Tea is one of the warmest, healthiest, most wholesome drinks to have, particularly in the winter. It offers amazing health benefits in addition to a rich relaxing flavor. It is a great substitute for coffee addicts since it provides plenty of caffeine and tastes great. While it originated in the East in places like China and India, it has spread across the world and is consumed by tea junkies everywhere. Rising to the top of places to get quality tea online is Hawaii.
Whether your go-to is black, green, or white, tea is the perfect drink to satisfy your cravings. The varieties of this awesome drink are endless. With antioxidants that help slow aging and its amazing effects on weight loss, tea was used medicinally in ancient times before becoming an everyday part of our western lifestyle.
The brewing process, how you drink it, and the many varieties of flavors make it quite versatile. Additions such as milk, sugar, lemon, ginger, etc., enhance its sweet and musky taste.
In this article, we will dissect the new trend of specialty tea which is quality tea, explore all the ins and outs, and finally, learn whether it is worth the hype.
Specialty tea aka loose-leaf is a high-quality tea that is often produced on small tea plantations. The region and environment in which the tea is cultivated, and prepared help bring out its special flavors. Where you get your specialty tea will define its signature taste since each estate that cultivates it has its own unique flavor.
Out of the four kinds available (supermarket, food service, ready to drink, and specialty tea), specialty tea is among those with the highest grade. White or Pu’erh are good examples of teas that are typically part of the fair trade, organic, and rare teas which is a reason that makes them so special. A great place to get these quality teas is online, so you can experience the flavors of teas from all over. When you are ready to try specialty teas from Hawaii, try Abby’s Ohana Tea. They offer flavorful teas grown from the jungles near volcanos in Hawaii.
Specialty teas use the entire leaves or partial loose-leaf, unlike commodity or supermarket tea. Since commodity tea is produced for mass consumption and packaged into tea bags, it is usually super processed and finely blended. On the other hand, specialty teas preserve much of their flavor since their leaves are intact.
This kind of tea is provided by thousands of tea plantations across the world. The main locations producing the best kind of tea are China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. You can also find more niche specialty tea in places like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Americas will soon offer their own specialty tea as they are making strides in Hawaii, Columbia, and other regions.
While all kinds of specialty tea originate from Camellia Sinensis, they can vary in their flavor profile tremendously. Each estate creates its own unique taste.
The type of tea, whether white, green, black, Pu’erh, etc., is determined by the methods used in harvesting and drying the plant leaves.
There are a few distinct types of quality teas online that are important for you to identify as specialty teas. Here are some details of the most common ones to give you a better idea of which one to choose.
White tea is decidedly one of the most requested types of tea. It gets its name from how it is collected. White tea is harvested before the complete growth or opening of the plant buds when they are covered in thin white hairs. It can also refer to tea that has had the least amount of processing. That’s why its flavor is not as strong as other teas such as black or green ones. It offers a much more fruity and delicate taste.
Because it is the least processed of all kinds of tea, it has the most health benefits. It is super rich in antioxidants which protect your cells from damage and it also has other amazing benefits. It can minimize the risk of heart disease as well as combat skin aging. It has been found to help with weight loss too.
This kind of tea is famously different from its family of specialty teas. The way it is processed gives it a unique flavor profile. The basic processing method of the traditional Chinese Pu’erh tea includes microbial fermentation and aging. With the right environment and the right tea from the Yunnan Province, you can age tea to the precise point that helps to calm your body and mind.
In their country of origin, fresh leaves get tossed into huge woks and are left there for the right amount of time which helps to avoid the oxidation of the tea and retains the moisture. The sun then does its magic. The tea is dried without destroying its natural bacteria which, over time, evolves until the leaves become darker and richer. Its flavor is characterized as earthy.
Pu’erh is usually sold as a mix of different blends that are steamed and compacted into various shapes. You will find ones shaped like square bricks or concave nests. This packaging style was first developed ages ago to facilitate tea transport. Today, it is specifically used for aged tea to preserve its fermentation environment and stabilize its flavors.
In addition to its distinct, signature taste, Pu’erh offers incredible health benefits including decreasing cholesterol and strengthening mental alertness.
The individuality of single-estate tea is what makes it so exceptional. Because of their exclusivity and production, single-estate teas are also some of the most expensive. They can be hard to find since they are not mass-produced and are only distributed through deals with the tea farmers making authentic single-estate tea rare to find in a supermarket. Online tea stores are typically the best place to get real authentic tea straight from the source. Example:
Hawaiian Dragon, a black tea produced by Ronald of Abby’s Ohana Tea from the leaves of Camellia sinensis ‘Bohea’. This Chinese tea cultivar grown under the native ‘Ōhi‘a is a boutique tea naturally infused with the floral notes of jasmine and citrus.
Loose leaf tea is usually the best option for people trying to get the most out of their tea in terms of flavor and health benefits. Loose leaf is unmatched taste-wise. The closest thing to it is the silk pyramid-shaped tea bags which also contain loose leaf tea. With more and more steeps, you can get the fullest flavor experience of the loose leaf tea. However, when it comes to caffeine intake, tea bags offer more caffeine in a single steep than loose leaf tea.
Flavored, quality tea online might be the right option for you if you love having your tea with milk and sugar and you like to try high end teas from all over the world. Still, loose leaf tea is usually drunk pure since it is of such high grade and quality.
The flavored kind works great with other additions because its strong taste mixes perfectly with milk and sugar to produce a smooth creamy flavor.
Stronger teas are typically ideal for lattes. You can also try teas with leaves broken into smaller sizes or simply use teabags if quality is not a priority.
If you are trying to reduce waste and become more conscious of your consumption, a loose leaf tea is also better.
Brewing quality tea is a process that requires love, dedication, and effort. Some even call it art. Though it’s not just pouring boiled water onto a teabag, it is worth the effort.
There are a few different ways you can brew quality or loose leaf tea since there are various customs and types. Some of the distinguishing factors that affect the brewing process are the type of tea, size of the leaf, and the quantity you are going to brew. This will affect the steeping times as well as the level of flavor.
To get the perfect cup according to your personal preference, it will require some experimentation. Each time you brew, try out a different quantity of tea, or change the brewing time, or the temperature of the water, and take note of the difference. Within a couple of tries, you will develop your own special method that appeals to you. Some tea farmers offer instructions as to how to brew their teas. Abby’s Ohana Tea gives great brewing instructions for their quality tea online. Visit https://abbysohanatea.com/#chart.
The safest bet is always to follow the instructions provided on the tea label. You can then adjust the amount or the method each time to your liking until you achieve the perfect recipe. You can always count on the golden rule that states the hotter the water you use for brewing, the deeper and stronger tea you will get. For a sweeter and milder taste, you can use warm water and brew for a shorter amount of time.
In the past, we used tea balls for very fine loose leaf tea, but that does not work anymore with the current loose leaf tea that has larger leaves. The tea ball is simply too small to properly steep the intact leaves of specialty tea.
The alternative method is the perfect one to bring out the rich and deep flavors of specialty tea in its loose-leaf form. An open mesh infuser basket is pretty common and can be found easily. It holds the tea leaves inside the basket and allows them to brew inside the hot water.
If you don’t have that infuser, steeping the tea directly with the hot water should do the trick. It provides more space for the leaves to open up, bringing out more flavor. After steeping, you can pour the tea into your cup through a strainer.
Sometimes you want a great cup of tea without the hassle of the long wait. If you don’t have time, tea bags are your friend. It is ready as soon as the water boils. You can give it an extra 5 minutes to brew before drinking it for a stronger flavor or you can drink it right away. Teabags are extremely functional as they offer tea on the go. They are easy to pack and carry and are quickly prepared.
However, if you don’t want to sacrifice the magnificent taste of loose leaf tea, you can choose to brew loose leaf in pyramid-shaped tea bags. Try cotton or paper filters as well and enjoy your next delicious cup of tea.
Quality teas are just like the name suggests, high end teas. You can count on their unique taste, amazing health benefits, and distinct origin. It is well worth the effort to find quality teas online. Do your research online and check for authenticity guarantees. Try out different types and blends to find your favorite. See if grower’s culture is worth supporting. We know specialty teas will make you a tea connoisseur!