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Posts tagged 'Heavenly'

​Exploring the Green Teas of Japan

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 4 months ago 5370 Views No comments

Konichiwa!

You could say our team here at Heavenly Tea Leaves has a thing for Japanese culture, and of course, Japanese tea. Japan is a country that is revered for its ancient history, rich traditions, and pride in quality and care for every product they grow or create. Because among our team members we've visited Japan a number of times, we've developed a special interest in all types of teas from this Pacific nation--and we don't just mean matcha!

Originally sought after as medicine, tea was first brought to Japan by Chinese monks in the 8th century and was first consumed by the upper class (Samurai) and priests in Japan. The archipelago proved to have the right climate and terrain for growing tea; to this day, tea is cultivated in almost all regions of the country. Access to tea by the greater public did not come around until the Middle Ages. Influenced by Zen Buddhism, the Japanese tea ceremony (known as chanoyu or chado) developed as a unique practice with its own specialty teas and clean esthetics.

Japan focuses mostly on green tea, which serves the benefit of lively and deep flavor, a plethora of healthy properties, and a steady stream of energy. Not all Japanese green teas are made the same, however. Here, we will take a closer look at the various tea types, both popular and rare, that you'll need to add to your South Pacific tea repertoire!


We always love to start off with a bang; in this case, that bang is a cup of rejuvenating Gyokuro green tea. Gyokuro is a green tea for those looking for umami flavor (perfect for the AM hours). Thanks to a unique processing method at the final stages of this tea plant's growth, it is shaded, leading to a higher chlorophyll content than the typical green tea, as well as a deep, rich green color and grassy, vegetal flavor.

For a nuttier variation, try Genmaicha Japan. Also a green tea, this one is known as the "people's tea" in Japan because it was economical to include toasted rice in the home blend; this tea doubles down on your umami senses thanks to the presence of popcorn and fire-roasted rice alongside a classic, rich green tea. The result? A party in your mouth that won't be ending any time soon.

Sometimes, though, we like to climb the green tea ladder. One of the more lavish Japanese tea experiences you can have is with our Kukicha. What makes this one special is that it contains stems and stalks left over from sencha and matcha tea production, so it utilizes the entire plant. Once considered peasant's tea, this variety is now known as a delicacy in Japan because of its natural sweetness and laundry list of health benefits.

Looking for yet another Japanese green? Our well-rounded Zen Super Green is the answer for those looking for the consistency of regular tea but the potency of matcha (which in turn is made from first-flush spring Gyokuro). This blend of organic sencha and matcha green tea powder is the perfect balance between strong and delicate and finishes with a velvety, umami, vegetal mouthfeel. Be careful not to brew this and other delicate green teas at higher than 170 degrees, as you may burn the tea and extract unwanted bitterness!

As you may know, we're total matcha lovers. In fact, we've written an ode to matcha already--check it out! Matcha is a fine green tea powder that's super-concentrated in flavor, texture, and health benefits. It's made by simply whisking the powder into boiling water (and perhaps adding frothed milk and sugar if you're going for a matcha latte!). Our ceremonial-grade 30-gram matcha tin contains hand-picked and stone-ground green tea and come ready to brew. In honor of spring, and of japanese green teas, you can find our 30g Matcha green tea tin on sale for $17.99 (normally $24.99) for a limited time!

Sencha Miyazaki, a delightful lighter tea, and Hojicha, which has a distinct roasted taste, are other signature Japanese blends carried by Heavenly Tea Leaves. So, what's the conclusion? Japan is definitely a tea destination worth learning about (and visiting), and its green teas are quite varied and totally spectacular. Japan's rich and detail-oriented culture shines brightly through their ability to manufacture some of the world's most premium green teas. Which one will you get your hands on this spring?

Arigato!


P.S. Stay tuned to our Instagram page (@heavenlytea) for some photos of our latest trip to the majestic tea fields of Wazuka, Japan!

Afternoon Tea: Customs and Etiquette, Now and Then

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 5 months ago 3818 Views No comments

Ever wonder whether you're following, or whether you even really know about tea-time etiquette? Living an informal culture of to-go tea and coffee (which means, yikes!, a drink that may or may not have actually been brewed, in a paper cup), it's hard to have the opportunity to sit down in a formal setting and engage in customary tea rituals. For some, it's hard to even imagine that there are a series of formal customs for consuming tea, which today, is an everyday (for us, 3x-a-day) beverage.

The origins of tea lie very far in the past, but it's really the influence of the British East India Company that turned a regional staple into a worldwide phenomenon starting in the 17th century. Tea etiquette not only tells the drinker what to do, but more importantly, it advises us what not to do.


Starting from the basics

When tea arrived to the West, people were left wondering what the proper vessels were to drink it out of. The answer? Porcelain, according to Jane Pettigrew of London's Langham Hotel, who described the history of tea etiquette to CBS News. (The stuff came from—you guessed it—China; hence the current nickname for porcelain serveware.) Until today, any fine tea service is made from some variation of precious porcelain, such as bone china. More modern and casual tea sets seek to display tea's rich and beautiful color, opting for glass. (Another benefit to glass is that you can tell how strong and saturated the tea is at a glance.)

Pettigrew describes the coming together of family and friends for a midday tea as "afternoon tea" for a long while before the less formal "high tea" took over as a cultural mainstay in England.

Elaine Lemm of The Spruce Eats describes the origins of afternoon tea: "When afternoon tea became fashionable thanks to the Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, it was never intended to replace dinner but rather to fill in the long gap between lunch and dinner at a time when dinner was served as late as 8 p.m. Lifestyles have changed since those times and afternoon tea is now a treat, rather than a stop-gap." Once industrialization hit England, however, this tradition became widespread, known as high tea. By the 19th century, the middle class had grown in Western Europe and tea before dinner became a routine in most households; it was no longer for the elite. This was a huge shift in cultural norms and accessibility that would signal a reduction in class divisions that we're thankful for today. Workers who needed some extra food after a long day were having more than just delicate tea sandwiches with their meal, but started to have heartier dishes instead.

Amy Reiter of the Food Network delves into the history of the term: "Contrary to the haughty images stirred by its lofty moniker, high tea is actually a lot more relaxed than afternoon tea. (The 'high' part probably refers to the fact that one traditionally enjoys it while seated at an actual dinner table, rather than on a low armchair or couch.)."

Today, high tea is generally taken between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., often as dinner, while afternoon tea was historically taken at 4 p.m. as a snack for the elite. Today, the dinner meal is called "tea" in working class families in parts of England.

And how to behave at tea? Pettigrew also has a few comments when it comes to general manners.

"'I mean, you would never actually slurp your tea, but a professional tea taster always slurps their tea because that's what you need to do to get the sort of flavor. But no, it's got to be quiet, elegant.'"

Other notes from this seasoned tea expert? No clanking the spoon against the cup when stirring; no raising your pinky while holding the cup (it's pretentious); and when you have your crumpets along with your tea (yes, it's a thing), add a little wad of clotted cream or jam, but don't smear it all over! (On this side of the Atlantic, muffins or cookies go just as well!) Oh, and she'd never put milk in non-standard blends like oolong. Let the flavor shine through. According to Doltone House, an upmarket party venue group in Australia, the rules for stirring don't stop there. Start with your spoon in the 6 o'clock position and stir clockwise, setting the spoon down beside the cup when you're done.

Want to emulate high tea at home today? You can follow some simple steps to bring some tradition to your next family gathering. For starters, loose leaf tea is preferable over supermarket tea bags (which are often adulterated and of inferior quality), according to Afternoon Tea of the UK. Heavenly Tea Leaves' vast selection of gourmet loose-leaf tea leaves you with plenty of options; the most apt for this occasion would be the Afternoon Tea Sampler, which comprises four lovely teas to please any palette. For the caffeine-sensitive, the sampler comes in an herbal version, too. To stack your accompanying snacks, grab a pretty, tiered cookie tray, preferably in sterling silver for the full effect!


Other pointers

Never dip your biscuit, crumpet, or any other side snack into your tea. Layer jam over cream on your scone. If adding milk (for example, to black tea), pour the milk into the cup first for a better combination of the liquids. And when it comes to your appearance, dress up! Doltone House also recommends eating your tea sandwiches, scones, and other snacks with your hands (contrary to what you might think would be polite).

While etiquette centering around drinking tea might seem antiquated, it is in fact a nearly lost art, and a tradition that should be revered and preserved. We, for one, are working hard to help make that happen.


Photo credit: @bunabuna1234 (Instagram)

​Choosing the Perfect Tea for Every Version of You

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 9 months ago 3140 Views No comments

A true tea drinker does not neatly fall under one category. As a tea devotee, you could be a free spirit or a cautious introvert, a runner or a yogi, a businesswoman or a full-time mom. You could be full of energy or constantly calm; you could be all about having guests or happiest solo. Wherever your groove lies, though, a certain Heavenly Tea Leaves gourmet loose leaf tea is made just for that.

Tea comes in many origins, shapes, and sizes, each with unique, naturally-occurring properties. One person could prefer many teas and a group of people might prefer a single, staple tea. But most of the time, people drink tea based on their respective routines and moods. No matter your habits, personality, or lifestyle, we've rounded up the most suitable for each and every kind of tea lover.


Athlete's tea

Pre-exercise, you're looking for a tea that can provide you a smooth stream of energy. An athlete needs a tea that's both invigorating and delicious. That's why Rose Oolong, a partially oxidized, medium-caffeine tea, is the perfect option.

Rose Oolong


Sleeper's Tea

Those who love to doze off early and quickly each evening need a tisane that's synonymous with sleep. An intoxicating elixir of valerian root, lemongrass, and other sleep-inducing herbal ingredients will have you dreaming peacefully in no time.

Sleep


Holiday Tea

The air is crisp and family and friends are gathered around the table. Before or after dinner, enjoy the sumptuous flavors of this unique dessert blend based in high-quality black tea. Featuring bits of organic raspberry, cocoa husks, and flower petals, this is a truly festive brew.

Raspberry Cocoa Truffle Black


De-stressing Tea

Are you wound up tighter than you should be? Sometimes, all it takes to decompress after a long day or week is the right cup of tea. Our fragrant Chamomile Lavender blend captures the essence of relaxation thanks to healthy heaps of organic lavender flowers and calming chamomile.

Chamomile Lavender


Early Riser's Tea

No beverage provides a jolt of energy the way green tea does. If you're early to rise, you'll want a steady boost to last you for several hours without the jitters or the hard crash that comes with a cup of coffee. That's where Japanese Zen Super Green tea comes in. With a vegetal aroma that blends precious sencha with matcha tea powder, it'll be the most pleasant way you've ever started your early morning.

Zen Super Green


Exotic Traveler's Tea

Featuring body-easing and detoxifying ingredients like organic ginger and cardamom, Rooibos Cream Chai is reminiscent of the Far East and the spices traded along the ancient Silk Road. In a more practical sense, drinking this blend while you're traveling will help keep you satisfied, energized, and de-bloated!

Rooibos Cream Chai


Yoga Retreater's Tea

For the health nut and diet detoxer, tea isn't just a drink – it's a lifestyle. Our Serenity Tea is all about balance; it's made from the planet's most healthful ingredients like peppermint and chamomile – all organic, of course. This one will have you aboard the wholesome lifestyle train ASAP.

Serenity


Glam Host's tea

Having company over, be it for a fancy dinner party or a lovely lunch, isn't complete without the serving of a truly gourmet pot of tea. With its neutral taste and its high quality evident with each sip, no tea is more suitable for special guests than rich and flavorful Ceylon Black.

Ceylon Black


If you're unsure about which teas you prefer, our loose leaf tea samplers are a great place to start. Our extensive line of custom samplers is categorized by tea type and theme so you can try out a variety of options and figure out your favorites!

Tea is all about bringing people together and satisfying their taste buds, as different from one another they may be. The tennis player and the fashion model can sit together and enjoy whichever distinct Heavenly Tea Leaves blend strikes their fancy. After all, in the wise words of Maya Angelou: "We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike."

​Tea and Sustainability: Going Green

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 1 years ago 3411 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?

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

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 1 years ago 5425 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!

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

By Heavenly Tea Leaves 1 years ago 5699 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) 1 years ago 8150 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.

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

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 years ago 8782 Views 1 comment

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.

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

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 years ago 14323 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.


The Wonders of Green Tea: Everything You Need To Know

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 years ago 16510 Views 1 comment

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?

​History of the Tea Trade: The Silk Road

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 3 years ago 43906 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) 3 years ago 8212 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.