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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

Filtering by Category: Types of Tea

Black Tea

Margaret Wack

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What is Black Tea?

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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What is Green Tea?

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!

Green Tea 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.

How to Prepare Green Tea

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 Green Teas

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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Oolong Tea

Nick Rose

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What is Oolong Tea?

Oolong is a partially oxidized tea made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Oolongs fall somewhere in between black teas, which are fully oxidized, and green teas, which are unoxidized, and share some common characteristics with both of these types of tea.

Oolongs can vary in their oxidation level, ranging from approximately ten to ninety percent oxidized, depending on the particular tea. Because of this, oolong can differ widely from one another, and may taste more similar to a black or a green tea depending on how they are processed. In terms of flavor, various aspects determine where an oolong tea falls along the green to black tea spectrum in addition to oxidation, including terroir, harvest date, processing style.

Oolong History

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 Gonfu Cha, a traditional Chinese tea ceremony where tea leaves undergo many successive infusions in order to draw out different nuances in flavor.

Taiwan, China’s neighbor to the east, is a relative newcomer to the world of tea, with tea production beginning in the early eighteenth century on the island of Formosa. Taiwanese oolongs tend to have lower oxidation levels than their Chinese counterparts, and are often lighter and more similar to green teas. In recent years, Taiwan has experienced a rapid surge in the demand for their unique teas, including speciality oolongs such as Milk Oolong.

In recent years, some oolong teas have been produced in other countries, such as India, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. While these countries are still perfecting their oolong recipes, and haven’t yet achieved the stature of China or Taiwan when it comes to oolong production, many new and exciting oolongs originate from these countries!

How Oolong is Made

After the leaves from the tea plant are harvested, the leaves are withered and partially oxidized. During this process, oolong tea leaves may be rolled or shaped into tight balls or twists. The shaping and rolling is what contributes to an oolong tea’s unique appearance and characteristics. Because many oolongs consist of an entire tea leaf that is delicately rolled into a smaller, more compact shape, oolong teas are an excellent candidate for multiple infusions, and may be steeped several times without losing their flavor.

After the tea leaves are partially oxidized and carefully shaped, they made also be roasted, which imparts a rich, nutty flavor to the teas. Depending on the level of oxidation, the shaping process, and whether or not they are roasted, oolong teas can vary widely in terms of their shape, color, and flavor.

Oolong Health Benefits

Like all teas made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, oolong teas have a wide variety of health benefits, including a wealth of antioxidants. Generally speaking, oolong teas have less caffeine than most black teas and more caffeine than most green teas. Because oolongs can vary widely, however, they tend to exist somewhere on a spectrum between black and green teas in terms of caffeine.

Drinking oolong teas may help to suppress appetite, lower blood pressure, and even ward off some types of cancer. Oolong teas also contain a unique compound known as l-theanine, which helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Whether you’re interested in these teas for their unique health benefits or their delicious taste, you really can’t go wrong with a cup of oolong!

Oolong Preparation

Oolong teas can be steeped several times, with each infusion resulting in subtle differences in flavor. We recommend using one teaspoon of oolong tea for every six ounces of water, and steeping the tea in 195 degree water for two to three minutes. For subsequent infusions, add an additional one to two minutes per infusion. For best results, use fresh, filtered water.

Our Oolongs

Here are ArtfulTea, we have a variety of oolongs to strike your fancy, from the crisp, classic Jade Song to the dark, fruity Passion Petal and everything in between!

Jade Song Oolong

A superior quality oolong from Taiwan, Jade Song contains large, hand-rolled leaves that unfurl to release a delicate vegetal flavor with a smooth finish. Many infusions are possible with this classic, fragrant tea that tends more green than dark.

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. Similar in characteristics to a malty black tea, this innovative oolong is a prime example of quality Nepali tea.

Milk Oolong

Prized for its milky aroma and rich, tangy flavor, 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 and brew into a golden-green liquor. This relatively new cultivar of tea has the distinctive, mellow buttery flavor sought by those who enjoy specialty oolongs!

Passion Petal Oolong

This lovely flavored oolong combines the taste of passion fruit with an intense and enchanting tropical fragrance. Aronia berries, mango cubes and rose petals enhance the exotic flavor of this partially oxidized tea. Passion Petal also makes a lovely iced tea in the warmer months!

Ginseng Oolong

Our Ginseng Oolong 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 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.”

Citrus Sonata Oolong

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.

Whether you’re a longtime oolong fan, or are just interested in learning more about this unique variety of tea, we’re sure to have a blend that will hit the spot!

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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

Purple tea leaves on a white dish with a horn spoon

What is Purple Tea?

Purple tea is a new category of tea! Produced from the camellia sinensis tea plant, purple tea is a cousin to black, green, white, and oolong teas and represents a unique, newly discovered variety of tea. Purple tea is extremely high in antioxidants, containing nearly twice the amount of antioxidants present in other types of tea. Today, purple tea is primarily grown in Kenya, and is quickly growing in popularity as more people discover this unique new varietal of tea. Purple tea is truly unique, with a subtle flavor and amazing health benefits that you won’t want to miss out on!

Purple Tea: From India to Kenya

While tea has been grown for thousands of years in countries like China and India, purple tea is a relative newcomer to the tea world, having only been discovered a few decades ago. Purple tea has only been available commercially for a few years, and is still a rarity in many tea shops.

Just like other varieties of tea, purple tea is produced from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Most teas are produced from one of two varietals of the camellia sinensis plant, either camellia sinensis sinensis or camellia sinensis assamica. Black, green, white, oolong, pu-erh, and purple teas all come from the same plant, and vary primarily due to their specific varietal, when and where they are harvested, and how they are processed. While most tea plants produce dark green leaves, purple tea is made from a rare, newly discovered purple-leafed varietal of the tea plant. These plants were found growing wild in the Assam region of India, an area where many other types of tea are commercially grown. Assam is also near the purported birthplace of tea, in the Yunnan province of China.

After their initial discovery, these unique tea plants 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. Kenya continues to produce a growing amount of purple tea each year, as purple tea becomes more well-known and sought-after by tea connoisseurs and curious consumers alike.

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. While purple tea is on the rise, many people are still unfamiliar with the properties and benefits that are unique to purple tea. Here at ArtfulTea, we’re pleased to be able to introduce our customers to purple tea and to share our knowledge of this exciting new development in the world of tea!

Curious about what purple tea tastes like? We often describe it as having a flavor similar to an oolong tea, with a lighter body than many black teas, but without the grassy, vegetal taste common to many green teas. Purple tea is generally mild in flavor, with light floral notes and a clean finish, and brews up a beautiful pale purple color. Purple tea 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. Purple tea is also available in flavored blends, with added ingredients like dried flower petals and tropical fruits.

Health Benefits of Purple Tea

Purple tea is extremely high in antioxidants, containing almost twice as many antioxidants per cup as other types of tea. In particular, purple tea is rich in a type of particularly beneficial antioxidant called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are thought to help protect against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases by reducing free radicals, which can harm and damage cells, resulting in illness and even certain types of cancer. Anthocyanins give certain fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, and eggplants, their rich blue, purple or dark red color. Purple foods have been shown to support cardiovascular health, fight inflammation, improve cognition, and even to help to reverse the effects of UV damage.

Like other types of tea, purple tea is also a great source of other antioxidants. Since it’s generally low in caffeine, purple tea is a great choice for those looking to limit their caffeine intake. Purple tea also contains a compound known as l-theanine, which helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. With all of these benefits and more, purple tea is 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 and brews up a light purple color. Kenyan Purple has a mild taste similar to that of an oolong tea, with floral notes and a slight natural sweetness. Since purple tea is relatively delicate, we recommend drinking Kenyan Purple without any added sweetener in order to fully experience its unique and subtle flavor. If you’re looking to experience the unique taste of purple tea without any added ingredients, Kenyan Purple is the way to go.

If you’re looking for all the benefits of purple tea with a sweet and fruity taste, our Lychee Purple Leaf is sure to hit the spot! Lychee Purple blends purple tea with lychee, apple, pineapple, lemon peel, currants, and blue cornflower for a fruit-forward, tropical tasting blend. The fruit flavors perfectly compliment the subtle sweetness of the purple tea leaves in a unique tea that’s quickly becoming one of our best-sellers. Lychee purple can be enjoyed hot, and also makes an excellent iced tea!

Whether you’ve just learned about purple tea or have been thinking of trying it for a while, purple tea represents an exciting new development in the tea world. We’re happy to carry exceptional purple teas and love introducing new customers to them!

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Matcha

Margaret Wack

Matcha on Tray (K Leaken).jpg

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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Rooibos

Nick Rose

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Rooibos is a popular herbal tea that comes in a wide variety of flavors. Rooibos is native to South Africa’s Western Cape region, where it is still primarily grown today. Dutch for “red bush,” rooibos is sometimes also called red tea or red bush 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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White Tea

Nick Rose

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What is White Tea?

White tea is made from the buds and immature leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. While white tea is produced from the same plant as black, green, oolong, pu-erh, and purple teas, it is usually much lighter and mellower than other types of tea. White tea gets its distinct, delicate flavor from the age of the leaves and the particular preparation methods use to produce this unique tea.

White Tea History

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 prized by poets, court officials, and even emperors!

Because white tea is made from only the youngest buds and leaves of the tea plant, it is often more difficult to obtain and therefore highly sought-after. As the western world continues to learn more about tea, more and more tea shops carry white tea in addition to more common varieties like black tea and green tea. Tea connoisseurs consider white teas to be some of the of the rarest and most delicate teas available today.

How White Tea is Made

The leaves used to make white tea are harvested before they have a chance to fully open and dry in the sun. White tea derives its name from the fine white downy hairs that are found on these leaves and buds. White tea is typically made from much younger leaves than other types of tea.

After harvesting, the leaves are dried and shaped. Unlike other types of tea, white tea usually undergoes little to no further processing. White teas receive very little oxidation, which contributes to their light, delicate flavor. As a result, white tea tends to be the lightest-tasting and lowest-caffeinated tea. White tea also has the highest concentration of the immune bolstering antioxidants known as catechins.

White Tea Preparation

White teas are delicate, and optimal preparation involves steeping the tea in water that is steaming but not yet boiling. To prepare white tea, heat water to approximately 180 degrees. We recommend using one teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water. Steep the tea for two to three minutes, then remove the leaves and enjoy. White teas can be infused multiple times in order to enjoy successive cups of tea using the same leaves.

White Tea Health Benefits

Like other types of tea, white tea is very high in antioxidants, which help to reduce free radicals in the body and ward off degenerative disease. In addition, white tea also contains l-theanine, a beneficial compound known for its calming and meditative properties. White tea is low in caffeine, making it a great choice for those looking to limit their caffeine intake. Because white tea undergoes minimal processing,

Our White Teas

At ArtfulTea we carry a wide range of white teas, from delicate high-end silver needle teas to fruit forward, full-leafed teas suitable for everyday drinking.

Bashan Silver Tip

Bashan Silver Tip is from the Chongqing Province of China, and represents the top grade of white tea available. It has a delicate, clean taste faintly reminiscent of fresh apples, with a refreshing lingering flavor.

Himalayan Spring

The first leaves of the spring season are hand plucked in the foothills of Nepal to produce this refreshing organic white tea. The delicate leaves infuse to become a pale straw color that reveals aromas of sweet grass, asparagus and stone fruit. The sublime taste is smooth and buttery, with no hint of bitterness.

White Peony

Consisting of both buds and leaves that are simply air dried after picking, White Peony is also sometimes known as Pai Mu Dan. This tea has a floral aroma and smooth velvety taste, and is a superior quality tea from the Fujian Province of China.

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.

Mango Pear

Delicate White Peony tea, also known as Pai Mu Dan, blends into a delicious and beautiful tea with the addition of organic mango cubes, apples and pear. Mango Pear also makes an exceptional iced tea!

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Herbal Infusions

Nick Rose

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Herbal infusions, while sometimes referred to as “herbal tea," aren’t actually tea at all. Tea made from herbs, flowers, and spices, rather than with leaves from the camellia sinensis plant, are more properly called herbal infusions or tisanes. While you can still call them herbal teas, these brews are naturally caffeine-free, and can also differ in other ways from their camellia sinensis counterparts.

Herbal teas have been used for centuries to promote health and wellness, and can soothe everything from a scratchy throat to sore muscles. These herbal concoctions are prominent in Chinese medicine, ayurveda, and folk remedies from all over the world.

Herbal Health Benefits

While herbal teas typically don’t contain as many antioxidants as tea made from the camellia sinensis plant, they have a wealth of other beneficial properties. Herbal teas are great for hydration, and can be a great way to ensure that your water intake is up to snuff. Herbal teas also contain many ingredients with beneficial properties in their own right, like ginger, mint, hibiscus, and lavender. Herbal teas can be a great way to reduce stress and develop a bedtime ritual that allows you to relax and unwind.

Herbal Varieties

There are a wide variety of herbal teas readily available, some even made from flowers, herbs, and other plants that you can find in your own backyard. Flowers like lavender, chamomile, and rose compose a variety of different herbal teas. Hibiscus, which brews up a vibrant magenta color and has a wealth of health benefits, is another common ingredient in herbal teas. Mint-based herbal teas are also very popular.

There are also several kinds of herbal tea that are common enough to merit their own category. 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 is the base for many of our caffeine-free teas, including Rooibos Chai and Earl Grey Rooibos.

Yerba mate is a type of tea made from the leaves and stems of the holly plant ilex paraguariensis and is native to South America. Sometimes known as “drink of the gods” or “drink of friendship,” mate was first discovered and prepared by the indigenous Guarani people. While mate does contain caffeine, many people experience it differently than they experience caffeine in tea or coffee. It’s extremely popular in countries like Chile and Argentina, where it is celebrated for its warming, stimulating properties. Traditionally, yerba mate is best when shared with friends!

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Mate

Nick Rose

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Yerba mate is a type of tea made from the leaves and stems of the holly plant ilex paraguariensis and is native to South America. Sometimes known as “drink of the gods” or “drink of friendship,” mate was first discovered and prepared by the indigenous Guarani people. Mate’s etymology derives from both Spanish and Quechua, an indigenous South American language - yerba is derived from the Spanish word for herb, while mate comes from a Quechua word meaning cup or gourd.

After European colonization, mate consumption and production became popular among the colonizers, particularly Jesuit missionaries and other foreign settlers. Mate is extremely popular in South America, where it is the official drink of Argentina, and is also widely consumed in Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile and Brazil. It is also very popular in Syria, the world’s leading importer of mate, as well as Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.

Mate Health Benefits

Mate is high in caffeine, containing almost as much as coffee per cup. However, the caffeine present in mate, sometimes called matteine, often has a slightly different effect than the sort of caffeine found in coffee or in tea made from the camellia sinensis plant. Mate is said to contribute to focus, clarity, and alertness, without the negative effects typically associated with excess caffeine intake, making it a great alternative for those looking for a stimulant with fewer adverse side effects. Mate is also rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals, and is known for promoting good digestion and heart health.

How to Prepare Mate

Mate is traditionally prepared in a hollow gourd by adding leaves and hot, but not boiling water to the gourd to steep. The tea is then consumed through a filtered straw known as a bombilla. In many South American countries, mate is drunk among a group of friends by drinking and refilling the same gourd as it is passed from person to person. Mate can also be prepared in the same way as other teas and tisanes, by steeping the leaves in an infuser or filter in a mug or pot.

Our Mate

Our traditional Yerba Mate is a great option for those looking to try mate on its own, with no added ingredients. Our Nutty Mocha Mate is a rich, delicious blend of mate with chocolate and hazelnut, sure to appeal to those with a sweet tooth, while our Lively Lemony Mate is an uplifting, citrus-forward brew that’s sure to start the day off on a great note!

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