All posts filed under: Tea Culture

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The humble black tea

Black tea is easily to be forgotten these days, a distant memory nestled away somewhere with your grandmother and her biscuits. With the increased popularity and range of herbal and green teas, this humble tea is often overlooked for more exotic options. However, we feel black tea has a lot to offer and shouldn’t be neglected on your next tea purchase. Black tea has been enjoyed by cultures around the world from as early as 2700 BC in ancient China. It has a bold, earthy flavour as well energizing effects. Distinct from green and white teas, black tea is allowed to oxidise or ferment for some time following harvest. This is what gives it such a rich flavour profile. Along with its full bodied flavour, black tea has a range of health benefits that should not be overlooked. It is calorie free and packed with plenty of caffeine to help energise you in the morning. Perhaps next time you need a coffee, try black tea instead as each serving contains on average 50- 70 mg …

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The Origins of High Tea

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the indulgent High Tea? It was one of Queen Victoria’s closest friends, Duchess Anna who had a hand in creating the afternoon tea. Anna complained of having “that sinking feeling” one late afternoon. She wanted something small to satisfy her hunger until dinner time. And so the afternoon tea was born. When the rest of the high society women became aware of this new event, which was perfect for eliminating their afternoon ennui, they took it upon themselves to transform it into a serious affair. They would come to afternoon tea dressed in long gowns, gloves, hats, and have their tea served to them in opulent drawing rooms between the hours of four and five o’clock. When summer came around, the wealthy ladies took their afternoon tea outside to their beautifully manicured gardens. This piqued the interest of the lords and men of the house, where they quickly joined the ladies in this activity. Tea was a rare and expensive beverage at this time and was only …

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How To Judge The Quality Of Tea

Don’t get suckered into buying tea that is overpriced and low quality, learn to distinguish the good from the bad with this simple guide. The Look It is usually best for the tea leaves to be whole and unbroken, as broken leaves can create a bitter taste. However some black teas are cut on purpose to give it a stronger flavour. When choosing a good quality green tea, opt for smaller buds and leaves as this generally produces a more delicate flavour. When green tea is brewed, the colour should be a fresh subtle green. If the leaves are old the colour will be murkier and brownish. Black tea should be vibrant reddish gold when brewed. The Smell If you can’t smell anything when the tea leaves are dry, then they are very likely to be of a poor quality. Dry green tea should have a fresh fragrance while black tea should have a sweet floral fragrance. The Feel The texture of the tea can tell you a lot about its quality. For example, a good …

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A Simple Guide to Pairing Tea with Food

While most people associate sommeliers with wine, there is a new expert in beverage matching emerging; tea sommeliers. These experts are part of a growing trend of pairing food with tea in order to accentuate and complement the flavours of a dish. As any true tea lover will know, the diversity of flavours and aromas of tea is almost limitless, making it the perfect beverage to complement food. This trend originated in France but is growing in popularity across the globe, as tea takes on a more prominent role in the dining experience. If you’d like to enhance the flavour of your meals and be the first of your friends to pick up on this trend, try following this beginner’s guide to pairing tea with food. White Tea White tea has a very subtle and delicate flavor, meaning that it will be easily overpowered by strongly flavoured foods. White tea should be paired with lightly flavoured, fresh foods such as salads or steamed fish. Check out our range of white teas here. Green Tea While more strongly …

10.17.14

Spring quencher: Blackcurrant flavoured black tea

Spring has arrived, and with it extended sunny afternoons giving a chance to relax and re-energise! Our blackcurrant tea is the perfect thirst-quencher with an added immune-system boost: brew a cup of this deep fruity tea in the afternoon for a naturally sweet pick-me-up while the sun mellows into dusk. Benefits: Blended with black tea, a cup of blackcurrant tea will offer you all the comfort of your traditional favourite with an added fruity edge. Added blackberry leaves are full of vitamin C, naturally restoring your immune system to its peak after a long winter! The tannins naturally found in the blackberry leaf are known to alleviate mouth and throat inflammations and ease heavy menstrual flow. It is also widely thought that blackberry leaf properties help the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract. Brewing: This tea is perfect on its own for a tart, fruity brew. Add milk to reduce the effect of tannins for a more calming cup. Check out our iced tea recipes and get inspired to try your own interpretations with your …

7.4.14

Teas That Bloom!

Our handcrafted blooming teas are teas that literally bloom as they infuse. These blooms are a combination of white tea and various flowers. They start out as white tea and our tea company uses highly skilled women who take the delicate white tea leaves and combine them with dried flowers such as Jasmine, Lily, Amaranth and Marigolds to produce wonderful tea balls. This process is all carried out by hand and very labour intensive. How do they work? During the process of gathering the white tea leaves together and binding them with the dried flowers, small pockets of air are left. When the blooms are placed in hot water to infuse, the air in the spaces expands forcing the bloom to open.

7.3.14

White Tea …….Surprisingly Light, Refreshing and Very Healthy

White Tea is a beautifully light tea to drink, low in caffeine and high in anti-oxidants. This tea is from the camellia sinensis plant and classed as a true tea it goes through very little processing and is highly prized by tea connoisseurs the world over. Forget the cuppa with milk and two sugars this tea is not like any tea you have had, when infused correctly it is light and refreshing with none of the heaviness or bitterness found in more conventional teas. It is perfect for almost everyone because of its low caffeine and has enormous health benefits. White Tea is full of anti-oxidants, green tea is very well-known for being full of anti-oxidants but white tea has even more of them. To put it simply the anti-oxidants get rid of the bad stuff and neutralizes toxins in our body…the more we drink the more it can keep us from getting sick! This wonderful tea can also help lower your blood pressure and help with the health of your arteries. It is also …

6.17.14

Japanese Tea Ceremonies

In keeping with our new Japanese tea pots and washi canisters I thought I would look into tea in Japan, however before I do that it made me think of the Australian Tea Ceremony! What is the Australian tea ceremony you ask….it is taking a battered old billy can with a thin wire handle and lid, bringing it to the boil over an open fire, throwing a fistful of tea in for each person and one for the pot when it comes to the boil. Leave the billy can over the fire for a minute and then take you hat or some other insulating material and after taking the tin off the fire with a stick grab the handle with you hat and swing it around in a big circle about three times so that all the tea leaves will go to the bottom and you don’t have to strain them through your teeth as you try to drink them from your tin cup. Mmmm Japanese formality or fair dinkum Aussie billy tea. I think …

6.11.14

Loose Leaf Tea vs Tea bags

Which should you go with? iTea only uses premium tea for our small range of Pyramid bags so you are safe with either when you purchase from us. The tea that you find in commercial brand supermarket brands and loose leaf tea come from the same plant but there are several things that affect the quality and taste of your final cup of tea. The premium tea that we use for our white, green or black tea is from the Camellia sinensis plant’s hand-picked buds, whole tea leaves, large pieces of leaves or a combination of both. And like a fine wine it is affected by where it is grown, soil conditions and the time of year. The tea that you find in the off the supermarket shelf tea usually is smaller pieces of leaves or fannings (also referred to as dust). Many years ago when I first met my husband I went into David Jones to purchase some tea for my husband as a gift. His father had been a tea planter before he …

5.19.14

An Interesting Way To Recycle!

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I am flicking through the channels…a very annoying habit! When I come across a british program on tea. Since I am involved in the tea industry it spikes my interest although it was almost over I got interested in what they were saying about the tea industry in Calcutta India and in particular the Chai Wallahs who operate there. These gentlemen serve there tea in little pottery cups that are used once and then thrown away. Ok you might think a waste however the clay is dragged out of the Hooghly River that branches off the Ganges River. The little cups are thrown on a pottery wheel by men from the poorer regions who earn money to support their families. After the cups are used they eventually find their way back to the river where they are broken back down into clay! Now we do not want to think too hard about the fact that the Ganges River is very dirty and this a subsidiary river so it is probably …