Posts in Black Tea
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! 

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. 

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!

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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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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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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Earl Grey

The perfect late morning and afternoon tea.  

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Our Earl Grey has an unbelievable aroma that portends an unbelievable taste. A correct balance of flavoring results in a piquant and refreshing true Earl Grey taste that goes well with pastries and cakes. The true taste from the bergamot oil creates an Earl Grey that calls you back for more. No wonder it is the most consumed afternoon tea.

 

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

 
 
Black Tea and Its Production

What is Black Tea

Black Tea is a fully fermented (oxidized) tea. It is the most common form of tea in southern Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc.). Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the more lightly oxidized teas. The characteristic flavors of black tea range from flowery to fruity, nutty and spicy.

Processing and Production of Black Tea

After the harvest, the leaves are first withered by blowing air on them.
Then black teas are processed in either of two ways, CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) or orthodox. The CTC method is used for lower quality leaves that end up in tea bags and are processed by machines. This method is efficient and effective for producing a better quality product from medium and lower quality leaves. Orthodox processing is done either by machines or by hand. Hand processing is used for high quality teas. While the methods employed in orthodox processing differ by tea type, this style of processing results in the high quality loose tea sought by many connoisseurs.
Next, the leaves are oxidized under controlled temperature and humidity. (This process is also called "fermentation" although no actual fermentation is taken place.)
Then the leaves are dried to arrest the oxidation process.
Finally, the leaves are sorted into grades according their sizes (whole leaf, broken leaf, fannings and dust), usually with the use of sieves. The tea could be further sub-graded according to other criteria.
 

Below are the basic grades for whole leaf orthodox black tea (for more information on grading of tea leaves click Here)

  • OP (Orange Pekoe)
  • FOP (Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • GFOP (Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • FTGFOP (Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • SFTGFOP (Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)