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101 W. Marcy St
Santa Fe, NM 87501

505-795-7724

Luxury loose leaf teas, handcrafted tea blends and fine tea ware. ArtfulTea: where the ordinary experience of drinking tea becomes extraordinary.

Tea Wisdom

Breakfast Brews: 6 Great Teas for a Morning Cup

Margaret Wack

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Wake Up to a Cup of Tea

While coffee may the traditional morning staple for many Americans, more and more people are turning to tea as a healthier, less harsh alternative for a morning cup. Whether you’re looking for a stimulating, caffeinated morning brew, or are looking to incorporate a caffeine-free option into your morning routine, these teas are sure to prepare you for the day ahead!

Caffeinated Cuppa

If you’re looking for a little extra boost in the morning, a cup of tea is the way to go. With roughly half the caffeine of a cup of coffee, tea is stimulating and energizing without any of the harshness of many coffees.

  1. Irish Breakfast

    For those looking for a strong, rich cup of morning tea, Irish Breakfast is a sure-fire winner. Its finely-ground tea leaves pack a punch in terms of flavor and caffeine, and hold up well to the addition of milk and sugar. A classic breakfast tea beloved of tea devotees and novices alike, Irish Breakfast is a wonderful tea to start the day with!

  2. Caramel Pu-erh

    Even if you’re a regular tea drinker, you may not be familiar with pu-erh tea. An aged, fermented tea with a long history in China, pu-erh tea is a dark, rich tea with a characteristic smoothness and none of the tannic bite of a typical black. We love Caramel Pu-erh with a splash of milk for hearty, slightly sweet morning cup.

  3. Nutty Mocha Mate

    While yerba mate does contain caffeine, it’s not technically a tea, and is instead produced from a species of holy plant native to South America. Popular in countries like Argentina and Chile, mate is traditionally drunk out of a gourd with a hollow straw known as a bombilla. If you’re looking for a stimulating, energizing cup with a bright mocha flavor, our Nutty Mocha Mate is sure to hit the spot.

Energizing Herbals

If you’re looking to steer clear of caffeine entirely, there are a bunch of herbal options to perk you up! Caffeine-free teas don’t have to sacrifice on flavor, as evidenced by these tasty herbal alternatives.

  1. Atomic Gold

    Atomic Gold is spicy and sweet, warm and soothing, the perfect thing to start the day with! A blend of ginger, turmeric, licorice root, lemongrass, and lemon and orange essential oils, Atomic Gold is packed full of healthy properties that set you up for the day ahead.

  2. Alice’s Peppermint Party

    Start the morning off right with a party in a cup! Alice’s Peppermint Party is a stimulating blend of peppermint, ginger, rose, apple, and almond that will wake you up with its refreshing minty flavor and lingering spice and sweetness.

  3. Rooibos Chai

    If you’re looking for the characteristic flavor of a chai without any of the caffeine, the Rooibos Chai is a great alternative with a satisfying spice. Blending naturally caffeine-free rooibos with traditional chai spices like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, Rooibos Chai is great on its own or with milk and honey.

No matter what kind of tea strikes your fancy, it can be a wonderful ritual to incorporate into your morning. Start your day with a cup of tea today!

Kenyan Purple

Margaret Wack

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While you might be familiar with more common teas like black, green, and oolong, you may not have heard about the latest category of tea. Purple tea is a brand new category of tea! Like other types of tea, purple tea is derived from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. In the case of purple tea, however, the leaves of the tea plant are purple, rather than green. Scientists have determined that purple tea is a unique varietal of camellia sinensis, with a wealth of health benefits and other unique properties.

Kenyan Purple

Purple leafed tea plants were first found growing wild in the Assam region of India, where many other types of tea grown, including Assam black tea. Samples of these plants were then brought to Kenya, where the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya studied and cultivated these unique tea plants in order to develop a cultivar of the the wild plant that would be ideal for commercial tea production.

The third largest producer of commercial tea after China and India, Kenya now leads as the largest producer of purple tea. This unique tea thrives when grown at high elevations along the equator, where it receives twelve hours of sunlight a day year round. Our Kenyan Purple tea is from the Tumoi Tea Garden in the Nandi Hills of Kenya.

What Does Purple Tea Taste Like?

A bit lighter than black tea but darker than green tea, our Kenyan Purple is often described as similar in character and taste to oolong tea. Purple tea has a light, clean body similar to a green tea, without any of the grassy, vegetal flavor that is typical to green teas. Our Kenyan Purple is also processed in a way that is similar to many oolongs - partially oxidized, with the leaves gently rolled. Purple tea brews up a light reddish purple color, and has a floral, delicate flavor.

Kenyan Purple Health Benefits

In addition to its unique color and flavor, Kenyan Purple has been shown to have a wealth of other beneficial properties. Like other types of tea, Kenyan Purple is rich in antioxidants, which help promote health and ward off certain types of cancers. Purple tea contains a very low amount of caffeine, similar to that of white tea. Kenyan Purple also contains l-theanine, a beneficial chemical compound that promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety.

Purple tea is also rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which are thought to help protect against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases by reducing free radicals. Anthocyanins give certain fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, and eggplants, their rich blue, purple or dark red color. In general, purple leaf tea has been found to have almost twice the antioxidants of other teas, making it a great choice for those looking to include healthy foods and drinks in their daily routine!

Other Purple Teas

Since purple tea is still new to the tea world, many people don’t yet know about this unique kind of tea. Purple tea is still relatively rare, and is mostly found in specialty tea shops. Despite its relative scarcity, purple tea is becoming increasingly popular as more people learn more about it! In addition to our classic Kenyan Purple tea, we also carry Lychee Purple, a flavored purple tea that blends the delicate, floral purple tea leaves with lychee, pineapple, and other fruits and spices for a fruity, tropical cup with all the benefits of a classic purple tea. Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or just looking to try something new and different, purple tea might be just the tea for you!

Monteviot First Flush Darjeeling

Margaret Wack

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Sometimes called the “champagne of teas,” Darjeeling has long been a popular staple in the tea world. Grown at high elevation in the Darjeeling region of India, Darjeeling tea is a fine black tea with floral notes and a delicate character. The specific terroir in which Darjeeling is grown, along with growing and harvesting techniques perfected over the course of centuries, contribute to its unique flavor and superior quality.

First Flush Darjeeling

Most Darjeeling black tea is produced from the second flush of the leaves, harvested from June to August. First flush Darjeeling, however, is harvested in the spring, and is even more rare and highly sought after than the more common second flush. Since it’s the first tea harvest of the year, first flush teas are often produced in smaller quantities, and can sell out quickly due to their limited supply.

First flush Darjeeling teas are often lighter than their second flush counterparts, featuring less oxidized leaves with green and silver highlights. They brew up a golden color and have a crisp, clean flavor profile with an astringent bite. First flush Darjeelings are typically harvested from March to May, depending on the weather conditions of the region in which they’re grown. Because of their specific character and relatively short season, first flush teas are often some of the freshest teas available, with leaves having been plucked from the tea plant only a few months prior to being brewed up into pots of tea all around the world!

Our First Flush Darjeeling

Our organic first flush Darjeeling was harvested this spring in the Monteviot Garden. Founded in 1856, the Monteviot Garden is located in the southern Kurseong valley of Darjeeling. Classified as an FTGFOP1 tea, our first flush Darjeeling is composed of the first two tea leaves harvested from the tea plant each year, a mark of exceptional quality. Grown at approximately 5,500 feet elevation, this premium tea features fine, whole leaves with green and silvery tips, and brews up a beautiful golden color.

While somewhat lighter than our classic Daily Darjeeling, this first flush Darjeeling still imparts plenty of flavor, with a pleasant bite and moderate astringency. The tea has floral notes and a delicate body, with a distinct spring-like character. Unlike other black teas, we find that it is best enjoyed on its own without any added milk or sweetener in order to fully savor its unique flavor.

Whether you’re a long-time Darjeeling fan or are simply interested in trying something new, first flush Darjeeling is one of the most premium teas we offer. As with many first flush teas, our first flush Darjeeling has a limited supply based on the season, so we’re excited to share it with you while it lasts!

Vietnamese Golden Tips

Margaret Wack

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While many of our classic black teas come from China or India, unique and highly sought after teas are grown throughout Asia, including countries like Nepal, Taiwan, and Vietnam. New to our shelves, our Vietnamese Golden Tips is a stellar example of a premium Vietnamese tea. With a dry, moderately astringent character and a slightly sweet taste with notes of burnt sugar, caramel, and smoke, Vietnamese Golden Tips is a tea worth savoring!

Vietnamese Teas

While tea has a long history in Vietnam, the country has only recently begun to grow tea for commercial production. Long influenced by Chinese tea commerce and culture, particularly in the neighboring Yunnan province, Vietnam began to harvest and sell its own tea in the late 1800s and early 1900s while under French colonial rule. While tea cultivation and sale was disrupted by continuing colonial conflicts, including the Vietnam War, tea has seen a growing resurgence as a premium export from the country.

Vietnamese tea is grown primarily in the northern, more mountainous regions of the country, amidst the tail end of the Himalayan mountain range that is also home to famous tea growing regions like Assam and Darjeeling. Some tea plants in Vietnam are even purported to be “wild” and naturally grown rather than farmed. Although probably the result of earlier cultivation, these historic tea plants have in some cases been around for over a century!

While tea has been drunk locally for hundreds of years, it’s still a relatively new commercial product in Vietnam. Despite this, however, the country is quickly making a name for itself in terms of its specialty teas, and tea production is on the rise.

Vietnamese Golden Tips Health Benefits

Like other black teas made from the camellia sinensis plant, Vietnamese Golden Tips is rich in antioxidants, and has a variety of other health benefits. Black tea may help to protect the heart, promote cognitive function, and even ward off certain types of cancers. Vietnamese Golden Tips has a moderate amount of caffeine, about half that of a cup of coffee.

Our Vietnamese Golden Tips

Grown in Ha Giang Province in northern Vietnam, our Vietnamese Golden Tips is a delicious classic black tea that’s sure to delight, whether you’re interested in branching out into specialty teas or just want to try something new. The gold-tipped leaves brew up into a beautiful reddish-gold cup with a slight natural sweetness. Try a cup today, and fall in love with Vietnamese teas!

Himalayan Spring

Margaret Wack

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Himalayan Spring is a premium organic white tea grown in the mountains of Nepal. With notes of grass and stone fruit, and a smooth and buttery finish, Himalayan Spring is quickly becoming a new favorite among white tea connoisseurs and novices alike. As we continue to expand our tea collection, we’re excited to share this unique tea with the world!

Himalayan Spring and Nepali Teas

Himalayan Spring is made from the first silver-tipped leaf and bud of the tea plant. Harvested in early spring, as the name suggests, these tea leaves are carefully dried and preserved with minimal processing in order to highlight their delicate flavor.

Himalayan Spring comes from Nepal, a small, mountainous country bordering China and India. While its neighbors may be better known for their long history growing and trading tea, Nepal is an up-and-comer in the tea world, producing premium and rare teas grown by small farms and harvested by hand.

Stretching across Nepal, India, China, Bhutan, and Pakistan, the Himalayan mountain range is home to some of the most famous tea growing regions in the world, including Assam and Darjeeling, as well as the Nepalese mountainsides where Himalayan Spring is grown and harvested. A rocky landscape of varying altitudes, these mountains are an ideal growing environment for tea, with the high elevation giving teas grown in these regions a distinctive rich, slightly floral character.

Nepali teas are also a great way to support farms and families in a small, remote country that has historically struggled with economic precarity and exploitation. Nepali teas are some of the best in the world, and are becoming more and more popular as people discover these unique and distinctive teas!

Himalayan Spring Health Benefits

White tea receives minimal processing when harvested and dried, helping to preserve many of the unique benefits of tea. Like many white teas, Himalayan Spring is very low in caffeine, very high in antioxidants, and has a delicate, soothing flavor profile that’s perfect for a mellow morning or an afternoon pick-me-up.

Milk Oolong

Margaret Wack

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Are you an oolong lover looking to expand your repertoire, or simply on the lookout for something unique? Our Milk Oolong, a new addition to our tea collection, might be just the thing for you!

Grown at high elevation, this unique varietal of tea imparts a sweet, slightly tangy flavor, with notes of milk and cream. Milk Oolong doesn’t actually contain any milk, just tea – but it packs a punch in terms of its striking taste!

Milk Oolong Origin and History

Milk Oolong originated in Taiwan, and became increasingly popular throughout the 1980s and 90s. Milk Oolong is also sometimes referred to as Golden Lily tea. While there are myths and stories of Milk Oolong tea leaves actually being steeped or rinsed in milk in order to achieve their unique taste, Milk Oolong doesn’t contain milk (or any other dairy product.) The unique terroir, high elevation, and specific varietal grown to produce Milk Oolong are the only things that contribute to the flavor of this unique, highly sought after tea.

While our Milk Oolong is grown and harvested in the Fujian Province of China, it continues of a rich tradition of Milk Oolongs throughout Asia and beyond.

Milk Oolong Health Benefits

Like other types of tea grown from the camellia sinensis plant, Milk Oolong is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial properties like l-theanine, and may help to protect the heart, improve cognitive function, and even ward off certain types of cancer. Oolong teas are partially oxidized, and have a mild to moderate amount of caffeine, somewhere in between black and green teas.

Our Milk Oolong

Our Milk Oolong is made up of tightly rolled tea leaves with a rich, intoxicating aroma. While Milk Oolong brews up clear with a light, golden hue, it has a distinctive milky taste with floral notes and a tangy, buttery finish. Like many oolongs, our Milk Oolong can be infused more than once, with the flavors changing and developing over time. Because Milk Oolong can be infused multiple times without losing its distinctive taste, it’s a great tea to enjoy over the course of an afternoon, allowing you to savor the subtly different flavors of each infusion. Whether you’re a long-time oolong lover or are just looking for something new, our Milk Oolong is sure to hit the spot!

Teas for Summer

Margaret Wack

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Looking for a tea to sip during the warmer months? Look no further than our diverse selection of teas perfect for summertime celebrations. All of the teas featured here are also excellent iced, and some can even be fashioned into iced tea cocktails! So sit back, relax, and enjoy a summery cup.

Apricot Brandy

Organic apricot pieces and natural brandy flavor give this black tea blend a delicious full flavor and luscious sweetness. An aromatic and visually appealing blend, it’s also our best selling flavored tea.

Summer Romance

Sweet papaya and strawberries blend with black and green teas for an intoxicating, exotic flavor reminiscent of fresh fruit and long summer afternoons.

Blueberry Pomegranate

Blueberry Pomegranate is delicious fruit tea packed with flavor and beneficial properties. Pomegranate and blueberries add sweetness to tart, healthful hibiscus in this lovely, fruit-forward blend. One of our most popular herbal teas, Blueberry Pomegranate is perfect to sate a sweet tooth.

Passion Petal

This lovely, flavored oolong combines the taste of passion fruit with an intensely tropical fragrance that immediately enchants. Aronia berries, mango cubes and rose petals enhance the exotic flavor of this delightful oolong tea.

Carmen Miranda

Remember the 1940’s Brazilian singer whose signature headdresses were made of tropical fruit? The amazing Carmen Miranda is the inspiration for our tasty rooibos blend of pineapple, coconut, banana and apple. This combination of Caribbean fruit makes a delicious hot tea, but truly shines when served iced.

Mango Pear

White peony tea is blended with organic mango cubes, apple, and pear to create a beautifully delicate, fruity, floral tea with a light body and sweet, uplifting flavor. Low in caffeine, this tea will give you a modest boost and is perfect for a relaxing, rejuvenating afternoon cup.

Peach Rooibos

Our Peach Rooibos blends green and red rooibos with peach bits, blackberry leaves, and calendula petals for a sweet, fruity cup. Like biting into a ripe peach on a warm summer’s day!

Jasmine Yin Cloud

An exceptionally high-quality tea with white downy tips, scented with fresh jasmine blossoms. It achieves a perfect balance between the sweet and floral aroma of jasmine and the delicate richness of high-quality Chinese green tea.

Lychee Purple

This purple leaf tea is blended with lychee, apple, and pineapple for a rich, fruit-forward tropical taste. With a medium body similar to that of an oolong, Lychee Purple is also very high in anthocyanins, the beneficial compounds found in blueberries, eggplant, purple grapes and other blue, purple or dark red foods.

Whether you’re lounging poolside or shivering under central air, these teas are sure to put you in the mood for summer. Happy sipping!

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A Calming Cup: Tea and L-Theanine

Margaret Wack

What is L-Theanine?

If you’re a tea drinker, you’re probably familiar with the soothing feeling that accompanies a good cup of tea - and now this calming, stress-reducing effect is backed by science! Research shows that tea made from the camellia sinensis plant contains l-theanine, a beneficial compound that helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation and wellbeing.

L-theanine is found primarily in tea, as well as in some types of mushrooms. While l-theanine is also available is supplement form, you can reap just as many benefits with an ordinary cup of tea!

How Does L-Theanine Work?

Studies show that l-theanine can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. L-theanine works by blocking excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamate, resulting in feelings of calm and relaxation. L-theanine also stimulates a related neurotransmitter called GABA, which produces its own calming, anxiety-reducing effects. Unlike compounds with similar properties, l-theanine doesn’t contribute to drowsiness or a lack of alertness. Instead, the l-theanine present in tea provides a soothing, calming effect without making you feel sleepy!

L-Theanine in Tea

Aside from its potent stress-reducing effects, l-theanine is also responsible for the umami taste in tea. Especially prominent in shade-grown green teas, as well as in teas harvested early in the spring such as First Flush Darjeeling and Himalayan Spring, this savory-sweet characteristic gives tea a rich depth of flavor in addition to its unique health benefits. While studies indicate that green tea and matcha may contain slightly more l-theanine, all types of tea made from the camellia sinensis plant contain some l-theanine, making whatever cup of tea you fancy a healthful choice!

In addition to loose leaf tea, l-theanine is also found in matcha, a powdered green from Japan. Since matcha is made from the whole leaves of tea plants ground into a fine, bright green powder, it contains more concentrated levels of everything that makes tea so healthful, including l-theanine. If you’re not in the mood for a traditional bowl of matcha, you can also add culinary grade matcha to smoothies, lattes, and more.

If you’re looking to cool off in the summer, summery iced teas contain just as many beneficial properties as hot-brewed tea! Tea can even be cold-brewed in an easy overnight method. No matter how you like to enjoy your tea, there will be a healthy dose of calming, soothing l-theanine in every cup.

Tea and Mindfulness

While scientific research has only recently caught up, tea has been used to reduce stress, promote wellbeing, and enhance cognitive function for hundreds of years. Tea is an important component of ceremonies, rituals, and religious practices all over the world, from the matcha-based Japanese tea ceremony to the Gongfu tea ceremony in China and everywhere in between. These unique traditions are often hundreds of years old, and have been perfected over the course of centuries. Tea ceremonies force participants to slow down and engage with the world in a mindful, meditative manner.

Tea preparation and consumption is also especially associated with meditation and mindfulness in Buddhist religious practice. Tea was first incorporated into religious rituals during the Tang dynasty, and became closely associated with temples and monasteries. The l-theanine and caffeine present in tea are thought to aid in mindfulness and meditation by helping to induce a calm, alert state that combines stimulation and relaxation.

Other Benefits of L-Theanine

In addition to its use as an aid for stress-relief and relaxation, l-theanine has been shown to have a variety of related benefits. While l-theanine doesn’t contribute to drowsiness or lack of focus, it can be used as an effective sleep aid to help promote deep, high quality rest. L-theanine also has other beneficial effects including boosting the immune system, reducing blood pressure, and even warding off certain types of cancer. When combined with caffeine in a cup of tea, l-theanine has been shown to promote focus and clarity, making it a great study aid. The combination of caffeine and l-theanine helps to promote cognitive function and increase alertness and attention.

No matter what kind of tea you enjoy, drinking tea can be especially beneficial for stress relief, and can be a welcome moment of calm in an otherwise hectic day. Both scientific research and personal experience suggest that a cup of tea can be a great way to unwind, relax, and destress. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, take a moment to brew up a cup, and enjoy!

Tea Cocktails

Margaret Wack

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Whether you drink it iced or hot, caffeinated or caffeine-free, tea is great at any time of day. But when you’re in the mood for a little something special, nothing hits the spot like a tea-based cocktail. For tea aficionados and novices alike, these cocktails put a unique twist on traditional mixed drinks and are sure to brighten up your evenings.

Lavender Mint Spiked Lemonade

This iced herbal infusion is the perfect accompaniment to the tartness of spiked lemonade. To prepare, brew up a pot or pitcher of Lavender Mint herbal tea. Blend with your favorite lemonade, and then add a shot of vodka. Garnish with mint leaves and enjoy a sweet, refreshing cocktail perfect for summertime.

Blueberry Pomegranate Prosecco

In the mood for a sweet iced tea topped with sparkling prosecco? This cocktail will do the trick. The sweetness and acidity of the blueberry, pomegranate, and hibiscus pair perfectly with the sparkling wine to create a light, refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for parties and entertaining. To make the drink, first prepare a pot or pitcher of Blueberry Pomegranate iced tea. Either pour the iced tea into a glass full of ice, or serve from a punch bowl. Top the glass with prosecco and enjoy!

Spiked Chai

Chai, which in India just means “tea,” provides the spicy-sweet base for this delicious cocktail. Great on a snowy afternoon, this spiked chai is the perfect blend of spices, tea, and alcohol to warm you from the inside out. To make the drink, brew a cup of Masala Chai or Rooibos Chai according to package directions. Add milk and honey to taste, and then add one shot of spiced rum and mix well. For a decadent touch, top with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

Iced Maple Matcha

This unique twist on a matcha latte blends rich and grassy matcha with maple, milk, and a touch of spirits for an iced cocktail that’s cool and sweet with a nuanced flavor profile. To make this cocktail, prepare a paste using warm milk and two tablespoons of culinary grade matcha, whisking until uniform. Add a splash of chilled milk to create a thinner matcha mixture. Fill a glass with ice and milk halfway. Add the matcha mixture and one shot of vodka. Add a dash of maple syrup and vanilla extract to taste, stir well, and enjoy!

Star of India Hot Toddy

Nothing beats a piping hot toddy on a cold winter’s night, and a hot toddy blended with a hot cup of tea is even better! For this cocktail, we use Star of India black tea, but any strong black tea will do the trick. Tea provides an added depth of flavor to the traditional hot toddy ingredients, making this an extra warming, satisfying cocktail. First, prepare a large mug of black tea according to package directions. Add the juice of half a lemon and two shots of bourbon and mix well. Add honey to taste and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Peach Rooibos Spritzer

This fruit forward summery cocktail is sure to start the evening off on the right foot. Packed with antioxidants and without any caffeine, rooibos is a lovely addition to any cocktail. To prepare, brew up a pot or pitcher of Peach Rooibos iced tea. Fill a glass with ice, and fill halfway with tea. Add sparkling water and a shot of vodka and mix well. Sip and enjoy!

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Nepalese Gold

Nick Rose

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One of our most premium teas, Nepalese Gold is an organic black tea with an intense aroma and striking golden leaves. Grown in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, this award-winning black tea is rich and mellow, with a slight malty sweetness and notes of honey and stone fruit. It brews into a reddish-golden color that provides a flavorful and well balanced cup.

While black teas have traditionally been grown and cultivated in countries like India and China, the relatively small nation of Nepal is making a name for itself as a producer of premium teas. Beginning in the mid-19th century, the British empire expanded to India and the British East India Company began full scale commercial tea production in that part of the world. Despite tea cultivation arriving in Nepal at about the same time as in Darjeeling to the east, commercial tea production in this small Asian country did not take off until later in the 20th century. Nepali tea is currently grown in five primary regions in Nepal, with new areas being added to meet the demand for this much sought after export.

Stretching across Nepal, India, China, Bhutan, and Pakistan, the Himalayan mountain range is home to some of the most famous tea growing regions in the world, including Assam and Darjeeling, as well as the Nepalese mountainsides where Nepalese Gold is grown and harvested. A rocky landscape of varying altitudes, these mountains are an ideal growing environment for tea, with the high elevation giving teas grown in these regions a distinctive rich, slightly floral character.

Nepali teas are becoming more and more popular as people discover these unique and distinctive teas. Here at ArtfulTea, Nepalese Gold is one of our favorites, and we’re delighted to share it with you!

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Black Tea

Nick Rose

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Black tea is a type of tea produced from the camellia sinensis plant that is highly oxidized, resulting in a dark reddish-gold hue, a hearty, slightly astringent flavor, and a moderate amount of caffeine.

While black, green, oolong, and white teas all originate from the camellia sinensis plant, different varietals of the plant, in addition to different processing techniques, result in very different kinds of tea.

How Black Tea is Made

Black teas are typically produced from two different varieties of the tea plant, camellia sinensis sinensis and camellia sinensis assamica. After the leaves are harvested, they are withered through exposure to air. The leaves are then rolled or crushed, and then oxidized, resulting in a black colored leaf and a higher level of caffeine. The tea is then dried, sorted, and packaged.

Black Tea Health Benefits

Like other teas produced from the camellia sinensis plant, black teas have a wide variety of health benefits, and are a great addition to a balanced diet. Black teas are very high in antioxidants, and help to promote wellness and prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease. Black tea also helps boost the digestive system and nourishes the hair and skin.

Containing a moderate amount of caffeine, as well as the anxiety-fighting chemical l-theanine, black tea can help contribute to clarity, focus, and energy, while also promoting calm and concentration. While everything should be consumed in moderation, research shows that black tea has a wealth of health benefits and is a beneficial addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Chinese Black Tea vs. Indian Black Tea

 There are two main categories of black tea, based on the areas in which different teas are grown and produced. Chinese black teas originate in China, where they have a rich history stretching back centuries. Chinese black teas tend to be slightly lighter and milder, and are lovely when taken on their own with no need for milk or sugar. In China, these teas are called “red tea,” with “black tea” referring only to aged and fermented teas such as pu-erh. Chinese black teas include teas like China Keemun, Golden Yunnan, and Lapsang Souchong.

Indian black teas are grown and produced in India, often in famed growing regions like Assam and Darjeeling. Black teas grown in India are typically grown from camellia sinensis assamica, and have a darker, richer, and more full-bodied character. Breakfast blends such as English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast are often made up of Indian black teas. Other teas grown in India include Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri. For those interested in exploring Indian teas, our Star of India is a wonderful introductory tea that blends the Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri together.

Other Classic Black Teas

While India and China remain the two largest exporters of black tea, both historically and in the present day, a variety of other countries also grow and produce premium black teas. Ceylon is a classic black tea grown in Sri Lanka and is similar to an Indian black tea in taste and body, with a bold flavor. Nepalese Gold, produced in Nepal, is a rich and luxurious black tea with notes of honey and stone fruit. Vietnamese Golden Tips, grown in Vietnam, is similar to a Chinese black, and has notes of leather and burnt sugar.

Flavored Black Teas

In addition to our classic black teas, we also carry a carefully cultivated selection of flavored black teas from all over the world. For those looking for a little added spice and sweetness, flavored black teas can be a great way to explore different flavor profiles. Flavored black teas also stand up well to being served over ice, and are great with milk and honey.

We carry classic flavored black teas like Earl Grey and Masala Chai, as well as a variety of other teas including Solstice Spice, Apricot Brandy, and Vanilla Velvet. No matter what kind of tea you’re in the mood for, we’re sure to have a black tea that will suit you!

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Green Tea

Karen Gardiner

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Green tea is produced from the leaves of camellia sinensis, the same plant from which black, oolong, white, and purple teas are made. While it originated in China hundreds of year ago, green tea is now produced throughout Asia, in countries including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Unlike black and oolong teas, green tea is unoxidized, resulting in a lighter color brew and a mellower flavor. There are many different varieties of green tea, whose unique flavors depend on factors such as the location, growing conditions, and preparation process.

Chinese Green Tea

Tea has a rich history in China stretching back centuries. While both myth and archeological research indicate that tea may have been consumed in China as far back as three thousand years ago, its status as a popular staple for both elites and common people arose over the course of hundreds of years. By the seventh century Tang dynasty, however, green tea had become an integral part of Chinese life, and specialized cultivation methods, ceremonial preparations, and cultural significance had developed around tea. Chinese green teas are typically pan-fired soon after they are harvested, which halts oxidation and preserves the green color and the light, grassy taste of the tea.

At Artful Tea, we carry a variety of Chinese green teas. The classic Gunpowder, named after the small, rolled shape its leaves take when dried, is a perennial favorite. Chun Mee is a mellow, buttery green with fruit notes, and is sometimes known as “precious eyebrow” due to the unique shape of its leaves. Dragon Well Superior is famous for its high quality, and has a nutty and refreshing taste.

Japanese Green Tea

Around the sixth century, tea consumption and production spread from China to Japan, as well as to other neighboring countries such as Korea and Vietnam. Today, green tea is often associated with Japan just as much as with China. Unlike Chinese green teas, Japanese greens are steamed rather than pan-fired, resulting in a more vibrant green color and a vegetal, umami-packed flavor.

Artful Tea’s selection of Japanese green teas has something to offer everyone. Sencha, one of the most popular green teas in Japan, brews up a beautiful bright green and has a rich, sweet flavor. Kukicha Twig, produced from the stalks, stems, and twigs of the tea bush, is a unique tea with a nutty, creamy taste. Our Genmaicha is a traditional Japanese tea, containing green tea blended with toasted rice. Genmaicha Matcha, meanwhile, blends matcha with genmaicha tea, resulting in a lovely cup with a stronger green tea flavor.

Artful tea also offers several different varieties of matcha, or powdered green tea. We carry ceremonial grade matcha, used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, culinary grade matcha for use in smoothies, lattes, and more, and even matcha that you can take on the go!

Health Benefits

With about half the caffeine of black tea and a quarter that of coffee, green teas still contain enough caffeine to give you a little boost, whether you start your morning with a cup or drink it throughout the day. Green teas are also packed with powerful antioxidants, and can be a healthy alternative to other drinks. While research is still inconclusive, green tea may also have additional health benefits, helping to protect against disease and other illnesses.

Preparation 

If prepared incorrectly, green tea can taste bitter and over-strong, but properly prepared green tea is light and delightful. The key to enjoying a cup of green tea is preparation, which consists of a few simple steps.

To brew a delicious cup of green tea, measure one teaspoon of leaves for every six to eight ounces of water. Heat a kettle of fresh, cold water to the point of steaming briskly, but not boiling. If you have a kitchen thermometer, you will want the temperature to be between 175–180 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the hot water over the tea leaves, allowing them to steep according to package directions, usually only one or two minutes. Steeping green tea leaves for too long, or using water that is too hot, are common mistakes that usually result in a bitter taste.

Flavored Greens

Interested in experimenting? ArtfulTea offers a variety of flavored green teas, from Jasmine Yin Cloud, a custom blend of Chinese green tea scented with fresh jasmine blossoms, to Green Tea Citrus, a green tea twist on a classic Earl Grey, and many more. Whether you’re looking to explore traditional green teas, or are simply looking for a cup with less caffeine but packed with flavor and health benefits, we’re sure to have the tea for you!

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White Tea

Nick Rose

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White tea is made from the buds and immature leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, all of them plucked before the leaves have a chance to fully open and dry in the sun. Its name is derived from the fine white downy hairs that are found on the leaves.

What differentiates white tea from other teas is both that it is made from younger leaves and that the tea leaves undergo very little or no treatment in the form of rolling or oxidization. As a result, white tea tends to be the lightest-tasting and lowest-caffeinated tea. Of all the teas, it also has the highest concentration of the immue bolstering antioxidants known as catechins.

Pleasant and subtle, brewed white tea actually has a pale yellow color. It has been well known in China for many centuries (in ancient China, its consumption was restricted to members of royalty), though not until the 1900’s was it really enjoyed overseas. Even today it remains the hidden gem of the tea world, growing in popularity yet still unknown to many consumers.

White teas are delicate, and optimal preparation involves steeping the tea in water that is steaming but just below a boil (175-180 degrees). However, because of its light flavor, you can steep the tea for a bit longer than green tea -- generally for up to three minutes.

Browse ArtfulTea’s selection of Luxury Loose Leaf White Tea

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Oolong Tea

Nick Rose

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China and Taiwan are the best known Oolong producing countries in the world today.  Chinese tea production reaches back centuries while Taiwan is a relative newcomer with tea production beginning in the early 1700s on the East Asian island known as Formosa.  Many Taiwanese teas retain its historic, regional appellation such as our Organic Formosa Oolong.  Taiwanese oolongs tend to have a shorter fermentation cycle than their Chinese counterparts, though fermentation also varies according to the type of oolong being made.

Oolong is referred to as semi-fermented. Fermentation is a process which involves drying and roasting the leaves multiple times to produce a specific flavor, color and aroma.  Many oolong lovers consider this tea the perfect bridge between unfermented green tea and fully fermented black tea.  Generally speaking, oolong teas have lower caffeine levels than most black teas while being higher in caffeine than most greens (with the actual amount of caffeine in a tea depending on several factors including the length of the fermentation process).

In terms of flavor, various aspects determine where an oolong tea lands along the green to black tea spectrum including elevation, when the leaves are harvested, and the length of fermentation.  Closer to the green tea end of this spectrum, our Jade Song Oolong from Taiwan has a lovely pale color and delicate flavor reminiscent of its green cousins.  By contrast, our Organic Formosa Oolong is noticeably darker in color with a more full bodied flavor including a hint of honey and slightly more caffeine.  A delightful middle ground is our classic Fine Ti Kuan Yin which offers a distinctive brandy hue and a slightly sweet yet earthy flavor often attributed to oolongs grown in China.    

Loose leaf Formosa oolong tea is a bargain in addition to being delicious! There are many health benefits ascribed to oolong teas and the leaves can be steeped several times with each infusion releasing surprising subtleties in flavor.  While oolong tea is a great balance point between green and black to start the day, oolongs are also lovely in the afternoon when caffeine might be a consideration.  Even in the heat of the summer months, Citrus Sonata, a subtly flavored oolong from China’s Fujian Province, or Passion Petal, with its exotic mango and rose flavors, are a wonderful pick me up.

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Ginger Teas

Margaret Wack

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Used for centuries as an ingredient in food, drink, and even medicine, ginger is a powerful spice full of flavor and healthful benefits. Ginger comes from the same plant family as other spices like turmeric and cardamom, and can be used to impart a distinctive spicy, slightly sweet flavor to all different kinds of teas, from black blends to herbal infusions and everything in between.

Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger has seen a recent rise in popularity as more people become aware of its unique health benefits. Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, making it a soothing addition to any tea. Ginger also aids in digestion and helps to prevent nausea and morning sickness. Packed with antioxidants, ginger can even help ward off certain types of cancer. Whether you’re seeking out teas for their healthful benefits, or simply enjoy them for their delicious flavor, you can’t go wrong with a ginger tea!

Our Ginger Teas

Here are ArtfulTea, we carry a wide variety of teas with ginger. Whether you’re looking for a soothing herbal blend, a caffeinated cup, or something in between, we’re sure to have a ginger tea that will hit the spot!

Ginger Peach

In our Ginger Peach tea, the spicy character of ginger is mellowed perfectly by the sweetness of peaches for a smooth, classic black tea with a bright, flavorful taste. Perfect served hot when you’re dreaming of warmer afternoons, or served cold when you’re relaxing in the heart of summer.

Masala Chai

This traditional chai blend includes ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, all blended in perfect proportion with a premium Ceylon tea. Spicy and full-bodied, our Masala Chai is a classic take on a fan-favorite. Add milk and honey for a touch of smoothness and sweetness, or try it alone for a spicier cup.

Linda’s Lemon Ginger

This lemon ginger green tea was inspired by ArtfulTea founder Karen's yoga instructor, Linda, who requested a green tea with a lemony taste that's balanced by a hint of ginger. Linda’s Lemon Ginger was born, and the blend has quickly became one of our best sellers!

Turmeric Mango

With a base of Gunpowder green tea, this tea adds ginger, turmeric, and tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, yuzu, and lime to create a tangy, naturally sweet cup. With a mild amount of caffeine, Turmeric Mango can be a great way to start the day or to power through the afternoon. And with all the health benefits of green tea, ginger, and turmeric, it’s sure to keep you in good spirits!

Dandy Cinnamon Pu-erh

Ginger, dandelion root, cinnamon, and lemon peel combine perfectly with pu-erh and oolong teas to create a purifying blend that also warms and restores you. This balanced blend has a delicious, rich flavor, and it offers benefits from ingredients traditionally thought to aid digestion and support health! A perfect pick-me-up tea.

Rooibos Chai

Made from scratch here at ArtfulTea, this Rooibos Chai tea is a traditional blend of chai spices, including ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves, and pepper, along with organic South African rooibos, for a caffeine-free version of chai. Add milk and honey for a soothing before-bed cup.

Sing Your Song

This handcrafted herbal infusion helps soothe the throat, clear congestion and promote wellness. A blend of ginger, peppermint, lemongrass, cardamom, and licorice, Sing Your Song is one of our most popular herbal teas. One of Santa Fe's local opera singers began drinking this tea to help keep her voice in perfect condition, so we've named the blend "Sing Your Song" in her honor.

Atomic Gold

Spicy and sweet, warm and soothing, our Atomic Gold herbal tea is a perennial favorite. This remarkable blend of ginger, turmeric, licorice, lemongrass and orange has a deep and satisfying flavor while also providing outstanding health benefits. It brews up a beautifully bright golden color, and has a lingering sweetness that’s sure to warm you from the inside out. With no caffeine, Atomic Gold can be enjoyed at any time of day, and makes a wonderfully soothing before-bed cup.

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Pu-erh Tea

Nick Rose

Organic Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh is a fermented and aged tea, produced from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant and originating from the Yunnan province of China. A traditional Chinese tea whose cultivation history stretches back hundreds of years, pu-erh brews up a deep, dark color and has a rich, mellow, earthy flavor. Pu-erh is enjoyed by collectors and novice tea drinkers alike, and has seen a surge in popularity in recent years as more people become familiar with this unique tea.

History

Pu-erh is a type of heicha, or Chinese black tea. In China, what westerners typically refer to as black tea is called red tea, with black tea referring only to teas such as pu-erh that are fermented and aged after having undergone the oxidation process.

While the exact history of pu-erh and other heicha has been lost to time, the tea most likely has its origins in the Silk Road and other such extensive east-west trade routes. As a fermented and aged tea, pu-erh travelled well, and even improved its flavor, over the long journey it took to reach far off destinations. As such, it became a valuable trade commodity, and quickly spread throughout Asia and beyond.

The tea is named after the city of Pu-erh in Yunnan province, a famed trading post for heicha in imperial China. Bordering Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam in the southwestern part of China, Yunnan province had extensive trade ties to the west and throughout Asia during imperial times. Today, only tea originating from Yunnan province is legally allowed to be sold as pu-erh, and much of the tea is still processed in the city of Pu-erh itself!

How Pu-erh is Made

While most teas go through a process of oxidation, few are truly fermented as pu-erh and other heicha are. The tea is first harvested from a varietal of camellia sinensis known for its large leaves and grown in southwestern China. Leaves are most prized if they are picked from older, wild growing trees. Tea harvested from plants that are cultivated but have wild origins, called “wild arbor” trees, is also valuable, while tea grown from plantation bushes is less desirable. The time of harvest also affects the tea, with pu-erh of the highest quality harvested in the spring.

Harvested pu-erh is then dry-roasted in a process called “killing the green,” after which the tea is lightly bruised by rolling and rubbing, and then sun dried. While this process largely halts oxidation, a minimal amount of oxidation continues to occur as it dries, which contributes to the unique flavor and composition of pu-erh.

The tea is then fermented. Shou cha, or ripened pu-erh, undergoes an accelerated process, similar to composting, by fermenting the tea in a humid environment over a time period of months to years. Sheng cha, or raw pu-erh, undergoes a slower, traditional fermentation process, which can take years. Both forms of pu-erh can be further aged in order to continue to develop the flavor of the tea. Similar to wine, pu-erh grows in the depth and complexity of its flavor as it matures, and often increases in both rarity and price with age. Pu-erh that has been aged for many decades can sell for thousands of dollars a pound!

Pu-erh is often pressed into a variety of shapes, such as cakes, bricks, or flat squares pressed with Chinese characters. These can be decorative as well as for consumption.

Health Benefits

Pu-erh has a long history of being used in China for its medicinal benefits in traditional herbal medicine. Like other varieties of camellia sinensis, pu-erh is full of antioxidants, and has an uplifting, energizing effect thanks to its caffeine content, which is similar to black tea and about half that of a cup of coffee. The fermentation process that pu-erh undergoes produces a tea with other unique health benefits, as well. Pu-erh is often used to aid digestion, lower blood pressure, and even to help lose weight.

Pu-erh aficionados often speak of a body high that accompanies drinking this tea, which warms you from the inside out and relaxes both the body and the mind. While studies concerning the potential effects of pu-erh are still ongoing, evidence suggests that pu-erh has a wealth of health benefits even over and above other types of tea!

Preparation

If using a cake or brick of pu-erh, the leaves can be flaked off from the larger whole using a pu-erh knife. The tea should be rinsed by pouring boiling water over the tea and then quickly discarding the liquid in order to remove impurities and prepare the tea for further infusions. Boiling water is then poured over the tea to steep.

Pu-erh is often prepared in a yixing pot or gaiwan using the traditional Chinese Gongfu method. In this method, the tea is steeped in successive infusions, with the first infusions steeping only a few seconds, and later infusions steeping for several minutes. Pu-erh teas prepared in this way can be infused many times, with each successive steeping producing a mellower flavor and exposing different nuances in the taste of the tea.

If preparing in a western style teapot or cup, steep the leaves for one to five minutes before enjoying. Pu-erh prepared in this way can also be steeped several times.

Our Pu-erh

At Artful Tea, we sell high quality loose leaf pu-erh. Our organic Leaf Pu-erh is perfect for pu-erh connoisseurs as well as those looking to dive straight in to the world of fermented tea, and has a rich, mellow, earthy flavor. Our Caramel Pu-erh adds a depth of malty, nutty sweetness to its pu-erh base, and is perfect with a splash of milk as an after-dinner cup of tea or with dessert. Our Dandy Cinnamon Pu-erh includes dandelion root, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon peel, and has a pleasantly tart, uplifting flavor that warms you from the inside out. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the world of pu-erh, or simply try something new, we have just the tea for you!

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Purple Tea

Margaret Wack

Kenyan Purple Tea

Purple tea is a new category of tea! Produced from the camellia sinensis tea plant, and is a cousin to black, green, white, and oolong teas and represents a unique, newly discovered variety of tea.

From India to Kenya

Purple leafed tea plants were found growing wild in the Assam region of India, and were later taken to Kenya, where the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya worked to create a cultivar of this wild plant which would be ideal for commercial tea production. The third largest producer of commercial tea after China and India, Kenya now leads as the largest producer of purple tea. This unique tea thrives when grown at high elevations along the equator, where it receives twelve hours of sunlight a day year round.

Purple Popularity

Although purple leaf tea has not been on the market long, its popularity is growing as more people find out about the unique history, flavor profile, and health benefits of the tea. Since this tea has become commercially available, more and more tea distributors and venues are carrying it.

The flavor is most similar to oolong – lighter than black tea and without the fresh grassy flavor of green tea. It is also very low in caffeine, somewhere in between green and white teas, making it a great choice for those looking for all the benefits of tea in a less-caffeinated cup.

Health Benefits of Purple Tea

Purple tea is rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which are thought to help protect against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases by reducing free radicals. Anthocyanins give certain fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, and eggplants, their rich blue, purple or dark red color. In general, purple leaf tea has been found to have almost twice the antioxidants of other teas, making it a great choice for those looking to include healthy foods and drinks in their daily routine!

Our Purple Teas

Both of our purple teas come from the Tumoi Tea Garden in the Nandi Hills of Kenya. Our Kenyan Purple Tea is a classic unflavored cup, brews up a light purple color, and has a mild taste similar to that of oolong. Our Lychee Purple Leaf blends purple tea with lychee, apple, pineapple, lemon peel, currants, and blue cornflower for a fruit-forward tropical tasting blend. Whether you’ve just learned about purple tea or have been thinking of trying it for a while, this unique new tea is sure to become a favorite!

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Matcha

Nick Rose

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Grown and produced in Japan, matcha is a powdered green tea derived from the camellia sinensis tea plant. Matcha is delicious taken on its own, and can also be added to lattes, smoothies, and baked goods. Matcha is experiencing a surge in popularity as more people become acquainted with this unique tea.

History

Although matcha is most commonly associated with Japan, powdered green tea was first produced in China during the Tang Dynasty. In the 12th century, Chinese monks brought both Buddhism and matcha to Japan. The ritualized use of matcha by Japanese monks grew quickly, and by the 15th century its popularity had spread to Japan’s upper classes. Today, matcha is primarily associated with Japan, and has a rich history and cultural significance within the country.

How Matcha is Made

To make matcha, tea leaves are grown in the shade during the final few weeks leading up to processing, which increases the chlorophyll content of the plants, and produces a darker tea leaf with a rich, slightly sweet flavor. When rolled and steamed in the process typical to green teas, this tea is known as gyokuro and is highly prized. When dried flat and ground into a fine powder, shaded green tea becomes matcha.

Matcha Health Benefits

Matcha is packed full of health benefits, making it a perfect fit for those looking to reap the health rewards of a concentrated green tea. The shaded growing period common to matcha produces a tea with higher caffeine and theanine levels, giving matcha its unique stimulating and relaxing properties. Caffeine energizes the body and helps stimulate mental clarity and focus, while theanine promotes relaxation and calm.

Matcha is also packed with antioxidants. Because when you drink matcha you’re consuming the entire tea leaf, matcha is especially high in cancer-fighting catechins when compared to other green teas. While studies concerning the properties of matcha are still ongoing, research suggests that matcha has a wealth of beneficial properties!

How to Prepare Matcha

In Japan, matcha is often prepared during a traditional tea ceremony. Matcha preparation is largely a matter of personal taste, so feel free to experiment and find the right ratio of matcha to water that works for you!

To prepare, sift one to two teaspoons of matcha through a fine sieve into a matcha bowl. Add two ounces of simmering water, being careful not to let the water reach a full boil. Briefly stir the contents, then use a bamboo whisk to whisk the matcha in a zigzag motion until it becomes frothy. Drink straight from your tea bowl, and savor the rich, uplifting taste of quality matcha!

Our Matcha

Here at ArtfulTea, we carry several varieties of matcha. Our ceremonial grade matcha is perfect for drinking on its own when whisked with hot water. Culinary grade matcha, meanwhile, is great for adding to smoothies, lattes, and baked goods for a bright green color and sweet, savory green tea flavor. We even sell matcha to go, which comes in individual packets, and can be mixed into a glass or water bottle even when you’re on the run. Whether enjoying a traditional Japanese tea ceremony or adding matcha flavor to whatever dish you choose, we have the perfect tea for you!

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Vanilla Rooibos

Margaret Wack

One of our most popular rooibos teas, Vanilla Rooibos is a delicious mix of organic rooibos and sweet, smooth vanilla. It’s a little bit of heaven in a cup, and with no caffeine, it’s the perfect way to treat yourself after the end of a long day. Whether you take it on its own, or with a touch of milk and sugar, this tea will warm you from the inside out, and is sure to leave you with a smile.

What is Rooibos?

Rooibos is an herbal tea grown in South Africa’s Western Cape region. Dutch for “red bush,” rooibos is sometimes also called red tea. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free, and has a rich, slightly sweet flavor.

Rooibos tea is made from the needle-like leaves of aspalathus linearis, a plant that grows in a mountainous region near the South African Atlantic coast. Owing to the unique climate and soil conditions of the region, aspalathus linearis is extremely difficult to grow in other places.

Vanilla Rooibos Health Benefits

Rooibos tea is packed with antioxidants and other healthful properties, making it a great way to incorporate a healthy herbal tea into your day. Since rooibos is caffeine free, this tea can be enjoyed at any time, and makes an especially lovely tea for the evening.

While the rooibos steals the show in terms of health benefits, vanilla has also been shown to have a number of beneficial properties, including reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Vanilla also contains a number of vitamins and minerals that will keep you in good health.

While we enjoy Vanilla Rooibos all year round, we think it’s best on a snowy day with a good book and a crackling fire. Happy sipping!

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Rooibos

Nick Rose

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Rooibos is an herbal tea grown in South Africa’s Western Cape region. Dutch for “red bush,” rooibos is sometimes also called red tea. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free, and has a rich, slightly sweet flavor.

History

Rooibos has been consumed in South Africa for many years, and has a rich history in the country. Rooibos became especially popular in South Africa during World War II, when tea imports to the South Africa were interrupted. Without regular tea, people began drinking rooibos as an alternative, and today, rooibos is one of the most popular drinks in the country.

Rooibos soon spread to other areas of the world, including the United States. Beloved for its antioxidant properties as well as for its lack of caffeine, rooibos is a great alternative for those looking to move away from caffeinated tea. Although rooibos is an herbal tea, it has a similar taste and body to that of a black tea, with a bit of additional natural sweetness.

How Rooibos is Made

Rooibos tea is made from the needle-like leaves of aspalathus linearis, a plant that grows in a mountainous region near the South African Atlantic coast. Owing to the unique climate and soil conditions of the region, aspalathus linearis is extremely difficult to grow in other places. Rooibos has been enjoyed for many generations in South Africa, which continues to be its premier exporter around the world.

Rooibos takes its name from the reddish-brown color that the leaves take on when they are oxidized. Green rooibos is made from the same plant, but instead the leaves are lightly steamed and do not undergo full oxidation. Green rooibos is more difficult to produce than regular rooibos, and has a milder flavor. Honeybush is a cousin to the rooibos tea plant that is also native to South Africa, and has a slightly sweeter taste.

Health Benefits

Rooibos teas contain a variety of health benefits, making them a popular choice for those looking for a healthful herbal tea. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, rooibos is also is very low in caffeine and tannins. Many Rooibos teas are also blended with beneficial spices, flowers and fruits.

Our Rooibos Teas

Here at ArtfulTea we carry a wide variety of Rooibos teas. A popular choice for those looking for a decaffeinated tea packed with health benefits and flavor, rooibos has something to offer everyone.

Our plain organic Rooibos is great for those looking to experience rooibos on its own, while our Green Rooibos is a lovely tea with a lighter, more floral flavor. Some other popular rooibos flavors include Rooibos Chai, Earl Grey Rooibos, and Lemon Cream Rooibos. Honeybush Hot Cider is another popular herbal tea, containing honeybush tea, apple pieces, and cider mulling spices. Whether you’re looking for a fruity rooibos iced tea to cool down with, a warm, sweet tea to sip on a winter’s night, or anything in between, we’re sure to have something that will suit you!

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