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loose leaf tea

Tea Industry

The Tea Kitchen featured on Redfin!

January 25, 2022

Recently, Redfin asked us about our favorite tips about creative home decor tips for the New Year and we were happy to oblige. Obviously, loose leaf tea consumes our lives daily, but our passion for tea also ties in with our passion for home decor with natural scents and candles like eucalyptus, or even tea accessories that could help add to a space.

No matter if you’ve recently moved into a new home or have been in the same place for a number of years, the new year is a great time to consider re-doing your space. We are always reworking our space from florals, to candles, to pottery, there are countless creative home décor and art pieces you can bring into your home, no matter where you live.

That’s why Redfin asked us, along with other expects to share our best advice to find the right creative home décor. Check out what we had to say so you can make redesigning your home meaningful as you begin another new year…of course, you know tea was part of that and our natural outlook on things.

Switch Up Your Home’s Style! 17 Creative Home Décor and Art Tips for the New Year

Tea Guides

Top 7 Teapots You Can Enjoy All Year Long (Buying Guide)

December 15, 2021

The holidays are upon us ⸺ and that means ‘tis the season to cozy up with your favorite cup of tea and enjoy the simpler moments of the season. Teapots can make the perfect gift for a tea lover in your life (or you…but we won’t tell anyone!) With so many options available, it can feel impossible to decide which is the best pot for your use. We’ve made it simple and evaluated the top options on the market, creating a top 10 list that you can refer to for all of your gifting needs this holiday season…and beyond. In this article, we cover 10 of the top teapot options that you can purchase for a tea aficionado in your life. 

What To Consider When Purchasing Your Teapot 

When you purchase your teapot, there are a variety of factors that you may consider prior to deciding. For example, you’ll want a teapot that appeals to your unique design aesthetic, and you’ll want a reliable vessel that can withstand the test of time even against repeated use and heat. Other factors that may contribute to your decision include: 

  • Location of manufacturer 
  • Accessories affiliated 
  • Material used 
  • Capacity 

No matter what your preferences are for your next teapot purchase, you can rest assured that there is a design and type for you to enjoy. The market offers thousands of different pots that you can enjoy and incorporate into your daily tea routine. 

Top Tier Cast Iron Japanese Style Teapot (Diamond Design) 

This pot offers a modern-day upgrade to your kitchen’s aesthetic and has a boiling capacity of 24 fluid ounces, which is approximately 3-4 cups of perfectly brewed tea. The cast-iron design offers the additional benefits of heat retention and the addition of iron into the water, which can act as a nutritional benefit and supplement to your body’s ability to absorb and utilize the element effectively. 

The teapot features an included infuser that is ideal for all tea types: loose-leaf, bagged teas, or blooming teas. It is easy to clean and can be cleaned with soap and water without damaging the pot. The geometric and minimalist design can easily add an air of sophistication to your kitchen.

Primula Half-Moon Teapot and Infuser Set 

This teapot and infuser set features a unique design that is sure to catch the eye of your fellow tea lover! The half-moon design comes in a complementary color triad, including blush, teal, and slate gray. The other half of the pot is crafted from heat-resistant borosilicate glass that lends itself to ultimate durability and longevity. The easy-to-grip handle makes every pour a breeze and is also treated to be heat-resistant, stopping injuries in their tracks. The design and esthetic make this the perfect gift for any tea fan in your life. 

Grosche Aberdeen Perfect Tea Maker Tea Pot + Coaster Set 

This set offers a more unconventional design, inviting the user to a bottom dispensing tea pour experience. This tea maker has an easy-to-clean design and is the perfect thing to start your tea drinking journey with, offering you the versatile capability of bagged brewing or loose-leaf brewing. It is considered to be shatterproof and features a BPA-free plastic construction that is easy to use and simpler to maintain than other brewers. 

T2 Tea Stainless Steel Flask Brewer 

This flask brewing system allows users to enjoy a unique tea brewing experience that gives the drinkers the ability to brew on the go ⸺  something rarely found in loose-leaf brewing systems. The flask is designed to be completely leakproof, and can effectively brew both cold tea and hot teas. This brewer is crafted from insulated stainless steel, preserving the taste and quality of your tea without compromising any of its temperatures no matter what environment you find yourself in. If you know a tea drinker who loves going on adventures, or camping, this is the ideal gift for them. 

Ceramic Tea Infuser Mug With Lid (16 Ounces) 

This tea infuser mug offers your loved one the gift of ease and versatility. The capacity allows for the perfect cup of tea that you can brew on the go, and enjoy for longer periods of time thanks to the insulated design. The cup is dishwasher safe and is safe for a variety of other use cases. To use for coffee, tea, water, cereal, or more, simply remove the infuser component of the cup. The handle is ergonomically designed and all elements used in the construction of the cup are lead and cadmium-free. This is perfect for a tea lover in your life who is always on the go! 

Home Craft Stainless Steel Iced Tea System 

Iced tea lovers… this one is for you! The Home Craft stainless steel iced tea system has a three-quart capacity and a proprietary filter design that is meant to extract the most vibrant, deep flavors possible from your blends. You can utilize the strength selector dial to enjoy the perfect cup of tea, every time. The energy-efficient model is set to shut off upon brew completion, so you never have to worry or wonder about prolonged use dangers or costs. 

Primula Press & Go Portable Tea Strainer

This tea strainer is constructed from high-quality Tritan plastic and features a double-walled design that enhances the ability of the brewer to hold temperatures for a longer period of time. You can also enjoy the spillproof design and sleek, easy-to-use handle and construction that can elevate your tea time with every sip. 

Tea Guides

How to Store Loose Leaf Tea

June 22, 2017

Working with loose leaf tea requires some TLC. You’ll need some kind of infuser, but before you even think of getting close to a teacup, you’ll need to make sure you’re storing your tea properly. Improper tea storage can cause your tea to diminish in flavor or go stale. To avoid that tragedy, follow these rules: 

1) Keep tea away from oxygen                                                                                         

This is the Golden Rule in tea storage. Teas are cultivated with very specific oxidation levels, and to keep your loose leaf the way it was intended, you want to make sure it’s as sheltered from the elements as possible. In the production process, green and white teas are the least oxidized varieties, so you’ll want to make absolutely certain these teas are exposed to as little oxygen as possible. Dark black and oolong teas are exposed to more oxygen in the production process, so oxygen exposure is less of a death sentence, but you’ll still want to keep these darker teas away from the elements so that they stay in pristine condition.

2) Keep tea dry

Keep your loose leaf away from moisture of any kind. Humidity and dampness can cause tea leaves to release their flavors ahead of schedule. You want to save all the flavor for your cup, so keep tea indoors in a dry place. If you’re storing tea leaves in a cabinet, make sure that cabinet isn’t close to any pipes.

3) Keep tea away from strong smells

 Tea leaves can absorb the odors around them, so unless you want your tea to absorb the flavors in your coffee and spices, keep your tea stash far from competing characters. Also be sure that the container in which you’re storing your tea doesn’t have a strong odor itself. Teatulia recommends a container made of glass, tin, or aluminum.

4) Keep tea away from light

Light can cause tea to degrade, so make sure your container is not see-through!

5) Keep tea tightly packed with other tea

The more tea that’s packed into a small space, the less air there is between individual tea leaves. And since we’re trying to avoid oxidation, that’s good news.

With these rules in mind, here are some tea storage containers we recommend:

1) Prepara® Evak Fresh Saver

Prepara® Evak Fresh Saver

This container has a plunger that removes all the air from the container, so it’s perfect for storing loose leaf tea.  It retails at Bed, Bath & Beyond for just $9.99.

2) Ankomn Savior Non-Electric Vacuum Food Storage Container

This container provides vacuum seal pressure without any pesky cords or electricity needed.  It’s advanced, but at $64.99, it’s on the expensive side.

3) Rishi Tea Copper Tin

This container is double lidded, holds 150 grams of tea, and retails for $17.

4) Blue Vine Vacuum Seal Tea Canister

Blue Vine Vacuum Seal Tea Canister

This container from Stash Tea holds 150 grams of loose leaf tea and vacuum seals itself everytime you close it. It’s yours for $11.50.

5) Washi Sashi Tea Storage Tin

Washi Sashi Tea Storage Tin

These beautiful tins are covered in washi, traditional Japanese paper. They come from Japan and can be in your kitchen for just $8.

Tea Guides

Loose Tea vs. Bagged Tea: Which is Better?

March 8, 2016

Tea connoisseurs will argue avidly about the superiority of whole leaf (or loose leaf) tea to bagged tea. However, when it comes to choosing between loose tea and bagged tea, there are a few key factors to consider: flavor, convenience, health benefits, and price.

FLAVOR

Loose tea is left whole. This allows the leaves to absorb the water and allow it to move through it. This process creates more bold and dynamic flavor patterns. Each leaf expands to its fullest potential releasing more antioxidants, flavors, and aromas.

Bagged tea, however, is made most commonly from low grade tea dust and fannings. This gives bagged tea a one-dimensional flavor profile, and is the reason over-steeped tea bags often become quite bitter. The finely broken leaves used in bagged tea lose many of the essential oils and aromas during processing, which when steeped release more tannins. The reason for the diminished flavor profile is simple: the dust and fannings are what’s left after the whole tea leaves are processed. However, the strong bitter brew handles milk and sugar well.

CONVENIENCE

The misconception is that it’s “harder” to brew loose tea, but it’s about the same number of steps to brew a teabag and loose leaf tea. However, taking the tea with you can be a little cumbersome. Loose teas are often held in tin containers and you’ll have to bring the steeper with you. Some companies are now making whole leaf tea bags, which allow you to reach almost identical results to steeping loose tea.  [Check out directions for brewing here]

Bagged teas, on the other hand, are individually wrapped and easy to transport. They appeal to the on-the-go lifestyle, which has contributed to its success for hundreds of years.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Generally speaking all teas contain some level of antioxidants. It’s because of these antioxidants the following health benefits occur:

Tea contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants. These antioxidants help neutralize cell damaging free-radicals which in return has a positive impact on some chronic diseases including some types of cancer (skin, oral, lung, ovarian cancer, etc.) and cardiovascular disease.

Research studies show that the theanine found in tea is a distinctive amino acid that preps the immune system to help fight infection, bacteria and viruses. This theanine helps the immune system generate higher levels of interferon. Interferon is a protein our bodies produce and one of its main functions is to build up our immune system.

Libretea.com

The biggest difference between loose teas and bagged teas are the levels of flavonoids that diffuse. Meaning, with a whole leaf tea you get more bang for your buck.

PRICE POINT

When comparing loose tea to bagged tea, the loose tea ends up being cheaper. Even premium loose varieties that retail for about $20 come out to about $0.10 per cup. This doesn’t include the fact that whole leaf tea, because of its more flavorful profile, can be brewed more than once and still make a nice tasting cup.

We’ve given you the pros and cons of each, but at the end of the day, the choice is yours, and its a matter of preference. Whether you’re choosing whole leaf or bagged tea, you’re doing your body good by drinking tea!

Let us know which you prefer, loose or bagged tea, and why in the comments below!