Understanding the palette of loose leaf teas
You may think all black teas are the same, but where it’s grown, when it’s picked and who is processing it greatly changes the aroma and flavor of those powerful little leaves. Climate, altitude, and soil can all create different flavor profiles in your tea. Many popular black teas come from India, China, Sri Lanka, and Africa. Black teas are considered fully oxidized which give them a bold, full bodied taste. If you’re looking for a morning tea to get you going, this is a great place to start.
2-3 minutes at 212ºF
Green teas bring fresh and vibrant flavors to your tea cup. These flavors vary greatly depending on where it’s grown and how it’s processed. Popular green teas from China & Japan are among our favorites (Gunpowder & Sencha).It’s important to note that brewing green tea requires a much lower temperature than black tea. If you’ve brewed up a green tea and thought it was too bitter, chances are you used water that was too hot. The exact temperature depends on the type of tea, but as a general rule it should be around 175 degrees. If bitterness has been your only experience with green tea give it a try again with the right temperature. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the depth of flavor you can achieve with the proper brewing technique.
2-3 minutes at 170ºF
Herbal teas are made from the infusion of herbs, spices, florals, or other plant material in hot water. They do not usually contain caffeine. Herbal teas should not be confused with true teas (e.g., black, green, white), which are prepared from the cured leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis), nor with decaffeinated tea, in which the caffeine has been removed. Like beverages made from true teas, herbal teas can be served hot or cold. The possibilities of variation in herbals is practically endless, thus herbals have one of the largest flavor palettes available in our tea library. We have many varieties of herbal teas that are sure to become a favorite in any collection.
4-6 minutes at 212ºF
White teas are a must for any tea lover. White teas are the least processed category of tea which makes a refreshing cup. These teas do not have the loud flavors of black teas, nor do they contain the deeply vegetal notes of green tea. White teas are subtle, but don’t let that fool you—they can be quite complex in their quiet flavors. You may think that white tea has the least amount of caffeine since it’s so light in color and flavor. But don’t be fooled. Because the leaves are young and the tea is minimally processed, this tea actually has a good amount of caffeine. Looks can be deceiving!
3-4 minutes at 180ºF
Rooibos is pronounced roy-boss, which translates from Afrikaans to ‘red bush’. This herbal tisane comes from needle-shaped leaves of the Aspalathus linearis, an evergreen bush grown in South Africa. It is tasty and caffeine-free. On its own rooibos has a fruity, woody flavor, often with natural hints of vanilla and honey. Many people drink this as a tea alternative since it has a character similar to black tea.
4-6 minutes at 212ºF