Did you know there are more than 100 varieties of tea from just one tea plant called Camellia sinensis? The secret lies in the different manufacturing techniques, variations in climate and altitude, type of soil, and the inherent characteristics of the tea plant.
The tea plant has two basic subdivisions -- China Jat and White Jat. China Jat originated in China. It has a narrow dark leaf and is associated with high flavor and low yields. White Jat originated in the Assam province in India. It has a broad, less-dark leaf and is associated with high yields and relatively less flavor. By seed and vegetative propagation, many hybrids (clones) of these two subdivisions have been produced, combining special characteristics and thereby improving the quality of tea. Suffice to say, that the production of high quality tea is not a 'mechanized' art, but a human skill.
Brewing Recommendations for Loose Tea
The amount of tea to be used varies from tea to tea because they have varying densities. Example – 1 pound of White tea will be more than 4 times in volume, than 1 pound of Gunpowder green tea. Therefore ideally, weighing the tea is the most accurate way. My standard is 1 gram tea (any variety) for an 8 ounce cup for light tea, and 2 grams for strong tea. However, since weighing in grams is inconvenient, use approximately half teaspoon per cup for light tea and more for strong tea. Please remember the above example - you need more of large leaf tea and less of small leaf tea. Green teas, with a few exceptions, tend to taste bitter when made strong. The cardinal rule in making black tea is to use boiling water (212 F), not just hot water. For Green tea you may use less than boiling water, by letting the kettle cool for 2 minutes (see time/temperature chart below). Fill the pot with boiling water and replace lid. Set timer as recommended for that particular tea. Allow the tea leaves to unfurl by stirring the contents permitting free movement of the leaves. Leaves will absorb water and swell, sometimes as much as 10 times its original volume. After the brewing period is over, stir the pot one last time and pour into cups through a fine tea strainer. If tea leaves remain in the pot, the tea would get stronger than desirable and may even get bitter. Therefore, the leaves should be strained out immediately after the brewing time ends. Other options are Infuser baskets, tea presses and tea filters. Whatever method is used, remember the tea leaves must have enough space to expand. If brewing in a cup or mug, use an infuser basket or a filter.
We are the only tea company that uses 100% or, at least a very high percentage of premium Ceylon tea in our flavored teas & black tea blends. Most companies use the cheaper China black teas. The type of Ceylon tea we use has been carefully chosen for its flavor and color. In so doing we also found that the output of tea per pound is also very high. Example – You need only 2 teaspoons of our blended or flavored black teas to make a 6 cup pot of tea. This amounts to less than 1 gram per cup. We advise our customers not to make the tea too strong. These teas are best when made light. Even the best tea can be ruined by making it incorrectly and even the worst tea can be made to taste better by making it correctly. If you are reading this, you are on your way to making excellent tea!
Water Temperature and Time
||160 - 180 F
||7 – 10 min
||3 – 4 min
||4 – 5 min
Soft water or purified water is best. Hard water may leave a film of oil floating in the pot or cup due to the interaction between the Flavanoids in tea and Calcium Hydroxide in the water. Hard water is unsuitable for tea. Ice tea made with hard water will cloud upon cooling.
All White teas and most Green and Oolong teas are whole leaf teas (the leaves and buds are complete and not broken into pieces). Most black teas are broken leaves, because of rolling and therefore not whole leaves. Whole leaves are capable of giving more than one infusion and this is one reason for their higher price. In broken or macerated leaves, tea juice is extracted from the cells during rolling and the tea particle is coated with concentrated tea juice which is later dried. When placed in hot water, the tea extract is quickly dissipated into the water. Whole leaf teas on the other hand are minimally rolled or not rolled at all and therefore, there is very little concentrate coating the exterior. Most of the flavor is still retained within the cells and require repeated brewing to extract all of it. Therefore they are called multiple infusion teas. Whole leaf teas are best brewed in a glass mug, cup or pot as you can view the leaves unfurl. In most teas the leaves will sink to the bottom. Therefore a tea strainer or filter may not be required. In fact a tea ball, infuser basket or filter may impede brewing due to restricted space. When brewing is complete, drink the liquid and simply add more hot water to the same leaves for another infusion. This process can be repeated several times, by increasing the brewing time each consecutive brewing, until there is no more flavor to extract. If in doubt please ask us. We are here to help.
Micro Blended Teas
Our Micro-blended teas yield much more than others because of the excellent quality and types of tea we use.
Our pyramid sachets are made with bio-degradable and compostable starch material. The string and tag are attached by ultra sonic sealing and not glue. The material is transparent so that the user can see what is inside. You will not see rubbish but only good teas and other ingredients specially selected by us. As a former tea planter, our founder and president Lalith Guy Paranavitana is very familiar with Ceylon teas that come from Sri Lanka and uses the best Ceylon teas in most of the blends.
Pyramid sachets offer the quality and flavor of loose tea with the convenience of a tea bag by allowing more space for the tea leaves to unfurl unlike a conventional tea bag. The result is a much better quality tea with uncompromising flavor.
Tea Temptation Tea Bags
You can brew 1 Pot (6 cup/1 qt) of tea with two tea bags. If cream or milk is to be added, use double. Our tea bags have excellent quality and flavor because our teas are processed in a ‘Rotorvane’ which reduces the size of the tea leaf without a loss of flavor. Because tea leaves unfold and restricts the space inside the bag during brewing, orthodox full leaf teas cannot be used efficiently in conventional tea bags. By using 2 grams of Rotorvane broken leaf teas in a double chamber flo-thru tea bag, this problem has been overcome.
On every tea particle, there is a coating of dried concentrated tea juice which dissolves in water. Frequent dipping of the tea bag in boiling water causes the tea to be in maximum contact with water at all times and greatly improves the extraction process. For best results always use spring water or soft water.
Duration of brewing in a pot is usually 5 minutes. If brewing in a cup, remove the bag after a few seconds. You can use the same bag for several cups. However, brewing in a tea pot is highly recommended. Unused tea can be refrigerated for Iced Tea.
- Cover the tea pot with a tea cozy to retain heat
- Spent tea leaf is a good source of fertilizer.
- If tea leaves remain in the pot too long, the tea may get stronger and bitter. Remember; flavor comes out first and tannins, next. Excessive tannins make the tea taste bitter.
- Shelf life of tea is more than 24 months if kept airtight in a dry place. Tea should not be kept in the refrigerator as it will absorb moisture and food smell.
- Use a dry spoon to measure tea.