Posts tagged Tea information
Tea Espresso and Cappuccino

Ever wonder how to make a tea espresso drink using an espresso machine? If you love espresso coffee drinks chances are you will also enjoy a cup of tea espresso drink.

The process of making an espresso from tea is pretty straightforward and almost identical to making coffee espresso. However, there are a few keys to a delicious cup of tea espresso drink. Let's go through them in this article.

Pictured above is a tea cappuccino made using our  Malawi Chisunga .

Pictured above is a tea cappuccino made using our Malawi Chisunga.

Type of tea to make espresso

Black tea is most suitable for espresso making. Black tea is a fully oxidized tea which means it has a fuller and more robust taste. Black tea also takes high temperature and pressure well. This is very important because we want to extract the flavor and at the same time preserve the taste of the tea. Black tea is the ideal candidate due to its oxidation level. Other types such as green and white teas are more delicate and just slightly oxidized. They just can’t tolerate high temperatures and pressure. 

Malawi Chisunga  CTC Tea Grounds after brewing. 

Malawi Chisunga CTC Tea Grounds after brewing. 

We highly recommend using CTC black tea

CTC stands for “crush, tear, curl”. CTC is a tea making process. In this process, tea leaves are processed and broken down to astandard size through the use of machinery.  CTC teas are perfect for espresso making because they are broken down into very small pallets. Flavor can be extracted more easily from CTC tea leaves because of their shape and size.

CTC tea in the porta-filter.

CTC tea in the porta-filter.

Don’t overfill the porta-filter

Fill and tamp the porta-filter as how you normally would with your coffee. If the brew is too strong and you are enjoying it with no milk, you can dilute it with hot water. When making cappuccino and latte, we recommend experimenting with different amounts of milk/foam to get the right ratio. 

Tea espresso dripping out into the cups.

Tea espresso dripping out into the cups.

Now let’s turn on the machine and make some tea espresso! 

Enjoy! 

Peppermint
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Peppermint is a hybrid between spearmint and watermint.

The best peppermint comes from the northwestern United States. The pure, moist mountain air of the spring and early summer growing season gives this peppermint some of the highest volatile oil counts of any member of the mint family.

It is often consumed after meals as the oils stimulate the flow of bile to the stomach and helps relieve gas pains. Additionally, it has been reported and written that peppermint sweetens the breath and calms the digestive system, plus it helps heartburn, stomach ache and nausea. An interesting and tingling way to use peppermint is to place a handful of peppermint leaves in your bath water which will lower your body temperature - perfect for cooling fevered skin or after working on a hot summer’s day.

Peppermint is a primary ingredient in remedies used in the relief of gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, and local aches and pains. Because of its bright, pungent flavor, peppermint is often used to mask the unpleasant taste of various medicines. Peppermint tea is made from both the leaves and the flowers. As a hot tea it is cool and refreshing, as an iced tea the menthol content produces a pleasantly chilling taste sensation.

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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of peppermint for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the flavor). Pour into your cup. Milk or sugar is not generally added to the cup.

Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.

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How to use a Moka pot to brew tea.
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Have you ever wanted a very robust, bold and full-flavored cup of tea? 

If you have a stovetop Moka pot at home, try brewing tea in a Moka pot. You may be surprised by how robust and flavorful the tea is. Tea brewed in Moka pot also makes very delicious Black Tea Latte. 

What kind of tea is best for Moka pot? 

From our experience, black tea is more suitable for Moka pot. Black tea is fully oxidized which means it takes high temperature and pressure very well. Other types of tea, such as green and white teas, don't tolerate high water temperature well and can easily over brew.

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How to use a Moka pot to make tea.

  • Fill the base of the Moka pot with hot water.

  • Put tea leaves in the filter container. Level and smooth the tea leaves using a spoon and don't over fill the filter.

  • Screw on the top part (spout) and place Moka pot on the stove.
  • Turn stove on to medium flame. Make sure not to burn the handle of the pot.
  • Take the pot off the stove as soon as tea starts dribbling out.
  • Pour the tea into a cup. Enjoy the tea as it is. Or add steam milk to make a Tea Latte.
  • Enjoy! 
When tea starts dribbling out, take the pot off the stove. 

When tea starts dribbling out, take the pot off the stove. 

Japanese Kukicha Green Tea

Kukicha or 茎茶 is a green tea from Japan. Kukicha in Japanese means stem or twig tea. Like it’s name suggests, Kukicha consists of both green tea leaves and young tea stems. 

Pictured above is our Kukicha. Ours is Gyokuro and Sencha base green tea with both young leaves and delicate tea stems. Click “ here ” to view product.

Pictured above is our Kukicha. Ours is Gyokuro and Sencha base green tea with both young leaves and delicate tea stems. Click “here” to view product.

Because of the addition of delicate tea stems, Kukicha has a unique flavor that is nutty and slightly creamy. The Umami level is very high in this tea because of the production method. Umami is a Japanese term for natural savory taste associated with amino acids especially the L-glutamate amino acid. It is used to describe the unique flavor from meats, cheese, vegetables and tea. 

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Kukicha is a low caffeine green tea. It has just half the caffeine of what regular green tea has. This makes it a popular afternoon and evening tea.

There are different grades and types of Kukicha. Our version is more sought after by tea drinkers in Japan, because it is Gyokuro and Sencha based. The addition of Gyokuro makes it more flavorful and intensifies the “Umami”. 

For brewing, we recommend using 1 heaping teaspoon of tea leaves per 8 oz. of water at 180°F (80°C). Steeping time is 2-3 minutes. The same leaves can be infused multiple times.

Kukicha also makes refreshing cold brewed tea. For cold brewing instructions please see our Cold Brewing Guide.

 

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Sangria Iced Tea
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This thirst quenching tropical delight is an alcohol free Iced Tea Sangria. It is a perfect kids friendly summer drink. Please see recipe below for ingredients and direction.

Ingredients to made a 60 oz. pitcher:

  • 5 teaspoons of Black Tea . We used our Assam Behora Estate for its strength and malty flavor. 
  • 2 cups of fruits. Use fruits and berries that are fresh at your local market. We used strawberries, mandarin oranges, sweet tomatos, and apricots.
  • Honey or sugar to taste. Alternatively, use stevia extract to make a sugar free version. 
  • 1 lime and 5 fresh mint leaves.   
  • Ice. 

Direction:

  • Wash, peel and cut the fruits into bite size pieces and put them into a pitcher.
  • Add mint leaves and honey (or sugar) in the pitcher. 
  • Muddle and mash the fruits, mint and sweetener for 30 seconds.
  • Fill pitcher with ice.
  • Bring 30 oz. of water to a boil. Then use a tea pot (or a heat resistant pot) and steep the tea leaves in the freshly boiled water for 5 minutes.
  • When tea is brewed, strain and pour tea into the ice-filled pitcher.
  • Stir well and top off with more ice if needed.  

Enjoy!

Matcha Latte.
Matcha latte make using our Matcha Green. Click  “here”  to view product. 

Matcha latte make using our Matcha Green. Click “here” to view product. 

Matcha latte is fairly easy to make. Below are some basic steps to a nice cafe quality Matcha latte.

Steps:

  1. Put about 1/2 teaspoonmatcha in a mug or glass
  2. Add sweetener to taste
  3. Heat or steam the Milk or Soy Milk
  4. Add milk slowly while whisking/stirring the tea at the same time.
  5. Can also add whip cream on top and sprinkle some chocolate powder.

Enjoy!! 

Assam Hunwal Estate

This is a FBOP (flowery broken orange pekoe) graded Assam tea from Hunwal estate. 

The brewed cup has the classic Assam tea characters and has a finish that is more delicate. It is full-bodied, malty and smooth. The astringency is slightly less prominent than a typical Assam tea. This is due to the tippy leave presence in the tea. The result is a well balanced tea that is good on its own or with a few drops of milk. If you are looking for a smoother Assam tea that has more depth, give this Hunwal estate tea a try. You will not be disappointed.

 

Assam Hunwal
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Japanese Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea).

Hojicha is a charcoal roasted Japanese charcoal roasted green tea.  The tea base for Hojicha is a summer harvested green tea called Bancha. 

Bancha is tea that contains both tea leaves and tea twigs. After the roasting process, the leaves and twigs turn brown and gives off a nice toasty aroma. 

When brewed, Hojicha makes a nutty cup of tea that is slightly sweet with a very clean finish. It is also excellent when served as an iced tea. 

The roasting process takes the vegetal/grassy edge off the green leaves and reduces the caffeine to a minimal level. The low caffeine content makes Hojicha a popular evening tea in Japan. For the same reason, it is also the tea of choice for children and elderly in Japan.

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Matcha Green Tea and Oatmeal

Want a delicious and healthy breakfast to start your day? This nutrient packed Matcha green tea and oatmeal breakfast should get you charged up for the day.

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Pictured above is a freshly made Matcha Oatmeal with almond milk, pine nuts, almond pieces and sweet red beans.  It is delicious, packed full of nutrients and energizing.

It is very easy to prepare. First, make an oatmeal like you normally would. We put in almond milk just because we like how it tastes. Alternatively, you can use regular milk, coconut milk  or rice milk.

Second, whisk 1 teaspoon of Matcha with 1-2 ounces of water to make a thick/dense matcha green tea and add it to the oatmeal. 

Finally, put some nuts, and/or fruits according to your preference. We like to use pine nuts , cut up almonds and sweet red beans.

Enjoy! 

 

 

Black Dragon Pearls Tea

This Black Dragon Pearls Tea, also called Yunnan Black Pearls, is a hand rolled small batch production from Yunnan, China.  

 

The beautiful tea pearls are hand rolled using only the highest quality leaves and buds. 

It is an exceptional tea from the Dian Hong tea category. It brews a cup that is earthy, sweet, and mellow. It is Complex but with low astringency. Very forgiving tea that still tastes good when over brewed. Delicious tea that can be enjoyed all day long.

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The tea making process of Bruising

Bruising is a Tea making technique that breaks down the structures of leaf cells in order to promote oxidation of the tea leaves. It is a very important step in the making of oolong tea and black tea as the bruising allow for oxidative enzymes to work. 

In the making of oolong tea, the bruising is done by tossing or tumbling the tea leaves in containers. After the tossing and/or tumbling  the edges of tea leaves are bruised and the oxidation starts. 

Depending on the desired level of oxidation, some oolong teas are just lightly oxidized, while some other oolong teas are further oxidized. Taste of oolong teas can vary largely due to different degrees of oxidation. The less oxidized oolong teas usually taste more floral and vetegtal. The darker, more oxidized oolong teas take on a fuller taste profile that is earthy, nutty, and sometimes toasty.

Pictured here is the infused leaves of the lightly oxidized  Jade Oolong  tea. It is noticeable that the edges of the leaves are bruised while the overall appearance of the leaves remained green. 

Pictured here is the infused leaves of the lightly oxidized Jade Oolong tea. It is noticeable that the edges of the leaves are bruised while the overall appearance of the leaves remained green. 

Black tea on the other hand, after the bruising, usually goes through the oxidation process completely. This means most black teas are fully oxidized. And as a result, they have a full bodied profile with little to no vegetal taste.  

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Pictured above is a brewed cup of Golden Monkey black tea.  

Want more information? Visit our other blog posts and the information page on our website.

Very Berry Fruit Blend

If you like an all natural antioxidants filled caffeine free fruit blend, you should definitely try the Very Berry blend. 

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We blended delicious and nutritious fruits and herbs to make this tea. The ingredients are black currants, raspberries, elderberries, bilberries, hibiscus flowers and rose hips. 

Very Berry makes excellent iced tea. When garnished with some honey,  kids will sure love this fruit punch like healthy tea.

Visit this link to view product  https://www.beantowntea.com/herbal-tea/very-berry

Green Curls Green Tea

A high altitude grown crisp green tea with depths and classic green tea characters. 

Green Curls make a perfect afternoon tea.  

Green Curls make a perfect afternoon tea.  

Green Curls are grown in the mountainous area of Fujian province. The leaves are tigltly rolled and green in appearance. The cup is crisp and complex with little to no vegetal grassiness. It is slightly smokey and pleasantly refreshing. Excellent both hot and iced. 

If you would like more information, click “here” to visit the product page  

Pouchong Oolong

Pouchong Oolong is a very green (slightly oxidized) Oolong from Taiwan.  

The leaf appearance of Pouchong is green and wavy. Click  here  to view this product.

The leaf appearance of Pouchong is green and wavy. Click here to view this product.

It is arguably the greenest Oolong of all. Pouchong brews a very floral cup with melon like fragrance.  It has a lot of the green tea characteristics but does not have the sharp green tea vegetal notes. Its name in Chinese, literally "the wrapped kind", refers to a practice of wrapping the leaves in paper during the drying process that has largely been discontinued due to advancement in tea processing. At its best, Pouchong gives a floral and melon fragrance and has a rich, mild taste.

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Brewed Pouchong. 

Japanes Tencha The Tea Base For Making Matcha
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So what is Tencha? Tencha is a unique kind of green tea from Japan. It is a green tea of the Gyokuro variety. In the past, it was used almost solely as a the base for Matcha. In short, Matcha is a finely ground version of Tencha.

Since Tencha is a Gyokuro variety, some would wonder what the differences are between Tencha and the famouse Gyokuro.

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Firstly, it is harvested a little differently than Gyokuro. tencha leaves plucking is “three leaves and a bud”, while the Gyokuro plucking is “two leaves and a bud” on a tea branch. In layman’s term, when compared, the Tencha making calls for leaves that are slightly older. This is necessary, because Tencha needs to have a fuller flavor in order to produce a good Matcha. 

Secondly, Tencha is flat, while the Gyokuro is rolled to needle like shape after the steaming processe. The reason for Tencha leaves being flat is that staying flat makes it easier to strip of the stems and veins. Stems and veins will bring bitterness and undesired flavor to Matcha. 

So who does it taste? The taste profile of Tencha is similar to Gyokuro. However, because the leaves are little bit older and stems are striped, Tencha has a fuller body and taste sweeter.

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Availabilty of Tencha is more limited due to the fact that it is produced mainly for Matcha production.  

If you are a fan of Japanese teas such as Gyokuro, Sencha and Matcha, you should definitely give Tencha a try.

Hojicha & Kukicha Mix
50/50 blend of Japanese Hojicha and Kukicha

50/50 blend of Japanese Hojicha and Kukicha

Hojicha is a classic roasted green tea from Japan. It is low in caffeine and has a clean toasty and slightly sweet taste.  

Kukicha is also a traditional green tea from Japan. It is uniquely flavorful. It brews a light cup of tea that is nutty with a  slightly creamy finish. It is very rich in antioxidants and low in caffeine as well. 

We made this blend at the request of a customer. And since we love both teas, we thought we should at keep some for ourselves. When we first tried it, we were surprised at how good and different it tasted. We loved it so much that we decided to add this blend to our roster. It should become available very soon.

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So what does the blend of Hojicha and Kukicha taste like? It is very crisp, toasty and slightly sweet. Notes of honey and walnuts are very noticeable. It does not taste astringent at all. This blend is perfect for cold brewing, because of its taste profile.  

If you are a fan of Japanese green tea you should definitely give it a try. 

Cheers! 

Darjeeling Margaret’s Hope Estate

Darjeeling Margaret’s Hope estate 2nd flush TGFOP. This stable Darjeeling tea is such a classic. Medium body with right amount of astringency. The signature Muscatel grape notes are prominent. It compliments desserts and snacks very well. For someone who is new to Darjeeling Tea, this is a relatively inexpensive easy pick as an introduction to the regions great teas.

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More information: The bushes at Margaret’s Hope are almost entirely the Chinese Jat (genus) accounting for the green leafed tippy appearance of the manufactured leaf and the superb fragrance. Because the tea is grown at such high altitudes and in relatively cool weather the bushes do not grow quickly, and as such the production is limited. The best time of the year for quality is during ‘second-flush’ (end May - end June). During this time Darjeelings are incomparable to any other tea in the world. The fragrance and taste is a complex bouquet that reaches right out of the cup. Some would describe the taste as nutty; others find it reminds them of black currants, but most often it is described as similar to the taste and fragrance of muscat grapes.

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Green Tea vs. Black Tea

What are the differences between Green and Black teas?

This is a 2 parts question. First is how are Green and Black teas compared to each other from a production stand point? Second is what and how are they different as end products? Now lets expend on them and discuss further.

Firstly, lets take a look at how Green and Black teas are produced. Green and Black teas are both produced from the same plant which is called Camellia Sinensis. The sub cultivars of each tea maybe different, but they all belong to the Camellia Sinensis family.

The oxidation process is what sets Green and Black teas apart. Green tea is very lightly oxidized (less than 1%-15%), where as Black tea is fully oxidized. The oxidation is a process which the chlorophyll in the tea leaves is enzymatically broken down. Tannins are also released during the oxidation. This oxidation process is often times referred to as "fermentation" in the tea industry.

Green and Black teas got their name from the colors of the produced tea leaves. Because most of the chlorophyll is preserved, Green tea still retain the green appearance of the plant. Black tea appear black because the chlorophyll is broken down.

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Secondly, lets look at the differences between them as final products. Although both types of tea are rich in antioxidants, Green tea is richer in antioxidants than Black tea due to a lower oxidation level.

Studies have found that Both Green and Black tea may help boosting our energy and keeping us alert. Black tea has more caffeine than Green tea. 1 g of black tea has 22 to 28 mg of caffeine, while 1 g of green tea has 11to 20 mg of caffeine. The energizing effect is why Black tea is a stable breakfast drink in many parts of the world.

Some long term studies have shown that Black tea is beneficial to our cardiovascular system. This means regular and long term consumption may help in maintaining a healthier heart.

For Green tea, researches show that the catechins and other nutrients in Green tea may help lowering the blood sugars. Drinking 2 to 3 cups of Green tea is also believe to be very beneficial in weight control.

The conclusion

In conclusion, both Green and Black tea are healthy and can be very beneficial to our health. However, in order to reap the benefits of tea, we need to establish a habit of consuming 2-3 cups of tea a day every day. So the key here is to find the teas that we love to enjoy. Because if we enjoy the experience of drinking tea, it is then very naturalto establish a long term and consistent consumption of this healthy beverage.

So if you are already a regular tea drinker, stick to your favorite teas. If you are new to tea, try different types of teas and find some that you love to enjoy! Cheers

 
 
Japanese Genmaicha Green Tea
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Genmaicha is a specialty Japanese green tea that is blended with fire-toasted rice. A good grade Japanese sencha is blended with the toasted rice. The fresh vegetative character of the green tea is imparted on the cup but it is tempered with the bakey-like character of the rice. There is a natural sweetness and almost chewy character to the finish of this tea. During the firing of the rice, it is common for rice to ‘pop’ like popcorn, hence the name "popcorn-tea"

Country of Origin: Japan

Grade: Sencha Genmaicha

Manufacture Type: Steamed green tea

Cup Characteristics: Light brownish yellow liquor with toasty flavor, tending sweet.

What Is White Tea
 
Aged Snowbud White Tea.  Click to view product.

Aged Snowbud White Tea. Click to view product.

What is White Tea

To describe very briefly, White Tea is a kind of tea that has not undergone any oxidation (fermentation) process. When infused, white tea makes a pale yellow to light amber color cup of tea with delicate, floral and fresh flavor.

Production

Take the most common white tea, White Peony (Pai Mu Tan), as an example. Tea leaves are plucked from a special varietal tea bush called Narcissus or chaicha bushes. Secondly the leaves are not steamed or pan-fired (the process used in green teas). The leaves are naturally withered and dried in the sun. If mechanical drying is required it is a baking process at temperatures less that 40’C. Thirdly only special ‘two leaves and a bud’ are selected. These leaves must show a very light green almost gray white color and be covered with velvet peach fuzz down. White teas that are withered in conditions that are too hot with become reddish and in conditions that are too cold they will become blackish.

Health Benefits

Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon tested white teas on selected rats to test for the ability of white teas to inhibit natural mutations in bacteria and to protect the rats from colon cancer. Interestingly, white teas were found to be more effective than green tea in inhibiting the early stages of cancer but researchers were quick to point out that their study was on rats and the effects should not be extrapolated to humans. The researchers also discovered that white tea contains higher levels of caffeine compared to green tea brewed under the same conditions. They suggested that this could occur because white tea oxidizes during withering whereas in green tea the oxidation process is stopped early in the tea making process by steaming or panfiring.

 
 

The western cosmetic industry also has recently discovered the benefits of white tea. In addition to its anticancer properties, tea has a calming and detoxifying effect on the skin. White tea is especially potent in that it is has three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green or black tea and has been shown to be 100% more effective in mopping up free radicals that cause skin to sag. Some of the world’s top cosmetic companies are becoming very interested in white tea for skin creams and the result is that high grade white tea is becoming even rarer than before.