Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

Red Blossom Blog

What are Tannins in Tea?

What are Tannins in Tea?

Tannins are commonly discussed in the context of tea tasting, but usually poorly understood. Cited as a source of bitterness and astringency, their presence is often considered a sign of low quality tea, but their role is a bit more complex than that. As a natural part of every tea plant, tannins contribute to the growth process and health benefits of all teas, as well as the color and flavor.

Continue reading

Types of Green Tea: The Importance of Harvest Date

Types of Green Tea: The Importance of Harvest Date

Green tea is among the most popular style worldwide, but the huge variety in green teas can be overwhelming. Though the crafting steps of green tea are typically minimal, and the style is narrowly defined by the lack of oxidation, the range in green tea flavor can be enormous, even before considering scented and flavored varieties. To narrow down the options to more a more specific selection of flavor profiles, we recommend asking about harvest date.

Harvest date is the primary criteria for grading traditional Chinese green teas, with the first leaves picked during the year fetching the highest prices. But the most expensive tea is not always best for every palate, and exceptions exist to every rule. So how exactly does harvest date contribute to quality? And what factors can change the impact of traditional harvest dates?

Continue reading

How Artisans Use Machines To Craft The Best Teas

How Artisans Use Machines To Craft The Best Teas

We love traditional teas, and we believe that expertise passed down through generations of tea farmers and crafters is key to maximizing quality. But we also know the value of innovation. Many of our favorite teas are produced in new and unique ways, whether it’s the experimental oxidation level of our Xin Gong Yi white tea or the blend of varieties in our Three Cultivar Red black tea. And in this modern age, most of our best teas are crafted with the help of machinery, which helps automate crafting processes long done by hand.

It may not fit the romantic image presented to tourists or pictured in documentaries, but the advantages of using machines in the crafting process are hard to deny, especially as premium tea farms face labor shortages and volatile weather conditions. While teas harvested or crafted by machine are sometimes derided by purists, artisans making every style of tea now use machinery specifically developed to mimic the traditional methods of crafting that have been passed down to them. Rather than compromising the quality of the tea, these machines help maintain quality, consistency, and cleanliness during the production process.

Continue reading

The Truth About Teas for Weight Loss

The Truth About Teas for Weight Loss

Tea has a long history as a touted cure for all sorts of ailments, ever since it’s legendary discovery as an antidote to poisons. So perhaps it’s no surprise that today, tea is often marketed as an antidote to one of our most pervasive modern health issues. Today, we’ll dive into the facts about “weight loss” teas to separate the true benefits of tea from the sales spin.

Continue reading

Picking the Perfect Teapot: Functional vs. Decorative

Picking the Perfect Teapot: Functional vs. Decorative

Since teapots were first invented (probably during the Ming Dynasty), the classic form has been adapted and reimagined in every corner of the world. From the Brown Betty in England to the ornate metal pots used in Morocco, cultures around the world have created their own teapots to suit their own unique tea habits. Over time, teapots have become more than just a functional vessel for brewing tea, and have taken on a new role as collectible pieces of art.

Learn more about the history and use of teapots >>

While decorative details don’t negate a pot’s usefulness, it can be helpful to distinguish between those that are meant for everyday use and those that are designed for display. Regardless of aesthetic value, there are a few functional details that are important to pay attention to when buying a pot to brew tea in.

Continue reading

6 Brewing Steps to Test Tea Quality

6 Brewing Steps to Test Tea Quality

During our annual sourcing trips to China and Taiwan, we are presented with a variety of teas at each farm we visit. Some farms grow many different varieties of the tea plant, but every farm produces many lots of tea throughout the harvest season, with differences based on the exact day of harvest and minor adjustments in crafting techniques. Our job is to discern the most subtle of flavor differences and curate our selection to include only the very best. To ensure we get an accurate tasting, we use our own version of the gong fu cha brewing method. Here are the steps we take to gauge the quality of every tea we get the opportunity to taste.

Continue reading

Flavors of Pure Tea: Sweetness Without Sugar

Flavors of Pure Tea: Sweetness Without Sugar

Though it is common for most tea drinkers to add sweeteners to their tea, we delight in finding teas that don’t need anything extra to satisfy our sweet tooth. Describing these teas is difficult, however, because of the prevalence of teas which are crafted with artificial flavorings or sweeteners. A tea described with flavor notes such as “creamy”, “honey” or “molasses” is often assumed to have some additive included, but in fact, these flavor notes occur naturally in many teas. Today we’ll explore how these naturally sweet characteristics are derived through traditional harvest dates, natural growing methods, and careful crafting styles.

Continue reading

4 Whole Leaf Teas to Try Instead of Matcha

4 Whole Leaf Teas to Try Instead of Matcha

The powdered Japanese green tea called matcha has taken the world by storm, with green-tinged baked goods and claims of health benefits thrusting it into the public consciousness all over the world. However, high quality matcha teas are difficult to find internationally, as they use only the best leaves, are labor intensive to grow and craft, and are typically reserved in Japan for ceremonial uses. More common “cooking-grade” matcha is easier to find, but rarely tastes good without sweeteners, since it is intended to be used among other flavors in culinary dishes.

The inherent rarity of high quality matcha means prices are usually high, and while the suspension of powdered leaves delivers all the caffeine and health benefits of the tea in one concentrated shot, it also means a fresh serving of dry leaf is required for each new cup. In addition, matcha teas go stale quickly and must be consumed while fresh, given the large amount of surface area exposed when the leaves are ground to a fine powder. By contrast, whole leaf teas that are properly dried and finished can last at least a year before going stale, and deliver flavor through at least three infusions of the same leaves.

Continue reading

3 Simple Steps to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

3 Simple Steps to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

For those new to tea, the brewing process can be intimidating, especially if your first exposure to loose leaf brewing involved a showy sampling in traditional gong fu cha style. The specialized teaware, high tech gadgets, and precise methods of tea connoisseurs can all serve a purpose in the enjoyment and appreciation of tea, but brewing the perfect cup doesn’t have to be complicated. With the three adaptable steps in this article, you will be able to brew great tea in any context, with whatever equipment you have on hand.

Continue reading

What is GABA Tea?

What is GABA Tea?

Among the endless varieties of tea, most common names have poetic origins based on the appearance, fragrance, or traditional provenance of the tea style. GABA is a tea name that stands out as a modern, scientific acronym, lending gravitas to claims of extra health benefits. But what is it that makes this type of tea special?

Continue reading
  • Page 1 of 12
  • Page 1 of 12