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

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 5 days ago 493 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) 1 month ago 2622 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.

Scintillating Spiced Teas for Thanksgiving and Beyond

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 months ago 4155 Views No comments

Cozying up by the fireplace is perhaps our favorite fall pastime. As the leaves come down and the weather freezes up, a certain holiday mood springs up on us. First up, it's Thanksgiving! By now, Thanksgiving lovers are certainly used to the bland apple pies and basic pumpkin spice latte dominating the season. November has become synonymous with fruit pies, marshmallows, and turkey. On the beverage side, many embrace beer and eggnog, and for the kids, hot cocoa. But what about the more elevated and sophisticated fall beverage – tea?

When most people think about tea, their minds go straight to simple black teas or chamomile for sleep. They might think about green tea for health and a floral tea like jasmine for a relaxing option. But this season, it's all about teas with a strong kick or an earthy balance to get us into the Thanksgiving spirit. Heavenly Tea Leaves has stocked up with an incredible selection of titillating cool-weather teas.

Why tea, why now? First of all, it's hot. Literally. While you're struggling to stay warm under a few fleece blankets, nothing is quite as comforting as a bubbling cup of tea to bring your body to life. Second, it's warm – figuratively and kind of literally! Flavors like ginger and cinnamon serve to "warm" your palate and body. Containing natural antioxidants, these spices not only have a natural warmth to their flavor, but they also have been shown to improve blood flow, relax muscles, and aid digestion. Third, it's something new and exciting to serve your guests and yourself! Instead of focusing on typical Thanksgiving menu items, try setting up a tea station where your guests can choose their favorite seasonal tea to enjoy with their meal or to complement a sweet dessert. No doubt, the tea-focused host or hostess always leaves guests impressed! And last, these teas are incredibly tasty, even on their own. The herbs and spices used in fall-friendly teas are among the most sought after in the world and have been imported from the orient since the days of the Silk Road. The richness of their flavor is not comparable to typical supermarket teas.

So, of all the autumnal tea options, which do we select? Of course, at Heavenly Tea Leaves, we can never choose just one. Our unique tea blends often showcase a single, main ingredient as a leading flavor. Here, we have grouped this season's most beloved teas by essential flavor. But we can't promise you'll be satisfied with just a sip!


Ginger

Detox is an herbal tea rooted in ginger and licorice flavors; this is a great pre-bedtime option.

Crowd favorite Ginger Peach White is a lightly caffeinated tea with a delicate, fruity start and a zesty, tingly finish. An organic option that lends energy as well as a classic, unadulterated ginger flavor is Ginger Black.

Cinnamon

If you are loyal to earthy and floral tastes like rosemary, fennel, and lavender, Ginger Jazz will lend the velvety and naturally sweet flavor you seek. For a more exotic blend of rooibos, vanilla, citrus, and cardamom, turn to Spiced Rooibos Orange. And on the darker side, Spiced Turmeric is a black tea featuring a number of fall spices blended with holy basil for a dash of freshness. As you may have observed in recent years, turmeric tea blends are on the rise; the spice has been revered for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chai (Both Cinnamon and Ginger)

Masala Chai is a timeless Indian blend featuring a cardamom twist with a black tea base; brew it with cloves and add milk and honey for a scintillating chai tea latte. For a similar but more exotic blend, try Rooibos Cream Chai, which adds coconut and crushed chili into the mix. If you are looking for daintier flavors that are still bold, choose White Chai, a white tea with notes of pineapple, lemongrass, and pink peppercorns.


With so many types of tea up our sleeve, it's no wonder our signature Heavenly Tea Leaves tea samplers are the talk of the internet this holiday season! Instead of trying to pick just one or two of these glorious holiday teas, get four or even nine varieties for the season!

From the team at Heavenly Tea Leaves, we wish you an enchanting, love-filled, and absolutely delicious Thanksgiving.

Matcha: A Superfood in Disguise

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 3 months ago 5784 Views No comments

So, What is Matcha?

Tracing its origins to Japan millennia ago, matcha is a vibrant green powder made from finely ground whole-leaf green tea. The word "matcha" roughly translates to "rubbed tea" in Mandarin; according to Zen Buddhist tradition, Samurai warriors even drank the caffeinated beverage to power up before going to war. Matcha is the lesser-known, more potent cousin of traditional green tea, whose health and energy benefits have been widely documented. Usually consumed as a beverage mixed into boiling water, matcha is also used in baking and other practices. It is an extraordinarily versatile product with an earthy "umami," vegetal flavor and distinctive, thick texture relative to most teas.

Why Drink Matcha?

Matcha's various health benefits are akin to those of regular green tea, but magnified, as the powder retains the whole and pure nature of the green tea leaf. While it's not a magical cure-all, matcha has been shown in many studies to promote several elements of overall well-being. Thanks to abundant antioxidants (EGCg), matcha is one of many tea products linked to anti-aging as well as relaxation. Containing caffeine, L-theanine, and a high concentration of catechins, matcha is thought to provide even, long-lasting energy waves while also supporting a healthy metabolism. Along with flavonoids, catechins have also demonstrated infection and disease-fighting abilities in certain instances. Whether you're looking for an immune boost or a long-term anti-aging remedy, matcha is an excellent option to incorporate into a healthful, active lifestyle.

History, Production, and Consumption

Eighth century tea ceremonies in China and Japan revolved around matcha. Originally consumed by priests and nobles only, the tea soon became central in gatherings held for friends and other distinguished guests. Each Asian culture formed its own specific traditions around tea ceremonies, down to the utensils presented to participants. The custom continued through the Samurai era of the 1300s, when matcha started to become a more mainstream commodity. Matcha was appreciated for its simplicity, calming nature, delicious taste, and then-assumed healing abilities.

Producing matcha requires more labor and time than most regular teas. When the super-dark tencha green tea leaves are picked from the shade-grown tea plant, they are stemmed and laid out flat in order to dry out. Once fully dry and ground into a fine powder, the finished product is matcha. The powder's bright green color indicates that it's fresh and chlorophyll-heavy; if the powder is yellow or brown, consider tossing it – it has likely oxidized. High quality matcha should not be difficult to recognize. When assessing the powder, you should observe a rich, jade-green color, a very fine texture (think eye shadow), and a slightly sweet and leafy flavor with low astringency.

Matcha's popularity is becoming widespread and global, stretching far beyond the borders of its native Japan and China. Those preferring a caffeinated beverage without side effects like heart palpitations or acid reflux often turn to the green drink for salvation. Major cities like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles are opening up specialty matcha shops while famous pastry makers like Lady M introduce matcha-dusted iterations of their famed desserts [enter: Lady M matcha crepe cake]. Matcha, as a beverage and an ingredient, is developing in a ubiquitous presence in our culture.


Heavenly Tea Leaves Matcha

While most tea purveyors stick to selling inexpensive cooking grade matcha, ceremonial grade matcha is more difficult to produce, thanks to its superior taste, texture, hue, and origin. Traditionally used in ancient Japanese tea ceremonies, this is the kind of matcha that is meant for consumption as a beverage alone. Heavenly Tea Leaves is now introducing our new 30-gram matcha tin! This stone-ground, handpicked ceremonial grade matcha is the newest addition to our premium collection of teas and tisanes. If you're looking to dive in, the new matcha tin is available at the reduced introductory price of $21.99. In addition to this first-rate matcha product, we also offer Zen Super Green – a more muted sencha-matcha powder combination.


In order to enjoy our ceremonial grade matcha, brew as follows:

-Add two bamboo scoops (1 tsp.) to tea bowl

-Add 3 oz. of boiling water (180° F) to tea bowl

-Whisk Matcha with bamboo whisk or hand mixer until smooth and frothy

-If you desire a matcha latte, stir in 2 tsp. boiling whole milk


Whether dusted onto a cake or stirred into a satisfying latte, matcha is a nutritious and hearty addition. Enjoy the best of matcha with Heavenly Tea Leaves' new 30-gram ceremonial grade tin!

Heavenly Tea Leaves Tea Samplers: Making the Most of Your Tea Experience

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 5 months ago 9272 Views 1 comment

Picture it: You're perusing teas on your favorite gourmet website or at that amazing tea shop in town. Maybe you are new to the tea world or maybe you know exactly what you like. But either way, the confusion sets in. Do you stick to your tradition or venture out of your comfort zone? The options are endless! Lemon or raspberry? Green or rooibos? Bold or light? Caffeinated or herbal? What if your morning preference is different than your evening one? If you're buying a gift, the problems just grow – how can you pick just one and make sure that the recipient will enjoy it? How can you make one package look pretty?

All of these questions have run through our heads. As tea experts and addicts at Heavenly Tea Leaves, we have taken it upon ourselves to offer a delicious solution to your tea selecting woes: our tea samplers!

Heavenly Tea Leaves' signature gourmet tea samplers feature multiple hand selected, beautifully arranged varieties of loose leaf tea. Our samplers are always made with eco-friendly packaging and come in a number of sizes, flavors, and categories to suit your needs. You can even customize to your exact taste! No matter the time of day, occasion, or craving, here are some Heavenly Tea Leaves samplers that have you covered:


The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Organic Morning Lift Tea Sampler

Give your day a kick-start by brewing one of these enlivening aromas. From Minty Morning to Ginger Lemon Green, this sampler will never fail to help you feel fresh and invigorated when starting the day. Take your time to taste 20 servings of this awesome, certified organic arrangement.


For When You Just Can't Decide

Nine Flavor Variety Pack

Featuring white, green, oolong, chamomile, and several more tea types, you can't lose with this colorful set. Treat yourself or a loved one to a well-rounded selection of fine loose leaf flavors – a tea beginner's dream. Serve up a brew based on your mood, the weather, or your company!


To Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Dessert Tea Sampler

Ever feel like having an entire key lime pie, but without the calories? How about a chocolate raspberry tart or a piña colada? Enjoy these delightful tastes and more in our Dessert Tea Sampler. If you have a one-track mind focused on after-dinner sweets, this four-flavor set is the ideal way to indulge without indulging.


Transport Yourself

Exotic Tea Sampler

For the upscale and well-traveled Heavenly tea drinker, we recommend the Exotic Tea Sampler. This certified kosher set provides an adventurous mix that includes Marrakech Mint, Organic Ginger Lemon Green, and other far-out flavors. This combination of teas is anything but typical and sure to please any serious tea drinker. Present this one for a special occasion, too!


Some Like it Cold

Iced Tea Sampler

If you've never experimented with cold brewing tea, here is your chance. Teas like Apple Green and Ginger Peach have been individually tasted and selected by our team for properties that lend themselves to superior taste when brewed cold. For a warm day when you'd love your fruity tea over ice, grab the Iced Tea Sampler and read up on how to brew your best cup.


Come Bearing Gifts

Tea Sampler Gift Set

No present is more elegant, practical, or universal than that of tea. This lovely package is a Heavenly Tea Leaves bestseller – and is it any wonder? With varieties ranging from the classic English Breakfast to the enticing Tropical White, there's something in it for everyone. Make a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or engagement all the more special with this unique gift.


Winding Down

Organic Sleep Tea Sampler

When all you can think about is getting some shut-eye, reach for our certified organic Sleep Tea Sampler and take your pick. Whether you pour yourself a cup of Stress Ease, Peppermint, Serenity, or Chamomile Lavender, you are sure to feel relaxed and relieved. A drink from this set is especially helpful for those seeking a peaceful night in.


A Monthly Surprise

Heavenly Tea Leaves Tea Sampler of the Month Club

What's more exciting than subscribing to a magazine, snack pack, or a makeup box? Tea, of course! By joining the club, you or a friend will receive two Heavenly samplers in the mail every other month. Sign up for just two months, or up to a whole year. Check out the designated samplers for each month here. The Sampler of the Month Club is an excellent idea for a holiday surprise, or a lovely gift to yourself.


So, here you have it. Options on options of Heavenly Tea Leaves tea samplers available in various sizes, price ranges, and categories. If you're looking for value and beauty that doesn't sacrifice taste and quality, Heavenly Tea Leaves is your final destination. And the signature sets featured here are just the tip of the iceberg! Take a look at the Heavenly Tea Leaves site to browse the full selection.

P.S.: If the idea of brewing loose leaf tea scares you, you have nothing to worry about. It's actually pretty simple. Take your strainer (paper, metal, glass, etc.) and place one teaspoon of your selected tea inside. Put the strainer in your cup and pour boiling water over it. Follow the temperature and steep time provided with your Heavenly Tea Leaves package, and voilà! Your flavorful loose leaf tea is ready to enjoy.


Iced Tea: How it All Began

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 7 months ago 11172 Views No comments

There's no doubt that one of the most refreshing summertime treats is a tall, cold glass of iced tea. Powders and instant mixes can move aside – we prefer the fresh, cold-brewed kind, filled with natural flavor and nourishment.

Today, iced tea in all its varieties is an American staple. It's ubiquitous, everywhere from the supermarket to your local coffee shop, and it's even a standard alternative at lemonade stands. By some accounts, iced tea accounts for about 85% of tea consumption in the U.S. But as hot tea has ancient origins, the story of iced tea's birth is lesser known.

So, where did this satisfying warm-weather beverage come from?

Tea had been grown in America by colonists since the 1600s starting in South Carolina and spreading across the South. The first known published iced tea recipes in the U.S. appeared in The Buckeye Cookbook in 1876 and Housekeeping in Old Virginia in 1877. Even earlier, in 1839, a recipe for a mixed beverage that included alcohol, called tea punch, was circulated. Over the next couple of decades, the popularity of the drink started to explode. At this time, most recipes called for the tea to be brewed hot and chilled later on. Early instructions called for lemon, sugar, and ice to be added to black tea. Although sweet tea is attributed to southern traditions, early accounts of it trace back as far north as Boston (although it probably grew favor in the south thanks to the sweltering heat).

The drink truly took off, however, at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, where Richard Blechynden, the Commissioner of Tea for India and one of the fair's directors, was exhibiting hot black tea. Temperatures were unbearably high and fair visitors were thirsty; hot tea wasn't going to sell, so Blechynden had to improvise. He brewed and chilled the tea, and voilà – it was an instant hit! Restaurants immediately began to jump on the trend, which turned out to be more than just a short-term fix, and by World War I, households were catching on. Until today, iced tea – from bottle to box to pitcher – remains a significant part of the American beverage roster. Today, we see all kinds of variations, from Sparkling Green Iced Tea Lemonade to Thai Iced Tea.


At Heavenly Tea Leaves, we can't get enough of the endless iced tea possibilities, from fruity to earthy to spicy. In order to satisfy all of our iced tea cravings, we turn to our Iced Tea Sampler for the best of all worlds! Choose from Apple Green, Ginger Peach, Blueberry Delight (herbal), and Lemon Black – each with its own distinct characteristics, but all designed for optimal taste when served cold. In order to cold brew tea, simply place the loose tea in tea bags or in an infuser pitcher. Fill with water (one cup of water per teaspoon of tea) and leave to brew in the fridge for 6 to 12 hours. Strain the tea if necessary and pour over ice at serving time to avoid dilution.

The Wonders of Green Tea

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 10 months ago 11449 Views No comments


When it comes to wellness, you can't go wrong with a cup of green tea. Year after year, studies emerge suggesting that this drink, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, have some serious superpowers. Drinking green tea has been clinically shown to help with everything from cholesterol and weight management to bone health and even free radical delay. (It is thought that free radical proteins in the brain are what lead to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.)

Wellbeing of the mind and body starts with daily habits. Incorporating a couple of servings of green tea in your everyday regimen can make you start feeling healthier and more vibrant almost immediately. If you're already a heavy coffee drinker and concerned about your caffeine intake, try replacing one of your coffees with green tea. This is a clean alternative at a comparable price and with an awakening result. Why not experiment?

The benefits of green tea seem endless; studies have been conducted for years and scientists continue to examine its role in supporting a balanced lifestyle. A recent Today Show segment dubbed green tea a superfood, rating it an amazing 4 on a 1-5 scale. The hosts pointed out that catechins (EGCG), a type of antioxidant found in green tea, have been shown to 'relax blood vessels' and therefore ease blood pressure. Plus, increased blood flow to the brain means improved overall brain and body function. This is based on just two cups a day!

And then there's the taste. Green tea differs from other teas in its grassy, herbal, earthy flavor profile. It is also unique in that, when mixed with other flavors, it yields a whole new, complex profile that is very different from, say, a black or white–plus herbal concoction. Green tea is far from muted or neutral. Though calming, its taste is distinct and bold. It's a beverage that will make you pause to enjoy each sip. When combined with a drop of honey, it's simply divine.

What most people are surprised to learn is that all green teas come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The processing will make each of these nine distinct types of green tea from Japan different from one another. Elements such as what part of the plant is used, whether the plant is mostly exposed to shade or sun, when the leaf is picked, and how the tea is exposed to heat will affect the taste and characteristic of the tea. Japanese green teas including Gyokuro are very well know for having a mild, sweet, vegetal flavor.

The other famous tea nation – China – has been cultivating tea trees for more than 2,000 years, incorporating it into medicine and cultural practices that remain engrained in the society today. While China grows all types of tea, some of the most famous green teas are Dragonwell, Bi Luo Chun, Chun Mee, Mao Jian.

Of all the green tea varieties and blends to choose from, each has a new character, but all contain the same essential benefits.

To focus the spotlight on green tea's calming properties and richness of flavor, try out Zen Super Green from Kagoshima, Japan. This is a mixture of high-grade sencha tea with its powdered, concentrated cousin, matcha. The combination results in a velvety, umami taste as a result of farming methods that delay the matcha plant growth.

Finally, we suggest another premium grade green tea that provides the energy boost that the beverage is famous for. Mao Feng is a single bud variety grown at high altitudes in the tea-specializing region of Hunan, China. With a well-rounded, straightforward flavor, you can drink this tea with breakfast to cleanse your palette and perk you up for the day!

Once you choose the green tea of your liking, you can bask in some more of its unexpected upsides, like its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Jazz up your cup with other superfoods like fresh ginger, or add a natural sweetener like agave to mitigate a strong herbaceous flavor.

Which green tea adventure awaits you?

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Tea Pairing

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 11 months ago 5352 Views No comments

In 2015, NPR reported that tea sommeliers – that is, tea tasting experts – were the "hot new thing" in food pairing. Today, that trend shows no signs of slowing down. Sure, a nice glass of wine with dinner has traditionally been the gourmand's go-to. But what if we could reap the same joy from a pot of darjeeling tea with foie gras as we do from a glass of merlot with a filet mignon?

"The whole idea of pairing tea with food is that you should have a tea that's going to enhance the flavor of the food, or vice versa. What you want to happen in your mouth is to feel the different layers of taste and flavors... It's like a dine sommelier, giving you advice, depending on what kind of tea you want to drink, what time of the day it is, and what you're eating," says Aurelie Bessiere, a tea sommelier. - NPR

In the same vein, Forbes recently wrote of the merits of tea-and-cheese pairings, leaving wine by the wayside. "Similar to wine, tea's qualities can vary dramatically depending on where it's grown—the weather, the soil—as well as how it's processed," mentions writer Megy Karydes. Herbaceous green teas, for example, go well with super creamy cheeses like goat or triple-crème, while pu'erhs work best with bolder varieties like aged gouda. If you'd like to make a night out of it, you can even sign up for private tea-and-cheese tastings.

In order to pair properly, we must start with being able to distinguish common teas from one another. The International Tea Masters Association has come up with a nifty Tea Aroma Wheel to help us figure out whether the herbaceous taste in your cup is lavender, fennel, or sage. The wheel can also help you decipher the flavors that are opposite the one you're consuming, and therefore complementary. From there, sommeliers and casual tea enthusiasts alike can create optimal food pairings.


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At Heavenly Tea Leaves, we've done some of the research for you. Tea sites like Teforia and Arbor Teas have great suggestions, and we threw some of our own into the mix, too. Here are a few basic pairings that will unveil the subtle and complex flavors of both the tea and the food you are enjoying:

White tea, such as Pai Mu Tan White – If a tea could be minimalist, this would be it. Pair this light beverage with neutral white cheeses like fresh mozzarella and oaxaca, as well as leafy salads and peaches.

Green tea has a distinct vegetal flavor. Try a pure variety like Hojicha green. Because it's kind of grassy, this tea goes best with flavors that aren't too strong, and sometimes slightly sweet, like mildly seasoned seafood, Basmati rice, chicken, or melon.

Oolong often has depth and complexity of flavor. Floral oolong is no exception, and finishes with a light, honey-like aroma. Duck and other poultry, grilled meats, and savory foods like lobster are strong enough to go head-to-head with most oolong teas – especially highly oxidized ones.

Black tea, like the strongly caffeinated Irish Breakfast, is a classic morning tea originating in India. It goes hand in hand with light breakfast foods, custard, cream, and lemon-flavored confections.

Pu'erh teas, like this one, have been shown to lend digestive benefits. Try it to aid your body's natural processes after eating savory meats, stir-fries, mushrooms, and beets.

Mint, too, is a digestive aid. A peppermint herbal tea is best consumed alongside legumes and nut-based sweets like almond cookies. Plus, it's caffeine free and won't keep you up at night.

If you're going with your gut instinct, just try to think of the basic flavors your tea evokes and pick a food that is equally strong or mild, but with a very different taste. And so, while tea is no replacement for wine, it certainly can serve as a delicious and sophisticated add-on at your next fabulous dinner party. Bon appétit!


Fun fact: Your tea simply isn't supposed to taste bitter. If it does, how did you go wrong? You've either brewed the tea for too long, used water that is too hot, or not used the proper ratio of tea to water. Remember that all of these rules are different based on the type of tea you are drinking. Consult the experts at Heavenly Tea Leaves for proper, custom brewing instructions!


​History of the Tea Trade: The Silk Road

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 1 years ago 17261 Views 1 comment

This month, Heavenly Tea Leaves pays homage to the famous historical path from East to West that made it possible for the whole world to unite over tea as we do today.

The Silk Road was an ancient 7,000-kilometer trade route spanning from China to the Mediterranean Sea that lasted from about 100 B.C. until the Middle ages. In addition to the silk for which it was named, the various peoples of Asia transported all types of commodities and other goods along the route, from jewelry and spices to rice and ivory. One of the most important introductions to the West, thanks to the Silk Road, was a newly steeped beverage popular in China called tea!

The origin of tea growth and consumption is disputed, but it is likely in China's Tang or Western Han Dynasty, possibly more than 2,000 years ago. Around the year 400 C.E., farmers started harvesting tea as opposed to picking leaves from wild trees, which led to vaster production, then demand, then trade.

Initially, in China, tea leaves would be condensed and mixed with spices and fruit essences, then boiled with water in traditional porcelain pots (much like the teas we offer today!). Methods of brewing, though, varied from culture to culture. The tea trade slowly expanded west from China and Mongolia to India and Turkey and beyond. Tea was exchanged for everything from ponies to jewels, dried herbs, and spices. In addition to the Silk Road, another, smaller path, containing a caravan network, called the Tea Horse Road also became important in facilitating the tea trade in China and Tibet.

Tea eventually gained prestige and status, sometimes being given as elaborate gifts to royalty and nobility. Even after the Silk Road fell out of use for more modern forms of trade and transport, the global tea trade boomed.

By the early 1900s, tea was being grown in new places like Indonesia, Sumatra, Kenya, and other parts of Africa; tea bags and sachets emerged as the easier way for individuals to brew tea, and this comforting drink was being consumed just about everywhere. Tea began to be commercially distributed by pioneer tea companies like Twinings, which paved the way for today's worldwide tea industry.

Last year, the life of tea merchants on the revered Silk Road was commemorated. Convoys of camels and horses travelled through China and Kazakhstan, mimicking what the experience would have been like millennia ago.

At Heavenly Tea Leaves, we honor the legacy of the Silk Road with our mission of returning to gourmet, hand-selected blends that put quality first. This holiday season, we commemorate the epic Silk Road and the gifts it has brought to us from the Orient. We are thankful for the opportunity to sit around our tables with family and friends and enjoy a meal, laughter, and a nice, warm cup of Heavenly Tea.

Teas of Autumn: Venturing Beyond Pumpkin Spice

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 1 years ago 6060 Views No comments

The fall season instantaneously reminds us of brisk air, rustling leaves, and pumpkin pie. And tea? Yes, please.

With temperatures falling and blankets coming out from storage, brewing a hot cup of tea often becomes a quotidian habit around this time of year. With Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner, we are perhaps too often reminded of pumpkin and apple as the flavors of fall. These pies, cakes, cookies, and other confections adorn dessert tables, but don't these cliché tastes leave something to be desired when it comes to the most soothing beverage of the season?

Going beyond the ordinary, there are a number of methods, add-ins, and new formulas that will give plain-Jane Assam or Chamomile a run for its money. The new teas of autumn can also serve to complement the more classic flavors of fall, since we're not quite ready to give those up, either!


Try out our personal fall favorite first: the masala chai latte.

This is the sophisticated tea and coffee drinker's answer to a traditional pumpkin spice latte, which has dominated the commercial beverage scene over the past decade. While the American appellation for this Indian beverage isn't quite accurate, there's no denying its rich flavor and aromatic powers.

  1. Boil a 3:1 mixture of milk to water (Make sure to use whole milk for the best results!).
  2. Pour masala chai into the mixture and heat on a medium simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add sugar to taste, along with a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon. For the sugar, begin by adding 1.5 teaspoons for each cup of liquid in your mixture.
  4. Using a ladle and tea strainer, pour out the masala chai latte into individual cups, straining out the tea leaves; serve hot.

The result is a drink that emanates warmth – a rich and glorious dessert and beverage in one. The aroma awakens the senses with hints of cloves and cardamom.


For less of a sensory explosion, you could take the subtler route this season with classic vanilla.

Vanilla tisanes go hand-in-hand with warmth, and with the typical flavors and essences of the holiday season. The best way to get your fix? A tea sampler, of course!

Heavenly Tea Leaves' whole-leaf vanilla tea sampler is hand-blended and selected to please your taste buds on the briskest of days. This well-rounded pack includes Vanilla Black, Vanilla Rooibos Soufflé, Vanilla Green, Vanilla Rose Oolong for a variety of autumnal aromas. Because why should we choose just one? Bonus: it's certified kosher* and it makes a great holiday gift! Plus, herbal vanilla tea can be blended into black tea for a caffeinated kick, or drunk alone as a relaxing pre-bedtime ritual.


As it turns out, fall tea drinks aren't always about the heat. How about a tea cocktail? Some earl grey gin, perhaps?

World of Tea introduces us to this concoction, served at some of New York's trendiest bars like the Pegu Club. While mixed drinks like these are served at room temperature or chilled, they definitely warm us up on the inside. Plus, the earthy earl grey flavor is definitely a nod to the tones of the season.

Tony Gebely writes: "The Procedure: Steep 4 Tbsp of loose earl grey tea into a 750ml bottle of gin for two hours. Strain."

"Tea is astringent," he continues, "and in that sense can work almost like bitters, but you'll have far better luck with tea in the base spirit of a sour, with plenty of acid and sugar to round out and cut the tannic edge of the tea . . . Remember, proof in the spirit works like water temperature. You'll get more intense flavor steeping into a base spirit than you will a lower-proof wine, vermouth, or liqueur."

In other words, stronger alcohol is equivalent to hotter water, and black tea in cocktails goes well with sweet and sour flavors. Here's to an interesting brew.


Ginger is another invigorating fall flavor of tea that will never be dull on the palate. The properties of ginger are complex: it is at once pungent, spicy, and earthy. The root has also been known to help alleviate nausea, inflammation, soreness, and other ailments.

The best way to round out ginger's punch is to combine it with a splash of versatile citrus. Lemon – a flavor adaptable year-round – does this job perfectly. Heavenly Tea Leaves' blend, Ginger Lemon Green, which comes in a pretty silken pyramid sachet, satisfies all of our ginger desires in a healthy and balanced way. Not to mention, this one's organic.


And for some last-minute fun…

Take a look at this video in which Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi puts together a portrait called Teh Tarik Man out of 20,000 tea bags. The tea bags are individually steeped at various temperatures to create different shades of brown, resulting in an awesome final depiction.