black tea

Tea Learning

Learn | 5 key elements to making good tea 五項關鍵影響茶的品質

Tea appreciation can be scientific and determined methodologically step by step. Let's break down the elements of a good tea into five categories.

Tea leaves on tea plants

Tea leaves on tea plants

tea leaves oxidizing on bamboo baskets

tea leaves oxidizing on bamboo baskets

1. Raw tea and the kind of tea it's suitable for making

Tea varietal and the growth stage of the tea leaves determines the most suitable kind of tea to make. Starting from the top, different tea varietal has different flavours and aroma. Each varietal has different levels of polyphenol, amino acid, caffeine, carbohydrate, and aromatic components. Varietals with larger tea leaves contain more bitter polyphenols so they are suitable for making black tea. Black tea's high oxidization will turn the bitter polyphenols to a less bitter form. Medium and small tea leaves contain less polyphenols so are more suitable for oolongs and green teas.  

2. tea farm environment

Tea environment involves sun, air, soil and water; all the essentials for growing anything. Conditions for daylight hours, strong or weak sunlight, temperature, rainfall, weather, humidity, altitude, latitude and local terrain all further influence the tea quality. Any change of condition causes a stress on the tea plants. For example, high mountain teas are constantly stressed due to cool temperature and possibility of complete ruin caused by frost bites. On lower altitude levels, teas are stressed by conditions such as bug bites, torrential downfalls, high heat and humidity.

3. tea farm maintenance

Tea farms maintenance requires management on fertilizers, pesticides, weed, bug prevention, trimming and irrigation. Proper management and strict cleanliness and health regulations will further improve the quality of the tea. Fertilizers used wrongly not only deteriorate healthy soil, it also worsens the quality and quantity of tea plants. Weed should be managed side by side with tea plants so it can retain water and hold soil together during heavy rain. Tea leaves must not be picked completely so to support the health of the plants and the plants must be trimmed properly to maintain top shape in quality and quantity year by year. 

4. Tea making skills

With everything falling into place and luck of good weather, the raw tea material relies on the technique of tea pickers and tea makers. Different maturity of tea leaves contain different internal property which would determine the kind of tea it is most suitable for. The tea makers must be able to control the processes based on the condition of the raw material and the environment (humidity, temperature, sun, time of day). Tea makers must be able to react and constantly adjust their processing method in order to make the best tea out of the raw teas. Final steps such as getting rid of stems, yellow leaves, roasting and mixing tea will further refine the quality and consistently provide quality product. 

5. Storage

Tea is basically a processed dry good. It needs proper dry storage; away from sunlight and humidity and air. Proper storage will age the teas which will turn the teas into something different and unique from the fresh teas. Aging is generally good for oolongs and black teas and not great for green teas. 

Elements for making a good tea isn't just the elevation, picking only young buds or drinking them fresh within 3 months. It begins from the classical 5 elements; earth, water, air, fire, and aether and extending to the works of everyone involved from trimming, weeding, picking, processing to the final stage of storage. Understand it like planting vegetables and growing trees and making jam, every element involves the other; it's a cycle of nature!

 

Tea Recipe

Recipe | Red Jade Black Tea Infused Raw Chocolate

Happy holiday! With secret santa gift exchanges and holiday dinner hosting coming up, we are here to help you! This tea infused raw chocolate recipe is one that everyone would love and it's easy to make with minimum effort. Read on, we'll teach you how to make tea infused raw chocolate. 

The Red Jade Black Tea Infused Raw Chocolate Recipe

Utensils

  • pot or pan
  • stainless steel or tempered glass bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • spatula
  • mortar and pestle
  • tray (we use 15 cm x 15 cm pan)

Ingredients

Makes one 15cm x 15 cm x 3cm chocolate block

  • chocolate 200g (sweet or bitter, it's up to you!)
  • butter 35g
  • cream 100ml
  • honey 5g (replace with maple syrup for a Canadian touch)
  • Red Jade Black Tea 3g 

Steps

30 minutes to make and 10 minutes to cut

  1. Grind Red Jade Black Tea into powder form with mortar and pestle.
  2. Combine chopped chocolate and butter together in a double boiler setup.
  3. In a small pot, combine cream, honey and tea under low heat. Turn off the heat immediately when it starts to simmer then let it rest for 2 minutes.
  4. Combine both mixtures then pour into the tray.
  5. Place in freezer for at least one hour for the mixture to solidify.
  6. Take out and cut them into 2.5cm x 2.5cm squares.
  7.  Optional decoration is to sprinkle coco powder.

Alternative Flavour Ideas:
Iron Buddha Oolong with a pinch of lavender
Oriental Beauty Oolong with a pinch of cinnamon


Tea Learning

Learn | Health Benefits of Cold Brew Tea

Cold Brew Tea Health Benefits

What's the difference between our cold brew tea and other tea drinks out there? That's a question we get a lot so we're here to tell you point by point!

 
 


1.    Zero calories. Our goal is to offer healthy drink. What's a healthy drink? Zero calories and no additional sweeteners. It's that simple.

2.    Catechin. It's an antioxidant and flavonoid. It helps you fight free radicals and protects you from a number of diseases. Teas contain catechins naturally.

3.    Less tannin. Tannin is what's making teas and wine bitter and complex however, cold brewing  extracts less tannin which means the teas will taste less bitter while maintaining it's complexity. (This is technically not a health benefit but hey, the teas taste better right?)

4.    Less caffeine. Cold water brewing extracts half the normal caffeine amount which means it’ll be better for your stomach and sleeping problems.

5.    Fresh. We source and brew our teas fresh and bottle them raw so you’ll always drink fresh teas that still contain all their health benefits.

6.    Clean. We directly work with Taiwanese tea farmers which means we can make sure the teas are safe and clean for consumption. In addition, we add no extra artificial flavours because we believe in natural flavours and clean drinks.

Enjoy the cold brew tea everybody!