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

Our Citizens’ Favorite VarieTEAs

favorite teasSecond only to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. At The Republic of Tea, we are proud to offer an enormous selection from popular premium teas and unique herbal blends: there is a varieTEA sure to satisfy even the most scrupulous sipper.  Compiled below is a list of some of our citizens’ favorite teas.

Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea
                Coming in at number ten, this fragrant and zesty blend combines premium green tea, organic turmeric, and ginger with cinnamon and honey for a treat that delights the taste buds.  Green tea contains antioxidants, you are sure to enjoy the health benefits offered up in every aromatic cup.

Get Burning® – Herb Tea for Metabolism
Is the chilly weather getting you down?  Are you trying to stay true to your New Year’s resolutions to get fit?  This is an herbal infusion geared specifically toward you!  Organic green rooibos pairs with an intriguing blend of medicinal herbs and peppery spices that will warm you from within and help you get that metabolism burning.

Cuppa Chocolate Tea® Assortment
Red Velvet Chocolate, Coconut Cocoa, Strawberry, Peppermint and Banana Chocolate: It all sounds sinfully indulgent, but these five types of tea will leave you full of satisfaction and free of guilt.  No need to choose between these temptations, this assortment offers you just the right amount of each flavor.  It is easy to see why Cuppa Chocolate Caffeine-Free Teas are a favorite among our citizens.

get lost® – No. 6 Herb Tea for Weight Control
Another type of tea to satisfy your sweet tooth, get lost® – No. 6 Herb Tea blends banaba leaf, cinnamon and carob with organic rooibos to help boost metabolism and curb cravings.  Steep a cup to take a step toward a healthier you.

get some zzz’s™ – No. 5 Herb Tea for Rest
Who among us couldn’t stand to get more restful sleep?  This caffeine-free blend is as soothing as it is savory; the mellow ingredients of organic rooibos, spearmint, chamomile, and valerian root will warm your soul and help send you peacefully on your way toward dreamland.  It’s no wonder why get some zzz’s™ is one of our citizens’ favorite types of tea.

Orange Ginger Mint Herbal Tea
Orange Ginger Mint Herbal tea is thought to help calm the digestive system.  Ginger and orange bergamot mint pair up to offer a delightful after-meal beverage.  Whether following a late lunch or a hearty supper, this piquant infusion is caffeine-free and can be enjoyed anytime a sweet sip would hit the spot.

Downton Abbey Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea
Considering how popular the award-winning TV series Downton Abbey has been, it comes as no surprise that that this rich combination of premium black tea with sweet flavors of fruit, caramel and vanilla is a favorite of our citizens.  To add even more drama to your viewing experience, steep a cup of Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea and sip like a Crawley the next time you tune in!

British Breakfast Black Tea
British Breakfast Black Tea is a truly bold blend that offers the perfect pick-me-up for breakfast, or anytime a little extra boost is needed.  Sip like the Brits with a bit of sweetener and a touch of milk in your cuppa, or drink it straight, this classic blend is invigorating whichever way you choose to enjoy it.

Earl Greyer Black Tea
Named after Britain’s Earl Charles Grey, who was known for his discriminating taste and simple sophistication, it’s no wonder this tea is also favored by our discerning citizens.  This exceptional infusion pairs Ceylon black tea with aromatic Bergamot orange oil and is recognized as the best tasting Earl Grey available.

Ginger Peach Black Tea
Finally, Ginger Peach Black Tea: favorite of our fans and the best-selling type of tea at The Republic of Tea. This lightly sweet tea pairs with zesty ginger, sweet peach flavor and premium black tea leaves to bring you a beverage that is crisp and refreshing.  Enjoy hot, or serve over ice for an even more exhilarating sipping experience.

The Republic of Tea offers all these and dozens more varieties to choose from.  What is your favorite type?  Chime in with a comment on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to let us know your favorite.  We look forward to hearing your responses!

Posted in New and Fresh

World Water Day

This year’s theme for World Water Day is sustainability (or as we say at The Republic of Tea, sustainabiliTEA). This theme really resonates with us as a tea company for numerous reasons, but mainly because tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. On any given day, over 158 million Americans drink tea so we can’t even imagine how many people in India are sipping masala chai right now or how many South Africans are steeping rooibos bush tea this second. As a result, water sustainabiliTEA is becoming more of a focus due to scarcity — globally nearly 1 billion people lack access to clean water, resulting in millions of deaths that are 100% preventable.

We are committed to sustainabiliTEA at every level of our business, and it all starts with where we source our tea. We work with several incredible organizations that foster sustainable livelihoods for people who live in our tea growing regions; and for us, these partnerships have proved the most rewarding. In particular, we source our hibiscus flowers for our Superflower® Teas from Nigeria, where Action Against Hunger has helped more than 247,000 people get access to safe water and sanitation, as well as nutritional support.  And Nigeria is just one of the 45 countries where Action Against Hunger works to provide sustainable, long-term solutions to clean water and hunger.

For example, when Action Against Hunger installs a borehole or a well, they don’t simply install it and then leave. They create and train a community water committee, whose members are responsible for the proper usage and maintenance of water points and for collecting small maintenance fees from community users to create a sense of ownership and engagement. They also train community members on how to maintain and repair these water points, which allows these villages to be completely self-sufficient for years to come.

While our missions are different, The Republic of Tea and Action Against Hunger have so much in common in terms of sustainabiliTEA and the vital importance of accessible clean water. So this World Water Day, and every day, we work together for sustainabiliTEA and the hope for a better world.

Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp.

Posted in New and Fresh

Top Five Health Benefits of Favorite Herbal Teas

herbalThere is nothing more soothing during these cold weather months than getting cozy with a steaming hot cup of herbal tea.  Although not technically tea since it is not derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, teas comprised of high-quality premium herbs have been known for centuries, like all other varieties of tea, to offer up a wide range of health benefits.  In addition to being caffeine-free and incredibly hydrating, below is a list of herbal teas and their health benefits from which we think you will take comfort in learning:

  1. Digestive Aid: The root of everyone’s favorite wildflower, the dandelion, is host to many healing properties and has long been believed to help aid in digestion and to ease bloating.  Paired with vanilla, Dandelion SuperHerb® Tea is certified organic and boasts deep flavors and pleasing aromas.
  2. Feeling Sick?:  Not only are herbal teas like Organic Elderberry Red Tea and those containing peppermint known to help ease the symptoms of common ailments, such as sore throat, congestion and nausea it also delivers a sense of calm and overall well-being.
  3. Help with InsomniaBiodynamic® Organic Heirloom Chamomile Tea is most commonly known for its ability to act as a gentle sedative that many who suffer from insomnia have found helpful to bring relaxation and sleep.  Additionally, it is thought to assist in soothing upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting,
  4. Lowered Blood Pressure:  The effects of many teas and their effect on blood pressure have been studied in recent years.  The exotic Hibiscus Superflower® Tea in particular is thought of as a possible agent to assist in lowering blood pressure.  Available in tea bags or full-leaf loose, this charming tea offers a unique floral flavor and can be served hot or chilled.
  5. Anti-aging: The base for our popular Be Well red tea collection of teas, Rooibos or Red Tea, contains antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids.  These antioxidants have been given credit for helping with aging.  Rosy-red in color, and with a slightly sweet flavor, Rooibos red teas are quickly gaining popularity with those looking for a tea that packs a mellow, healthy punch.

Steps for Steeping the Perfect Cup:

  1. Heat fresh, filtered water until it comes to a rolling boil.
  2. Pour steaming water over herbal tea bags, or an infuser if using full-leaf loose herbs.
  3. Herbal teas are very hearty!  Steep for a full five to seven minutes to draw out full flavor and health-boosting potential.

When you sip premium herbal tea loaded with health benefits, you can savor not only in the wide variety of flavors and blends available, you can also find peace of mind knowing that you are benefiting your health as well.  All the more reason to steep a cup, relax and enjoy often.

Posted in New and Fresh

Ginger Tea: A TasTEA Remedy for Upset Stomach

The majority of us have had an upset stomach at one time or another; whether due to illness, stress, pregnancy, motion sickness or eating something that causes tummy trouble, we have all been there.  Did you know that there is a safe, natural remedy thought to help soothe an upset stomach?  Ginger tea has been found by many to do just that.  And as an added bonus, it tastes great too!

ginger

Ginger is often added to a variety of premium teas to accentuate their health benefits and to add a zesty, spicy essence.  However, a tea that is solely comprised of 100% ginger root, such as Biodynamic Organic Ginger Tea, is not technically tea, as it does not come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.  The ginger used in tea comes from the underground root, or rhizome, of the ginger plant.  Containing no caffeine, ginger is an herb that can be used fresh, or dried and ground, and is equally effective in either form.  The flavor of ginger is often described as spicy, pungent and zesty with a slightly sweet finish.  Ginger tea is available bottled in glass to serve chilled, and comes in a wide variety of flavors in both tea bags and full-leaf loose to serve hot.

In the holistic healing community, ginger root has been used for thousands of years to help ease muscle pain, treat breathing problems, ease headaches, and most commonly to help sooth upset stomachs.  Anti-oxidants in ginger called gingerols and shogaols are thought to aid in curing an upset stomach in numerous ways, including:

  • Helping to reduce the production of free radicals in the body.
  • Helping to relax the intestinal and digestive tracts.
  • Helping to stimulate the production of saliva to assist in increasing digestive juices which aid in neutralizing stomach acids and reducing inflammation.
  • Helping to relax stomach muscles and relieve cramping.
  • Helping to improve circulation.

Additionally, feeling the warmth of a steaming cup of hot tea, breathing in its aromas and tasting the uplifting flavors has long been believed to help bring soothing calm to not only an upset stomach and the entire body, but to the mind and spirit as well, for improved overall health and well-being.

Steeping ginger tea bags or full-leaf loose tea is simple:

  • Start by heating fresh water to a rolling boil.
  • Pour hot water over tea.
  • Steep ginger tea for five to seven minutes to draw out full flavor and healing potential.
  • Discard tea and allow to cool.
  • Sip, and start to feel better.

The next time you find yourself afflicted with an upset stomach, we encourage you to reach for a cup of ginger tea.  We have faith that the tried and true remedy of ginger tea will help to soothe your stomach.

Posted in New and Fresh

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!

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