Home Brewing, Winemaking and Tea
Find out the basics of Home brewing and Winemaking and the varieties of Tea available for your enjoyment through our Guide and Product Information listed above.
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6440 Lyndale Avenue South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55423 United States of America
Tea is good for you. At Barkingside Co. we intend to keep it
that way. From the garden to the cup, we have a great selection
of tea to choose from. Delight your senses with Artisan Tea,
Estate Tea or Black Tea, China Black Tea, White Tea, Green Tea,
Oolong Tea, Organic and Decaffeinated teas.
Japanese Sencha, Fukujyu, Gyokuru and Chinese Dragonwell and Lumbini are exceptional teas. Keemun, Pearl River, Courtlodge Decaff and English Breakfast are popular organic and decaffeinated teas.
ARTISAN TEA - CHINA: Delight your senses with incredible handmade artisanal tea creations. These artisan teas conceal worlds of mystery and soft flavors deep within their shell-like exteriors. The techniques used to create them have been handed down from generation to generation and haven't changed in centuries. If you look closely, you can even see the string used to tie the broad-leafed, spring production tea, chosen leaf by leaf by the artists themselves. It takes about 10 minutes for an artisan to create one artisanal tea piece. In general, 60-75 pieces make up approximately 1 lb - roughly 10 hours worth of work! Artisan tea available at Barkingside Co. includes Cote D' Azur Garden, 1000 Day Flower, 3 Flower Burst, Allegria Jasmine Burst, Carnation Strong Stem, Delirium Blossom, Dragon 4 Flowers, Ginseng Lily, Hannah Chrysanthemum, Jasmine Bai Mu Dan, Organic Lu Mu Dan , Longing Heart, Lovers 3 Flower, Menthe Soleil Flower, Oolong Mystere, Volcano Flower Burst, Tiffany Rose Melody, Weeping Rose, Flower White Symphony, Camellia Rose Flower, Anthony and Cleopatra Hearts, Romeo and Juliet Hearts, Queen Victoria Flower, Jasmine Slivering Balls, Jasmine Dragon Tears and Dragon Pearls. What's the best way to brew these drinkable works of art? In a glass teapot of course! A glass teapot offer an open window on the agony of the leaf as the tea balls open to reveal the floral treasure contained within. Watch as the leaves unfurl, the bright colors of the flowers bleed into the water and the balls are transformed into flowers themselves. This is the first time many of these teas have become available in the West so let them shine.
FORMED TEA: Tibet Rhodiola have been manufactured and enjoyed in China for millennia. Originally designed for ease of transport, these pressed wonders have been hauled over the Himalayas on foot, carted to Russia on camels and hauled into Mongolia on ponies. In recent years, these rare teas have been having a resurgence in popularity, Pu-erh in particular. In China, some exceptionally rare pu-erh recently sold at auction for tens of thousands of dollars per cake. Literally comprised of tea pressed into a solid cake or brick, these wonders of the tea world are extremely popular in Tibet. Tibetans use them to brew a thick tea that is mixed with salt and yak butter. If you aren't a fan of yak butter, tea bricks make a unique gift!
BLACK (ESTATE) TEA - AFRICA (Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda): With the right people and priorities in place, great things can happen. Much of Africa's rich flavorful teas such as Ambangulu, Kambaa, Chisunga, Milima are grown on freehold family farms that provide raw leaf to the factories for processing. Quality tea can be grown year round in Africa, meaning no break in the income stream and some welcome stability for farming families. In some instances teas are grown on larger estates, but in these cases our importer work only with companies that demonstrate an excellent track record of social and environmental responsibility. Kenya teas are noted for strength with malty notes and a golden cup, whereas teas from Tanzania are slightly less full bodied with more rosy liquors. Malawi is a landlocked country whose teas often travel 1,200 miles to the seaport in Durban, despite the fact the ocean is only 150 miles away, due east through Mozambique.
BLACK (ESTATE) TEA - INDIA (ASSAM and SOUTH INDIA): The Assam region of northeast India is bisected by the Brahmaputra river. Even though the region is not high altitude the soil is a deep, sandy loam and the climate is hot and steamy. Assam is a natural greenhouse. Temperatures can soar well above 100 degree F with humidity levels reaching 100%. As you can imagine, these are prime conditions for growing teas as thick and full-bodied as the climate itself. Our collection of Assam single estate teas Behora, Gingia (2nd Flush), Bukhial are selected exclusively from the finest 2nd flush (June) plucking grown on estates with excellent track records of ethics and environmental stewardship. South Indian conditions tend cooler, with lighter liquoring teas and exceptional floral cup to match.
BLACK (ESTATE) TEA - NEPAL, SIKKIM and DARJEELING INDIA: Darjeeling is to premium tea what Champagne is to fine wines. The Darjeeling region in north central India high in the Himalayas at an average altitude of 6000 ft above sea level grows teas that exhibit a unique flavor - best described as muscatel with a fairly light tasting cup. Darjeeling tea includes Soom, Mim, Castleton, Margaret's Hop, Lingia, Pan fired Darjeeling Green, Steamed Darjeeling Green, Organic Darjeeling and Darjeeling DeCaff. Estates in the neighboring regions of Nepal and Sikkim produce teas Ilam and Temi that are similar in character but usually a touch stronger in the cup.
BLACK (ESTATE) TEA - INDONESIA - JAVA and SUMATRA: Our Indonesian teas Santosa and Gunong Dempo are grown on estates that were in many cases salvaged from older gardens destroyed during World War II. These are light liquoring, exceptional teas with a rose colored cup and hints of malt.
BLACK (ESTATE) TEA - SRI LANKA OR CEYLON: Our importer's long term relationships in Sri Lanka allow us to access the finest teas from the country's more reputable growers. The teas we purchase are from the high grown district of Dimbula, Nuwara Eliya and Uva (4000 -7700 ft) characterized by teas that are light and flavory, the medium grown district of Kandy (2000 - 4000 ft) whose better teas exhibit a malty fullness with floral notes and the low grown region is Ruhunu (under 2000 ft) where teas tend to be full bodied and thick. The general rule of thumb is, the higher the elevation, the lighter and more refined the cup. Tea available from Ceylon includes Kirkoswald, Kenmare, Shawlands, Lumbini OP1, Aislaby, Lover's Leap, St. Coombs, Strathspey and Kenilworth.
(ESTATE) TEA - MALAYSIA: Boh, grown
in the Cameron Highlands, is as invigorating as the climate in
which it is born. Boh is locals most popular tea, well-known for
its superb flavor, rich golden color and delightful aroma. The
first highland tea plantation in Malaysia was started in 1929 by
Boh Plantations with the purpose of producing teas of
CHINA BLACK TEA: Nowhere in the world is there as diverse a selection of dramatic teas as in China. Tea is produced in 18 different provinces in China with soil and climatic conditions varying greatly from one region to another. These elements cause great variation in the appearance and taste of tea. In Chinese society there are historical, legendary and religious connotations including manufacturing, serving and consumption of tea. In China, black tea is often called red tea and is primarily manufactured for export. Many incredible varieties are crafted, each with their own unique profile, cup and style. Over the past 2000 years these have been used as currency, hauled over mountains by pony and crossed oceans in clipper ships. The search for reputable producers capable of producing them while adhering to high quality, environmental and social standards, make annual visits an essential part of doing business. Black or Red Tea imported from China includes Golden Monkey, Chingwo, Nine Bend Black Dragon, Monkey Picked Golden, Rose Congou Emperor and Ying Ming Yunnan Extra Fancy.
WHITE TEA - SRI LANKA (CEYLON), DARJEELING (INDIA) and CHINA: White teas are considered by some to be the purest in the world. Spring buds are plucked, dried and sorted - no pan firing or steaming, no fermentation, just pure tea. Only special "two leaves and a bud" are selected with the ideal being two leaves wrapped around a newly developing shoot. Traditionally these are grown on small freehold plots - some growers produce only a few hundred pounds per year. White tea has a very high polyphenol count and includes Pai Mu Tan, Peony White Needle, Sowmee, Darjeeling White Tips, Snow Dragons, Panda Pearls, Adams Peak and White Monkey Paw.
GREEEN TEA - JAPAN: Japan has been growing it's own tea since at least the 8th century when Zen Buddhist priests grew the plants in their temple gardens with seeds obtained from fellow Buddhists in China. Since then, Japan has produced some of the world's finest and most flavorful green teas including Sencha, Kokeicha, Genmaicha, Fukujyu, Gyokuru, Hojicha Uji and Bancha. Darjeeling greens have been produced for a much shorter time, roughly 100 years or so, but are no less flavorful and impart the wonderful muscatel the region is famous for. Both options represent the pinnacle of green production. That said, if seriously deep green flavor is what you're looking for, you simply can't go wrong with Irish Breakfast Green - you could stand a spoon up in it.
GREEN TEA - CHINA: Enjoying a cup of Chinese tea is like drinking a history lesson. Jasmine tea, produced by layering premium Spring leaf with jasmine during production, originates from the Sung Dynasty 700 years ago. It is believed that Chunmee has its roots in the 10th century. Many other classic teas were developed in the interim between the two and amazingly, the techniques used to produce them remain unchanged since ancient times. Our green teas imported from China include Jasmine with Flowers, Earthly Paradise Jasmine, Lucky Dragon Hy-son, Dragonwell, Osmanthus, Pinhead Gunpowder and Snowy Mountain Jian. Become a tea professor and try them all! If someone tells you they wouldn't do something for all the tea in China, listen to them. China's tea industry is immense. From Yunnan to Hunan to Fujian and beyond there are literally thousands of companies, gardens and factories employing millions to produce tens of thousands of tea products. Navigating the industry in search of premium peak season, spring production specialties is exceptionally challenging. One taste however and you'll agree, the results are worth the effort.
GREEN TEA - TAIWAN, INDIA, KENYA, SRI LANKA (CEYLON): Our green teas from Africa and Sri Lanka offer a perfect example of how consumer trends can affect positive change in the developing world. As Western demand for green tea grows, producers from traditionally black tea-producing countries have been able to augment their production numbers by introducing green teas into the mix. This incremental increase has meant more profits for workers and more great tea for tea lovers the world over. You will discover green tea delights from Taiwan plus countries such as India, Kenya and Sri Lanka that perhaps are not normally associated with green tea production. All of them are unique in their own way. For instance, Kenya green tea Kapchorua has excellent flavor and body whereas others Dumbara Curls have very unique taste profiles.
OOLONG TEA - CHINA and TAIWAN: Crafting quality Oolong tea is an art form. Like regional variance in fine wines, soil integrity, humidity levels, genus and artisanal skill all leave their imprint on the delicate leaf. Oolongs Dung Ti and Tie Guan Yin are grown in limited areas where the conditions are perfect and great care is taken to ensure the health of the surrounding environment. Traditionally, these teas are enjoyed in small quantities so the intricacies and subtle shifts of character can be truly appreciated. Oolongs are easily recognized by the appearance of the leaves which are stout, crinkled and when infused, often tend greenish with reddish edges. The flavor profiles can vary tremendously according to the tea maker's skills and the soil conditions of the tea bushes.
ORGANIC TEA: is becoming the healthy choice for some consumers. Organic tea is produced without the input of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and herbicides. Natural fertilizers are used to invigorate the soil as best as possible. How does an organic tea farm operate? First, abstinence from using any synthetic feritlizer, pesticide or herbicide; Environmental protection of lands surrounding the gardens; Replenishment and maintenance of garden soil fertility using natural means; Promoting and maintaining biodiversity in the gardens and surrounding lands. It is not an easy task - there is a reason organic teas are so rare! To be recognized as "organic", it takes 3 years of organic husbandry before European association will consider the estate for certification. Tea farmer's adherence to natural tea farming methods produces teas of exceptional color, aroma and flavor. Interestingly, some of these farms have followed organic process for centuries, but are only now becoming certified. A good selection of imported organic teas are Organic Pearl River, Organic Jasmine Gold Dragon, Organic Peacock #1, Honey Bush, Osprey Gunpowder, Green Rooibos, Earl Grey, Keemun, Irish Breakfast, Khartoum Hibiscus, Sencha Fuji, Assam, Organic Ceylon, Organic Tanzania, Organic Gyokuro and Tianmu Ming Dynasty.
DECAFFEINATED TEA: is processed using the CO2 Process. The advantage of this decaffeination process is that no chemical solvents (such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate) are used to remove the caffeine. Also, using the naturally occurring CO2 in a circulation process which carefully uses high pressure and temperature to extract the caffeine, there is of course, a slight change in the character of the tea due to the process but the end result is an uncompromising cup of tea with no chemical overtones. Earl Grey DeCaff, Courtlodge DeCaff, English Breakfast DeCaff, Assam DeCaff and Irish Breakfast DeCaff are some exceptional decaffeinated teas.
HERBAL TEA: The first known instance of herbs being collected for the purpose of ingesting them took place 60,000 years ago. Recent archaeological findings appear to indicate that even way back then, our Neanderthal relatives living in Iran understood the many ways that herbs can heal and soothe the body. So raise a cup to the past! For centuries, herbs have been consumed for medicinal purposes in every corner of the globe. Subsequently, folk remedies for the treatment of a multitude of ailments abound the world over. Some of these folk remedies may be safe, others may not be. We advice that if any of our dried herbs are to be used for medicinal purposes, a certified health professional be consulted in advance. Taken in moderation, all our herbals can be enjoyed at any time. Here's to your health! Hibiscus, Chrysanthemum, Lavender, Rose Hip, Lemon Grass, Raspberry leaves, Rooibos, Egyptian Camomile and Brazil Yerba Mate are imported by Barkingside Co.
BLENDED TEA: is a collection of favorite blends the world over. For instance, French Blend is "Ooh la la, iz so Nice". Blend 1776 is "A tea worth fighting for!" Blended teas are made by blending the nuances of various teas to create delicious synergy. We know we provide you with the best blended teas that are available ANYWHERE! Join us for a world of taste sensations. Other blended teas include Angel's Dream and Vienna Opera Ball. Some of the English favorites include Buckingham Palace, English Evening, Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, Windsor Castle Queen Mary and Coronation.
NATURALLY FLAVORED TEA: is a collection of naturally flavored black teas. What makes our flavored teas so special and soooooo GOOD? Only HIGH GROWN CEYLON tea from estates more than 5500 feet above sea level are use. We only use NATURAL FLAVORS giving a clean, true taste with no chemical aftertaste. We only pack our teas in FLAVOR-SEALED bags preserving freshness and superb taste. We know we provide you with the best flavored tea and that are available ANYWHERE! Currently only Earl Grey is available.
ENGLISH FAVORITES: It is impossible to speak of tea without speaking of England. The country's history with the noble beverage goes as far back as 1600. In that year the British East India Co. was granted a charter and the quest for tea was on. The drink quickly took Britain by storm and over the centuries, countless blends were developed to cater to the tea loving populace. We're pleased to offer a good collection of the best of these created using centuries old insider recipes. During the 19th century British planters traveled to the world's remotest corners in search of perfect tea growing conditions. These burly adventurers fought off malaria, tigers and intense heat to establish the new plantations, many which are still used. Visiting their old gardens is an experience you never forget - the ordered rows of tea, brightly dressed pluckers and breathtaking biodiversity. Getting to these far-flung corners is a chore even in today's modern world. Imagining the trip back in the 1800s defies belief. A stiff upper lip was definitely required.