THE RITUAL OF TEA
This brief primer details the essential steps of making tea and herbs. Please refer to each varietal's steeping instructions' for more information as to proper technique for that specific tea. For Chefs, please contact us for customized instructions purposely built for your culinary application.
Think about what the simple act of making and enjoying a cup of tea adds to your life. We go to great lengths to make the very best teas, using the highest quality ingredients and employing meticulous time-honed craftsmanship. Our goal is for you to be happy in the moment of savouring your cup of tea!
Use fresh, cold water for optimum flavor. Peak water condition is: low mineral, low chemical, and filtered with reverse osmosis. Heavy mineral water will render tea and herbs "flat". Fast-flowing, glacial melt from high in the mountains during spring run-off would be the very best water for your palate.
Heat water, being careful not to over-boil which results in stale-tasting tea. If you over-boil water, you lower the dissolved oxygen gas. Water temperature also has a profound impact on infusion quality; for example, unfermented (green) teas can be easily bruised by overly hot water which extracts too many tannic acids, rendering a bitter palate.
Preheat teapot by swirling with a little hot water. This will ensure your tea steeps precisely at the proper temperature. The choice of your teapot will greatly affect the temperature of the infusion. For example, a thick porcelain or silver teapot that is not preheated will dramatically lower the temperature of the hot water.
Use 1 tsp of tealeaves per 237 ml (8 oz) of water. Store tea and herbs in a cool, dark, and dry (low humidity) place. Proper storage of tea lowers the deterioration rate of the fragile essential oils - hot, humid conditions with exposure to UV destroys tea.
Rinse the leaves by pouring a little hot water over them, swirl, and discard this "wash". This removes any small pieces and dust as well as coaxes the leaves to unfurl to be ready for steeping. We want to remove the little bits of tea and herbs which have been overly exposed (due to high ratio of surface area exposure to oxygen).
Pour hot water over the leaves and steep as per the specific instructions for each varietal. Steeping times are the difference between a proper balance of flavours (as our blenders intend) and incorrect emphasis on certain flavour profiles of different ingredients.
Remove the leaves and serve. With Camellia sinensis leaves, as long as they are in contact with water, they will continue to infuse and at the very least, result in over-extraction of tannins (bitterness). Before taking a sip, take a moment to appreciate the character and aroma and discover that peace can be found in a teacup!