Our philosophy on tea is simple. Drink what is pure and good. With the vast varieties of teas available, we feel it’s our duty to meticulously source teas that are representative in taste, appearance and quality for their respective variety so that our tea drinkers can trust they are drinking genuinely superior quality teas. The result is a menu of more than 150 exceptional teas and herbals sourced from around the world, that we trust you’ll enjoy cup after cup.
Yerba mate (“mah'-tay”) is a popular caffeinated herb from South America. High in antioxidants, minerals and polyphenols, yerba is known for its ability to boost energy and mental clarity without the jittery buzz of coffee. The actual tea is the “yerba”, while the traditional hollowed-out drinking gourd is the ‘mate’. In certain South American countries, drinking yerba mate is a popular community event with strong social customs. The flavor of yerba is deeply vegetal and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Flavored versions are offered with herbs such as mint or citrus.
Rooibos or “red bush” tea is a caffeine-free herb tea commonly drunk in South Africa. Native to the Western Cape and capable of growing only there, it shares a symbiotic relationship with local microorganisms in the fynbos, a belt of scrubland at risk from climate change. Rooibos is lower in tannins than black tea, with high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants. Most rooibos goes through an oxidation process that results in a full-bodied nutty taste, while some is left “green”, imparting refreshing, grassy notes. Delicious plain, it’s also served with milk and sugar or with honey and lemon.
An herbal tea or “tisane” is a brew made from the fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots of a plant. Distinguished from true tea made from the Camellia sinensis plant, herbal teas are used on every continent for enjoyment and medicinal purposes. Herbal tisanes are documented all the way back to ancient China and Egypt, with the word "tisane" originating from a Greek drink made from barley.
An Indian tea drink, chai has taken the world by storm. Traditionally, masala chai (“mixed-spice tea”) is made from black Assam tea brewed in milk, with aromatic spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper. Some like their chai unsweetened, while many like it with sweetener to bring out the spice. Other variations include a base of green or rooibos tea. While most people appreciate it purely for the warming, delicious taste, chai also supports immune function, reduces inflammation, and aids in digestion.
White tea is created by picking the immature tea leaves and buds before the buds have fully opened. After harvest, the leaves and buds are allowed to wither and dry naturally in the sun. The "white” designation comes from the fine, silvery hairs on the leaves and buds which give them a whitish appearance; only parts with the most silvery hairs are chosen. White tea’s minimal processing allows it to retain high levels of health-supporting phytochemicals. The brew is pale yellow and has a subtle, delicate flavor, with renowned varieties including White Peony and Silver Needle.
Originating in Yunnan, China, Puerh tea is made using an aging process that involves microbial fermentation. Puerh teas can improve and become more valuable as they age – some for several decades. With flavors that change over time, they are sometimes described as earthy yet clean and smooth, or roasted with sweet undertones. Offered in “raw” and “ripe” varieties, and sold as loose leaf or pressed into cakes, the genre of puerh is vast, and many a tea lover finds its exploration to be a life-long obsession.
Oolong teas are made from distinct tea plant varietals grown primarily in China and Taiwan. Their unmistakable flavor profiles are based on growing region, individual farmers’ production methods, and complex, multi-layered processing techniques. Oolongs provide a wide scope of flavor profiles; sweet and fruity, woody and roasted, or green and fresh, all depending on the region and style of production. Not simply “somewhere between black and green tea", oolongs offer a world of exploration and pleasure.
Green teas are differentiated from other tea categories by their lack of oxidation. A gentle cooking process denatures the enzymes within the leaves which prevents the tea from oxidizing. This process brings out the distinct hearty vegetal flavors of Chinese green teas and the grassy savoriness of Japanese teas.
Black tea was first created by the Chinese to survive the long voyage to the lucrative and demanding British and European trading markets. Unlike other teas, black tea is processed to be fully oxidized in order to create the rich and robust flavors characteristic of the teas in this category. Commonly known to be highest in caffeine and in need of milk and sugar to temper its bold and tannic flavors, our wide range of black teas spans the spectrum of natural flavor notes that go beyond strength and require no alterations when brewed by its instructions.
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