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101 West Marcy Street
Santa Fe, NM, 87501
United States

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

Cinnamon Tea

Margaret Wack

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What is Cinnamon Tea?

Cinnamon has been used for centuries to flavor tea, and is often used alongside other spices in a variety of different teas. Cinnamon bark is harvested from the cinnamon tree, which curls into cinnamon sticks as dries. Cinnamon can be added to teas in the form of whole sticks of cinnamon, or can be broken up into fragment or ground into a fine powder before being added to tea. Cinnamon provides a pungent sweet, savory flavor to many teas, and often works in concert with other herbs and spices, such as cloves and ginger, to flavor a wide variety of teas.

Cinnamon Health Benefits

Cinnamon has a variety of impressive health benefits that make it a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. Cinnamon is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and can help to soothe aches and pains in the body. Cinnamon is also full of antioxidants, which help to protect the body by promoting cellular health and warding off degenerative diseases like cancer. Cinnamon can also help to lower blood sugar, boost metabolism, and fight off bacteria. With all of these benefits and more, cinnamon is a healthy addition to any tea!

Our Cinnamon Teas

Here at ArtfulTea, we carry a variety of different teas with cinnamon in them. Whether you’re looking for a traditional chai blend, a spiced herbal tea, or something in between, we carry a wide range of cinnamon teas to suit your needs!

Masala Chai

This traditional chai blend includes cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root and cloves, all blended in perfect proportion with a premium Ceylon tea. Add milk and honey for the classic drink, or try it alone for a spicier cup.

Solstice Spice

A spicy blend of black tea with apple, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange slices and pink pepper – with a taste reminiscent of the holidays. A classic spiced tea! The naturally sweet, comforting flavor is delicious served hot or iced.

Dandy Cinnamon Pu-erh

Dandelion root, cinnamon, ginger, 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.

Rooibos Chai

Rooibos Chai tea is a traditional blend of chai spices including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root, coriander, cloves, and pepper, along with organic South African rooibos for a caffeine-free version of chai. Add milk and honey for a more classic taste, or try this blend "straight" for a spicier cup.

Honeybush Hot Cider

Honeybush is a full-bodied cousin of rooibos with a slightly sweeter taste. The addition of apple, cinnamon, orange peel, and licorice root give this blend its delicious hot cider flavor. A perfect tea for a crisp fall day!

Mulled Wine Fruit Blend

Tasting almost exactly like the wine punch, yet without the alcohol, this blend gets its explosion of flavor from a blend of apple, cinnamon, oranges, and cloves. Delicious served hot like traditional mulled wine. Surprisingly tasty when served iced.

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Chinese Tea

Margaret Wack

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What is Chinese 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, tea had become an integral part of Chinese life, and specialized cultivation methods, ceremonial preparations, and cultural significance had developed around tea. There are several different kinds of tea produced in China from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. While these teas are all made from the same plant, they have significantly different characteristics depending on how they are processed.

Chinese Green 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.

Chun Mee

Also known as “precious eyebrow” tea because of the shape of the leaf, this classic Chinese green tea has a distinctive plum-like flavor and buttery taste that is sweeter and mellower than many green teas.

Dragon Well

Famously considered among the finest green teas in the world, this hand-crafted organic tea has a nutty flavor, earthy aroma and refreshing taste. Dragon Well is also sometimes referred to as Longjing tea.

Gunpowder

From an estate west of Hangzhou, this classic gunpowder green tea has a full body and steeps into a dark green liquor. With its smooth, hearty flavor, it holds up well to repeated infusions. "Gunpowder" tea gets its name from the tightly rolled, bullet-like appearance of the leaves, not from its flavor!

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Chinese Black Tea

Chinese black teas tend to be slightly lighter and milder than other types of black tea, 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 are fully oxidized, which allows the leaves to turn black and imparts a rich, slightly malty character.

China Keemun

Grown in China's Anhui Province, this handmade, limited production Keemun tea has a somewhat smoky flavor with toasty notes. It has a mellow character and steeps into a beautiful amber red.

Lapsang Souchong

With its distinctive smoky characteristics, this organically grown Lapsang Souchong tea is deeply aromatic with a smooth, crisp character. Reminiscent of campfires or even expensive cigars, this classic, rich tea fills the mouth with an unexpectedly sweet pine flavor.

Golden Yunnan

A bright, coppery, full-bodied tea from the famous Yunnan province of China. This tea brews into a soft, rounded cup with pleasant, slightly peppery notes. A wonderful example of a high-grade Chinese black tea with abundant golden tips.

Chinese White Tea

Pleasant and subtle, brewed white tea actually has a pale yellow color. While not much is known about white tea’s origins, it has been enjoyed in China for hundreds of years. White tea was particularly prized in imperial China, and was enjoyed by poets, court officials, and even emperors!

Bashan Silver Tip

From the Chongqing Province of China, this very rare tea is the top grade of white tea available. It has a delicate, clean taste faintly reminiscent of fresh apples, with a refreshing lingering flavor. Very low in caffeine and extremely high in antioxidants.

Jasmine Silver Needle

Organic Bai Hao Silver Needle tea leaves are scented with fresh jasmine blossoms to create a well-balanced tea with the tantalizing floral taste of jasmine. This superb quality tea offers one of the most sublime tea-drinking experiences available!

White Peony

Consisting of both buds and leaves that are simply air-dried after they are harvested, this subtle white tea is also known as Pai Mu Dan, and has a floral aroma and smooth velvety taste. Organic, very high in antioxidants, and very low in caffeine, White Peony is a superior quality tea from the Fujian Province of China.

Chinese Oolong Tea

China and Taiwan are the best known producing countries in the world today. The moniker “oolong” is an English transliteration of the Chinese “wulong,” meaning black dragon. In China, oolong teas are sometimes also referred to as dark green teas. Chinese tea production reaches back centuries, in particular among the geographic regions of Fujian and Guangdong. Within Fuijan, tea production is clustered around the areas of the Wuyi Mountains and Anxi County. Oolong teas are closely associated with Gongfu Cha, a traditional Chinese tea ceremony where tea leaves undergo many successive infusions in order to draw out different nuances in flavor.

Milk Oolong

Prized for its milky scent and taste, this Milk Oolong is produced by hand in the Fujian Province of China, within the Prefecture of Quanzhou. These hand-rolled leaves are a rich olive-green color that brews into a golden green liquor. This relatively new cultivar of tea has the distinctive, mellow buttery flavor sought by those who enjoy specialty oolongs.

Citrus Sonata

A superb blend of exceptional quality oolong with natural citrus essential oils. This beautiful tea will carry you away with its uplifting flavor and fragrance. Grown at high elevation in the Fujian Province of China, this is a crisp green oolong enhanced by a subtle grapefruit flavor.

Ginseng Oolong

Our ginseng oolong tea comes in the classic form of small rolled balls of tea leaves, which are coated with ginseng, and blended with licorice root. This enjoyable oolong brews into a naturally floral cup, similar to a Ti Kuan Yin oolong, but with a hint of spice. This blend is well-known in China for its many health benefits, and is sometimes called “King’s Tea” or “Emperor Oolong.”

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Chinese Pu-erh Tea

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. 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!

Leaf Pu-erh

An earthy, rich flavor distinguishes this Chinese pu-erh tea from regular black teas. Sometimes sold in bricks or cakes, our organic Pu-erh tea is leaf style, making it convenient and easy to use without losing any of the robust flavor you expect from Pu-erh. Aged teas are thought to offer many health benefits as well as lots of antioxidants and moderate caffeine.

Caramel Pu-erh

This richly flavored pu-erh combines the sweet decadence of caramel with the earthy, mustiness of an aged pu-erh to create something akin to dessert in a teacup. Smooth with a naturally sweet finish, this tea is warming and thick – perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. Excellent with a splash of milk.

Dandy Cinnamon Pu-erh

Dandelion root, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon peel combine perfectly with pu-erh and oolong teas to create a purifying blend that also warms and restores you. While we aren’t jumping on the bandwagon with claims about what “detox” teas can do for you, we do think this balanced blend has a delicious, rich flavor, and it offers benefits from ingredients traditionally thought to aid digestion and support health.

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Lapsang Souchong

Nick Rose

A cup of Lapsang Souchong next to a pine cone

What is Lapsang Souchong?

Lapsang Souchong is a black tea from China with a rich, piney taste and an aroma reminiscent of a campfire. Lapsang Souchong also has notes of burnt sugar, fine cigars, and wood smoke, and is sometimes also referred to as smoked tea or smoky tea. While this tea can be an acquired taste if you’re not yet used to the strong flavor, it has a devoted following of tea lovers all around the world. If you’re in the mood for a big, bold tea on a cool day, a cup of Lapsang is sure to hit the spot!

Lapsang Souchong History

Lapsang originated in the Wuyi mountains of the Fujian province of China, where it is still produced today. Like all Chinese black teas, Lapsang Souchong is produced from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. The name “souchong” refers to the fourth and fifth leaves of the tea plant, which are farther removed from the prized flowery pekoe bud at the tip, and are considered somewhat inferior in quality. When smoked and preserved as Lapsang, Souchong, however, these leaves become prized for their unique smoky flavor, and are highly sought-after all over the world.

While the true story of Lapsang’s origins have been lost to time, a variety of popular legends have sprung up around the tea. Some stories claim that it was created by accident during the 17th century, when the leaves were burned during a raid. Other tales suggest that war caused tea growers to abandon the usual drying process and use smoke to quickly dry the tea. Whatever the true origins of this pine smoked tea, it quickly became a popular commodity as a unique twist on a typical black tea.

Lapsang in the West

While it originated in China, by the mid-1800s Lapsang Souchong had become popular in tea rooms across Europe, particularly in countries like Russia and England. Lapsang Souchong was also a favorite tea of figures like politician Winston Churchill and writer and naturalist Gary Snyder. Lapsang’s distinctive taste and flavor profile sets it apart from other black teas, and is often compared to other smoky luxury goods like fine cigars and scotch whiskey. For all its popularity in the West, however, smoked tea is not typically consumed in China. Instead, Lapsang Souchong is viewed as a valuable export, and is produced primarily for sale in Europe and America.

How Lapsang Souchong is Made

Lapsang Souchong is made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, which are harvested and dried. Unlike other black teas, which are usually withered and then steamed or fired, the leaves used to make Lapsang are smoke-dried over burning pinewood. This process imparts a distinctive flavor to the tea, with a smoky, campfire-like aroma and notes of pine and burnt sugar.

Lapsang Souchong is not for the faint of heart, and often inspires strong reactions among those who try it for the time. For those who love Lapsang, however, a cup with the earthy aroma, intense smoky flavor, and hint of sweetness of Lapsang Souchong is as comforting as curling up by a warm campfire on a chilly evening!

Lapsang Souchong leaves in a saucer

Lapsang Souchong and Russian Caravan Tea

Russian Caravan tea is a popular blend of tea made with equal parts of Lapsang Souchong and China Keemun black teas. Depending on the blend, Russian Caravan can also sometimes include oolong tea, Golden Yunnan black tea, or other black or pu-erh tea additions. Russian Caravan is characterized by the rich smokiness of Lapsang Souchong, along with a mellower character and light, malty sweetness provided by Chinese black tea.

While the teas used to create the Russian Caravan blend all originate from China, the blend is said to have been created along the trade routes between Russia and China in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some stories claim that the smoke from nearby campfires imparted a unique flavor to the tea being transported, which soon became beloved in Russia.

Today, many people are familiar with Russian Caravan tea even if they’ve never heard of Lapsang Souchong. For those who are interested in Lapsang but are looking for a milder and more approachable blend, Russian Caravan can be a great way to explore the world of smoky teas.

Lapsang Souchong Health Benefits

Like other black teas, Lapsang contains a wide variety of health benefits. Lapsang contains a moderate amount of caffeine, similar to other black teas and about half that of a cup of coffee. Lapsang contains a wealth of antioxidants, which help to protect the body against cancer and other degenerative diseases. Lapsang also contains a beneficial compound known as l-theanine, which helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Like all tea, Lapsang is a great source of proper hydration, and can help to improve the skin, hair, and more.

How to Prepare Lapsang Souchong

Lapsang Souchong has a similar preparation method as other hearty black teas. We recommend using one teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water, and heating the water until it reaches a full boil (approximately 212 degrees). Pour the water over the leaves and steep for three to four minutes.

If you’re a Lapsang fan or are looking for a smoky tea with a lighter, sweeter taste, we recommend enjoying Lapsang Souchong with a splash of milk and honey, which brings out the natural sweetness of the tea and nicely balances the strong smoky flavor. You can even used Lapsang Souchong to make a smoky tea latte by steeping the tea in hot milk, adding simple syrup and a dash of vanilla, and frothing the milk with an electric milk frother.

Although it can take a little getting used to, Lapsang Souchong is a popular tea with a dedicated following. While this tea is a treat all year round, we’re particularly fond of it on a snowy mid-winter afternoon, enjoyed after a brisk walk outdoors or while curled up in front of a crackling fire. Lapsang is a perfect compliment to all things cozy, and its rich, smoky, slightly sweet character will warm you from the inside out. However you like to take your Lapsang, we hope you enjoy this delightful and unique smoked tea!

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Irish Breakfast Tea

Karen Gardiner

A cup of Irish Breakfast tea with milk and tea leaves

What is Irish Breakfast Tea?

Irish Breakfast is a strong, hearty black tea blend with a bold, malty flavor. While this blend originated in Ireland, it’s now a popular favorite all over the world. Our Irish Breakfast contains a robust blend of Indian and Tanzanian black teas, and pairs well with milk and sugar. If you’re in the mood for a rich black breakfast blend, Irish Breakfast is sure to do the trick!

Irish Breakfast History

Irish Breakfast tea is a hearty breakfast blend originating from Ireland. In terms of tea consumption, Ireland is the second-largest country in the world per capita. Irish breakfast is often taken with milk and sugar for a hearty, warming cup of tea that’s perfect to start the day with. In Ireland, Irish Breakfast is often consumed throughout the day (not just at breakfast!)

While tea originated in China and is now grown primarily in China, India, and African counties like Kenya and Tanzania, tea culture also has a rich history in the British Isles. Here at ArtfulTea, our customers often ask us about the various breakfast tea blends they've encountered, particularly Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, and Scottish Breakfast. While the origins of breakfast blends are not entirely clear, some tea historians attribute the start of what we now called "breakfast tea" to Queen Anne, who made it fashionable to drink tea instead of ale alongside a hearty breakfast.

Others date the breakfast tea phenomenon to about a hundred years ago, when a Scottish tea merchant in Edinburgh created a very stout blend to go with the traditionally heavy morning meal. Queen Victoria is said to have loved a Scottish blend of tea, and English tea companies quickly began creating their own blends, dubbing them "English Breakfast" tea. Referring to blends as "breakfast tea" from a specific country caught on, particularly in the U.S.

Irish Breakfast typically contains Assam, a black tea grown near sea level in the Assam region of India and known  for it's strong malty flavor and bright coppery color. Which Assam is usually the main component of the blend, Irish Breakfast may also include other Indian black teas, as well as black teas from countries like Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Irish breakfast is often finely ground, allowing the tea leaves to fully infuse the water for a rich, dark cup of tea. Today, Irish breakfast is consumed not only in Ireland, but also all over the world!

Irish Breakfast tea leaves on a dish

Irish Breakfast vs. English Breakfast: What’s the Difference?

Irish Breakfast and English Breakfast teas are typically composed of similar tea blends, usually a mix of Indian black teas along with the addition of teas from places like China, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. Irish Breakfast is usually composed primarily of Assam, while English Breakfast may include a higher ratio of mellower Chinese black teas. Irish Breakfast tea is usually stronger and heartier than English Breakfast, and is often more finely ground, resulting in a deep, dark cup. While still a strong black tea, English Breakfast is somewhat milder and brews up a lighter copper color.

One potential factor contributing to the differences between Irish Breakfast and English Breakfast is the quality of the water in the two regions. In Ireland, the water was traditionally considered to be hard, which was better served by a hearty Assam-based breakfast tea. In England, the water was softer, and breakfast blends tended to include a combination of Indian and Chinese black teas. Today, the initial considerations due to water quality have contributed to the rise of similar but distinct varieties of breakfast blends. While English and Irish Breakfast teas share many of the same characteristics, the main difference is that Irish Breakfast is an even darker, heartier version of a breakfast blend.

Irish Breakfast Health Benefits

Like other black teas, Irish Breakfast contains a variety of health benefits, and is a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. Irish Breakfast contains one of the highest caffeine levels of all black teas, making it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a warming, stimulating cup to start your day with. Despite this, however, a cup of Irish Breakfast only contains about half the caffeine of a typical cup of coffee, so many people can consume several cups without having to worry about the adverse effects of too much caffeine.

Irish Breakfast is also high in antioxidants, which help to promote cellular health and ward off degenerative diseases like cancer by reducing free radicals within the body. Like other teas produced from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, Irish Breakfast also contains l-theanine, a beneficial compound that helps to reduce stress and promote calm and clarity. Irish breakfast is good for the hair and skin, and is a good source of hydration for the body.

How to Prepare Irish Breakfast Tea

To prepare Irish Breakfast, we recommend using one level teaspoon of tea for every six ounces of water. Heat the water until it reaches a full boil (approximately 212 degrees.) Pour the water over the leaves and steep for three to four minutes. Enjoy this tea on its own, or add milk and sugar for a classic take on Irish Breakfast. Because this tea is so strong, we find that you can infuse the leaves a second or even third time without sacrificing flavor.

Our Irish Breakfast

There are nearly as many different blends of Irish and English Breakfast tea as there are tea purveyors, all with a slightly different combination of Indian teas like Assam as well as teas from countries like China, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. Here at ArtfulTea, our Irish Breakfast is a blend of organic Assam and Tanzanian black teas rolled into tiny granules creating a very robust and hearty tea with a deep auburn hue.

We particularly recommend Irish Breakfast if you’re looking for a rich, hearty, highly caffeinated tea. Whether you’re looking to switch from coffee or just enjoy the strong, malty flavor of a good breakfast blend, our Irish Breakfast is sure to hit the spot!

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Teas for Fall

Margaret Wack

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As we head into Fall we’re looking forward to bright leaves, crisp days, and, of course, good tea! Whether you’re in the mood for a spiced black tea, an herbal infusion, or something in between, these fall flavors are sure to get you in the spirit of sweater weather!

Honeybush Hot Cider

Honeybush is a full-bodied cousin of rooibos herbal tea, with a slightly sweeter taste. The addition of apple, cinnamon, orange peel and licorice root give this blend its delicious hot cider flavor. Honeybush Hot Cider is caffeine-free and full of antioxidants, making it a perfect cup to savor on crisp fall afternoon!

Masala Chai

A hot cup of Masala Chai with a dash of milk and honey is the perfect thing for an autumn morning. In Hindi, “chai” simply means tea, while “masala” refers to the spice blend used to flavor it. This traditional chai blend includes cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root and cloves, blended with a premium Ceylon tea. Add milk and honey for the classic drink, or try it alone for a spicier cup!

Amber Autumn Oolong

An “Autumn Flush” tea from Nepal, this double roasted oolong is full-bodied, with subtle notes of apricot, malt and caramel in a deep amber-red brew. Like many oolongs, you can infuse our Amber Autumn Oolong several times over, and enjoy the subtle differences of flavor in each cup!

Mulled Wine Fruit Blend

Our Mulled Wine Fruit Blend tastes just like wine punch, but without the alcohol! This blend gets its explosion of flavor from a combination of apple, cinnamon, oranges and cloves. It’s delicious served hot like traditional mulled wine, and surprisingly tasty served iced!

Rooibos Chai

This Rooibos Chai tea is a traditional blend of chai spices (including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root, coriander, cloves and pepper) blended with organic South African rooibos for a caffeine-free version of chai. Add milk and honey for a more classic taste, or try this blend "straight" for a spicier cup. No calories, no caffeine, and tons of antioxidants!

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Ginseng Oolong

Our ginseng oolong tea comes in the classic form of small rolled balls of tea leaves, which are coated with ginseng, and blended with licorice root. Ginseng Oolong brews into a light, floral cup with a hint of spice and sweetness. This blend is well-known in China for its many health benefits, and is sometimes called “King’s Tea” or “Emperor Oolong.”

Nutty Mocha Mate

The indulgent taste of chocolate and hazelnut, plus mellow chicory, give our Nutty Mocha Mate a rich, roasted, mocha flavor. Yerba mate is an herbal infusion, but unlike most herbal teas, mate contains a stimulating caffeine-like compound.

Sing Your Song

This handcrafted herbal infusion helps soothe the throat, clear congestion and promote wellness. Best of all, it tastes delicious! 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. Sing Your Song features organic ingredients, no added flavorings and no caffeine.

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Orange Peel

This tangy sweet organic Orange Peel black tea is quickly becoming our newest best seller! We've blended organic black tea with organic orange peels for a delicious drink that's loaded with citrus-y flavor. It has a light, natural sweetness that warms you from the inside out and is the perfect pick-me-up on a crisp afternoon.

Kukicha Twig

This Japanese green tea is made from the stalks, stems and twigs of the tea bush. Roasting the twigs imparts a nutty, almost creamy flavor to this classic tea. Some even describe the taste of our organic Kukicha as being slightly sweet. It's not only very high in antioxidants but also extremely low in caffeine.

Whatever tea you’re sipping, here at ArtfulTea we wish you a happy fall!

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Peach Tea

Margaret Wack

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Is anything more summery than biting into a ripe and juicy peach? Here in Santa Fe, the bounty of the season is upon us, and we’re reveling in the abundance of stone fruit. And what could be more perfect on a summer afternoon than a glass of iced peach tea? We have both caffeinated and caffeine-free options, for whenever you’re feeling a little peachy.

What’s in a Cup?

If you’re a fan of peach teas, you may be used to tea that’s packed with artificial flavors and added sweeteners. But here at ArtfulTea we think that peaches are sweet and sunny enough to stand on their own! Our peach teas are flavored with real peach pieces, along with other ingredients like black tea, rooibos, ginger, and blackberry leaves. These teas are naturally sweet, light, and refreshing, whether you serve them iced on a hot afternoon, or enjoy a warm cup when you’re dreaming of summer.

Our Peach Teas

We have both caffeinated and caffeine-free peach teas that are sure to hit the spot!

Ginger Peach Black Tea

Summer in a cup! Ginger Peach black tea blends spicy ginger with fruity peaches for a smooth, classic black tea that’s packed with bright flavor and natural sweetness. Ginger Peach is excellent served hot or iced, and has a moderate amount of caffeine (about half that of a cup of coffee.)

Black tea is rich in antioxidants, which help to reduce free radicals, promote cellular health, and even ward off certain types of cancer. Black tea also contains many other beneficial properties, including l-theanine, which helps to promote relaxation and mental wellbeing. Ginger helps to soothe the body and reduce inflammation. Peaches provide this tea with a taste of a summer, and are also a great source of vitamin C!

To prepare Ginger Peach, use one level teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water. Heat water to boiling, and steep that tea for approximately 3-5 minutes. For a mellower second cup, try infusing the leaves a second time.

Peach Rooibos Herbal Tea

Our Peach Rooibos starts with a blend of green and red rooibos, for a mild and refreshing herbal tea that gets its fruity character from the addition of peach bits, blackberry leaves and calendula petals. Rooibos is an herbal tea native to South Africa, and tastes somewhat similar to black tea, with a full body and a hint of natural sweetness. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, and is rich in antioxidants.

To prepare Peach Rooibos, use one heaping teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water. Heat the water to boiling and steep the tea for five or more minutes. Since Peach Rooibos is an herbal tea, it won’t get bitter no matter how long you steep it for. You can also use a Peach Rooibos base to make a cocktail or mocktail for added summer fun!

How to Make Iced Peach Tea

We think that peach teas especially shine when they’re served cold. You can prepare Ginger Peach or Peach Rooibos as an iced tea using either of two easy methods!

Method One: Cold Brew

While it takes slightly more time, cold-brewing tea is a simple, easy process that produces delicious iced tea with a slightly mellower character and less of a tannic bite. Cold-brewed tea also has less caffeine than hot-brewed tea.

Cold brewing tea is a breeze - simply fill up your pot or pitcher with tea leaves and cold, filtered water, using approximately one teaspoon of tea for every six ounces of water. We recommend using our urban tumblers for a single serving of tea that you can take with you on the go, or an iced tea pot with a built-in infuser for a larger quantity of tea to enjoy with family and friends. Cover the tea and let it steep in the refrigerator for at least four hours, but preferably overnight. Then remove the tea leaves and enjoy delicious, refreshing iced tea ready to go!

Method Two: Hot Brew

You can also prepare peach iced tea by hot-brewing the tea, letting it cool, and then serving it over ice. Iced tea that is hot-brewed will have a stronger flavor and a much shorter steep time.

To make iced tea using this method, simply prepare the tea as you normally would in a pot or cup, removing the tea leaves after the appropriate steep time for each tea. Then let the tea cool on the counter before refrigerating so that it doesn’t get cloudy. We recommend serving the tea over iced rather than adding ice to the pot or pitcher so that melting ice doesn’t dilute your tea!

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Chocolate Tea to Sate Your Sweet Tooth

Margaret Wack

A cup of chocolate tea on a red scarf, surrounded by chocolate strawberries

What is Chocolate Tea?

If you’re looking for a little chocolate to keep you in good spirits, a chocolate tea might be the perfect thing. These naturally sweet teas make the perfect cup whether you’re in the mood for a taste of decadent dessert, or are just looking for something sweet to treat yourself with. And with far fewer calories than real chocolate, they can be a guilt-free way to enjoy a little something special.

Chocolate has been used for thousands of years, both for its medicinal benefits as well as for its taste. Chocolate-infused drinks originated in Mesoamerica, where cacao was a commodity in high demand. Mayan, Aztec, and Olmec civilizations in Central and South America all grew, traded for, and consumed the highly sought after item. In English, the word “chocolate” derives from the Nahuatl word xocolatl, which refers to the drink made by combining cacao and water. Chocolate was spread from the Americas to Europe, Asia, and Africa after European colonization and conquest. Today, whether consumed as a beverage or as a confection, chocolate is one of the most popular foods in the world!

When people talk about chocolate tea, they’re usually referring to tea that has chocolate, cacoa nibs, or cocoa powder added to it for a rich, chocolate-y flavor. Chocolate teas can be made with true teas from the camellia sinensis plant, or added to herbal teas like rooibos or mate. Whether you’re looking for something sweet to perk you up in the morning or sip as you wind down at the end of the day, chocolate teas are rich, soothing, and hit the spot when you’re in the mood for something sweet!

Health Benefits of Chocolate Teas

Teas made with cacao and chocolate have a wide variety of health benefits. Chocolate and cacao contain flavanols that help to protect the heart and lower blood pressure, making them a great choice for people trying to incorporate heart-healthy foods into their diet. Chocolate teas may also have positive effects on treating diabetes, reducing heart disease, and improving overall heart health. Chocolate and cacao are also high in antioxidants, helping to reduce free radicals in the body, promoting cellular health and even helping to ward off certain types of cancer. While chocolate itself is calorically dense, chocolate teas can be a great way to enjoy the flavor of chocolate with far fewer calories.

Our Chocolate Teas

If you’re looking for a caffeinated cup, an herbal tea to end the day with, or are just looking for something sweet and tasty, we have a variety of chocolate teas to choose from that are sure to sate your sweet tooth and warm you from the inside out!

Coco Loco

This tasty brew includes black tea, shredded coconut, and cacoa nibs for a sweet treat that’s sure to boost your spirits whenever you brew up a cup. Our Coco Loco tea is velvety-smooth and naturally sweet, with no added sugar or other sweeteners. Coco Loco contains a moderate amount of caffeine, so we recommend enjoying it in the morning if you’re sensitive to caffeine. This is a delicious, decadent tea that is as aromatic as it is downright tasty! Enjoy it on its own, or with a splash of milk and a dash of sugar for an added touch of sweetness.

Nutty Mocha Mate

Mate is an herb that’s grown in South America and is popular in countries like Chile and Argentina. While it does contain caffeine, many people experience the effects of the caffeine present in mate differently than they experience the caffeine in tea or coffee, reporting a sustained, uplifting effect that boosts concentration and mental acuity. Our Nutty Mocha Mate is a blend of toasted mate, dark chocolate chips, sunflower petals, and hazelnut that brews up into a rich, sweet cup full of chocolate-y goodness. If you’re a fan of all things mocha, this tea is sure to hit the spot!

Chocolate Mint Rooibos

This rooibos tea flavored with peppermint, cacao bean pieces, and calendula has the bright, sweet flavor of an after-dinner mint chocolate. Whether you’re looking to indulge in dessert without the calories, or are just in the mood for a sweet, soothing, caffeine-free cup, Chocolate Mint Rooibos is a popular chocolate tea that’s sure to brighten up your day. Rooibos, an herb that is primarily grown in South Africa, tastes somewhat similar to black tea but is naturally caffeine-free, making it a great choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

Chocolate Strawberry

All the flavor of fresh strawberries dipped in decadent chocolate in one little cup! This blend of cocoa peel, strawberry, apple, rose hips, hibiscus, orange peel, and calendula is a sweet, slightly tart tea that’s sure to hit the spot when you’re craving a little sweetness in your life. In addition to all the health benefits of cocoa, a cup of Chocolate Strawberry also contains all of the benefits of hibiscus, a popular floral tea ingredient known for its high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Whether you’re looking for a little morning pick-me-up or a cup of tea with dessert, these chocolate teas are just the thing for a sweet, soothing cup that’s sure to bring a smile to your face.

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Yunnan Black Tea

Margaret Wack

Yunnan black tea leaves

What is Yunnan Black Tea?

Yunnan black tea, also called Dianhong tea, is a gourmet black tea grown in the Yunnan province of China and made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Like many Chinese black teas, Yunnan tea is lighter and mellower than the more robust Indian black teas, with a rich, malty flavor with a hint of natural sweetness. Yunnan black teas often have delicate, golden-tipped leaves, and brew up a bright reddish color. We’ve named our Yunnan black tea Golden Yunnan in honor of these striking leaves!

Yunnan Black Tea History

In China, what westerners refer to as blacks teas are called reds teas, while aged, fermented teas like pu-erh are referred to as black teas. Yunnan province is famous for its tea production, and is the source of many different kinds of teas, including Yunnan black tea and pu-erh. The mild climate and high elevation make it and ideal growing climate for tea. Yunnan province is sometimes considered the birthplace of tea, and the region contains some of the oldest wild tea plants in the country!

Yunnan black tea is a premium tea renowned for its quality in China and beyond. The tea is set apart by the large number of golden-tipped leaves and buds present in the loose tea. Yunnan black is made from large, high-quality tea leaves, and is fully oxidized before being prepared and packaged for consumption.

A cup of Yunnan black tea with autumn leaves

Different Yunnan Tea Types

Within the category of Yunnan black tea itself, there are a few different subcategories according to the quality of the leaves and the way in which the tea is processed. Each of these teas have subtly different characteristics and properties. From Broken Yunnan to Yunnan Pure Gold and everywhere in between, there are a variety of different Yunnan teas to choose from!

Broken Yunnan

Broken Yunnan is the lowest grade of Yunnan tea, and is made from tea leaves that have few or no golden buds. This tea brews up strong and dark, with little of the characteristic copper color of a higher-grade Yunnan. Broken Yunnan is often used in tea blends.

Yunnan Gold

Yunnan Gold is a step up from Broken Yunnan in terms of quality, but still contains fewer golden tips than Yunnan Pure Gold. It brews up a slightly darker cup, and has a rich, malty sweetness. Yunnan Gold is also highly prized and sought-after.

Yunnan Pure Gold

Yunnan Pure Gold is often considered the most prized type of Yunnan tea. It consists almost entirely of golden-tipped leaves and buds, and brews up a reddish-copper color. Out of the three teas, Yunnan Pure Gold is the lightest and sweetest, with a rich, malty flavor and a lingering floral finish.

Other Yunnan Teas

Other Yunnan black teas can include Golden Needle, which is prepared with the golden, downy tips and buds of the tea plant, and Pine Needle, which results from a new method of processing Yunnan tea in which the leaves are thin and straight, reminiscent of a pine needle.

Health Benefits of Yunnan Black Tea

Like all teas made from the camellia sinensis plant, Yunnan black tea contains a wealth of health benefits! It contains moderate caffeine, about half that of a cup of coffee, and is stimulating without creating excessive energy. Black tea also contains l-theanine, a beneficial compound that helps to reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation. Caffeine and l-theanine work together to contribute to alertness and focus without causing the jitters.

Black tea is also extremely high in antioxidants, helping to reduce free radicals and ward off certain types of cancer. Black tea is can also help to promote healthy skin and hair, aid digestion, and contribute to clarity and energy.

How to Prepare Yunnan Black Tea

Yunnan black tea should be prepared in the same way as other black teas. Use one level teaspoon of tea for every six ounces of water. Heat water to boiling (approximately 212 degrees) before steeping the tea for 3-4 minutes. Like other black teas, it can be taken with milk and sugar, though its flavor is also soft enough to be enjoyed alone. If you’re interested in Yunnan black tea, check out our Golden Yunnan today!

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How Many Times Can You Steep Loose Leaf Tea?

Margaret Wack

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Twice the Tea: Brewing Tea Multiple Times

After you’ve brewed a pot or cup of tea, it can feel wasteful to simply dump your leaves and start again. The good news is that many teas can be steeped multiple times! While loose leaf tea is an affordable luxury, you can probably stretch your tea much further than you think. Whether you just want to make the most of your tea or are curious about how tea changes with each infusion, steeping your tea multiple times can be a great way to explore new flavors and characteristics of your favorite teas.

How to Brew Multiple Infusions

If you’re looking to brew a second cup or pot with the same leaves, there are a few things to take into consideration to make sure that you end up with a tasty and flavorful tea, rather than a weak or bitter cup.

Steep Times

When heating your water, you should heat it to the same temperature that you used for your first infusion. When timing how long to steep the leaves for, we recommend adding one to two minutes to the steep time for each successive infusion. Every tea responds differently to multiple infusions, and different people have different preferences for how strong they like their tea! Try experimenting with different steep times and multiple infusions to find what works best for you. There are often subtle differences in flavor with each successive infusion, and some teas can even be infused four or five times!

Cups, Pots, and More

If you’re looking to steep your tea more than once, you can usually use the same pot or cup you used for the first infusion. Teapots with built-in infusers are a great choice to brew loose leaf tea in, as are infusers and filters that you can set right in a cup.

If you’re looking to step up your tea game, you can also used pots and sets that are specially designed to be conducive to multiple infusions. These include yixing clay pots, small pots perfect for successive steepings of Chinese black, pu-erh, and oolong teas, and kyusu, Japanese pots designed for multiple infusions of Japanese green tea. Ultimately, whatever pot or cup you decide on is a matter of personal preference!

Traditional Methods

People have been preparing and enjoying multiple infusions of tea for hundreds (if not thousands!) of years. Chinese tea brewing methods like Gongfu Cha place a special emphasis on steeping tea multiple times, often with very short, seconds-long infusions in a small pot made of yixing clay. Each infusion reveals different nuances in the taste and character of the tea. Loose leaf green tea is also often prepared with multiple infusions in Japan.

Best Teas for Multiple Infusions

While you can infuse any tea multiple times, some teas hold up better after multiple steeps than others. In general, we recommend black, green, oolong, and pu-erh teas for multiple infusions. But if you’re curious about what a second steeping might taste like for another tea, feel free to experiment! Here at ArtfulTea, we’re of the firm belief that any cup of tea is a good cup as long as you enjoy drinking it.

Oolongs

Oolong teas are often specially designed to be infused multiple times, with the tightly-rolled leaves continuing to unfurl the longer you steep them for. Oolong teas can be infused many times without loosing flavor, and become mellower and more floral over time. We recommend the Milk Oolong and Jade Song Oolong for a classic, unflavored tea that you can infuse many times over. For a flavored cup, we enjoy the Ginseng Oolong for a beautiful oolong tea with a touch of sweetness and spice.

Greens

If you’re looking to infuse a green tea multiple times, we recommend Japanese green teas. Sencha can be infused two to three times before loosing its characteristic grassy flavor. For green tea with a traditional twist, try the Genmaicha, a Japanese green tea with toasted rice kernels and rich, nutty flavor.

Pu-erhs

Pu-erh teas are aged and fermented for several years, resulting in a deep, dark colored brew with a rich, intoxicating flavor. Pu-erh teas can be steeped many times without losing their flavor. For a classic, unflavored cup, we recommend the organic Leaf Pu-erh, which has been aged for three years. If you’re looking for a flavored cup, the Caramel Pu-erh is a deep, rich, and slightly sweet tea that holds up well over multiple infusions.

Blacks

Many black teas can be infused a second time, resulting in a lighter, mellower cup. For second infusions, we recommend Indian black teas, which usually have enough heartiness to allow for a flavorful second steep. Irish Breakfast is a classic breakfast blend with a rich, malty flavor, while Assam is a robust Indian black tea that holds up well under a second infusion.

If you’re curious about infusing tea multiple times, it can be a quick and easy way to make the most out of loose leaf tea while also exploring the depth and nuance of tea flavors!

Where to Get a Cup of Tea in Santa Fe

Margaret Wack

Santa Fe Tea Spots

Looking for a cup of tea in Santa Fe? From charming cafes to late-night locales, here are 9 great spots that serve ArtfulTea’s loose leaf tea in the City Different!

  1. Iconik Coffee Roasters

    While Iconik might be renowned in Santa Fe for their cool vibes, knowledgable baristas, and stellar coffee, they also have a wonderful tea selection! Try sipping an Apricot Brandy iced tea on a hot summer afternoon, or a classic Earl Grey for a warming morning cup. Iconik has three locations: one near downtown on Guadalupe Street, one on Water Street inside Collected Works Bookstore, and a third location on Lena street. Whether you’re looking to sip on something while you browse books, settle down for an afternoon in a cozy coffeeshop, or just get a cup of tea to take on the go, Iconik has a little something for everyone!

  2. Henry and the Fish

    A charming cafe in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, Henry and the Fish carries a rotating selection of both hot and iced teas, in addition to coffee, sandwiches, bowls, and other light fare. Try an iced matcha lavender latte for a drink that tastes like summer, or stop by to see what the tea of the day is!

  3. The Good Stuff

    If you’re looking for an eclectic cafe that doubles as a retail shop with a diverse selection of records, books, and more, look no further than The Good Stuff. Located just a few blocks from the Plaza, they have excellent tea, coffee, and books and records new and old. Stop by to spend an afternoon browsing the classics, and maybe even find a hidden gem or two.

  4. Santa Fe Espresso

    Tea and ice cream? Yes please! Santa Fe Espresso serves up an excellent selection of tea, coffee, and Haagen Daas ice cream for a combo that can’t be beat. Located directly on the historic plaza in downtown Santa Fe, they’re the perfect pit spot whether you’re spending the day museum hopping or exploring the city.

  5. Santa Fe Oxygen Bar

    Santa Fe Oxygen Bar’s Apothecary Restaurant offers a diverse selection of teas, elixirs, lattes, and much more. Try Darjeeling or Sencha for a classic cup of loose leaf tea, or experiment with one of their soothing, healing herbal infusions. The Oxygen Bar is also a great place to stop for lunch, and offers a variety of new age-inspired cuisine with great vegan and vegetarian options.

  6. Joseph’s Culinary Pub

    If you’re looking for a great meal followed by an after-dinner cup of tea, you can’t beat Joseph’s Culinary Pub. Located a few blocks away from downtown, Joseph’s offers a variety of New American cuisine served in a cozy but upscale atmosphere. For a special treat, try one of their stellar desserts along with a soothing cup!

  7. Tres Colores

    One of the hidden gems of downtown Santa Fe, Tres Colores serves up authentic Mexican cuisine in a cozy, casual spot just a block away from the plaza. They offer a rotating selection of iced teas along with tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. After your meal, be sure to stop by and visit us at ArtfulTea right next door!

  8. Herve Wine Bar

    Whether you’re in the mood for a calming cup of tea, a glass of wine to unwind with at the end of the day, or a bite to eat, Herve Wine Bar has a little something for everyone. Located near downtown in a sunny, breezy spot with vaulted glass ceilings and plant-strewn balconies, Herve feels like a world apart. Try wine from New Mexico-based Lescombes family vineyards, tasteful tapas and small plates, and tea from ArtfulTea!

  9. Tonic

    If you’re looking for a late-night cup of tea, look no further than Tonic. Along with a diverse selection of craft cocktails, art-deco decor, and speakeasy ambience, Tonic serves up a variety of loose leaf teas in addition to their alcoholic offerings. They also occasionally blend tea and spirits on their rotating cocktail menu! Tonic is open until 2am Monday through Saturday, making it a great after-hours spot.

  10. The Coffee Wheel

    Located in the nearby neighborhood of Eldorado, The Coffee Wheel is a cosy coffee shop that also serves tea, coffee, hot chocolate, pastries, and more. The cafe also features textiles and jewelry from all over the world.

  11. 101 Coffee

    101 Coffee is a bustling local coffee shop located on the south side of Santa Fe. They serve tea, coffee, espresso drinks, pastries, breakfast burritos, and a variety of other light fare. They also feature outdoor patio seating, seasonal specials, neighborhood discounts, and free wifi!

Whether you’re looking for a quick cup to take on the go or are interested in tea with lunch, dinner, or drinks, Santa Fe has a wealth of options to choose from! And if you’re in the City Different, be sure to stop by ArtfulTea in downtown Santa Fe to taste our daily samples and stock up on your favorite loose leaf teas!

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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

Margaret Wack

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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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