[Zhi Tea: June 2011]
Tea Bags - Who hasn't had tea from a tea bag at some point in their life?
Don't feel embarrassed if you used to feel completely satisfied with a cup of Tetley's or Lipton with a splash of milk and two lumps of sugar. It's all we knew! Everyone thought Kool-Aid was great until that first ice cold glass of fresh-sqeezed orange juice. But then, you could never go back.
While there is an ever increasing variety of tea bags in the market today, generally tea bags contain what are called "fannings". Fannings are essentially the next step up from "dust"; the bottom of the barrel. Even if it's an organic tea bag, fannings are often stale, contain dust mites, and are naturally a lower grade of tea. Usually this tea is machine processed, resulting in bitter, astringent tea, as well. Even at their best, when filled with a high grade loose leaf tea, a tea bag can only expand so far and hence the leaves do not get to infuse to their fullest and release their bounty of flavors.
Which brings us to Loose Leaf:
Generally, loose leaf tea is inherently a much, much higher grade than fannings. In fact, each variety of loose leaf tea has numerous grades. To find the very best tea, Zhi tastes hundreds of samples to arrive our most flavorful choices for you. All our teas are within the highest possible grades of organically grown tea in the world. The tea we share with you Zhi is hand-picked (by happy, healthy workers supported by our fair trade practices) and when properly steeped, should never be bitter or astringent but rather smooth, flavorful and a delight.
Plus, loose leaf tea (especially the whole leaf teas we carry) can be infused several times. Yes, that is right! Don't throw those used leaves away until they are done! The second and third steepings reveal different flavor profiles each time. Some flavors which were subtle in the first steeping emerge as others become less pronounced. In fact, several oolongs, pu-erhs and pearl teas like our Dragon Phoenix can get 4+ steeps. Try it some time!
This year, Zhi is proud to annouce the launch of our signature line of sachets!
It took us years to find the most appropriate vehicles for our beloved teas and we couldn't be happier!
First, we had to find the perfect sachet. Did you know most tea pyramids are nylon? That means they're petroleum based, so of course, we couldn't use that. We couldn't used bleached paper bags either and even the unbleached ones had a huge carbon foot print. Then, we were able to find these luxurious cornsilk sachets. They're biodegradable, sheer and unbleached. Gorgeous! and earth friendly. We're callign them bio-sachets.
Then, it took a lot taste tests to make sure that we found the perfect blends for the bags. We didn't want any flavor to be lost when the tea was confined to the sachet. Dr. Oolong personally selected the six teas that are in our launch and hope you enjoy them! Now, you can have the best of booth worlds!