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​It's Tea (Terminology) Time!

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 15 days ago 842 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) 29 days ago 1034 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 1 month ago 1496 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 2 months ago 1565 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) 3 months ago 2770 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 4 months ago 2166 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) 5 months ago 4599 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) 6 months ago 4180 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) 7 months ago 6039 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) 8 months ago 7273 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!