Tea in Weddings

By June 27, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

For ages across the globe, brides and grooms have been infusing tea into their wedding festivities. Whether it’s giving away wedding tea favors, serving tea to guests or incorporating a tea ceremony, a growing interest in tea is prevalent in weddings. For the Chinese, serving tea is a symbol of respect, so it is typical to have a tea ceremony during the nuptials. A wedding tea ceremony has become a popular ritual many couples partake in regardless of their cultural traditions and practices.

When I went to China in 2010, I attended a Chinese wedding where the couple engaged in the customary tea ceremony. After the vows were exchanged, the bride and groom prepared a pot of tea and poured tea into small teacups for each parent. First, the bride offered the tea to the groom’s parents one at a time posing the questions, “Would you like a cup of tea, Dad?” and “Would you like a cup of tea, Mom?” Each parent responded yes to symbolize the acceptance and welcome of their new daughter into their family. The groom followed in the same respect.

Tea ceremonies like this vary from country to country and from traditional to modern. The Chinese usually host two separate tea ceremonies for the bride and groom’s families. Timing, location and people involved depend on the couple. Traditionally, the groom’s family is served first. If the couple chooses to also serve extended family, elders are first and the rest follow in seniority. After the tea is served, each person presents gold jewelry for the bride or a lucky red envelope with money to the couple. In a Vietnamese tea ceremony, the parents will impart marriage advice and guidance after they are served tea.

With wedding season in our midst, it’s perfect timing to highlight Art of Tea’s wedding tea, Now & Forever. While tea choice for a wedding tea ceremony is subjective based on cultural or personal preference, Now & Forever was handcrafted marrying organic green tea with organic oolong tea adorned with jasmine flowers and rose petals. The harmonious blend boasts light and round plum-like, fruity notes.

Additionally, Art of tea offers wedding favor options. Because the interest in tea has heightened, tea favors are trending. You can send your guests home with personalized tin favors using our artisan tea tins, to carry any of our hand blended, award winning teas. We have close to 200 teas and tisanes with the widest selection of organic and fair trade blends. We have monogrammed small tins to carry your choice of two blooming tea bulbs, two teabag sachets or Now & Forever. We have tea ceremony samplers as well that hold your choice of any two teabag sachets. We can even create a custom blend that will uniquely represent your union.

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.

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Matcha Green Tea Protein Truffles

By June 12, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Confessions Behind the Counter, Cooking with Tea, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

An increased intake in protein is a common thread in many diets. If you’re working out regularly or often enough, your body starts to crave and require more protein to function and perform. For carnivores, meat is the easiest vessel to consume protein. But for vegetarians, vegans or non meat lovers, protein packed foods may include tofu, beans and nuts. Protein shakes are a great way to get your dose of protein especially on the go. Another convenient protein option to refuel throughout the day, is a homemade truffle I infuse with Art of Tea’s Matcha Grade A. Loaded with protein from nuts, almond butter and protein powder, these tea truffles also give you the healthy energy organically emitted from the caffeine in the tea. Additionally, you reap the natural health benefits of matcha like antioxidant properties. Read more about green tea’s health benefits here.

Enjoy this short and easy recipe for tasty protein packed tea truffles! This recipe makes 12 but varies based on the size of your truffles.

protein truffles

You Will Need:

· 1 scoop Chocolate protein powder (I used Iso-100 whey protein in gourmet chocolate)

· 1 cup Almond butter

· 1 cup Almonds, crushed

· 1/4 tsp. plus more for a topping is optional Art of Tea’s

Matcha Grade A

· Cocoa powder, unsweetened

· Cinnamon

· 1.5 tsp. Agave/honey (optional)

· 2 Mixing bowls

· Mixing spoon

· Melon baller

· Freezer safe container lined with parchment paper

Instructions:

First, in a large bowl, thoroughly mix the almond butter, almonds, protein powder, 1/4 teaspoon of matcha and agave. Mix until the color is evenly a dark chocolate hue. Keep in mind that a little matcha goes a long way, so trust your taste buds. Prep the second bowl by dusting it with a gracious amount of grounded cinnamon and cocoa powder mixed together. Use the melon baller to create equally portioned spheres. Dust your hands with cocoa powder to help you ball the combined ingredients. Place each sphere in a container lined with parchment paper, so the balls do not stick to the bottom. Finally, sprinkle a little matcha and a dash of cinnamon on each truffle as a finishing touch. Cover the container and pop into the freezer for two to four hours. Remove and enjoy these protein packed truffles before and after a workout.

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.

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Digital Detox with Tea

By May 1, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

In the month of May, we are dedicating 8 minutes of each work day to tap out of technology and tap into a tea experience. This “8 Minute Digital Detox With Tea” campaign will challenge you daily to unplug yourself from all your devices- computers, phones, and other social gadgets to focus on the ritual of preparing tea.

Why Tea?

Since tea has been used universally for over 5000 years as a natural remedy for the mind and body, tea is the perfect vessel to reconnect with yourself. Tea is typically known to calm the mind, ignite focus and awareness, and sooth the body. Disconnect from technology to reconnect with yourself. Find a quiet space where you are not tempted to respond to an email or text. You can even set aside a box to hold your cell phone, iPad, and all other electronic devices. Join us in tapping out of technology to tap into tea!

Why 8 Minutes?

We usually get a 10 minute break during a work day, so we invite you to use 8 of those minutes to hone in on the art of tea, so to speak. Most teas take 3 to 5 minutes to steep. Tisanes or caffeine free blends can steep longer at 5 to 7 minutes, so it is manageable to prepare tea within an 8 minute cap. Also, the number 8 is a lucky number in China, which is where we source many of our teas.

Day One- My Tea Ritual

digitoxtea

I chose to steep an oolong tea called Bao Zhong Pouchong to kick off this digitox cleanse. First, I prepared my Smart Tea Maker by adding two heaping teaspoons of tea. Then, I poured hot water over the leaves. I quickly gathered my teapot and perfect tea timer, and headed outside. I set my pot down and watched the leaves infuse into the water for the remaining 2 minutes. I could see the leaves slowly dancing in the water, which is known as the agony of the leaves. Oolongs are especially eye catching to witness steep because like Bao Zhong Pouchong, the leaves are more tightly rolled and twisted. When the leaves are submerged in hot water, they dance as they unfurl during steeping. After multiple steeps, the leaves fully unravel, so you can see the full size of the leaves expanded in the pot.

While I took a few sips, I purposely engaged my senses to focus on my surroundings. It was a beautiful and sunny California day with a slight, cool breeze. I could smell the garden of white roses blooming beside me. I could even hear birds nearby chirping in the midst of cars driving pass. The warm cup of tea was comforting and perpetuated a serene ambiance.

digitox

This was my first time tasting Bao Zhong Pouchong. I could tell by the green color of the dry leaves that this oolong was less oxidized than others. It tasted similar to a green tea. It had sweet yet buttery notes that created a well-balanced flavor on my palate. The steeped leaves created a champagne hue and smelled mildly floral.

When I returned to my desk, I felt less stressed and rejuvenated to finish the rest of my work day. My tea experience provided a little escape from constant emails and text messages this digital age allows at the touch of a button. It was delightful to step away from all my technology and intentionally indulge in a moment to enjoy tea.

Now it’s your turn. Join us in our “8 Minute Digital Detox With Tea”. Learn more tips and facts, and share your digitox thoughts and pictures on our Facebook page. Click on tab: #8MINDIGITOX. We would love to hear about your digital detox experiences. Remember, take your pictures and post on social media networks after the 8 minutes. Drink tea, and be well!

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.


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How to Make a Teapot Terrarium

By April 17, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Core Value Videos, Learn About Tea, Tea Crafts, Tea Stories, Tea Tip

Spring is here, which means Mother’s Day is right around the corner. We have the perfect home crafted gift idea that involves finding your inner green thumb. Rick Houck, our quality control expert helped us create a beautiful terrarium from a glass teapot. Terrariums are petite sized greenhouses growing in a glass container such as a mason jar, light bulb or glass ornament. Since we are a tea company and in keeping with our sustainable efforts, we repurposed an old glass teapot that was missing its infuser as our home for our terrarium. This easy activity is a great gift for mom but also can be enjoyed by all nature lovers. It makes for a nice centerpiece for parties or everyday décor to bring the beauty of a garden indoors.

wo stickers2

You Will Need:

· Glass teapot with lid

· Shredded cedar

· Drainage rocks or marble pebbles

· Potting, sterilized soil

· Miniature plants such as succulents, tillandsia (air plants), preserved moss (not live)

· Water

· Sand

· Stickers (optional)

wo stickers

Instructions:

You can find all materials at a gardening store like Lowe’s or Home Depot. First, make sure your teapot is clean and dry. Line the bottom of the pot with drainage rocks. We used shiny blue and white decorative marble pebbles. Then, add a layer of shredded cedar. If you don’t have sterilized soil, bake the potting soil in the oven for about half an hour at 140-170°F. Mix the soil with a few tablespoons of sand to assist with drainage and create texture. Add water to moisten and slightly dampen the mixed soil and sand. Add the new mixture on top of the cedar. Finally, arrange your tiny plants with their roots into the soil. You can cut down succulents to fit into the pot as we did. Be creative and arrange to your preference. We added another layer of cedar and topped it with the marble pebbles for a water effect. We also added stickers to the outside of the teapot as a final touch. Have fun and show us how your terrarium turns out on our Facebook page!

Teapot Terrarium 010

*Tips: Keep under partial sunlight. Water once a week with a spray bottle. If the glass gets cloudy, remove the lid.

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.

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Tea Highlight: Jasmine Rings

By April 8, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

For all the jasmine lovers, you are in for a treat. Art of Tea now carries Jasmine Rings exclusively until our supply runs out. This premium green tea from Fujian, China is similar in quality and flavor to Jasmine Pearls. As the jasmine flowers naturally impart a lasting aroma and flavor, the effect is more intense in the Jasmine Rings. Supreme quality green tea leaves alone (unlike Jasmine Pearls, which contain the leaf and bud) are handpicked and carefully hand rolled into rings.

As I cupped the tea, I noticed the dry, silvery and pearly green leaves that formed into unique, varying ringlets. I watched the leaves unfurl slightly as I poured the hot water over them. The steeped leaves were just as beautiful dry because the ringlets were still intact but looser. The leaves were a brownish green and engulfed by the jasmine’s fresh and organic floral scent. I took one sip, and I was immediately overwhelmed with the floral notes of the jasmine. This tea is so delicate and pure that a mere two minutes is just the right amount of time to infuse.

wet Jasmine Rings

I also re-steeped the rings twice more. With each steep, it was entertaining to see how the ringlets uncurled further and still released a consistently robust jasmine perfume. The re-steeped leaves had a more mild and balanced jasmine flavor that wasn’t quite as overpowering as my first steep. I found the tea to taste better each time.

Jasmine Rings

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.

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Tea Dyed Easter Eggs

By March 28, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Cooking with Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Crafts, Tea Tip

With all the unnecessary chemicals contaminating our food these days, why not use tea as an all-natural alternative to color your eggs this Easter? Here are some basic preparation tips and a few options to get your eggs colored to the desired hue: Tea-Dyed Eggs 004

You will need:
6-12 hard boiled eggs
1 Tbsp vinegar for each dye color
1 cup of strongly steeped tea (2 Tbsp or 2 sachets)

Instructions:
Steep 2 heaping tablespoons of your tea or botanical of choice in 8oz
boiling water for 8-10
min or until a deep rich color brews. Strain brewed concoction into a vessel for dying the eggs. Stir in 1 Tbsp vinegar, add eggs to the mixture and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until eggs have reached their desired hues. Remove eggs carefully with tongs or a large spoon and set aside to dry.
We hope you have fun with this! We sure did! :)

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Frequently Asked Questions

By March 7, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Profiles, Tea Tip, Tea Videos, Teas in Depth

In response to common inquires we receive daily, we have compiled FAQs for your convenience. Browse through these commonly asked questions with our responses to hopefully equip you with more knowledge about Art of Tea, the ordering processing and general facts about tea and products we carry. Let us know if we’re missing anything!

Company Info

Q. Is Art of Tea committed to sustainable business practices?

A. Our mission is to offer the highest quality, organically grown teas available. We purchase our tea directly from small farms and co-ops from around the world, providing families in developing countries with a fair price for their goods. We also buy fair trade teas that are authorized by FairTrade USA, ensuring fair working conditions, fair wages and a better life for tea workers from eleven countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
We, at Art of Tea have an optimistic vision of the future and a comprehensive strategy to implement that vision. Our sense of personal environmental responsibility is evident in our commitment to practices that contribute to the sustainability of our planet and the communities in which we live and work.
For more information on our sustainability efforts, read more about Sustainable Tea.

Q. What are Art of Tea’s Core Values?

A. We established the following core values, which define what is truly important to us here at the Art of Tea:
- Treat Every Product as if it is Our Only Product. Treat Every Customer as if They are Our Only Customer
- Build Relationships with Positive Mindfulness and Teamwork
- Be Humble, Curious and Grateful
- Wisely Manage Company Resources
- Pursue Continuous Improvement and Innovation
- Commit to Sustainable Business Practices
- Teach to Learn
- Be Excellent, Be Committed, Be Enthusiastic

Q. Why does Art of Tea directly source their teas and botanicals?

A. Directly sourcing our teas and botanicals means our teas will always be innovative and of premium quality, ensuring a truly memorable Art of Tea experience. Through direct import, we maintain a fresh and continuously replenished inventory year round, which we then hand blend, custom craft and pack by hand.

Q. Where may I purchase your teas?

A. Our teas can be purchased directly through our website by visiting our online store and while we do not currently have any Art of Tea retail locations, our teas can be found in a wide range of locations with clients ranging from five-star resorts in Maui, teahouses in Beverly Hills, to cafés, retail outlets and restaurants throughout North America. Some of our partners include Cheesecake Factory, Whole Foods, Wolfgang Puck, Tao Restaurant Group and Benihana.
Art of Tea has also been featured in Oprah, The Today Show, Martha Stewart and Food & Wine magazine, among many other popular media outlets.

Q. Can I sell Art of Tea in my establishment?

A. Absolutely! To be eligible for a wholesale account with Art of Tea, you must be in a business that is retailing or manufacturing the products that you are buying, or in a business that uses the products to service the public. A business license or resale number is required, where applicable. If you have any questions about whether or not you qualify for an account, please contact us at (877) 268-8327.

Q. How Do I apply for a wholesale account?

A. We encourage you to apply for a wholesale account by clicking on the link below. Please note that new accounts must first be approved to gain access to the wholesale catalog.

Create Account

Q. What is your privacy policy?

A. We never collect or store any personal data without your prior knowledge and consent. At Art of Tea, LLC, we are committed to you and to protecting your privacy. Read our complete privacy policy.

Q. Do you offer tea training?

A. We offer exclusive training programs designed around your needs. We work with top restaurants and hotels to create training programs that will enhance the quality of tea service for years to come. By creating a one on one tea sommelier training program, you can train multiple departments and elevate your tea program into an experience that is unique, educational and fun for your guests to refer to as the place to learn about and enjoy tea.

To find out more about staff training and our tea sommelier program, contact us directly at (877) 268-8327. Outside the US, you may reach us directly at (213) 493-6518.
We also have focused tea tasting classes scheduled for those who are simply passionate about tea and want to learn more. For a full listing of our upcoming events and ticketing options, please visit our event page.

Q. Do you use social media?

A. For the most up-to-date information on Art of Tea, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. We frequently post a lot of great information about our teas as well as exclusive discounts and promotions for our followers. You can also subscribe to our blog to read about tea-related topics, contests, fun recipes using our tea, and more.
twitter.com/artoftea
facebook.com/artoftea
pinterest.com/artoftea
http://artoftea.com/wordpress/

Ordering Info

Q. What does my order status mean? (Pending, Processing, Shipped)

A. If your order is marked as “Pending” it means it has been successfully submitted to Art of Tea, but your credit card has not yet been processed. If your order is marked as “Processing” it means your credit card has been processed and your order is in production. If your order is marked as “Shipped” it is in transit and an email has been sent with tracking information to the email address on your account.

Q. What are your order turnaround times?

A. In an effort to maintain a fresh and continuously replenished inventory year round, all teas are hand blended and hand packed once we receive your order. Most orders are produced in 1-3 business days.

Q. How do I change my order?

A. If your order is still marked as “Pending” and needs to be adjusted, please email us immediately via our Contact page or call us directly at (877) 268-TEAS, and we would be happy to help make any changes.

Q. What is your return policy?

A. All items are guaranteed up to 30 days of receipt for store credit. If you are unsatisfied with your products, we will gladly issue a store credit for your purchased price, excluding shipping charges. For more information, please contact us or (877) 268-TEAS.

Q. How do I qualify for free shipping?

A. Retail orders over $75 qualify for free shipping. To redeem, enter the coupon code ILUVT at checkout, and the discount will be applied to your order. Please note that the coupon code ILUVT is required to receive free shipping and only applies to standard flat rate shipping in the Continental US. Other coupons or offers cannot be combined with ILUVT.

Q. Is it safe to use my credit card on your website?

A. Absolutely! We are able to keep your personal information safe and secure by utilizing Secure Socket Layers (SSL) encryption technology. For maximum security, we use a secure server that encrypts all your ordering information, including your name, address and credit card number. For more information, please visit our Privacy Policy.

Q. What forms of payment do you accept?

A. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. We do not currently accept personal checks, money orders, international wire transfers, PayPal, or Smart Cards.

Q. How can I track my order?

A. A notification of shipment is sent to the email address you provide with your Art of Tea account. The email you receive will contain either a UPS or US Mail tracking number, which can be used to check the status of your shipment via www.ups.com or www.usps.com.

Q. Can I ship to a PO Box?

A. Yes. All orders placed with a PO BOX shipping address will arrive via US Mail, as UPS cannot ship to PO Boxes.

Q. How soon will I receive my order?

A. This will vary based on the amount of orders in our system at any given time, as well as your location and shipping method chosen. Orders take approximately 1-3 business days for processing as all teas are hand blended and hand packed to order. Your order will ship from our facility in Southern California. Please refer to our Shipping Policy for more information.

Tea Info

Q. How many teas do you have?

A. We have close to 200 teas in our permanent collection. We frequently introduce and feature new teas for each upcoming season including holidays.

Q. Are your teas always guaranteed to be fresh?

A. We are committed to the quality and consistency of our teas. Whether you purchase your tea during summer or winter, we guarantee it will always be the same great taste and freshness you love. We taste hundreds of teas monthly to ensure each batch of tea adheres to our rigorous quality standards.

Q. Why can’t I find my favorite Art of Tea product on your website?

A. There are numerous reasons why certain teas or teaware may become discontinued or temporarily unavailable. It could be because it was a seasonal tea, or we might not be able to source specific teas or ingredients necessary to make the blend (whether it be because of weather or climate conditions, price or scarcity of ingredients), or it could just be that it isn’t a big mover for us, and we are clearing space for an even more exciting tea or blend. In any case, use the search box found at the upper righthand corner of the Art of Tea website to check the availability of a product. You can also use this tool to search the entire site for specific tea ingredients.

Q. Will my favorite seasonal tea be back next year?

A. While we do try our best to bring back our most popular seasonal teas each year, we can’t always be sure. Often seasonal teas and blends are dependent on availability of certain ingredients and subject to harvesting and weather conditions that may be outside of our control.

Q. What does “organic certified” mean?

A. A tea qualifies as “certified organic” when it’s been grown, processed and handled within the parameters of certain established international standards whose requirements include exclusive use of: purified garden soils, approved organic fertilizers & pest controls, processing methods, packaging, labeling, shipping, storage, handling, traceability and re-packing. All organic processes must be certified by an international agency and are strictly monitored. Our teas are certified by CCOF and we currently have the largest variety of organic tea blends available for purchase in the US.

Q. Are all of your teas organic certified?

A. Currently, about 85% of our teas are organic certified. Here are a few reasons why some of our selections cannot be certified organic: in most cases, it is because we are sourcing ingredients from small farms who cannot afford to pay for the certification, some ingredients in our blends may not be organic compliant or the tea is a seasonal offering and will only be offered for a short amount of time so we don’t process the paperwork for organic certification.

Q. What does “fair trade certified” mean?

A. Fair trade practices help producers in under-developed countries have greater opportunities to acquire the resources they need to improve their livelihood by promoting fair wages for workers, building schools and hospitals, creating cultural centers, promoting gender equality and fighting against child labor in tea producing areas.

Q. Are all of your teas fair trade certified?

A. We are continuously improving our tea selections to include as many fair trade ingredients as possible. Right now, about 30% of our teas are fair trade certified and that number keeps growing!

Q. Are your teas Kosher?

A. All of our teas, tisanes, flavored or unflavored are Kosher. We have periodic Kosher certification inspections to ensure we meet the strict Orthodox Union standards.

Q. Where does tea come from?

A. All varietals of tea (black, green, oolong, white, & pu-erh) come from the camellia sinensis plant, which grows mainly in tropical and sub-tropical climates. What makes each tea different is how they are grown, harvested and processed.

Q. How many varietals of the camellia sinensis plant are there?

A. There are 3 principal varietals of the camellia sinensis plant that are used to cultivate tea: camellia sinensis sinensis (China, Japan), camellia sinensis assamica (India, Sri Lanka), and camellia sinensis cambod. From these main varietals, there are thousands of sub-varietals.

Q. What about Rooibos, Yerba Mate, and other herbals?

A. Technically, any “tea” that does not come from the camellia sinensis plant isn’t actually a “tea” at all. These herbs fit into their own categories. Rooibos, or “red tea”, comes from a South African bush. Rooibos, just like most herbal hot water infusions, is naturally caffeine free, yet it contains many of the same beneficial properties associated with tea and is part of the legume family. Yerba Mate and Guayusa are closely related cousins from the holly family and are native to South America. Yerba Mate and Guayusa have a slightly higher caffeine content than tea but not as much as coffee.

Q. What is the shelf life of your teas?

A. We give an 18 month shelf life to our unflavored teas and about 12 months to our flavored teas. Teas with natural flavor additives will have their flavor diminish over time, but do not expire. The shelf life of tea is largely dependent on how the tea is stored. Keeping your teas away from light, heat, and moisture will ensure the highest quality and longest shelf stability.

Q. How much tea should I use per cup?

A. The amount of tea recommended per cup varies by the type of tea being brewed. Please click on the following link for a chart featuring the various steeping times.

Q. Can I steep my tea more than once?

A. Many teas can and should be re-steeped. In many cases, the flavor profile will be unique with each steeping. Re-steeping is not necessarily recommended for tisanes. You should also only re-steep within the first couple of hours of the first infusion.

Q. Can I request a catalog?

A. In an effort to remain environmentally cautious, we currently do not offer printed catalogs. We encourage you to browse our online store for listings of our entire product line and descriptions of all of our teas.

Q. What is the best way to store my tea?

A. Teas are best stored dry, kept as air tight as possible, out of direct sunlight, and away from heat. Tea will absorb any surrounding aromas and can also be damaged by UV light. Our foil-lined re-sealable Kraft bags are an excellent way to store your tea.

Q. What kind of teas do you carry?

A. We carry a full line of teas including White, Green, Oolong, Black, Pu-erh, Tisanes and Ayurvedic teas. To learn more about the difference between the different types of teas, please visit our Learn About Tea page.

Q. What is Matcha?

A. Matcha is made from a shade grown green tea, known as Gyokuro, which is carefully steamed and meticulously dried. After the steaming process, the leaves are separated from the stems. The leaves alone, called tencha , are grounded into a powder called matcha. It is prepared by whisking the tea powder with hot water in a ceramic bowl. Matcha is the primary form of tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. The sweet flavor of matcha is due to the amount of amino acids present in the tea and the higher the quality, the sweeter and deeper the flavor is.

Wellness Info

Q. Are your teas Gluten free?

A. All of our teas are gluten free, although not all of our teas, botanicals and other ingredients come from gluten free certified suppliers.

Q. Do any of your teas contain nuts?

A. None of our teas contain nuts. As with gluten free, not all of our teas, botanicals or other ingredients come from certified nut free suppliers.

Q. How many calories are in a cup of tea?

A. A cup of unflavored tea has 0 calories.

A trace amount of calories may come from the fruit and or flavorings that are added.

Q. Do your teas contain any dairy/lactose/soy products?

A. The following tea blends have white chocolate containing dairy in them: Brewed Awakening and Vanilla Berry Truffle. The following tea blends do not have dairy although the chocolate is produced on equipment that has produced milk or soy products: Chocolate Monkey, Velvet, and Aztec Spice. Our Blueberry Cheesecake tisane contains a natural flavor additive with dairy components.

Q. What is the difference between natural and artificial flavoring?

A. Both flavorings are made in a laboratory by a trained professional, a flavorist, by blending either natural chemicals or synthetic chemicals to create a flavor. Natural flavors are those that are derived from nature and have not undergone any extreme physical processing conditions during development. Artificial flavors are essentially man made. Many artificial flavors contain natural ingredients as well as synthetically manufactured flavor material.

-ART OF TEA

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How to Plan a Tea Party

By February 22, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Cooking with Tea, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

With spring almost here and warmer days upon us, it’s the perfect time to host an afternoon tea party. Spring is the season for tea parties! Follow these tips to help plan your own afternoon tea party.

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*Decide on a budget and theme. Do you want a formal or informal party? Spring themes often focus on spring holidays like St. Patrick’s Day or Easter. Other common themes are: “Alice In Wonderland” or “big hats for a garden party.”

*Finalize a date, time and location. Afternoon tea parties are typically around 2 to 5 p.m. Will the party take place indoors or outdoors, in a garden?

*Make a guest list and send out invitations accordingly. Evites (evites.com) are an easy, eco-friendly and free way to invite 10 or more people. Facebook (facebook.com) invites are also a great way to get the word out. If you’re having a more intimate gathering, it might be nice to get crafty with a handmade invitation or a phone call would suffice.

*Create the food and tea menus. Make sure to buy or make a variety of sweet and savory treats to complement the teas. Food infused with tea is an excellent way to showcase the tea. Try some of our favorites made by Katie Kirby, our social media maven. Click on these links to past posts for recipes: Matcha Cupcakes, Tea Truffles and Earl Grey Chocolate Cake.

Earl Grey Choc Cake Resized

Tea party menus typically include a mix of pastries and sandwiches. Think bite-sized appetizers or finger food. You can find many recipes on Pinterest.com with or without an account.

Select teas that will pair well with your food options. Here are Art of Tea recommendations:

Black Teas: Earl Grey, Earl Grey Crème, Tali’s Masala Chai, English Breakfast, Starry Night

White Teas: White Coconut Crème, Silver Needle, White Acai, Amore

Green Teas: Jasmine Pearls, Green Pomegranate, Happy Tea, Sencha

Oolong Teas: Mandarin Silk, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Plum Oolong

Pu-erh Teas: Naked Pu-erh, Pu-erh Tuo Cha, Coconut Cacao Pu-erh

Herbal/Tisanes: French Lemon Ginger, Egyptian Chamomile

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If you want to serve one tea at a time, we recommend tasting light to dark for a smooth transition for your palate. Take your guests on a tea journey starting with white; then green, followed by oolong and ending with black or pu-erh tea if adventurous. If you are new to pu-erh teas, refer to this two-part article on re-steeping pu-erh: Part 1 and Part 2. You should also have herbal blends available to accommodate guests who do not want caffeine.

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Lastly, since tea is the star of the party, you may want to share more fusions or unique teas like blooming teas such as Halo or Beach Flower. If you want to go a step further, you can make tea cocktails or tea-tinis! Check out these recipes from past posts: Happy Hour with AOT’s Blooming Teas and Hibiscus Cooler cocktails.

Learn about recommended steeping times. We recommend 1 tsp per every 8 oz.

*Make sure you have the proper teaware and accessories-teapots, teacups, kettle and water heater. Get some teaware tips from the last post on: How To Choose The Right Teapot. If you don’t have enough mugs, you can ask your guests to bring their favorite teacup, which will also add to the party décor.

Hope these tips were helpful! Enjoy sharing cups of tea with great company. Cheers!

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.

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Teaware 101: How to Choose the Right Teapot

By February 15, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Core Value Videos, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Tea Tip

When it comes to choosing the right teapot to steep your tea in, it may boil down to your preference, but there are certainly pros and cons to each type of pot. There may not be a right and wrong teaware for each tea category, but there are teapots especially designed for a particular tea type. There are four main types of teapots.

1. Yixing

Yixing teapots are best for oolong and pu erh teas. They are recommended for single sourced and unflavored teas such as Art of Tea’s Ti Kuan Yin or Pu-erh Tuo Cha. Over time and usage, minerals and oils from the yixing influence the flavors of the tea. In fact, the teapot becomes denser after each use, so you can eventually steep tea shorter because the flavors are already absorbed within the walls of the yixing.  Each yixing must only be used for one tea because the interior of the pot is unglazed. If you steep Orchid Oolong, you should always make that tea in that yixing.

2. Glass

Bell_Teapot

Glass teapots such as the Glass Assam Tea Press or Glass Bell Teapot retain heat evenly. Since it is transparent, you can watch the tea leaves unfurl and determine by color when to stop steeping. This is the ideal pot for blooming teas but great for all tea types, so you can see the leaves unravel and flowers blossom. However, because glass is so delicate, it is prone to breakage and may stain on the spout. To prevent breaking, it is recommended to hand wash. Quality glass teapots are lead free and made of borosilicate glass like the Glass Assam teapots by Bodum.

3. Ceramic

Bell_TPT_White

Ceramic teapots like the Bell Teapot by For Life are perfect for all tea types. Ceramic teapots are sturdy and easy to clean for food service. Since the inside is coated or glazed, this teapot is easier to clean and doesn’t impact the flavor of the tea. Ceramic pots also retain heat well, so they will keep tea warm for a longer period of time.

4. Cast Iron

Cast iron teapots retain and maintain heat for a long time. They were originally used to hold hot water. Cast iron is good for all tea types because it infuses evenly. The only downside is the rim can develop rust overtime. You can clean rust by rubbing a used tea leaf in the rusted area.

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.

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The Paleo Diet and Tea

By January 9, 2013 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

Happy 2013! New Year’s resolutions have been made. As many embark on the journey to weight loss for the new year, it’s fitting to explore the increasingly popular, paleo (Paleolithic) diet. The paleo diet has been around since humankind, but there has been a rise in this particular diet because of CrossFit, a trending fitness regimen that involves constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity within a community environment. As a CrossFitter, I immediately saw that paleo is the diet for CrossFit enthusiasts. It was first introduced to the CrossFit community by Robb Wolf, former CrossFit nutrition adviser and author of The Paleo Solution. News of this low carb, high protein diet quickly spread throughout the CrossFit community and eventually replaced the initial CrossFit Zone diet because it produced results to be lean, energized and strong.

What is Paleo?

Known as the caveman or hunter-gatherer diet, this nutritional plan entails consuming unprocessed foods with high protein, lean meats from grass fed animals and complimented with moderate fruit and vegetable intake for healthier carbohydrate sources. The diet restricts: processed foods, dairy, grains, legumes and sweets. When in doubt, ask, “What would a caveman eat?”

Paleo and Tea

Journey of Tea- 6 Hot

Water is the recommended beverage of choice, but is tea accepted in the paleo diet? Paleo purists would probably shake their heads no, but nowadays, modern Paleoists make exceptions to fit these modern times. Bacon is a processed meat, but many paleo dieters can’t resist it. Along the same lines, tea is a subjective topic for paleoists. Purists forbid it because of its caffeine content; while some say caffeine free blends or tisanes are fine.

Nonetheless, paleo palates can enjoy tea-like substitutes from Art of Tea’s rooibos blends. Although rooibos is part of the legume family, a dietary restriction, paleoists still drink it for its many health benefits. This caffeine-free red bush from South Africa is notably rich in antioxidants and helps fuel the body with iron. French Lemon Ginger, Italian Blood Orange and Rooibos alone are great tisanes to start with.

Other paleoists argue that organic teas or least processed teas are accepted. Given that reasoning, white teas are the least processed tea type (simply picked and dried) and so are often referred to as the most organic. Paleoists who don’t mind the caffeine can drink organic white teas such as Silver Needle, White Picked Monkey and White Peony.

Paleo-coffee fanatics also known as caffeine lovers can still get their caffeine in healthier doses through green tea. It’s widely accepted because of its natural health benefits. In keeping with the Stone Age premise of the diet, we recommend Art of Tea’s minimally caffeinated Kukicha Twig Tea and Green Kukicha. These earthy greens  are made of the twigs and leaves from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis.

kukicha

For more information about the paleo diet, check out Wolf’s website at  http://robbwolf.com/. Another plan that follows a stringent nutritional structure similar to paleo is Whole 9. Learn more at http://whole9life.com/start/.

-MELISSA CHUA

Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.

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