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

New Tea Inspired by “The Hundred-Foot Journey”

We are excited to unveil a new CARDAMOM CRÈME BRÛLÉE TEA to celebrate “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” a new major motion picture produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. A hundred-foot journey begins in the moment when you bravely drop what is familiar and cross over into a new realm that is far out of your comfort zone. It is a profound journey, however small in physical distance that materially changes the course of your life for the better.

Our CARDAMOM CRÈME BRÛLÉE TEA is a delicately robust blend of the film’s Indian and French culinary influences. This premium black tea is inspired by classic French crème brulée and infused with the exotic spiciness of fresh cardamom, which is native to India. A splash of warm milk brings out the richness in this cup. The new CARDAMOM CRÈME BRÛLÉE TEA comes in a sleek, round tin featuring 36 round tea bags free of unnecessary tags, strings and staples.

“The Hundred-Foot Journey,” in theaters August 8, 2014, is directed by acclaimed Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee Lasse Hallström from a script by Steven Knight and is based on the international best-selling novel of the same name by Richard C. Morais. The film is a stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart. It is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home wherever he may be.

About the Film:

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.

Directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. The executive producers are Caroline Hewitt, Carla Gardini, Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King. The screenplay is written by Steven Knight, based on the novel “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais.

Posted in New and Fresh

Biodynamic Organic Teas

We recently introduced four new BIODYNAMIC® organic TEAS as part of our 100% Biodynamic organic tea collection. To receive Biodynamic certification, farms must meet the following standards: agronomic guidelines, greenhouse management, structural components, livestock guidelines, and post harvest handling and processing procedures.

The goal of Biodynamic agriculture is to create a self-sustaining farm that is minimally dependent on imported materials. By focusing on ecological and holistic practices, these farms are able to improve the soil health, water quality and biodiversity year after year. This new line of premium, organic teas is sourced from a variety of Certified Demeter® Biodynamic farms around the world that are committed to certain sustainable practices that improve the health of the farm’s entire ecosystem.

The collection now includes the following Kosher Certified, USDA Organic, Gluten-Free teas:

  • {NEW} BIODYNAMIC ORGANIC BREAKFAST GREEN TEA – Green tea leaves from Sri Lanka blended with a touch of black darjeeling steeps a fresh, light breakfast tea with sweet, floral notes. Harvested from Certified Biodynamic® farms that grow other beneficial crops such as limes and lemongrass. These other crops enhance the vitality of the farms’ health and contribute to the benefits of this vibrant tea. This tea is Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • {NEW} BIODYNAMIC ORGANIC GINGER TEA – This premium, 100% biodynamic ginger tea is grown by a collective of four Certified Biodynamic® farms in central Sri Lanka. The farmers are committed to biodiversity, which is believed to increase the nutritional vitality of both the soil and plants. Their sustainable practices yield a powerful and spicy ginger tea. This palate-cleanser is also soothing to the digestive system. This tea is Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • {NEW} BIODYNAMIC ORGANIC TURMERIC CINNAMON TEA – Premium, 100% Biodynamic turmeric and cinnamon are grown by four Certified Biodynamic® farms in central Sri Lanka that are committed to biodiversity and sustainability. Reputed to balance and support a healthy response to inflammation, these earthy, full-bodied spices have been used for centuries in eastern medicine. This tea is Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • {NEW} BIODYMANIC ORGANIC DARJEELING FULL-LEAF LOOSE BLACK TEA – The 100% Biodynamic organic darjeeling tea comes from a multi-generational tea garden in northern India. The use of Biodynamic and organic certified practices has boosted soil fertility while preventing soil erosion, resulting in healthier crops. The estate also uses renewable energy sources to power its 840-acre farm. Enjoy the muscat grape notes and fresh, floral finish.
  • BIODYNAMIC ORGANIC HEIRLOOM CHAMOMILE TEA - This premium, heirloom chamomile tea is grown on a small, 100-acre certified Biodynamic garden at the base of the Italian Alps, and is harvested at night when the essential oils are at their peak. The sweet blossoms are then dried using only thermal energy created from the farm’s other crops. This tea is Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • BIODYNAMIC ORGANIC DARJEELING – The 100% Biodynamic organic darjeeling tea comes from a multi-generational tea garden in northern India. The use of Biodynamic and organic certified practices has boosted soil fertility while preventing soil erosion, resulting in healthier crops. The estate also uses renewable energy sources to power its 840-acre farm. Enjoy the muscat grape notes and fresh, floral finish. This tea is Non-GMO Project Verified.
Posted in New and Fresh

Turn off Technology, Tune in to Tea: 10 Steps to Tranquility

Summer time is the perfect time to unplug and unwind.  We at The Republic of Tea believe it is essential to rejuvenate not only the body, but also the mind and soul in order to promote a Sip by Sip, Rather than Gulp by Gulp Lifestyle.  Tea offers numerous physical and emotional health benefits.  While many may travel and vacation to gain relaxation, the simplicity of tea makes it possible to enjoy the benefits of refreshment during your daily routine and in the comfort of your own home: a luxury you must not deny yourself!  Allow us to offer up a few tips on how to ease into ultimate stress alleviation.

Unplug. It is hard to unwind while being wired in to the outside world.  We recommend turning off your phone, laptop, tablet, computer, television… anything that can alert you to outside stressors, even if only for a few minutes, each day.  This peaceful quiet time is the perfect opportunity to begin a tranquil tea tradition.

Heat some water.  Once you are digitally disconnected, turn on your electric kettle or your stove and let the steeping process begin.

Breathe. While waiting for your water to steam, take time to practice some deep breathing and quiet meditation.

Choose your tea. There are bountiful varieties of tea available for your selection and many prove to have calming capabilities.  Here are just a few we suggest keeping on hand:

  • Green Tea: Green tea contains antioxidants and has been proven to enhance the function of both the mind and body. Containing the slightest amount of caffeine, sipping a mug of Honey Ginseng Green Tea or Açaí Green Tea will give your psyche a gentle boost.
  • get relaxed®: As the name suggests, get relaxed® tea is ideal for relieving stress.  Lavender and rose petals combine with chamomile, passionflower and eleuthero root to bring you peace and calm.
  • Rooibos Tea: Containing antioxidants, caffeine-free rooibos teas boast numerous healing properties.  Green rooibos teas are thought to boost the immune system, ease digestion, calm inflammation and reduce stress.
  • Chamomile: The use of herbal teas toward mental and physical betterment has taken place for centuries.  If you are unwinding before bed, steep some Chamomile Lemon Herbal Tea or get some zzz’s™ to assist in lulling your mind and body toward dreamland.

Begin Steeping. After you have selected your tea and your water has come nearly to a boil, it is time to steep.  In a mug, pour hot water over your tea bag or infuser and wait for the magic to begin.

Observe the transformation. While your tea is steeping, take time to visually appreciate transformation taking place in your teacup.  Enjoy the swirling steam and the darkening colors.

Inhale and experience the aromas. After removing your teabag or infuser, hold your warm mug in your hands and take a moment to breathe deeply.  Feel the calming warmth, take note of the subtle, earthy scents, and allow them to elevate your mood.

Sip and delight. At last, it is time to drink up.  Take a deep sip of your beverage and savor the knowledge that you are well on your way to lower levels of stress, increased mental alertness and a well-soothed spirit.

Take time for you. While you are still unplugged from your gadgets and the taste of your tea is still fresh on your palate, take a moment for you.  Consider some light reading, going for a walk, listening to some music, or another quiet zen activity.

Go forth with your day. Now that you have taken the time to unplug and unwind with tea, we hope this advice has left you feeling reinvigorated with a positive outlook on your remaining waking hours.  And remember, you can easily rejuvenate with this tranquil tea tradition anytime you need to digitally detoxify and mentally reboot.  You deserve it!

Posted in New and Fresh

Cultivating Tea – Top Tea Growers in the World

Along with millions of citizens around the globe, we at The Republic of Tea delight in the diverse world of tea.  With extensive choices in flavor and variety there is something for everyone.  Tea is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide (second only to water!)  Have you ever wondered where exactly all this tea is grown and produced?  Let us explore five of the top tea growing regions together.

5. Taiwan – Mostly produced in Taiwan, oolong teas have been beloved worldwide for the past 150 years.  Taiwan boasts a strong tea culture and the majority of the teas cultivated there are consumed on the island.  For a rare chance to enjoy the fine quality of teas from Taiwan, steep a cup of Wuyi Oolong Full-Leaf tea, the subtle flavors of honey and peach are sure to delight.

4. Japan – The teas of Japan are famous for their healthy and invigorating effects.  Solely producing green tea, Japan grows nearly 100,000 tons annually. Try a cup of Sencha Kyoto or Big Green Hojicha Full-Leaf teas to discover for yourself why Japan is synonymous with green tea.

3. Sri Lanka – Famous for its Ceylon black tea, Sri Lanka produces 7% of tea internationally.  Start your day with a warm cup of our Mango Ceylon Black Tea to acquaint yourself with a sample of Sri Lanka tea, straight from the source.

2. India – Formerly the number one tea producer, India generates 20% of tea worldwide.  Many of the most acclaimed and well-known teas hail from the areas of Assam and Darjeeling.  While India ranks number two in production, they are the world leaders in tea consumption.  To experience some of the prominent favorites, steep a cup of Biodynamic Organic Darjeeling Tea, Organic Assam Breakfast Black Tea, or British Breakfast Black Tea.  Try sampling all three with our Indian Taster Tin Flight!

1. China – Producing 35% of world’s tea, China ranks number one in exportation with 15% of its land used for tea cultivation.  Green tea, white tea, and oolong are teas commonly associated with and developed in China.  If you would like to try some premium, China-grown tea, consider our Chinese Taster Tin featuring three full-leaf loose teas.  Make it a truly authentic occasion by using an Artisan Cast-Iron Teapot and Infuser.  For more information about Chinese tea, check out Great Teas of China by Roy Fong.

We hope we have piqued your thirst for knowledge with a better understanding of the world’s top tea producers as well as your thirst for tea!

Posted in New and Fresh

Tea Throughout Time – From Ancient China to America Today

A History Steeped in Legend

Perhaps the most beloved story describing the conception of tea (and there are a few!) is the tale of the Chinese emperor, Shennong.  Legend has it that in 2737BC Shennong was relaxing his tired bones in his garden and warming his ailing body with a boiling hot cup of water when a few leaves from a nearby tea tree happened to blow into his glass, changing the color and flavor of his beverage.  Shennong liked what he tasted, recognized its healing and restorative properties, and love for tea was born.  Whether or not this mythical story is true, we do know that the now worldwide adoration of tea began millennia ago in China.  From the ancient Far East, the cultivation and steeping of tea expanded to the modern Western world.  Today, tea is consumed and enjoyed on seven continents and its use has proliferated into virtually every culture.  At The Republic of Tea, we celebrate this diverse culture by offering many premium varieties of tea produced throughout the world and are excited to share tea’s rich history!

Growing Throughout the Eastern World

Some 2000 years after the discovery of tea in China, Buddhist priests next brought it into Japan.  Recognized as “the ultimate mental and medical remedy” by Zen priests, green tea became fundamental to the Japanese way of life.  If you find yourself wanting to sample a traditional Japanese tea, Sencha Kyoto tea is a perfect example of a modern Japanese standby.

The first recorded history of tea’s healing benefits arriving in Korea date back to the year 661.  Presently, Koreans commonly use herbal teas for refreshment and well-being.

The Vietnamese have begun to produce teas in recent years: mainly green tea, but also black, oolong, and antioxidant-rich Jasmine tea.  The heavenly aromas of our Asian Jasmine tea are sure to transport your mind and imagination to faraway fragrant tea plantations.

Oolong teas are also widely cultivated in Taiwan, which is famous for the invention of bubble tea; check out our bubble tea recipes to experience this unique delight for yourself!

British Invasion

In the 1600s, the Portuguese were involved in trading with China and first transported tea back to Portugal.  The marriage of King Charles II to a Portuguese princess at last brought tea to England, where the beverage became a fashionable drink of the English elite and the traditional tea party was born.  Today, full-bodied black teas are popular among the English.  Steep a pot of Earl Grey or English Breakfast tea served with milk and sugar to enjoy as the British do!

India’s introduction to tea came from the British as they endeavored to compete with Chinese production.  Today India is one of the largest tea producers in the world.  Leading teas in India are Assam and Darjeeling, both named for the regions in which they are produced.

Tea Arrives in America

The Dutch first imported tea to America in the 17th century, where many of the tea drinking customs of the English had been passed on to the original colonists.  Tea was so wildly popular and heavily consumed in early America that the British government made the mistake of drastically raising the import tax on tea.  This caused outrage among early Americans and led to The Boston Tea Party in 1773, a major tipping point in the American Revolution.  Who knew tea could cause such a stir!

With its many healing qualities, along with the wide variety of flavors, styles and origins, it is not surprising that tea continues to gain popularity throughout the world.

Enjoy a cup with us today!

Posted in New and Fresh

Sips and Eats: A Guide to Pairing Your Favorite Teas with Food

As in the case of fine wine, enhance the intricate flavors of your favorite teas by combining them with the seasonings and aromas of complementary foods.  The world of tea is a fascinating one!  Whether you are new to our many varieties of tea, or a longtime loyal sipper, we have put together a helpful guide to creating the perfect ensemble of our popular teas and eats, from breakfast to dinner and beyond.

Start Your Day the Right Way

Nothing perks up the body, mind and soul like a good cup of one of our breakfast teas.  Owing to its robust flavors and relatively high levels of caffeine (about half that of a cup of regular coffee), black tea is often considered perfect for breakfast. Are you looking for a little more buzz to break your fast?  Be sure to check out our high-caffeine blends!

If you are into beginning your busy day with a rich and savory meal, Assam black tea will match up splendidly with hearty dishes like omelets, frittatas, sausage and bacon.

Is a sweeter start to your day more your cup of tea?  The rich citrus and bergamot notes of Earl Grey tea would pair nicely with a bowl of fresh strawberries and melon, or alongside a lemon and poppy seed muffin.

The Midday Pick-me-up

Whether you are rushing through your lunch break at your desk, or having friends over for a long relaxing lunch, green tea, with just a touch of caffeine (about a quarter that of a cup of regular coffee), is ideal for a noontime meal!

The earthy flavors of green teas tend to fuse nicely with lighter dishes such as chicken, seafood, salads and fruit.  Consider a light salad of mixed greens and fresh veggies, or a citrus-seared swordfish filet, alongside a rejuvenating cup of Honey Ginseng Green Tea.

Pairing the light lemony flavors of chicken piccata with an invigorating cup of Green Tea with Lemon and Honey will no doubt be a midday match made in heaven.

Do you need to cool down for your noontime meal?  Our extensive selections of iced teas are sure to quench your thirst!  Imagine matching our Watermelon Mint Black Iced Tea with a chilled bowl of watermelon gazpacho… the combination of sweet and spicy is sure to refresh those taste buds!

Envision chilling out with a tall glass of Hibiscus Sangria Iced Tea alongside an arugula citrus salad…   the tangy, fruity flavors will combine for a full-bodied lunchtime experience.

Sips for Supper

Perhaps the highlight of the day for many people, suppertime is the perfect time to practice your tea and food pairing technique.  The possibilities are endless!

Make your dinner a cultural experience by mating the hearty flavors and robust tannins of Keemun, a traditional Chinese tea, with a zesty Chinese dish such as Szechuan chicken or spicy Mongolian beef.

Augment the savory flavors of turmeric, coriander and cumin in your favorite Indian curry recipes by introducing the mellow essence of Darjeeling Tea.

If you feel the desire to wind down your day the decaffeinated way, we offer a large selection of decaf teas!

Coupling the deeply flavored and subtly sweet Decaf Wild Berry Plum Green Tea with a slowly roasted pork tenderloin topped with a spicy plum chutney will make your mouth water with satisfaction.

The sweet and spicy essence of Decaf Ginger Peach Black Tea served alongside a colorful vegetable stir-fry with a vibrant teriyaki sauce is certain to delight your palate.

As you can see, from morning to night, there are abounding ways to complement the flavors of any feast with the many tantalizing tastes of tea.  So steep a pot whenever hunger strikes – your taste buds will thank you!

Posted in New and Fresh

Matcha is in the Air…

Happy summer from The Republic of Tea! When you love tea as much as we do, you are reminded of your favorite beverage everywhere you turn. For instance, the green leaves on the trees outside are not the color of caterpillars or English peas, but of matcha.

Matcha tea exudes the essence of summer. From its spring green color to its earthy-sweet taste, matcha tea offers up sip after sip of springtime goodness.  The appeal of matcha has finally caught on in the United States: lots of people, from tea experts to food bloggers, are hailing matcha tea as the next big thing. Here at The Republic of Tea, our love of traditional matcha tea has inspired some delicious spinoff flavors such as U-Matcha Yuzu, U-Matcha Roasted Rice, and U-Matcha Ginger.

But What is Matcha, Anyway?

Matcha is a green tea powder that is made entirely of ground up Japanese green tea leaves. Unlike other teas that require you to steep and remove the tea leaves, matcha tea is prepared by whisking the fine green tea powder into very hot (short of boiling) water until it dissolves and transforms into a frothy beverage. The careful and reverent preparation of matcha tea is the cornerstone of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, but for our purposes, we prefer to explore ways we can all use and enjoy matcha in our daily lives. From matcha marshmallows to a spicy matcha rub for grilling, prepare to be inspired.

The Why of the Whisk

The whisk is an essential tool in traditional matcha preparation because it helps to dissolve the powder and fully integrate it into the water. No matter how you use matcha in your kitchen – whether as an ingredient in baked goods, savory dinners, or drinks – it is important to fully blend the matcha to avoid clumps and ensure proper consistency. When you bake with matcha, whisk it into your wet ingredients before adding them to your dry ingredients. When you cook with matcha, add it to hot liquids and whisk completely to dissolve. In smoothies, the blender will do the work of integrating the matcha powder for you.

Matcha Smoothies, Anyone?

Speaking of smoothies, matcha tea is an inspired ingredient to add to your smoothie: it elevates and accentuates the other flavors in the drink. Here are some winning new smoothie recipes developed by the matcha experts at The Republic of Tea:

Matcha Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon Matcha

• ½  cup vanilla yogurt

• 1 banana (peeled and sliced)

• ¼  cup milk of choice

• ½ cup of ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes.

Vegan Matcha Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon Matcha

• 1 frozen banana (peeled and sliced)

• ½ cup coconut or almond milk

• ½ cup of ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes.

Matcha Breakfast Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon Matcha

• 1 teaspoon wheat germ

• 1 banana (peeled and sliced)

• 5 strawberries

• ½ cup milk of choice

• 1 teaspoon honey or The Republic of Tea agave syrup

• ½ cup of ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes.

Matcha Chia Smoothie

Serves 3

Ingredients

• 1 banana (frozen)

• 1 cup greens (chard, kale or spinach)

• 2 ½ cups almond milk

• 1 tablespoon Ginger U•Matcha

• 2 tablespoons The Republic of Tea Matchia

• 4 pitted dates

• 1 cup of ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes.

Matcha Chai Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients

• 2 cups vanilla almond milk

• 4 Republic Chai tea bags

• 2 teaspoons Matcha

• 1 ripe avocado (cubed)

• 1 cup of ice

• 3 tablespoons agave nectar

Heat almond milk and steep tea bags in it for 5 minutes. Let cool and pour in blender with rest of ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Matcha Sunshine Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

• 1 cup orange juice

• 1/2 teaspoon Matcha

• 1 ripe banana

• 1 cup of ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Matcha Coconut Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

• ¾  cup coconut water

• 1 ½  teaspoons Matcha

• ¼  cup Greek yogurt

• 1 ripe banana (frozen)

• ½  cup of ice cubes

• 2 tablespoons agave nectar

• 2 teaspoons shredded coconut

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Ice Cold Lemonade with a Twist

When the weather heats up and nothing but an ice cold lemonade will do, give this recipe a try:

Emerald Lemonade

Serves 1

Ingredients

• 8 oz. fresh lemonade

• ½ teaspoon U•Matcha Natural or Ginger

• 1 cup of ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake until smooth. Pour into a tall glass.

Desserts – A Matcha Made in Heaven

When it comes to after dinner treats, matcha powder adds that bit of magic that will make your guests swoon. We have developed some wonderful new dessert recipes that feature matcha. Try our Matcha Truffles or Matcha Frosting, for a memorable dessert experience.

In Conclusion…

Matcha adds dimension and interest to your cooking, so it is worthwhile to seek out recipes and experiment with it in the kitchen. Because of its complex umami flavor, matcha complements both sweet and savory dishes, and often leaves tasters wanting more. Now is the perfect time of year to experiment with matcha tea, adding it to cold drinks, baked goods, and marinades to make them stand out.

If you prefer to stick to a more traditional matcha tea experience, browse our collection of premium matcha tea tools and carve out some time to savor the preparation and taste of this ancient emerald treasure.

Posted in New and Fresh

Tea Around the World – A Glimpse into 5 Tea Cultures

You know what your favorite tea is and how you like to prepare it: Maybe you love to start your day with one of our premium breakfast teas and end it with a soothing chamomile or decaf tea, or perhaps you look forward to the serenity of your mid-day green tea ritual. As dedicated tea lovers, we know that tea makes life better, and each time we savor a cup we align ourselves with the billions of tea drinkers who have enjoyed their own tea rituals for centuries.

After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. While there are plenty of standout rare teas to explore, we decided to round up a list of the world’s most popular teas and customs by geographical region to show you how your favorites stack up against those of your domestic and global neighbors:

1. United States – Roughly 85% of Americans reach for black tea. The remaining 15% of our consumption is green tea, with a tiny fraction of us choosing more exotic varieties such as oolong tea or white tea. Here in the U.S., 80% of our overall tea consumption is iced tea. Sweet tea is treasured in the American South, for good reason – it is like sipping on sweet sunshine!

2. The United Kingdom – We all know that England loves tea, and the numbers support this: the British drink 165 million cups daily! According to the United Kingdom Tea Council, 98% of UK residents take their tea with milk, while only 30% add sweetener.  98% of Brits opt for tea bags over loose leaf tea.

3. ChinaGreen tea is the most popular tea consumed in China. Tea is such a part of Chinese tradition and culture that it has significant social meaning. For instance, young people serve tea to their elders as a sign of respect, and serving tea is a way to offer an apology to someone you have wronged. You can expect to find tea implements on display at almost every home in China – they are signs of welcome.

4. IndiaAssam tea and Darjeeling tea are famously cultivated and consumed in India, as is the deservedly popular spiced darling known as Chai tea. Much like China, India’s history and culture is rich with tea, infusing it with social significance. Not only is tea drinking customary in social settings, but it also plays a crucial role in a holistic approach to medicine called Ayurveda.

5. Africa – Famous for its rooibos tea (also known as “African redbush tea”), Africa is a continent rich with tea traditions. South African Rooibos is a red-hued herbal tea that contains beneficial polyphenols and flavonoids, and it has a naturally sweet taste. Try our African Rooibos Tea Assortment to experience the sweet deliciousness for yourself.

We hope you have enjoyed our quick glimpse into five different tea cultures. The next time you steep a pot of tea, we hope you will take a moment to think of the millions of people around the world who are also enjoying tea at that same time – it really does unite us in a delightful way!

Posted in New and Fresh

Bubble Tea – A Springtime Treat

Spring weather is upon us, and so we find ourselves whistling and smiling at all hours of the glorious day, breathing in the fresh air and fantasizing about bubble tea.  Do you also do this? Each season triggers its own happy associations: spring, for us, is blossoms and bubble tea, summer is swimming pools and iced tea, fall is leaves and spiced chai lattes, and winter is cozy sweaters and a hot cup of green tea.

But back to bubble tea. For the uninitiated, bubble tea is a cold sweetened tea drink with chewy black tapioca pearls that you suck through a wide straw and eat. It is a fantastic combination of food and drink – the perfect treat for springtime.

Bubble tea came about through a happy accident. As the story goes, it originated in Taiwan in the 1980s when a teahouse manager named Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui decided – on a whim, during a staff meeting – to pour tapioca balls from her dessert into her Assam iced tea. She loved the results, and so did her staff. The craze caught on in a big way, and now people from all over the world delight in this whimsical tea drink when the weather turns warm.

How to Make Bubble Tea – A Quick Tutorial

You can make your own bubble tea at home, and we highly recommend it. Not only will you impress your guests with your global-minded culinary sophistication, but you will also create a fun memory they will treasure for years to come. The other benefit to making your own bubble tea is that you have complete control over the ingredients – you can skip fillers and extra calories and focus on finding the right balance of tea, milk, sweetener, and tapioca balls.

We asked some of our bubble tea enthusiasts here at The Republic of Tea to serve up some recipes, and they did not disappoint. A few notes on our bubble tea recipes: you can find boba pearls at your local Asian market or order them online.  As far as the tea flavor is concerned, we recommend using Assam Breakfast Tea or Three Gardens Breakfast Tea in the Black Bubble Milk Tea recipe, and matcha powder in the Matcha Slushie Bubble Tea recipe. But really, anything goes – feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors to discover your bubble tea personality! The rest of the process is familiar, from brewing the tea to combining it with milk and sweetener. Easy!

Try either (or both) of these bubble tea recipes on the next dazzling spring day, and you will find yourself smiling from ear to ear as you delight in the one-of-a-kind refreshing, chewy, and wonderful experience that is bubble tea. Thanks for a great idea, Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui!

Posted in New and Fresh

Tea Trip: Final Thoughts and Reflections

As our journey to experience Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea comes to an end, our Ministers reflect on this magical experience.

“There is something slightly magical and ancient about picking and drinking your own tea. Especially when you find out that, despite technically unfavorable weather conditions, the finished cup is one that even the local experts say is one of a kind. I am convinced that the positive energy and camaraderie of our group, and hosts, is what turned our oolong into one of the most special cuppas I’ll ever enjoy. ”

“Prior to my arrival in China, I defined tea as a beverage.  Our experiences in China have opened up all of my senses and emotions to now understand tea as life, culture and expression for the Chinese people.  It is respected in a way that it would be insulting to simply classify it as just a beverage.  The stories and lessons have helped keep the Chinese beliefs and traditions alive for over 4000 years.”

China is a daunting travel destination however what you learn as you as you travel around is that the same care and patience it takes to grow its exquisite teas is also conveyed to its guests. The tea in itself was worth the trip but the people we met and the never-ending friendships forged are what will continue to drive our focus to improve peoples’ lives sip by delicious sip.”

“From start to finish, the families make Ti Kuan Yin with a great sense of pride, purpose and a dedication to centuries of history. The idea of working towards something bigger then themselves is humbling; while life may be short, maintaining tradition is paramount to the Chinese culture. After this experience, I bring back not only knowledge, but a greater appreciation for every single cup of tea: the art of the harvest, its history, and dedication of the people who have helped create it. Because of this, I get to enjoy this cup of tea today. Tea picking in the fields is backbreaking work, and I am glad I have my office job!”

“What an awesome trip! The visit to the tea plantation is one I will never forget.  It is incredible that The Republic of Tea gave me this once in a lifetime experience.”

“My life will not be the same.  From now on, no tea will compare to what we experienced here, however every tea I sip in the future will always aspire me to be the best.  I plan to live my life with such aspirations.  The Republic of Tea and the way of tea brings the best out of a person.  Thank you to the Citizens of The Republic for your expectations make us find such treasures.”

Posted in New and Fresh