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​Tea and Sustainability: Going Green

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 9 days ago 369 Views No comments

Agricultural sustainability has become a bigger issue than ever this year as a number of large corporations are taking steps toward reducing waste and pollution. As sales of loose leaf tea continue to rise, our duty to reduce our carbon footprint in enjoying tea should be at the forefront of our minds. After all, without Mother Earth, there would be no tea to enjoy, and wouldn't that be sad?

The huge recent push to ban plastic straws in the United States has come on the heels of controversial news about vast swaths of plastic junk crowding our oceans and even blocking the nasal passageways of precious marine life like sea turtles. By making tiny sacrifices on behalf of ourselves and our businesses, we can make a huge improvement in the lives of many people and animals around the world. Reducing our carbon footprint by lowering our daily disposable plastic consumption is a major step toward going green, but we can all undoubtedly do more. From kitchen utensils to office supplies to food and beverage, there are unlimited areas to which we can direct our attention and make a difference.

Tea is no exception – instead of being part of the problem, we want to be part of the solution. At Heavenly Tea Leaves, we are striving to make our full line of tea eco-friendly. Supporting organic and sustainable farming practices that help nurture the delicate earth from which our tea grows is just one step. All of our tea samplers are packed in 100% biodegradable kraft paper boxes; we encourage our customers to reuse their tins. Still, we are aware that this is just one of the many steps we can take to improve our carbon footprint. Ultimately, it's the small steps that we take collectively that will really make a difference in saving our planet.

We totally understand that making some of these changes may seem abstract. But there are plenty of tactics, large and small, that you can employ in order to contribute to saving the planet. We have compiled a list of some of the ways in which you can go green in your daily routine:

  1. Skip the disposable water bottle. This one is as straightforward as it seems. Reuse bottles like the S'well and save a ton of plastic. Unless you're in a dire situation, avoid purchasing disposable plastic water bottles! Plastic is one of the most significant problems we face on a daily basis, so making small strides is a huge deal.
  2. Get on your bike. Carpool. Ride public transit. In addition to raising your heart rate, biking is great for the earth, assuming you're doing it instead of driving, which burns dangerous fossil fuels. Carpooling and public transportation can really help in the grand scheme of things, too.
  3. Eat smart and plant-based. Natural and organic foods that come straight from the earth, like nuts, seeds, tea, fruits, and vegetables are your best bet in terms of avoiding chemical processing and supporting sustainable farming methods that treat the Earth well. Reducing your meat intake can have a huge impact as well, as over-farming and carbon pollution from cows have become increasingly problematic.
  4. Keep electronics out of the garbage can. Donate and recycle plastic and chemical-heavy items like old computers and CD players and make sure to dispose properly of hazardous waste, such as batteries.
  5. Think carefully about kitchen tools and grocery items. A metal tea strainer can be reused infinitely, whereas traditional paper tea bags are more wasteful. This also saves space (and money!).
  6. Switch your bulbs. LED lights give you amazing lighting without the electric waste. Plus, you save a ton on power bills.
  7. Support green institutions. Donating to environmental causes or staying at hotels that put sustainability first are great ways to create a strong economy around the cause, which in turn will help gain social and political clout.
It's pretty simple: The only way our planet will survive our current consumption, population growth, and environmental damage is if we acknowledge these problems and gradually make steps to bring change. Each one of us can get closer to becoming more sustainable and conscious of preserving our precious planet. Now is the time when we decide whether we want to sit back and watch, or make a change. And the will to change starts with each and every one of us. Are you in?

Why You Should Drink Organic Tea (And Our Favorite Summertime Picks)

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 29 days ago 1102 Views No comments


After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. And of the billions of tea consumers on the planet, many are drinking multiple cups of tea a day – whether it's along with breakfast, two in a row, or one with dinner and then dessert.

In summer, tea consumption shows no signs of slowing down. We might drink our favorite varieties iced, or choose different flavors to celebrate the cheer of the season, like berry or floral varieties. So, if we love our tea all year-round, perhaps the best approach to worries about the composition, integrity, and health benefits of our brew is to get on board with organic tea.

While organic tea may often cost more than a typical cup, its perks are endless and the knowledge of its ingredients leaves you with peace of mind (and depth of flavor!).

Let's start out with a few basics. Organic tea, like other certified organic foods, uses no synthetic fertilizers while being farmed. Its chemical-free taste leaves you with a more flavorful cup, no matter what type of tea you're consuming. Instead of being left on while the leaf air dries, the residues that form on organic tea leaves are manually rinsed off before processing. This method results in a natural and round-tasting brew.

Now, let's get onto safety. Tea grown in accordance with organic farming standards is totally safe. But why? Because the plant of origin is free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers – all of which end up in the final product in one way or another. As these teas are totally free from toxins and hormones that may seep into fertilizer, organic tea is also a great stabilizer, never affecting your critical hormonal balance. Also remember that these teas are non-GMO, meaning that they are not grown from seeds that have been genetically modified in a lab, but rather, are totally natural.

Moving onto another important point: healing. Many who are new to tea are attracted to it in the first place because of its world-renowned healing properties. And those drinkers are totally on the right track! Organic teas are super-high in nutrients and vitamins that have been demonstrated to help alleviate all sorts of conditions and illnesses, both major and minor. It is also a common form of alternative medicine and many times it is recommended in conjunction with a healthy diet and overall regimen. If you feel better drinking larger quantities of organic tea, you might be more likely to turn to tea for healing, and receive its best results.

Going hand-in-hand with healing is nutrition. As organic tea is highest on the tea purity totem pole, it may in some cases contain higher concentrations of key vitamins and antioxidants (including sought-after polyphenols like catechins). Because tea plants tend to pull a high amount of fluoride from the soil, a bonus to super-pure organic tea is that it may boost your dental health. Plus, organic tea has earned a reputation for carrying loads of disease-fighting antioxidants, as well as vitamins D and H.

Finally, organic tea has one other major benefit: saving the planet. Organic farming practices lend themselves to more responsible, sustainable, and ethical methods that prevent problems with pests and soil quality. Plus, organic farmers rotate crops on the same land year after year, meaning they hinder deforestation. A greener planet means better tea for all of us in the long run!


The tea experts at Heavenly Tea Leaves have compiled a summertime list of some of our favorite organic teas and tisanes, which we suggest incorporating into your repertoire. With fruity and floral flavors, as well as notes that lend themselves well to creating refreshing cold-brews, any of these tea varieties is a no-brainer. Without further ado:

Chamomile:

Chamomile is a known relaxant and sedative. It's floral flavor makes it a great iced option. Add a dash of raw honey for a nice touch of sweetness.

Ginger Peach White:

With a sweet nectar-like flavor from white tea, and mild, sweet peachy tones, Ginger Peach White makes a fantastic iced tea!

Orange Oolong:

Orange Oolong is a sweet, citrusy, and refreshing tea is perfect for the summer months. Its depth of flavor, thanks to an oolong base, is lightened by the distinct flavor of organic orange peels.

Organic Herbal Tea Sampler:

The benefit of tea sampler sets is that you never have to choose just one. Including flavors like rooibos, Peppermint, Earl Grey Rooibos, and coconutty Pina Colada, this tea sampler is your organic go-to. This delicious mix is also certified kosher!

Organic Custom Loose Leaf Tea Sampler:

When you don't know which organic teas to choose for summer, why not custom-make your own set of four? Organic Custom Loose Leaf Sampler gives you the ability to pick and choose from our vast selection of organic teas so you can decide which ones you love the most.

Peppermint:

Peppermint is a classic, refreshing herbal tea. Although it contains no caffeine, it provides a perfect natural boost thanks to an invigorating flavor and the natural energy-boosting qualities of peppermint.


Whether you like your tea hot, cold, or either way, the practices and final product resulting from organic farming methods produce better, more sustainable teas. If you don't believe us, give it a try and taste the difference yourself!

​It's Tea (Terminology) Time!

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 months ago 2151 Views No comments

Although there are many international languages – love, music, food – there is one beverage that makes the ranks as truly international, and that is tea. From the Far East to North America, from Copenhagen to Cape Town, tea is enjoyed and appreciated in people's daily lives. But what goes into making a cup of tea? What is the verbiage that comes with a hot or cold brew?

From the farmers who pick the tea plant to the final steps of brewing at home, there is a whole host of terminology that goes along with each stage in the life of tea. Whether you are buying pre-packaged iced tea from the supermarket, making a pot of loose leaf hot tea from scratch, or doing some research on the internet, you have likely come across some head-scratching vocabulary. Ever wonder what camellia sinensis is? What about a tea grade, a tisane, or a bloom? As responsible tea purveyors, we at Heavenly Tea Leaves are here to provide you with Tea Terminology 101: a lesson in the most important tea terms to know, no matter where you're enjoying your cup. Thanks to our expert team and some of our friends across the land of tea, we present our mini-glossary of tea terms without further ado:


Aroma: The overall scent (or "nose") and character of the tea.

Astringent: The bitter, harsh, and pungent taste and texture that remains on the tongue after sipping tea containing high tannin levels.

Body/mouth feel: Quite literally, the way the liquid feels in your mouth. Relating to texture, weight, and viscosity of the tea. Can be wispy, light, medium, or full-bodied.

Camellia sinensis: The most common species of tea plant used to produce black tea, as well as many green, white, oolong, and pu-erh varieties. There are two varietals of this plant: camellia sinensis sinensis and camellia sinensis assamica.

Character: The general, inherent traits of a certain tea type based on estate or region where it is produced.

Fair trade: Tea that is purchased from tea producers at fair market value and traded without coercion or exploitation.

Finish: The flavors and feels that linger in the mouth after you take a sip.

Flat/Dull/Off: A stale taste; the opposite of rich or brisk.

Flush: A complete group of fully harvested tea leaves that is ready to be picked.

Grade: The category given to black teas from the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, and Africa, based on the size of the leaf and the presence of tips. Tippy, golden, flowery, broken, orange, and pekoe are some of the grading terms used. These are usually abbreviated (e.g. OP, BOP, FOP, GFOP, TGFOP, etc.).

Liquor: The brewed liquid remaining after the actual tea is removed from the pot. This is the part we actually consume.

Malty: A flavor or finish reminiscent of wheat or barley, often with a velvety-smooth texture. Similar to "biscuit" or fresh-baked bread flavors; the term is often used to characterize black Assam teas.

Mature: Tea that tastes ripe and full-bodied, lacking flatness or bitterness that comes with a leaf picked too early in the season.

Organic: Teas grown according to USDA guidelines or those of other national certifying organizations for organic farming. These often lack synthetic pesticides and other potential toxins.

Origin: Very simply, where the tea has been grown. You will usually come across tea origins like India, Ceylon, China, or Japan. More recently, teas and tisanes have been labeled with origins like Bangladesh, Vietnam, and parts of Africa.

Orthodox: Whole-leaf tea that has not been excessively processed, keeping to the original integrity and flavor of the leaf.

Pluck: The word for picking or harvesting tea.

Single-estate/single-garden: While most commercially available teas are a blend grown in multiple gardens, single-estate teas are all grown on the same tea farm.

Tannin: Also used as a measure in wine tasting, this is the chemical component in tea that determines its astringency and palate-cleansing abilities. Too-high or too-low tannin levels throw the balance of your brew off.

Tarry: As in tar-like – having a smoky aroma.

Tisane: Also known as herbal tea, tisanes are natural plant infusions that do not come from the camellia sinensis plant and therefore also do not usually contain caffeine. Examples include chamomile, peppermint, and rooibos.


We hope you enjoyed our mini tea glossary! What is more important than knowing these names, though, is knowing the concepts behind them and how they affect your brew. The next time you are tasting a new tea, remember, knowledge is power!

Teas of Spring (pre-Qing Ming) and China’s Qing Ming Festival

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 3 months ago 1405 Views No comments

Spring is celebrated in different ways in each part of the world as the flowers bloom and sun emerges. While we at Heavenly Tea Leaves kick off every season with new and climate-friendly teas, spring is especially dear to us because of the range of teas it welcomes. The teas we favor in this warm-up season can be hot or iced, bold or delicate, white or black, invigorating or calming. Regardless of your choice, this season is all about good moods and positive energy; no doubt, these feelings can always be channeled through tea.

In China, spring is celebrated with an entire festival called Qing Ming – or the Pure Brightness Festival. Starting this year on April 5th, this annual festival incorporates ritual sweeping of tombs (as well as pouring wine and tea around the tombs as an act of commemoration), kite flying, lighting of firecrackers, and of course, food and beverage offerings, which is where the tea comes into play.

As a major historical producer and consumer of tea, China has adopted the drink into the core of its culture. This holiday is ultimately about honoring one's ancestors through various customs meant to acknowledge both spring and Chinese history. Along with rice balls, cakes, porridge, and other traditional foods and snacks, those celebrating the festival consume various pre-Qing Ming teas.

What does pre-Qing Ming mean, anyway? The teas served at this time of year come from tea plants that are harvested earlier in the season, before the festival; this signifies drinking from the very first harvest of the year in accordance with the Chinese calendar. These early harvest teas, according to Fresh Cup magazine, are a super-valuable agricultural gift. "When the buds and leaves of the tea plant are harvested early and with care, they can constitute some of the highest prized, praised, and priced teas of the year. But each harvest of new growth—known as a 'flush'—has its own character," writes Fresh Cup's Liz Clayton.

She continues: "Teas harvested before Qingming... are rare due to the extremely short harvest window—which can range from a few weeks to around ten days—between bud readiness and the arrival of the fifth of April. Hallmarks of these teas are the tender buds which yield a range of complex and delicate flavors—from tea to tea these may be more vegetal, floral, or grassy than the later-harvest expressions of the same plants. They may contain a richer concentration of nutrients like amino acids and a lower concentration of astringent-tasting catechins than later pickings."


Early harvest Chinese teas are beloved by the Heavenly Tea Leaves team, too, as they are noted for their versatility and delicate nature. Here are some of the newest pre-Qing Ming teas we are featuring this spring:

Qing Shan Lu Shui hails from the Chinese Tashan Mountain region and is grown at an unusually high 800-meter altitude. Picked from the Anji white tea bush, this prized tea is noted for its mixture of bright green and yellow tea leaves, delivering a fresh flavor and a subtly sweet finish. Celebrated for its cooling properties, Qing Shan Lu Shui makes the perfect hot weather comfort beverage.

Gou Nao Gong is the most well-known of Hunan province's specialty pre-Qing Ming teas. This variety originates in Chenzhou City in the Mangshan Mountain region, which has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its warm and pleasant weather. The young Gou Nao Gong leaf is picked from the Fuding Da Bai tea bush, whose distinctive twisted shape and thick body yield a light and fruity taste.

Jin Jun Mei is harvested in the famous Fujian tea garden on the southeast coast of China, which is owned and run by a small and dedicated tea farming family along with expert tea masters. This black tea is processed with the whole leaf and the half-open bud of the Fuding Da Bai tea bush, resulting in a reddish brew and floral aftertaste. Jin Jun Mei is one of the rarest teas in our collection, as only 50 kilograms a year is available for distribution.

Drangonwell is a highly-prized green tea. The flat, long leaf is typical of this pan-fired tea, which is a result of highly skilled shaping techniques developed over centuries. This years harvest was plucked on March 19, 2018, containing notes of roasted nuts, with a smooth, crisp mouthfeel.

Silver Needle is a very mild white tea with woody notes. Although it is typically cultivated in Fujian, this pre-Qing Ming tea comes from Yunnan, China.


Above all, springtime is about coming together with friends and family to enjoy beautiful weather, happy occasions, and delicious meals. Mark any of these happy moments with a delicious cup of tea – and this spring, make it a pre-Qing Ming one from Heavenly Tea Leaves!

Thank you! Our Blog Makes It To The Top 100 Tea Blogs of 2018!

By Heavenly Tea Leaves 3 months ago 2304 Views No comments

Heavenly Tea Leaves blog has made it into the top 100 tea blogs of 2018! Thank you for all the support!

Link: https://blog.feedspot.com/tea_blogs/

How To Brew Loose Leaf Tea: A Beginners Guide (Video)

By Heavenly Tea Leaves 4 months ago 2038 Views No comments

Check Out our new video on how to brew loose leaf tea. We hope this is helpful!

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWLCqg_grLI

​Tea as Alternative Medicine (Health Benefits of Tea)

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 5 months ago 3237 Views No comments


For as long as tea has been around (millennia, that is), the drink has gone hand-in-hand with healing. Eastern medicine has prized various teas for their natural healing abilities.

Of course, while we love to take tea with a lump of sugar, we must also be careful to take its curative abilities with a grain of salt. Alternative medical remedies may help alleviate or even prevent certain conditions, but it may never act as a full replacement to scientifically validated Western medicine.

Holistic and integrative practitioners like Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy prefer to take a "whole person" approach to medicine – that is, never using exclusively one treatment or prevention method, but rather, using all of them. In establishing Heavenly Tea Leaves, our founder, Noushin Ebrani, has found that drinking tea on a regular basis is one of the many choices you can make to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. While a number of studies have linked tea to preventative and even curative benefits, we simply see tea as a piece of the puzzle in healing.


Though no single method can work miracles, the powerful components in tea have been shown to help combat the first signs of bodily damage. Here are a few tea types to add into your regimen of a natural diet and frequent exercise:

Chamomile:

This tea is a famous bedtime relaxation remedy, but a secondary and equally important benefit is digestion. Chamomile has long been used to treat colic in infants and is also a common remedy to alleviate diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome along with upset stomach, ulcers, flatulence, and more. But the chief digestive benefit to chamomile seems to be for the relief of acid reflux and other gastroesophageal disorders. Because of its natural anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, the tea (or the extract) serves as a natural antacid. In addition, chamomile's calming properties contribute to stress relief, which is a huge component in reducing acid reflux flare-ups.

Beyond digestive aid, chamomile is suggested to provide anti-inflammatory benefits. It has also been shown to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in certain cases. Try our Chamomile for the smooth, relaxing whole leaf tea you've been looking for.

Lavender:

In the realm of herbal teas, perhaps the best-known aid for relaxation and de-stressing is lavender. One whiff of its lovely floral scent will transport you to the rural lavender fields of France. Lavender has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years thanks to its large amounts of vitamins and minerals not often found in a single plant. Because of those ingredients plus its phenolic compounds and terpenes, lavender packs a powerful punch. Whether in the form of a tea, an essential oil, a capsule, or otherwise, lavender's calming character is undeniable. The primary oil found in lavender, called lavandin, has been demonstrated to lend sedating and muscle relaxing effects. The flower has also been used to reduce muscle spasms and headaches, balance mood, aid sleep, treat anxiety by offsetting stress hormones, and suppress pain. No wonder it's known as a relaxant! Other benefits of drinking lavender include antibacterial and antifungal powers. Heavenly Tea Leaves' Chamomile Lavender is definitely a customer favorite!

Green Tea:

Perhaps the most lauded tea in terms of health benefits is the vegetal, antioxidant-rich green tea. The tea's bioactive compounds help reduce inflammation, which in turn may contribute to cancer prevention. Green tea contains about 30% polyphenols (specifically catechins like EGCG), which makes it a very rich source of powerful antioxidants. While these antioxidants fight free radical formation in the body, they also help ward off many diseases, including the most pernicious, like cancer. Further, a number of studies that have specifically focused on breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers have shown that drinking more green tea was inversely related to the development of cancer cells in participants. This is not to say that green tea alone is a prevention or a cure, but it may certainly contribute. But remember: Always choose a high quality green tea. Lower quality green teas often contain excessive fluoride, and possibly other additives, making it likely more harmful than helpful. Our vast line of green teas gives you plenty of options for a range of flavor profiles and blends.

Oolong Tea:

While many teas have been attributed to helping drinkers lose weight, oolong is king. Consumption of natural oolong tea has been linked in studies to both weight loss and body fat loss according to the LiveStrong foundation; this comes with the caveat that the oolong tea replaces higher calorie beverages and is part of a healthy diet. The specific compounds in oolong tea, polyphenols (and again, catechins), are responsible for this weight and fat loss property, even effective in high-sugar diets in some instances. Not to mention, oolong contains caffeine, a metabolic stimulant and possible weight loss aid and appetite suppressant. A note: One 2013 study showed that drinking tea hot contributes to higher levels of weight loss than having it on ice. Tea for thought!

Pu-erh Tea:

Last but not least on our list of suggested medicinal teas, there is pu-erh. Because it is the most oxidized type of tea, it doesn't pack the antioxidant punch of some of its counterparts, but it instead has been viewed as extremely heart-healthy. In addition to a general cardiovascular benefit, pu-erh has been credited for the reduction of serum cholesterol. Because pu-erh is aged and goes through a fermentation process before it is dried, it not only delivers a rich taste, but it is also high in micro-organisms that in turn produce lovastatin, a naturally occuring statin (yes, like the drugs we take to reduce bad cholesterol). So, if keeping your heart super healthy is on your mind, pu-erh is likely a great choice. Our simple, mild, and earthy Royal Pu-erh tastes and feels divine. Why not give it a try?


So, holistic lesson learned – while tea is delicious, it's also a true health food and a powerful form of alternative or integrative medicine. Adding various teas in your daily routine can help you start taking the "whole-person" approach in order to treat or prevent certain ailments and contribute to overall well-being. Health is simply a collection of habits. One day at a time, including tea can be one simple and life-altering habit. Make it yours!



**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

5 Warming Teas to Help You Fight the Cold

By Noushin Ebrani 6 months ago 2653 Views No comments

Wherever you are, February is probably hitting you hard. The shivering is on, winds are blowing, and there isn't a dry sidewalk in sight. It is tea's job, however, to make us all forget our seasonal woes.

Certain teas simply make us feel good or please our taste buds. Others, though, are here to deliver us from the cold, actually helping our bodies fight the freeze, combat the germs floating around, and even battle the bulge. Warming teas, as we call them, are both warm in terms of flavor and in terms of their duty – to actually heat up our palettes and bodies. In the spirit of making it through winter's last push, here is a collection of 5 tea types that will make you want to sit by that cozy fireplace with a cup of hot tea forever:

1. Drink oolong tea to metabolize fats quicker, eventually leading to a more efficient metabolism and a warmer you. Aside from its earthy flavor, oolong lends a lightly caffeinated energy boost along with an abundance of crucial vitamins and other nutrients. If you can't decide which version of oolong to try out, there's always the Heavenly Tea Leaves Oolong Tea sampler – a set of four variations on this classic Chinese tea. Another option is a customer favorite, Brandy Oolong, a traditional oolong with a rich, nutty flavor. Pick your favorite one and make it your cold weather staple!

2. Some like it hot – and they usually turn to ginger tea. Sip on some Heavenly Tea Leaves Ginger Peach White to raise your body temperature and rev up your digestion. Ginger is also known to aid blood flow in the body and provides a laundry list of additional benefits, including lowering blood pressure, lending antiseptic properties, alleviating nausea, and even acting as a natural blood thinner thanks to its naturally occurring salicylates. Our Ginger Peach also contains a base of white tea, which is another warming tea (see #5).

3. Spice it up with an organic cinnamon-based tea like Ginger Jazz. According to the Huffington Post, cinnamon "helps dry dampness in the body and warms people [who] are always cold and suffering from poor circulation. Cinnamon is [also] antiseptic and an excellent digestive tonic." The warmth of cinnamon also lends pleasant associations to holidays and white winters, making this tea all the more enjoyable to drink.

4. Sweet, comforting, and refreshing, peppermint tea is a simple and straightforward solution to the dreaded February frost. Peppermint serves as a natural stimulant and works overtime to deliver a caffeine-free energy boost while delivering a soothing finish. Heavenly Tea Leaves' 100% organic variety is sure to give just the kick you're looking for.

5. White tea = feeling good. While super-light white tea isn't as popular as black tea, it certainly boasts as many health-promoting properties. It is thought that white tea acts as an antibacterial agent, helping deter our wintertime sniffles; the catechins found in both white and green teas are so powerful that they have even been linked to the combatting of the flu virus. To add some fruity and floral flavor to the simple flavor of white tea, you're best off trying out Pomegranate White from Heavenly Tea Leaves.

Don't be afraid to mix and match! Try creating your own in-home blends. You can cut up some ginger, take fresh cinnamon, and add some peppermint to create a delightful herbal concoction to help cure your winter blues. And while this is only one suggestion, you can try playing around with different teas, herbs, and spices to give you tasty results. You know what they say, you never know if you don't try!

In February, we can either look ahead to spring or enjoy this moment for what it is – a calm, cozy, exciting time of year. While the sneezing and freezing roadblocks try to stand in our way, a cup of hot tea can always come to the rescue. To recap, some of the most effective warming teas or tea ingredients include oolong, ginger, cinnamon, peppermint, and white tea. Based on whether you prefer caffeine, depth of flavor, or spice, you can mix and match each of these into your daily beverage rotation. Bundle up by the fire, bring out your chunkiest sweaters, and warm yourself up with a nice cup of hot tea.

How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea: A Beginner’s Guide

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 7 months ago 4988 Views No comments

Tea lovers, welcome to 2018! To start the year off right, we're going back to basics. Before you decide which tea type or accessory strikes your fancy, it's important to make sure that your tea brewing skills are in place. And we're not talking about the tea bags you've grown up using, but rather, real, loose leaf tea (though silken tea pyramids like these from Heavenly Tea Leaves are great for an individual cup).


There are a few major points you want to focus on in order to brew the perfect cup:

Tea

Make sure that your tea is fresh, aromatic, and high quality.

Water

The water you use is also crucial. The better quality and cleaner your water, the tastier your tea.

Steep Time

Make sure not to brew the tea too much or too little. Brewing the tea for too short a time will lead to a lackluster cup that isn't fully extracted and might taste acidic and watery. Brewing the tea too much will leave you with dark, bitter, harsh flavors. (While a drastic flavor change might not occur with every brew, try to be as precise as possible with your steep times.)

Water Temperature and Tea Kettle

Steeping tea at the right temperature may seem tedious, but in reality, the water temperature is a determining factor in how tasty your cup turns out. Green tea is known to burn, turning overly astringent if brewed at too-high a temperature, while extracting the full flavor of black tea requires near-boiling water.

For your tea kettle, stovetop is fine, but you'll find that using an electric kettle that lets you select temperature, giving you the most precise results. We recommend one from Zojirushi, although they can be pricey. There are plenty of more approachable options to choose from across the web, too.

Teaware

Ideally, you want to use teaware that allows your leaves room to expand. This will bring out the nuances of your tea's flavor. Porcelain is pretty and traditional, but glass lets you see the tea's color and strength. Never, ever use plastic!

Storage

Whenever possible, leave your tea in a cool, dry area, away from direct sunlight.


Now that we have the general knowledge, we can move onto the details. As long as you follow these basic steps, you will be enjoying a perfect pour of Heavenly Tea Leaves in no time.

The Process:

  1. Boil water. The chart below is handy in telling you how hot your water should be depending on your tea type. If you are using a stovetop kettle, simply boil it until you see steam rising straight out of the pot, or until your kettle whistles. As a rule of thumb, the darker the tea, the hotter you want your water to be.
  2. Ensure the correct ratio of tea to water. If you're brewing a pot, you want about 1 tsp. per 6 oz. of tea. Once you get the hang if it, don't be afraid to experiment with different proportions, steep times, and water temperatures to see how it affects your final cup!
  3. Pour your tea. If you're brewing a single cup, you'll need a cup and a strainer. Place the tea in the strainer and pour the boiling water over it, removing the strainer once it's done. If you're brewing for a group, you'll need a teapot. You can put the tea directly into the pot and strain through each individual glass, or purchase a tea pot with a strainer. You can also try a tea press like this one from Bodum, which will allow you to plunge the tea and virtually stop it from brewing while it's still in the pot, preventing an over-brew. (You have a few extra minutes of leeway to leave the tea in the pot here since the tea is no longer being extracted.) Ensure that the tea is still quite hot when it is served in order to preserve flavor.
  4. Steep Time. Brew for the recommended amount of time per the below chart.
  5. Finishing touches. Add sugar, honey, ginger, cream, or any other finishing touch to your delicious, home-brewed cup of tea! (Not mandatory, but trying never hurt anybody!)
  6. Enjoy! There's nothing quite like a nice, well-deserved cup of tea. Whether you're going for a green tea to get your morning going, or an herbal blend before bed, make sure to take the time to bask in your delicious cup.

Once you've played around with brew ratios, temperatures, and timing, you will begin to master to the art of tea. Then, you can venture out to different types and preparation styles, like masala chai tea lattes and matcha, which are a bit more involved. Always remember that without quality loose leaf tea, the brew will not taste up to par, even if you perform all the steps correctly. To make it through this frigid winter, keep calm and drink on.

Holiday Gift Ideas for the One You Love

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 8 months ago 4576 Views No comments

As the snow trickles down and the lights go up, the holiday season is in overdrive - but that doesn't mean it's too late for gifting! There are always the typical options when it comes to holiday offerings – clothing, electronics, mittens, cheese platters, and bespoke mugs. But thinking outside of the box - literally - could be the best thing you do this year for your loved ones. If you are seeking something different for an established tea devotee or potential tea addict, 'tis certainly the season. Heavenly Tea Leaves boasts an endless selection of both teas and lovely teaware, both practical and beautiful. Aside from drinking, tea can be used in baking and in other health-promoting practices, and when displayed in pretty canisters, it also amplifies the beauty of any holiday dessert table. By the same token, gorgeous teaware makes for an elegant piece of décor in your china cabinet as much as it functions as serveware.

While any Heavenly product makes for an excellent and unexpected present, our team has rounded up a few of the most coveted and useful tea-related items that don't break the bank. Happy hunting!


Classic Minimalist:

Bodum Assam Tea Press

There is no gift like that of sophistication and simplicity. This legendary tea press is crafted from glass with a silicone rim for effortless pouring. While most teapots fail to keep tea from over-brewing and becoming bitter, this one is specially designed so that once the plunger is down, brewing halts and the tea remains at optimal intensity. This sleek pot makes a perfect host or holiday gift for loose-leaf tea aficionados.

On-the-Go:

Heavenly Tea Leaves Double Glass Tea Steeper To-Go

Who doesn't appreciate some travel/on-the-go swag? This signature Heavenly Tea Leaves mug features innovative double-walled glass to prevent burns. Enjoy steeped loose-leaf tea on the go without worrying about spills – plus, it's dishwasher safe (the gift of convenience!). Through the 2017 winter season only, enjoy a discounted price of $19.99.

Tea Sampler:

Heavenly Tea Leaves Holiday Tea Sampler Gift Set

Arranged specifically with holiday cheer in mind, this colorful set features a selection of four gourmet loose leaf teas: Organic Sleep, Rose Black, Rose Oolong, and Jasmine Green. With several tea types and flavors in a single, eco-friendly package, this set – a year-round favorite at Heavenly Tea Leaves – is sure to please both connoisseurs and newbies.

Pick and Choose:

Heavenly Tea Leaves Custom Loose Leaf Tea Sampler Gift Set

It's the sampler set for the recipient who knows what she wants! Create the ideal assortment of four cans of loose leaf tea containing one each of green, black, herbal, and white teas. With a total of approximately 80 servings, this is Heavenly Tea Leaves' gift that keeps on giving.

Alternative Health Nut:

Heavenly Tea Leaves Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Also featuring a special price through the holidays, this tin of pure, drinking-quality matcha is the vitamin-packed alternative to regular green tea. Originating in Nishio, Japan, this earthy and mild powdered tea is known for its energy-boosting and antioxidant properties. Matcha of this caliber is truly a rare find; drink it straight up or in latte form with a dash of hot milk.


We would like to wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday! As a thank you for your loyalty and support, are offering a limited-time "Heavenly" holiday promotion – an additional 10% off of all products using the code "holidayheaven" at checkout . So, before rushing to the typical gifts and mundane stocking stuffers of years' past, consider giving the gift of tea to put smiles on the faces of your friends and family.