Free shipping on orders over $50x

$5 off

your first order when you register

Swipe to the left

Posts tagged 'Matcha'

A Tea Drinker’s Guide to Mindfulness

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 8 days ago 263 Views No comments

Inspired by the recent trend of mindfulness, we're starting to dive deeper into the links between this meditative practice and—you guessed it—tea. But before we get to that link, it's important to define and qualify mindfulness. Best put, mindfulness is the opposite of distraction. It's paying attention to what you're doing while not paying attention to what you aren't. It's being here and present, away from our smartphones and work diversions and everyday worries.

Mindfulness is also about being in touch with yourself and your senses. More specifically, this is the result of mindful practices. So when you're cooking, you should really smell the flavors of what you're throwing into the pot. When reading, you should be absorbing each and every word. When listening to your favorite song, really take in the words. Being conscious of all that's around us is a lost lifestyle…but the Heavenly Tea Leaves team is here and ready to help you find it!

Tea has roots in Zen Buddhism, having become a staple as part of a balanced lifestyle since ancient times. According to legend:

Shan Daokai, a famous monk of East Jin Dynasty, cultivated himself according to Buddhism doctrines at Zhaode Temple. He was assiduous in his practice of sitting in meditation. To recover from fatigue and drive away sleepiness, he drank tea. It showed that in the beginning, the purpose for monks drinking tea [was] to facilitate meditation and self-cultivation. . . Shi Fayao, a monk of the Southern Dynasty . . . lived for 79 years. One secret of his longevity was to drink tea with meals. Eventually, [drinking tea daily] became a common practice among monks under Buddhism doctrines.

Tea meditation is often linked to the historical Japanese tea ceremony that is also derived fromZen Buddhism. Much of this style of meditation involves gratitude and directing your thoughts to where you want them to remain. Take a look at this clip, featuring Oprah Winfrey engaging in tea meditation. (Note: We are instructed to take a whole hour to slowly sip a cup of tea!)

Today, mindful practices should be part of a proactive daily routine. Drinking tea—especially certain blends—can be an adjacent or even essential part of this routine. How so? Tea engages the senses. The gentle brewing, the wafts of delightful aromas, the beautiful rich colors, the warmth, and of course, the divine taste. If you really participate in your tea-drinking, it can be a whole new and exciting experience in and of itself. Remember that this involves carefully brewing your tea, sitting down and enjoying it. Just you and the cup. Remove distractions like TV, phones, and computers.

A key way to bring mindfulness into your life is through meditation (in whichever form you please). You can sip on tea while you're meditating to help calm and center yourself, and to help bring about internal focus while melting stress away. No matter the style of meditation and mindfulness you choose, one must not forget that concentrating so hard on the tea we are drinking means that it better be a quality cup!


And of course, quality means premium loose-leaf tea that is unadulterated, expertly blended, fresh, and organic whenever possible. Here are a few choices that never fail:

  • For relaxation and de-stressing before bed, your best bet in terms of tea is Heavenly Tea Leaves' Sleep. With ingredients like chamomile, peppermint, valerian root, and others, this herbal blend puts your body and mind at peace almost instantly by slowing your senses down.
  • For all-day serenity and calmness, an amazing solution is Heavenly Tea Leaves' Chamomile Lavender. Both lavender and chamomile are widely known for helping relieve mild to moderate anxiety. Lavender has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and many other holistic approaches for thousands of years. If you're looking for a fix in the morning or night, this one's your next go-to.
  • For long-lasting energy, Minty Morning from Heavenly Tea Leaves is a clear winner if you're looking to invigorate (an important quality if you're trying to be more mentally present in all parts of your day). Black tea, which serves as this blend's base, is the most caffeinated of all tea types. Add in the peppermint and spearmint (combined with a lemony punch) and you have a tasty, energizing tea.
  • For concentration, we recommend Matcha Green Tea.* This green tea is a great substitute for coffee and is especially useful for those looking for focus. Matcha gives you natural, sustained energy without the jitters. L-Theanine, a natural chemical found in green tea, has been shown to help drinkers improve "mental focus and attention," according to WebMD. So whether it's before work or studying, why not give this earthy and delicious tea a go? *P.S. Our matcha tins are one sale from now through the end of September for $14.99 (normally $24.99)!
  • And for physical well-being… The options are endless! Drinking tea regularly may serve to calm you, energize you, ease your stomach, and in some cases, help prevent illnesses altogether (after all, prevention is the new focus of modern medicine, too). Whatever it is you're looking for out of your cup, there's a tea out there for all of us.

Once you've determined the ideal tea type for you, make sure to regularly incorporate it into your mindfulness routine – remember, this can include yoga, meditation, or any other practice that helps you center yourself and prioritize awareness and being present. Channel your inner Zen Buddhist and watch things start looking up!

​Exploring the Green Teas of Japan

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 6 months ago 6127 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!

​Tea Traditions from Around the World

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 1 years ago 4512 Views No comments

The team at Heavenly Tea Leaves only enjoys one thing as much as we do tea, and that's traveling. Through our adventures and research, we have discovered that in each part of the world, tea truly takes on a new meaning. From Tibet to Turkey, the types of tea that people drink and the way they drink it are much more diverse than you'd expect. What ties most of these deep-rooted traditions together is the respect for tea, the process by which it is made, and its ability to unite people.

Like other nature-derived beverages, teas and tisanes can come from different plants, be grown at different elevations, harvested and picked at different times, and processed to bring out certain properties over others. In each country, there is usually a preferred tea type. And what to pair with that tea? It depends where you are. Sugar, butter, cream, tamarind seeds, and lemon are just a few additions that are common around the world. You can serve tea hot, extremely hot, or iced. One of the most famous tea-time rituals is the ancient tea ceremony of Japan, which has made certain that in Far East culture, tea is much more than a beverage – it's a highly regarded tradition. By contrast, in the American South, people like their tea iced, super-sweet, and often on-the-go in a disposable cup.

But just because you live in one country, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy and adopt the time-honored tea traditions of another. We've rounded up some of the most interesting global tea traditions that you may want to make your own one day:

Mint in Morocco

Touareg tea, more commonly known as Moroccan mint tea, is a staple in the North African country. It's customary to drink three cups of this black tea, poured from a curved spout held high above the cup (same goes in Turkey), infused with fresh mint leaves and often sweetened with sugar. Moroccan mint tea is usually served as part of a celebration or accompanying a delicious breakfast.

Turkish Tea Time

Brew black tea for approximately ten minutes and slightly dilute the mixture with some piping-hot water for a traditional glass of Turkish tea. Turkish tea is similar to Persian tea in its composition and in the traditions around it – namely, the ultimate hospitality toward family, friends, and even strangers.

Iran - an Ancient Tea Tradition

Brewed with a samovar - a water heater-crockpot hybrid adopted from Russia which is filled with wood or charcoal (modern versions use a heating element), and a small pot filled with water and caravan of concentrated tea placed on top,the ideal Persian tea is strong and reddish-brown in color. Before serving, the preparer will pour a bit into a cup to check its color and warm up the cup. Pouring the small sample back into the pot helps to stir the ingredients and distribute them evenly. Out of the home, a common place to gather and enjoy tea is a chaikhaneh, or tea house.

Russian Samovar Style

The centerpiece of Russian tea-making (like in Persian tea-making) is the samovar. The result is a concentrated black tea brew called zavarka. To serve, a bit of zavarka is poured into each drinker's cup and flavored with lemon, fruit, herbs, sugar, honey, or jam. Sometimes, hot cups are placed in decorative, metal holders known as podstakannik ("the thing under the glass") to keep them from burning the fingers. In Russia, hospitality, warmth, friendship, and tea are intertwined, and it is still considered polite to offer guests a cup upon entering one's home.

Argen-tea-na

Yerba Mate is South America's chai and originates in Argentina. This tisane is served hot and unsweetened and drunk through a special straw called a bombilla. The rules: don't stir the tea with the bombilla and always refuse a cup upon the first offer as a polite gesture (Same goes in Iran!).

Better with Butter in Tibet

Tibet is home to butter tea, or Po cha, a potent concoction that keeps you warm, cleanses the body, and serves as a centerpiece for time with family, friends, and even total strangers. To prepare this unique beverage, pu-erh tea cakes are crumbled into hot water and boiled for several hours to create a strong brew called chaku, which is stored, then blended with salt and yak butter in a wooden churn called a chandong.

Ceremonial in China

Although tea is all over Chinese culture, one place the tea ceremony dominates is at weddings. As a way for the bride and groom to pay respect to their parents, it usually uses pu'erh or jasmine tea with lotus seeds and dates as symbols of fertility. The couple leans on red cushions and assume various symbolic positions as important family heirlooms are passed down.

Taiwanese Tapioca

Bubble tea – the worldwide phenomenon of iced milk teas (black, green, jasmine, or oolong) accompanied by tapioca pearls – originated in Taiwan. A cross between tea and dessert, it often includes powdered milk and a flavored syrup. Taiwanese bubble tea is a modern twist on the time-honored tea drinks of its close neighbor, China.

England's Afternoon Addiction

England is the spot where afternoon tea has been a way of life since the early 1800s. Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, invented high tea, where black tea (customarily Assam) accompanied by a light meal was consumed with upper-class companions or family in the late afternoon in an era when lunch wasn't customary. The "high" in high tea simply recalls the tall tables at which the tea was consumed.

Japan's Chanoyu Tea Ceremony

Influenced by Zen Buddhism, the Japanese chanoyu tea ceremony involves the ritualized preparation, presentation, and consumption of powdered green tea, called matcha. Rooted in ideals of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility, the chanoyu offers deep connection in a peaceful setting. From etiquette and flower arrangements to the proper use of tea-making equipment and kimono-wearing, each ritual has its place.

India's Chai Culture

Chai, India's national drink, stands on nearly every street corner. It's offered to guests, consumed during meals and breaks, or offered as a complimentary beverage in shops. Traditionally prepared using loose black tea, a generous helping of leaves is combined with water, milk, and spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns). The resulting mixture is then strained to remove solids and sweetened with sugar.

Sweet Tea in the (American) South

Served in restaurants and at homes in the U.S. South, sweet tea is a regional favorite and an entertaining must. Strong black tea is brewed hot then chilled and accompanied by a lot of sugar and fresh lemon, plus a dash of baking soda to reduce cloudiness. For hot and humid weather, few drinks are more refreshing.

Trendy Thai Tea

In balmy Thailand, tea takes an icy approach. Brewed in a cotton tea sock using strong Ceylon tea, orange blossom water, licorice, crushed tamarind seed, star anise, and other flavorful ingredients, the beverage has a truly unique character and color. A "healthy" dose of sugar is blended with the mixture, which is then poured over ice, finished off with a splash of condensed milk, and served in tall glasses.


The common theme among these global tea traditions is the unification of family and friends. Whether enjoyed in the home, at a tea house, or at a special event, tea is the beverage that carries through from one memorable moment to the next.