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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Assam: A black tea grown in the Assam region of northeast India which is bisected by the Brahmaputra River. The region is not at high altitude but the soil is a deep sandy loam and the climate is hot and steamy. These conditions produce thick full bodied teas with a robust flavor. Assam Bukhial, Behora and Gingia are a good wake-up tea to be consumed in the morning. Assam tea peak in quality during 2nd flush month of June, which is the time when we purchase all of our teas. Top quality 2nd flush Assams are considered by many to be among the finest teas in the world.
East African Tea: have a delicious floral-like flavor with a golden coppery color in the cup. The East African plateau is high altitude and the rich volcanic soils produce these world class teas e.g. Ambangulu, Kambaa and Chisunga.
Black Tea: Green, Oolong and Estate or Black teas come from the same plant. Green tea is steamed and then dried after plucking and retains a lighter color and flavor with light body. Green tea does not go through a fermentation process. Oolong tea undergoes partial fermentation. Oolong tea has a delicate aroma. Black tea is allowed to wither and ferment before drying, resulting in a darker leaf color and a more pronounced flavor and aroma.
Bancha: This tea is generally consumed in Japan. The cup is sweet with slightly greenish notes and a smooth taste. This tea is traditionally made from coarse leaves at the end of the growing season.
Ceylon Tea: The common name of teas grown in Sri Lanka (a.k.a. Ceylon), has 5 principal growing districts. The high grown districts (4000 feet above sea level) are Dimbula, Nuwara Eliya and Uva which are characterized by teas that are light and flavory. The medium grown district (2000 to 4000 feet) is Kany whose better teas exhibit a malty fullness with floral notes. The low grown district is Ruhunu (under 2000 feet) where teas tend to be full bodied and thick. Estate tea Balangoda is a classic example of a good Ruhunu tea.
Chai: Chai is virtually the mainstay of Indian culture. Even when fresh cold drinking water cannot be found you will inevitably encounter a chai wallah, or chai seller yelling, "Chayee! Chayee!". Chai produces a warm soothing effect and engenders a wonderfully calming aspect on the body. Brew this tea piping hot and add some sugar to open up the incredible flavor of exotic spices. Superb body with mellow Indian spice notes. Coppery bright and very enticing with milk; creates a sensory trip to the sub-continent.
Darjeeling: A superb black tea grown in the Darjeeling region of North Central India up in the Himalayan Mountains. Refer to as the champagne of teas. The Darjeeling region in north central India grows teas that exhibit a unique flavor - best described as muscatel with a fairly light tasting cup. The tea producing regions of Sikkim and Nepal are very close to Darjeeling and subsequently their teas are somewhat similar in taste and cup appearance.
English Breakfast: Traditionally a blend of China Keemums. Today the blend has evolved to include Ceylon and India teas to produce a full bodied brew.
Estate: A term used to describe a plantation or garden where tea is grown. Most of our black teas are name after well known tea estates in India and Ceylon.
Flavored Tea: What makes our flavored tea so special and soooooo GOOD? We only use HIGH GROWN CEYLON tea from estates more than 5500 feet above sea level. We only use NATURAL FLAVORS giving a clean, true taste with no chemical aftertaste. We only pack our tea in FLAVOR-SEALED/VACUUM bags preserving freshness and superb taste. We KNOW we provide you with the best flavored teas that are available ANYWHERE!
Green Tea: is unfermented tea which undergoes minimal processing and most resembles the original green leaf. China is the world leading producer of green tea. Nowhere in the world is there such a variety and range of green teas. Innumerable ceremonies are involved with green tea consumption, production and manufacturing.
Green Tea, Formed: When you produce the world's most green tea, have the most quality levels, the most ceremony and historical tea roots - is it any wonder that China is the center of the universe for Formed or Artisan teas (e.g. dragon pearl, jasmine slivering ball, etc.). Each tea is a handcrafted piece of art that is formed only from spring production tea. Not only do they look great - they taste great.
Gunpowder tea: is tightly rolled tea leaves like small pellets that uncurl (agony of the leaf) when they are infused. The Chinese term for this tea, Zhucha, means 'Pearl Tea'. It is grown in Zhejiang province, near Shanghai. Gunpowder tea has long keeping qualities because of this roll.
Herbal Teas and Herbs: Herbal teas have special and unique flavors and many are often consumed for their purported medicinal properties. As with any good thing - sometimes you can get too much of a good thing. If you are consuming these teas for medicinal reasons we urge you to seek medical advice before consuming - it is the only reasonable thing to do. If you are consuming these herbals for enjoyment - please do so in a reasonable manner - again, it is the only reasonable thing to do.
Young Hyson: A Chinese Green Tea named for the East India merchant who first sold it in England. Young Hyson is generally preferred to Hyson.
Indonesian (Sumatra and Java) Tea: have a lovely rosy liquors and delicious hints of malt - teas to savor.
Jasmine: is the quintessential green tea. The Chinese use Green Tea as the base to which Jasmine flowers are used to scent the tea. The center of jasmine tea production is in Fujian Province, China. The best jasmines are made from spring green tea and from 1st blooming May jasmine flowers.
Matcha: A Japanese green tea. Matcha is almost like a talcum powder it is so fine - but when prepared properly the tea goes into suspension giving a highly concentrated top quality cup of green tea.
Oolong (Black Dragon) Tea: is semi-fermented which is allowed to wither, then is partially oxidized and dried compared to Green Tea (unfermented) and Black Tea (fully fermented). 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 teas: are becoming the healthy choice for some consumers. To be recognized as "organic", it takes three years of organic husbandry before the European association will consider the estate for certification. Yields drop under organic conditions, but the estate is compensated for this by higher prices. When we were considering organic black teas we thought that we should look at the most popular teas that we sell and get their organic equivalent. Presented on our website is the result of our labors. Some of our favorites are Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, Assam and Darjeeling - teas that make a definite flavor statement!
Organic Herbal Tea: When we found Organic Tibetan Wild lavender we knew that the organic revolution was in full gear. Imagine what this area of the Autonomous Region must look like - endless plains, raging rivers, high Himalayan Mountains and of course the ubiquitous lavender. All our herbal teas have their own story to tell - and we assure you they will do it in a tasteful manner.
Rooibos: The story of rooibos began around the turn of the century in South Africa. The locals discovered that the needle-like leaves of the "Aspalathus Linearis" plant made a tasty and aromatic tea. The green needles are picked, chopped, bruised, fermented, and then sun dried. Those that consume rooibos have claimed it has a soothing effect on headaches, disturbed sleep patterns and digestive problems. Rooibos research in South Africa has concluded that 7 ounces of prepared rooibos (about 1 cup) contains the following nutrients: Iron, Potassium, Calcuim, Copper, Zinc, Magnesium, Fluoride, Manganese and Sodium. Additionally rooibos contains significant quantities of polyphenols which are known powerful antioxidants.
Specialty Blended and Naturally Flavored Teas: The British have had a long association with tea dating to the 1600's. During this time they have perfected blends and used the nuances of various teas to create delicious synergy. Here are some delicious teas from the British Isles: Earl Grey, Queen Mary, Irish Breakfast, Chai, Blend 1776 and Angel's Dream, etc. Our kids 12 and 14 years old love iced tea made from these blends!
White teas: are slightly fermented and come from selected varietal tea bushes. The leaves of these varietals are slightly paler in color which is evident in the brewed infusion. Some leaves even have slight hairy down on them (2 Doves Silver Needle and Peony White Needle exhibit this characteristic very well). White teas are particularly high in polyphenols.