Free shipping on orders over $50x

$5 off

your first order when you register

Swipe to the left

Posts tagged 'heavenlytea'

Tea Production Methods: Various Tea Production Techniques

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 7 months ago 4374 Views No comments

We've taught you plenty of ways to consume tea, as well as why it's good for you and which taste superior. But have you ever wondered the backstory, aka how your tea is actually made? It's rare that we think about the start-to-finish process – how budding tea leaves make it to the beverage that ends up in your cup. But, as with all of your food and beverages, it's important to know where tea comes from, and further, how one type differs from the next.

Throughout history and various cultures and regions, there have been many methods in which teamakers have processed the leaf into a delicious tea. But post–industrial revolution, new and more efficient ways of processing gourmet tea have emerged, allowing for mass production. Still, many essential elements of the process have stayed the same over the millenia, and depending on the tea type, certain teas are still produced using techniques mastered over many centuries. Here are some examples of how different teas can be manufactured:


Black tea

For black tea, we will talk about mass production methods (which are common) in order to shine a light on the various types of production, ranging from traditional and hand-produced to mass produced with machinery. While many of our teas undergo more traditional processing methods, learning about both can provide interesting insight.

After being harvested, black tea leaves begin withering. Withering is a process in which the tea leaves are laid out for several hours in order to reduce moisture in the leaf, making them more pliable. Black teas are the most oxidized of any tea type. Think of an apple you bite into and leave on your counter. The exposed portion of the apple will start to brown; this is oxidation. In a process known as CTC, the tea is "crushed, torn, and curled" – meaning the leaves are pre-conditioned and then machine-shredded, and because of a manual manipulation process, the leaves begin to curl. (For CTC or tea bag grade tea, this process allows for more surface area of the leaf to be exposed to water, extracting more color and flavor from the leaf.) Next is maceration: rolling the tea in order to rupture it. At the same time, oxidation occurs, leading to the dark and deep color and flavor of black tea.

Try our Assam black tea for a brisk, full-bodied black originating in Assam, India. This tea is not produced using the methods mentioned above, although some parts of the processing may align.


White tea

The key difference between white tea and its darker counterpart is that white tea is nearly unoxidized. The leaves are then withered and dried slowly at low temperatures as opposed to pan-firing in high heat the way many other teas are. White tea therefore only oxidizes very slightly, due to lack of rolling and less exposure to air and heat. It's no wonder, then, that white tea has the most gentle, mild, and mellow flavor profile and color of the bunch. White tea is generally the least processed of all the tea types.

Try our house-blended Ginger Peach white tea for a delicious blend that makes a great cup, hot or iced!


Green tea

Green tea is typically steamed or pan-fried in order to prevent its enzymes from undergoing significant oxidation. As a result, the tea is less full-bodied and more clean and vegetal tasting. Because of the presence of health-promoting polyphenols, green tea must be processed delicately. With extremely low moisture, green tea lasts a long time on the shelf and maintains its strong aroma. A powdered form of the same tea leaves, following a similar process (although it's usually shade-grown), is called matcha.

Try our organic Genmaicha green tea for a delicious, nutty variety and our ceremonial grade matcha if you're looking for an antioxidant-rich alternative to coffee.


Oolong tea

Oolong is grown mainly in southeast China and Taiwan. In order to develop their bold and full-bodied taste, the leaves are picked when they are quite ripe and processed immediately. They are withered then shaken in bamboo baskets to slightly "bruise" (aka agitate) them; this drying period is relatively short compared to that of black tea. This yields partially oxidized tea, falling somewhere between black and green tea in terms of flavor and color. They are then rolled (which gives the leaves spherical appearance), either by hand or machine, and air dried, after which the leaves are pan-fired at very high temperatures; this allows for minimal moisture, meaning a longer shelf life than those fired at lower temperatures, such as green tea.

Try our unique Brandy Oolong tea for a rich, deep oolong with complex notes.


Pu-erh tea

Pu-erh, is a special type of fermented tea. Traditionally aged in caves, the tea is aged in climate controlled rooms where the humidity level is maintained at less than 80%. The tea artisan will carefully add moisture to the tea leaves which are regularly turned & tended to in order to grow healthy bacteria. In some cases, the fermentation process can occur for up to six years until the process is complete. This natural aging produces a very mellow, smooth cup. Here's one case where aging is good! The exact processing of pu-erh tea is still a well-guarded secret in china due to its complexity, cultural value, and the level of mastery it takes to produce a highly desired pu-erh.

Try our Royal pu-erh tea for a traditional, earthy brew.


Although we've laid out some of the processing techniques involved in making each tea type, not all oolong, green, or black teas are processed in the same way. The steps vary depending on the tea type, its use, economic factors, whether or not the tea is being mass produced, and many other factors. Still, you get an idea of the complexity involved in the processing of loose leaf tea, and how it may differ depending on the type. Now that you know the backstory, you can enjoy a sip of any or all of your favorite tea types alongside your upcoming holiday meals and have a built-in conversation starter!

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

By Heavenly Tea Leaves 1 years ago 4425 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/

​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.