The Tea Blog – News & Notes from The Republic of Tea

Rooibos Tea: A South African Super Star

For generations, the indigenous people of South Africa have utilized local plants and herbs for medicinal practices.  In the 1700s, a Swedish botanist discovered that native Bushmen were taking leaves harvested from the South African Red Bush and using them much like tea.  The resulting beverage is an herbal infusion called rooibos (pronounced ROY-boss) which is Afrikaans for “redbush” (rooi = red and bos = bush). Often simply referred to as “red tea,” rooibos tea offers dynamic flavor and color.  Soon after its discovery, the use of rooibos spread throughout all of South Africa.  Today, South African teas or rooibos is enjoyed in many countries throughout the world as well as in the United States.

rooibos tea

Found only in South Africa, The South African Red Bush is typically grown and harvested in the mountainous region called Cederberg.  Known as a tisane, or “herbal infusion,” rooibos tea is not technically “real tea” since it does not come from the Camellia sinensis bush.  It does, however, undergo a similar cultivation process.  After leaves from the bush are harvested, they are beaten or bruised between rollers to begin fermentation.  Much like the difference between green tea and traditional black tea, the process for green rooibos tea ends there, before oxidization can begin.  Rooibos tea, however, continues to oxidize  in the hot African sun where the leaves turn from green to the intense red color for which rooibos is known.

Antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids are abundant in red tea and thought to remove free radicals from the body and offer up a variety of health benefits.  In traditional South African societies, red tea was believed to help lower cholesterol and regulate sugar[i]. Additionally, the alpha hydroxy acid and zinc in red tea is good for skin health while its richness in calcium, manganese and fluoride assist in maintaining good bone structure. Our Be Well Red® Teas have a base of rooibos (red) tea and with inspiring names like get charged®, get happy®, and get young®, these teas may help help bring about your best, most healthful self.

Very pleasing to the palate, the taste of red tea is often described at refreshing with a full body and nutty undertones.  Caffeine-free, the deep burgundy color, smooth aromas and robust flavors of rooibos offer a popular and healthy alternative to simulant-laden coffee.

The method for steeping red rea is straightforward:
- High quality water will yield the best cup.  Heat filtered or bottled water to a rapid boil.
- Use one teaspoon of full-leaf loose red tea or one rooibos tea bag per 6 ounces of water.
- Pour water over the tea and steep for five to seven minutes.
- Discard tea, allow cooling and begin to sip.

No matter the name: Red Tea, Rooibos, Red Bush Tea, or South African Red Tea, its ability to expand all the way from beautiful South Africa to American tea cups proves its versatility and charm.  It is a flavorful way to get refreshed and unwind!  We hope you will join us in steeping a cup of rooibos tea and getting better acquainted with South Africa’s latest superstar.


[i] https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea.html

Posted in New and Fresh

Tea Collections: America’s Newest Obsession

In recent years, tea has steadily gained popularity here in America, and it is easy to see why.  The world of tea offers an enormous assortment of collections and possibilities:  Tea lovers can choose from collections of full-leaf loose teas, tea bags, or even individual One Cuppa™ pods.  The extensive array of teapots, kettles, tea cups and sipware available makes entertaining with tea fun.  Tea offers up a wide range of health benefits and there are choices for both caffeine-free and HiCAF® preferences.  There is a tea variety, flavor or blend to satisfy even the most discriminating sipper. Perfect for celebrating a particular interest, trend or flavor, we are proud to familiarize you with a few of our favorite tea collections.

With the latest season of the PBS hit series Downton Abbey well underway, we are thrilled to acquaint you with our dazzling collection of Downton Abbey® Teas.  These blends of premium teas are reminiscent of the award-winning show’s favorite personalities.  From the soothing infusion of chamomile and lemon balm that will remind you of Lady Cora, to the bold flavors of Bates’ Brambleberry Tea and Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea, there are gift sets available to delight your fellow fans and friends as well.  The next time you tune in, steep your favorite variety, get cozy, and sip like a Crawley.

tea collection

As we advance into the New Year, many of us may be finding that we are starting to slip with our resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle.  Our collections of Be Well Red® and Be Active® Teas are prepared to help you regain your fitness footing.  Be Well Red® Teas are blended with red rooibos and their benefits span the spectrum of improved well-being with blends aimed at boosting emotional health, mood, energy levels, physical health and personal appearance.  Carefully formulated with green rooibos and other herbs and spices, Be Active® Teas will help to support metabolism, endurance and flexibility and will help you to refresh and recover from physical activity.

For those with a sweet tooth (you know who you are), we invite you to explore tea temptation at its finest with Cuppa Chocolate® and Cuppa Cake® Tea.  With mouth-watering flavors like Strawberry Chocolate, Red Velvet, Coconut Cocoa, Caramel Vanilla and Lemon Chiffon, these caffeine-free tea collections are perfect as an after dinner dessert drink.  Perhaps best of all, they are calorie-free, allowing you to satisfy your cravings for something sweet, without swelling your waistline.

Non-GMO: A recent major buzzword in America, especially among the health and environmentally conscious, Non-GMO Project Verified products are all the rage, and for good reason.  The transparent practices of Non-GMO farming guarantee you a product that is verified to be free of genetically modified organisms with strict adherence to procedure to avoid contamination.  We celebrate a collection of over 70 teas that proudly carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal.

Choosing from our extensive collection of Biodynamic® Organic Teas will give you peace of mind knowing you are supporting sustainable farming practices and receiving the healthiest teas available on the market.  Infusions of premium black, green and herbal teas come in numerous flavors and are offered full-leaf loose or in our unbleached, Non-GMO, round tea bags.

Whether you are in need of expanding your current tea ensemble, or would like to explore current cutting-edge trends in tea, there is an exciting collection available for everyone.  We encourage you to give these collections a sip and experience why tea collections are becoming America’s hottest obsession.

Posted in New and Fresh

The Health Benefits of Premium Green Tea: A Survey of Recent Research

While no one food or beverage can guarantee a life free of illness, in recent years there have been many studies that support what people in The East have believed for generations:  The health benefits of premium green tea are diverse and plentiful.  Along with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, there is much research to support the health benefits of green tea and we have compiled just a small sample for you.

green tea health benefits

How it Works
Premium green tea is a varietal of the Camellia sinensis bush.  Green tea leaves are not oxidized or fermented.  Green tea is processed with a three-stage system of steaming, rolling and firing the tea leaves which retains crucial molecules called polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants.  These polyphenols, specifically catechins, and their effects on the body, have led researchers to support the health benefits of green tea.

1)      Cardiovascular Health
A Japanese study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association [1] followed 40,000 people over an 11-year period and determined that those who drank at least five cups of green tea daily were significantly less likely to suffer from cardiovascular complications and death, particularly from stroke.  The results were attributed to green tea’s polyphenols and their effects on helping to prevent the thickening of artery walls.

2)      Cholesterol Levels
A study published in the British Medical Journal [2] of over 1,000 Japanese men over the age of 40 who drank large quantities of tea, daily, showed that cholesterol levels remained balanced over time.  They concluded that the anti-inflammatory compounds contained in green tea help to limit the absorption of cholesterol.

3)      Weight Loss
Published in the British Journal of Nutrition[3], a study was conducted on the health effects of green tea catechins in overweight and obese men.  Over time, a lower body mass suggested that green tea’s catechins may increase metabolic function and decreased body weight.

4)      Aging and Cognitive Function
Research published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research [4] found that the properties contained in green tea helped to improve cognitive function in the part of the brain that controls short and long term memory.  Catechins contained in green tea are believed to have aided in increased brain cell production during the study.

5)      Reduced Stress

Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [5] recently found that individuals who drank five or more cups of green tea daily were much less likely to suffer from stress than those who drank one cup or less a day.
Furthermore, the ritual of steeping green tea encourages a relaxing, Sip-by-Sip lifestyle.

The health benefits don’t end here; green tea and the effects of its antioxidants are currently being researched as an aid to treating and preventing diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Chronic Fatigue and many other ailments.  It is time to discover why many tea enthusiasts have long enjoyed this nourishing beverage that contains so many healthful antioxidants.  If you are new to tea, we hope that you have enjoyed learning about the health benefits of green tea.  With a wide variety of premium green tea bags and full-leaf loose green teas available, we encourage you to give them a sip.  Cheers to your health!

[1] Kuriyama S, Shimazu T, Ohmori K, et al. “Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan: The Ohsaki Study.” JAMA. 2006;296(10):1255-1265. doi:10.1001/jama.296.10.1255.

[2] Imai, K., and K. Nakachi. “Cross sectional study of effects of drinking green tea on cardiovascular and liver diseases.” British Medical Journal 18 Mar. 1995: 693+. Health Reference Center Academic. Web. 5 Jan. 2015.

[3] A. L. Brown, J. Lane, C. Holyoak, B. Nicol, A. E. Mayes and T. Dadd (2011). Health effects of green tea catechins in overweight and obese men: a randomised controlled cross-over trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 106, pp 1880-1889. doi:10.1017/S0007114511002376. [4] Yang, Chung S. et al. “Cancer Prevention by Tea: Animal Studies, Molecular Mechanisms and Human Relevance.” Nature reviews. Cancer 9.6 (2009): 429–439. PMC. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.

[4] Yanyan Wang, Maoquan Li, Xueqing Xu, Min Song, Huansheng Tao, Yun Bai. Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) promotes neural progenitor cell proliferation and sonic hedgehog pathway activation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2012; 56 (8): 1292 DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201200035

[5] Hozawa A, Kuriyama S, Nakaya N, Ohmori-Matsuda K, Kakizaki M, Sone T, Nagai M, Sugawara Y, Nitta A, Tomata Y, Niu K, Tsuji I. Green tea consumption is associated with lower psychological distress in a general population: the Ohsaki Cohort 2006 Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1390-6. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Posted in New and Fresh

Tea Steeping Tips and Instructions by VarieTEA

From the delicate leaves of 100% white tea, extending to the robust qualities of rooibos tea, all tea and herb varieties have their own flavor and character.  Just as each variety has its own unique characteristics, they also come with their own specific set of steeping instructions.  While the big steps remain the same, the delight is in the detail.

100% White Tea
Let us begin with 100% white tea.  Offered in an array of mellow, fruity flavors, 100% white tea is the least processed of all our varieties and therefore one of the most delicate and in need of gentle steeping.
Tips for steeping 100% white tea:
- Begin by heating fresh water (we prefer filtered, spring or bottled water).  Heat water until very hot and steaming, but short of boiling, to avoid scalding the fragile leaves.
- Pour hot water over your tea bag or infuser if using full-leaf loose, and begin to time the steeping.
- The delicate leaves of 100% white tea in a tea bag will only steep for 30 to 60 seconds or two to three minutes if preparing full-leaf loose.  This is substantially shorter than many varieties, so take care in the timing.
- Remove the tea bag or tea leaves and sip.
- Enjoy the subtle flavors and gentle aromas that is the delicacy of 100% white tea.

Green Tea
Green tea has long been favored in Eastern countries and has been rapidly gaining popularity here in The United States.  It is thought to offer many health benefits and is available in a delightful variety of blends.
Steeping premium green tea is easy:
- As with white tea, green tea’s leaves are delicate.  Heat fresh water in a kettle until just short of boiling.
- Pour piping hot water over green tea.  If using tea bags, green tea should steep for one minute to no more than three.  Steeping full-leaf loose green tea will require two to four minutes.
- Remove the tea bag or tea leaves and discard.
- Some enjoy adding a bit of honey or lemon to green tea as a sweetener to accentuate its flavor; others prefer to imbibe in its pure form.  Whatever your taste, green tea is sure to delight the taste buds.

green tea

Premium Black and Oolong Teas
The leaves of black and oolong teas are set to oxidize and dry soon after harvest and therefore tend to be a bit heartier, requiring hotter water and longer steeping times.
The instructions for steeping both premium teas are similar:
-Heat fresh water to boiling.  The robust leaves of black and oolong tea depend upon very hot water to bring out their full flavor.
-Pour hot water over tea.  Oolong tea bags, black tea bags and black full-leaf loose teas all will need to infuse for three to five minutes.  Steep oolong full-leaf loose tea for five to seven minutes.
-After about five minutes, remove tea and allow to cool, if necessary.
-Some tea enthusiasts enjoy adding a spot of cream or a bit of sweetener to black and oolong teas to add to their complexion, although both varieties have great character and flavor without.
-Many oolong teas are great for multiple infusions, so enjoy more than once, if you wish!

South African Rooibos, Hibiscus and Herbal Teas
Many tea buffs know that rooibos, hibiscus and other herbal teas do not come from the Camellia sinensis plant, and therefore are not technically “tea.”  But that doesn’t make them any less delightful!  Caffeine-free and offering many health benefits, the wide variety of flavors and blends available are sure to please anyone desiring a soothing, hot beverage.
Tips for steeping rooibos and herbal tea:
-Heat fresh water to a rolling boil.
-Pour water over tea and begin to time the steeping.  Both teas in tea bags and in full-leaf loose varieties will need to infuse for five to seven minutes to reach full flavor.
-Remove tea, allow to cool to desired temperature, drink and enjoy.

There you have it.  Now that you have gained detailed tea-steeping knowledge, choose your favorite variety and prepare a cup to sip and savor!

Posted in New and Fresh

Tools for Tea-Steeping Perfection

Whether preparing a pot of hot tea to indulge in with those you hold dear, or steeping a single cup of tea to enjoy for yourself, you will find it is beneficial to keep a few handy tools and accessories in your tea-preparation accouterment.

The Kettle is Key
Available in both electric and stovetop varieties, you will need to begin with a tea kettle to heat fresh water.  Choosing between an electric or stovetop kettle is a matter of preference; some say heating water in a kettle on the stove is the more traditional way, others prefer the quickness in which water comes to a boil with an electric kettle.  Either way, you will need to get fresh water piping hot in order to begin.

Treasure of the Teapot
“Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.” ~Author Unknown

Once the water in your kettle has reached the desired temperature, pour it over premium tea in a teapot.  The type of teapot you chose to steep in will set the tone for your tea sipping experience.  You may enjoy making it a classy affair by serving tea poured from a decorative ceramic or delicate glass teapot.  Or perhaps the classic beauty of a sturdy cast iron teapot is more your style.  Whatever your fancy, there is a large selection of elegant teapots from which to choose.

Tea for Two or More
When preparing a larger portion of hot tea to enjoy with others (or to enjoy multiple cups for yourself!), you will most likely find that using a teapot is the most efficient method.
If you have selected to steep using one of our unbleached, GMO-free paper tea bags, place one tea bag per six ounces of steaming water.
If you prefer premium full-leaf loose tea, you will need to employ the use of a fun and handy steeping tool: either a strainer or an infuser.  Using one teaspoon of tea leaves per serving, place the infuser in your teapot and cover with six ounces of water per serving.  Cover the teapot and time the steeping.  Once fully infused, remove the teabags or strainer and pour into tea cups to serve.

Savoring a Single Serving
If indulging in a single cuppa for yourself, decide whether you will be preparing your tea using a tea bag, or full-leaf loose tea.  If using a tea bag, simply drop it in a tea cup or teapot and pour about six ounces of hot water over it.  If using full-leave loose tea, you will need to place one teaspoon of premium tea leaves into a strainer or infuser and cover with about six ounces of hot water in a tea cup.  Once the tea has infused to perfection, remove the tea bag or tea leaves and discard before sipping and savoring.

Tea Cups to Tickle Anyone’s Fancy
Many tea lovers may be surprised by the variety of sipware choices available!  The type of tea cup you serve your tea in is a matter of taste.  Whether you prefer to sip from sturdy ceramic, pretty porcelain, or beautiful bone China, there is something for the tea lover in everyone.  And if the traveler in you loves to sip on the go, there are travel mugs available to suit your style.

Posted in New and Fresh

The Ming Dynasty: Unlocking the Gates for 100% White Tea

Introduced to the West by The Republic of Tea in 2002, the history of 100% white tea is a long and fascinating tale that extends to Ancient China.

Today’s tea lovers are best acquainted with modern tea bags and full-leaf loose teas that come in multiple varieties.  However, these did not exist until the drinking of tea was already fairly well established.  With the history of tea dating back as far as 2737BC, the production of tea evolved from the simple boiling of leaves, to cake teas.  Unlike the full-leaf loose teas and tea bags we are most familiar with today, for thousands of years it was common for leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant to be picked, steamed, dried and then compressed and formed into tight cakes or bricks.  These cake teas tended to be sturdy and made for good storage and shipping, but the flavor was all but lost and often described as bitter and rancid.  Production of tea in this manner was incredibly time consuming and very labor intensive for tea farmers.

Tea production drastically changed during the rule of the Ming Dynasty.  Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang, The Ming Dynasty’s first emperor, had been raised in a lower class society and was familiar with the work of tea laborers and sensitive to their plight.  He believed that forming tea into bricks called for an unnecessary amount of effort that resulted in an unsatisfactory product.  In 1391, he issued an edict to abolish the production of cake tea and bricks which encouraged the cultivation of full-leaf loose teas.

In addition to doing away with cake teas, Emperor Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang set up many policies regarding tea production, grading and export.  It was under the Ming Dynasty, that different styles of harvesting and processing began to develop and a wide variety of teas, including 100% white tea, were henceforth introduced.

While the beverage itself is usually described as pale yellow in color, white tea gets its name from the silvery white hairs on unopened buds that grow on the Camellia sinensis plant.  Picked in early spring before leaves have a chance to unfurl, the downy white buds are then left to dry in natural sunlight before any oxidization is allowed to occur.  This very precise procedure must be closely supervised in order to prevent over processing.  100% white tea only come from Fujian Province in China, much like Champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France.

Care must also be taken while steeping 100% white tea.  In order to avoid scalding the fragile leaves, water should be removed from the heat just before coming to a boil.  Time for infusing this delicate tea is short: 30-60 seconds if preparing white tea bags and two to three minutes if steeping white full-leaf loose tea.

The resulting infusion will deliver a cup of smooth, mellow tea with a light, sweet flavor and delicate aromas.  Low in caffeine, 100% white tea has long been thought to offer many health benefits and is sure to soothe the soul and bring peace of mind.  This is tea drinking at its finest.

Since the introduction of 100% white tea, popularity of the once rare tea has quickly spread.  We thank Emperor Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang and the Ming Dynasty for unlocking the gates and opening the door to the vast array of teas available today, especially the extraordinary 100% white!

Posted in New and Fresh

American Tea versus English Tea: A Contrast of Culture?

One can hardly think of Great Britain and not have tea come to mind. With a high popularity in the United States today as well, one might wonder: Have the English and Americans always shared in their love for the world’s most popular beverage? To answer this question, we need to look back at the beginning of tea in America.

Originally imported by early Dutch settlers, tea first landed on American soil in the 17th century. At that time, tea was wildly popular with all classes of immigrants. From the farm to the city, the poor and rich alike sipped and savored tea. Most tea was imported through Great Britain and the large population of early English immigrants passed their tea drinking customs to the colonists. By the 1700s, those living in America and Great Britain shared very similar tea culture.

The American Revolution was a turning point in American tea culture. When the British parliament raised the import tax on tea, early Americans were understandably outraged. The Boston Tea Party of 1773 ensued when protesters boarded English ships carrying tea and dumped the entire shipment into Boston Harbor. All the wasted tea, and the war that followed, created a chasm between the two tea cultures. While tea drinking in England always remained popular, the drinking of tea in the United States came to a crashing halt and was even considered unpatriotic and Un-American for a time!

Thankfully, with the passing of more than two centuries and the mending of the American and British relationship, the popularity of tea in the United States is once again on the rise and both cultures share in a love for tea with some similarities in tea culture.

While the English are more inclined to make tea a classy affair, both countries regularly steep a simple cuppa using a tea bag (an American invention) for day-to-day enjoyment. In both the U.S. and Great Britain, premium black tea is the most popular choice. It is common for Brits and Americans to augment tea with a splash of milk and a sweetener of some sort. And, of course, we all take joy in sharing our tea times with friends and loved ones.

Although there is a similar love for tea, some differences remain in tea drinking techniques. The consumption of iced tea is much greater in the States than in Great Britain; In fact, 80% of the tea consumed in America is served over ice. Also, sweet tea that is ever so popular in the southern states is a treat that the English have never adapted. In recent years, Americans have become more adventurous tea drinkers and are not afraid to stray from black tea to try the more exotic blends like oolong and rooibos.

Thankfully, both Great Britain and the United States have come a long way since the war that divided us as countries and our love of tea. At The Republic of Tea, we rejoice in our shared appreciation of tea, as well as delight in the charming differences that have developed over time.

Posted in New and Fresh

Keeping the Art of Steeping Tea Alive in the Modern World

In today’s fast-paced world, it often seems we have a need for speed: We want to get there faster, receive our information quicker, and our day-to-day activities are often completed in a rush. As we find ourselves racing around more, it seems that fewer of us are taking the time to slow down and enjoy the finer simplicities life has to offer. All of this hastiness creates the impression that our society is beginning to drink life in, Gulp by Gulp, rather than Sip by Sip.

At The Republic of Tea, we encourage Citizens to take a step back and make time to savor life. For generations, people all over the world have taken the time to pause and enjoy a hot cup of tea with family and friends. Keeping this tradition alive in today’s hectic world is a fine way to slow down and unwind.

The art of preparing tea has evolved to accommodate our fast-paced society. Today we have individually portioned unbleached, round tea bags, freshly brewed glass bottled teas, and the most popular flavors can be made quickly with single-serve beverage makers using One Cuppa™ individual pods. While there are certainly times that it is advantageous to enjoy these delightful conveniences, there is still much to be said for taking the time to steep a proper pot of hot tea.

From its inception in ancient China centuries ago, the ritual of steeping tea has not changed much:
- Begin by heating fresh water in a tea kettle. To prepare most varieties of tea, the water will need to come to a boil. However, if making a premium green tea or 100% white tea, you will want to remove your kettle just short of boiling, to avoid scalding the fragile leaves.
- If preparing full-leaf loose tea, use about one teaspoon per six-ounce cup, and place it in an infusing basket. If preparing with tea bags, you will need one tea bag per six ounces of water.
- When the water has reached the desired temperature, pour over the tea, cover, and begin to time the steeping. The delicate leaves of premium 100% white and green teas will require only two to four minutes. Steep black tea for three to five minutes. More robust varieties such as oolong, rooibos and herbal teas will require more time; about five to seven minutes.
- Uncover your teapot and remove the infuser or tea bags. Pour the hot tea into a cup and let it steam a few moments before taking the first sip.
- Sip and enjoy!

We know life in today’s world will continue to be fast and frenzied, but we hope that you will help to keep the practice of taking time for tea around for future generations. Our Citizens deserve to step back, steep some tea, and relax with family and friends to unwind. Keeping this art alive will help us all to slow down and enjoy this life, Sip by Sip, rather than Gulp by Gulp.

Posted in New and Fresh

Tea Bags or Full-Leaf Loose: Which varieTEA should be in your cup?

If you are like many tea drinkers, you have come to enjoy the simplicity of steeping, serving and sipping tea prepared by using the modern tea bag. In fact, this may be the only way you have ever known to prepare and enjoy tea! While there is much to be said for the convenience of tea bags, it is always beneficial to learn about and try new things. Let us explore what many adventurous lovers of tea already know: the luxury of premium full-leaf loose tea.

You may find yourself asking, what is the difference?Tea bags feature individually portioned amounts of tea leaves sealed in a porous bag. At The Republic of Tea, we take pride in offering our Citizens a wide variety of the best tea bags available. Packing immense body into every serving, our unbleached, round tea bags are environmentally friendly, made from Non-GMO paper and are free of excess wrapping, strings, tags and staples. Unlike many other tea bags available on the market, the leaves used in ours are cut to fit the size of the tea bag and are not remnants. However, while we use only the finest, high-quality teas, cutting the tea leaves does tend to reveal less flavor than leaving them whole. Preparation is easy with tea bags; simply pour hot water over the tea bag, steep for the required amount of time, and then remove and discard.

Full-leaf loose teas are just that: Whole leaves of premium tea harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant. After being picked and dried, the leaves are left full and loose to be packed in bags or tins for shipping and storing. The natural oils remain in whole leaves and without being confined in a tea bag, they are able to expand and spread while steeping to reveal the full taste and rich body of tea that really cannot be compared. From the most popular blends to the rarest full-leaf combinations, there is a variety available that is sure to delight the palate of any tea drinker.

With a wide selection of specialized steeping tools available, the preparation of full-leaf loose tea is simple. Begin by heating water in your tea kettle. Using about one teaspoon of tea for a six-ounce cup, place leaves in a tea infusing basket or tea strainer. Pour piping hot water over the tea in a cup or teapot, cover, and steep. After the tea has infused for the proper amount of time, remove and discard the tea leaves, pour into a tea cup if using a teapot, sip and savor.

Choosing tea bags from The Republic of Tea will certainly provide you with a flavorful cup of tea and will offer up all of the same health benefits, but if you have never steeped with full-leaf loose tea, we recommend giving it a shot! Many tea lovers instantly appreciate the richness and complexity that each cup is sure to deliver.

Posted in New and Fresh

November Instagram Contest

HOW TO ENTER: This contest begins on November 5, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. EST and ends November 19, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. To enter online, follow @republicoftea on Instagram, and upload original images to Instagram using the #SipbySip hashtag and @republicoftea Instagram handle. Entries become sole property of Sponsor and none will be acknowledged. By entering, Entrant warrants that his or her entry (1) is original and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third property, (2) has not been published in any medium or (3) has not won an award.

JUDGING: All entries will be judged by The Republic of Tea Ministers, based on the following criteria: Originality; Quality and Creativity; and Appropriateness to contest theme. Decisions of judges are final and binding. Winners will be notified in the comments field of their Instagram post on or about November 20, 2014.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry (“Entrant(s)”).  Employees of Sponsor and its promotional partners and their respective parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, participating advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible.

PRIZE: One winner will receive one (1) prize – a Downton Abbey Gift Basket valued at $75.00. All other expenses not specified herein are the responsibility of the Winner. ALL TAXES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER. The prize is awarded without warranty, express or implied, of any kind.

CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION:  No transfer, assignment, or substitution of a prize permitted, except Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize (or prize component) for an item of equal or greater value at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Nothing in these official contest rules shall obligate Sponsor to publish or otherwise use any entry submitted in connection with this Contest. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Entrants agree to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Contest. By entering, Entrant represents that any materials submitted as part of Entrant’s Contest entry are original and will not constitute defamation or an invasion of privacy or otherwise infringe upon the rights of any third party, and that the Entrant owns or has the rights to convey any and all right and title in such essay and other materials. In addition, by entering, Entrant grants to Sponsor a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, republish at any time in the future and otherwise use Entrant’s submitted essay, along with Entrant’s name, likeness, biographical information, and any other information provided by Entrant, in any and all media for possible editorial, promotional or advertising purposes, without further permission, notice or compensation (except where prohibited by law). Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Acceptance of the prize constitutes permission for Sponsor and its agencies to use Winner’s name and/or likeness, biographical information, essay, other materials submitted for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law. False or deceptive entries or acts will render the           Entrant ineligible. Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the immediate and unrestricted right to disqualify any entrant or prize winner, if either commits or has committed any act, or has been involved or becomes involved in any situation or occurrence which the Sponsor deems likely to subject the Sponsor, entrant or winner to ridicule, scandal or contempt or which reflects unfavorably upon the Sponsor in any way. If such information is discovered by Sponsor after a winner has received notice of prize and before the prize is awarded, Sponsor may rescind the prize in its entirety. If a portion of his/her prize has already been awarded, Sponsor may withdraw the remainder of the prize that has been fulfilled. Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding in all matters related to these terms. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the contest, or in the announcement of the prize.

INTERNET: Sponsor  is not responsible for lost or late entries nor for electronic transmission errors resulting in omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions or limitations of any kind, or inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive entry information by Sponsor or presenter on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or any combination thereof. If for any reason the Internet portion of the program is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest.

Sponsor reserves the right to select winners from eligible entries received as of the termination date.

WINNER:  For name of Winner, check the Tea Blog at http://the.republicoftea.com/teablog/ on or after November 21, 2014.

SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this giveaway is The Republic of Tea (www.republicoftea.com), Novato, CA.

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