additional flavors on later brews.
While cost was one reason that tea bags were originally developed, premium loose leaf teas can be purchased at similar prices to low quality tea bags. Cha Tea Company offers good quality whole leaf teas ranging from under $1 per ounce all the way up to our special quality teas which cost upwards of $20 per ounce. Even our most affordable teas are several grades higher quality compared to the so called 'high quality' tea bags.
While all true teas are made from the fresh plucked leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush, there are multiple unique local varieties which develop unique characteristics due to the climate, altitude, soil conditions, and cultivation methods. Beyond this, tea leaves can be harvested and processed in many different ways to result in various varieties of teas. In general, there are six types of true teas: Green Tea, Yellow Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea, Black Tea, and Pu-erh Tea. Cha Tea Company currently offers over 100 varieties of teas with some in each of these categories. In addition to these true teas, we offer multiple Rooibos (made from a South African plant), floral/herbal (such as chamomile, chrysanthemum, rose hips, mint, yerba mate), as well as many blends and flavored teas. A more detailed description of each type of tea can be found by clicking the tea type; for the true aficionados we suggest reading "The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook" by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss.
While any tea can be brewed in boiling water, instructions are included in each type of tea to produce the perfect brew. Generally, teas are brewed with approximately 2 grams of leaves per cup of water (roughly 15 cups per ounce of tea). The temperature and time for brewing is highly dependent on the type of tea; some general guidelines are listed in the table below. Brew time is dependent on the type of tea and preferences. Longer brews generally result in a stronger flavor but avoid long brews on some teas such as green teas as it may develop astringency. Most teas are brewed for less than 2 minutes.
|White, Japanese Green||160-170|
The tea leaves must be given room to expand to develop its full flavor. A brew basket (most fine tea pots and mugs include this), a large tea ball, or large self fill tea bag should be used.
Air exposure, sunlight, and heat should be avoided to maintain the freshness of your teas. Most internet tea orders are shipped to you in a vacuum package however once opened care should be taken to maintain the tea. Cha Tea Company offers many styles and sizes of decorative tea tins to store your tea in. Beyond aesthetics, these tea tins will help to maintain the freshness of your tea for months. White, Green, and Yellow teas are not produced with longevity in mind however, stored in any of our tea tins even these teas can be fresh for up to 6 months. Avoid exposing the teas to heat, sunlight, and odors.
Multiple studies have suggested a large range of health benefits to drinking tea. Teas have been found to contain over 700 chemicals, some of which are related to human health such as flavanoies, amino acids, vitamins, caffeine, and polysaccharides. Additional information on the potential health benefits of tea can be found here. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.