Aug 31 2013 In Tea Journal By Chris
Experiencing Tea, Going Beyond the Teabag
People’s experience of tea often goes as far as grabbing a box off the shelf, tearing open a pouch, and dunking a teabag into a mug of hot water. The idea of having loose tea can sometimes be daunting or even foreign. However, it has been my experience that most people, once introduced to quality tea, will not go back to settling for a teabag.
What’s the big deal? Whole leaf tea is a completely different experience than what you get with a teabag. The small particulates in a teabag are what are known in the industry as ‘dust and fannings’—literally the bottom of the barrel. Loose tea tends to be fresher, containing higher levels of the essential oil in the leaf. The essential oils are what give tea its flavor notes, character, as well as all those great health benefits you hear about. The resulting cup has rich, full flavor and depth. This is where the excitement occurs. Much like savoring fine wines, there are colors, aromas, sensations, and flavor layers to explore.
Did you know that black tea, green tea, white tea and oolong all come from the same plant, camellia sinensis? If it doesn’t, then technically it is classified as an herbal or tisane. The processing of the tea leaf once it’s picked off the tea bush is what determines the style—black, green, white, or oolong. And in those diverse styles, the range of teas produced is vast. All you have to do is take a quick tour around our Sit-n-Sniff Table to see firsthand.
Not all teas are the same. Just as loose tea is different from what is contained in a teabag, there are quality variances in loose tea as well. Simply having any loose tea doesn’t make it high quality or healthy for you. Unfortunately, many companies pollute what is natural by adding sweeteners, artificial flavors, and preservatives. Further, much of tea on the market comes from very large plantations using machine processing and questionable growing practices.
What makes Discover Teas different? We specialize in hand harvested teas that are all natural. No preservatives, no pesticides, nothing artificial. We are exclusive in who and where we source our teas from around the world, partnering with those who have similar values and business ideals—eco-friendly and sustainable practices. We tend to work with smaller plantations, growers, and long established estates. The teas are hand plucked by expert pickers who have learned their craft passed down for generations. Not only can you taste the incredible difference in the cup, you can see it in the leaves themselves.
Whether you’re a novice or connoisseur, exploring tea and enriching your experience in the cup is what we are all about. With over 100 different teas and herbs, we have your cup of tea! Education is a big part of what we do and offer free tea classes as well. Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates and visit us online at www.DiscoverTeas.com.