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101 West Marcy Street
Santa Fe, NM, 87501
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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 Tag: pu-erh

How Many Times Can You Steep Loose Leaf Tea?

Margaret Wack


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.


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.


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-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.


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!

Breakfast Brews: 6 Great Teas for a Morning Cup

Margaret Wack


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!

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.


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!


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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Teas for Winter

Margaret Wack

G - Winter Forest (cups).jpg

While tea is delicious no matter the time of year, there’s a special savor to a warm cup of tea enjoyed on a cold winter day. For the winter months, here are a few teas that are sure to keep you cozy no matter the temperature!

Solstice Spice

A spicy blend of black tea with apple, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange slices and pink pepper, Solstice Spice is a wonderful tea with a taste reminiscent of the holidays. It’s a classic spiced tea with a naturally sweet, comforting flavor.

Lapsang Souchong

A campfire in a cup! With its distinctive smoky characteristics, this organically grown Lapsang Souchong tea is deeply aromatic with a smooth, crisp character. Reminiscent of woodsmoke and even expensive cigars, this classic, rich tea fills the mouth with an unexpectedly sweet pine flavor. Lapsang also pairs well with milk and honey.

Caramel Pu-erh

With their rich, robust flavor and hearty body, pu-erh teas are a natural fit for winter. Our caramel pu-erh combines the sweet decadence of caramel with the earthiness 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, and is excellent with a splash of milk.

Dandy Cinnamon Purifying 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! A perfect pick-me-up if the cold weather has you feeling run-down.

Genmaicha Matcha

We've blended two traditional Japanese green teas together here, with the result being a tasty hybrid cup of tea! Genmaicha is a Japanese tea containing roasted brown rice, while matcha is a powdered green tea traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. These two teas combine together beautifully, creating a rich, toasty, earthy flavor that is creamy and slightly sweet.

Winter Forest

This green tea is a festive blend of almond and orange with a surprising pine-like flavor. Chinese sencha and Japanese bancha are combined with refreshing orange and nutty almonds for a lovely cup that will keep you warm from the outside in.

Atomic Gold

Atomic Gold is spicy and sweet, warm and soothing, while also incredibly healthful and tasty! This remarkable blend of turmeric, ginger, licorice, lemongrass and orange has a deep and satisfying flavor while also providing outstanding health benefits. It brews up a beautifully bright golden yellow, and is sure to cure your wintertime blues.

Tuscan Sun

Dreaming of summer? Our Tuscan Sun is a colorful blend of flowers, fruit and herbs reminiscent of a sunny meadow in Tuscany. The floral aromas of lavender and orange blossoms combine with the sweetness of apple, linden and melissa leaves for a relaxing, smooth herbal blend with soothing therapeutic properties.

Vanilla Rooibos

Superior quality vanilla is the secret to the smooth, rich, creamy taste of this popular flavor of rooibos. Packed with antioxidants and caffeine free, Vanilla Rooibos is satisfyingly sweet with an infectious warmth, perfect as a cup before bed. This tea is calling out for you to curl up by the fire with a good book and enjoy!

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Best Teas for Coffee Drinkers

Margaret Wack

B - Irish Breakfast (detail).jpg

Switching from Coffee to Tea

Whether you’re a coffee lover trying to kick the habit, or simply interested in switching up your daily routine, tea can be a wonderful alternative for a morning pick-me-up. More and more people are turning to tea as a soothing but stimulating way to start their day off on the right foot. Packed with antioxidants and rich in other vitamins and minerals, tea is full of health benefits, too. But with so many teas to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start! Here are just a few of the teas we recommend for coffee drinkers interested in branching out:

Indian Black Tea

Indian black teas make a great alternative to coffee, as they brew up dark and strong, have a full body, and are high in caffeine. While Chinese blacks tend to be mellower and more delicate, Indian blacks have a little bite to them, and with about half the caffeine of a cup of coffee, they still pack a punch in terms of morning energy. They are delicious taken black, or with added milk and sugar.

Our Irish Breakfast, a blend of Assam and Tanzanian teas, is a robust breakfast tea that’s sure to please those who are looking for the strength and richness of a cup of coffee, with the added benefits of tea. Irish Breakfast tea leaves are especially fine, and they brew up a strong, dark cup. Our Assam, a rich black tea grown in the Assam region of India and traditionally used in many breakfast blends, is another great option.

Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh teas, like black teas, have about half the caffeine of a cup of coffee, making them another excellent candidate for a morning cup. Unlike black teas, however, pu-erh is lightly fermented, giving it a deep black color and luxurious, earthy taste and texture that’s sure to appeal to those fond of the depth and richness of good coffee. Pu-erh is sourced from the Yunnan province of China, and has a fascinating history stretching back hundreds of years.

At Artful Tea, we carry three different varieties of pu-erh. Our organic Leaf Pu-erh has a rich, mellow, earthy flavor, while our Caramel Pu-erh adds a depth of malty, nutty sweetness to its pu-erh base, and is perfect with a splash of milk. 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!

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is a type of tea made from the leaves and stems of the holly plant ilex paraguariensis and popular throughout South America, particularly in Brazil and Argentina. Mate is high in caffeine, containing almost as much as coffee per cup. Mate is said to contribute to focus, clarity, and alertness, without the jitters that come from drinking too much coffee, making it a great alternative for those looking for a stimulant without adverse side effects. It is traditionally drunk out of a hollow gourd through a straw known as a bombilla, but can also be prepared in the same way as other teas and tisanes.

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!

With these options and more to choose from, tea can be a wonderful alternative even for committed coffee drinkers, whether they’re looking to decrease their caffeine intake or simply reap the many benefits that tea has to offer!

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