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Red Blossom Blog

Defining High Quality: What Makes a Good Tea?

Defining High Quality: What Makes a Good Tea?

With thousands of years of history spanning the entire globe, it’s safe to say that standards for high quality tea are not always consistent. Tastes have changed over time, as tea has gone from an herbal medicine to an imperial tribute to a global commodity. Tastes also vary from region to region, especially when those areas are isolated from each other - tea preferences in Japan and India have both diverged drastically from developments in China over time.

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3 Easy Steps to Start Drinking Tea Without Sugar

3 Easy Steps to Start Drinking Tea Without Sugar

Cutting sugar from everyday beverages like tea can have a host of benefits, but what if your favorite brew just doesn’t taste right without it? Luckily, skipping sweeteners doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. We’ve got three simple steps to make sure every cup tastes great, without any added sugars.

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5 Reasons to Drink Tea Without Sugar

5 Reasons to Drink Tea Without Sugar

We understand the urge to drop a teaspoon or two of sugar into your breakfast blend. Not all teas can live up to the lofty flavor ideals of traditional tea crafters, and modern palates are trained to expect sweetness. Nevertheless, we think tea deserves a chance to be appreciated without sugar, and today we’ve got five good reasons to give it a try.

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Types of Pu-erh: Wet vs. Dry Storage

Types of Pu-erh: Wet vs. Dry Storage

Pu-erh can be one of the most complex categories of tea, thanks to the infinite flavor variations that can develop during the process of fermentation and aging. Two pu-erhs identical in provenance, variety, harvest date and craftsmanship can still diverge during the aging process to become utterly unique teas.

Many aspects of the storage environment can ultimately change the character of the final fermented tea, and details of past storage can be obscured over time as these teas move through the market. One of the most important considerations is environmental humidity, which is often summarized in the terms “wet” and “dry”. But as with most simple distinctions, these terms can be misleading.

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What is Dry Brewing?

What is Dry Brewing?

Despite a reputation as a formalized ‘tea ceremony’, there are many variations of the traditional gong fu cha brewing method. Most demonstrations utilize showy displays of rinsing and pouring to create drama, using a large tray to capture excess water during the brewing process. The elaborate setup, however, necessitating several pieces of teaware and a specialized tray, can be a barrier for beginners hoping to brew this way at home.

Find step-by-step instructions for brewing gong fu cha >>

The current trend, however, is a modern interpretation called ‘dry brewing’, which minimizes the amount of spillage as much as possible, and usually replaces the draining tray with a large bowl to collect excess rinse water. At first sight, this method may seem more approachable, but brewing with such precision actually requires more skill and specialized equipment.

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3 Ways to Brew Tea For A Group

3 Ways to Brew Tea For A Group

Drinking great tea is one of our favorite things, but sharing great tea is even better. We love to help others appreciate their tea experience, and if you love tea as much as we do, you probably do too. Yet making sure everyone gets the perfect cup can be a challenge, especially when brewing for a group. Today we’re breaking down the best brewing methods for serving a crowd, whether you’re hosting a serious tasting, pairing tea with a meal, or preparing refreshments for a party.

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Types of Black Tea: Indian vs. Chinese Traditions

Types of Black Tea: Indian vs. Chinese Traditions

Within the broadly defined category of fully oxidized teas, there are an infinite number of variations. Black teas can vary in flavor based on the specific environmental features of local terroir, the weather and maturity of the plant when it is harvested, and the way in which the leaves are picked and crafted. But the unique history of the tea trade has also shaped the landscape of fully oxidized styles into two distinct families: those from China, and those from India.

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Flavors of Pure Tea: Rich Textures

Flavors of Pure Tea: Rich Textures

One of the most difficult aspects of flavor to put into words is texture, or mouth feel. Though it is theoretically simple to describe the way a tea feels in the mouth, direct comparisons to other foods are often tied up in flavor. It can be hard to pin down the definition of a word like ‘rich’ without conjuring specific tastes like those of cream or dark chocolate. Yet words like this are truly attempting to convey texture, rather than flavor. The creamy sweetness of milk might be present in a ‘Milk Oolong’, but the dominant flavor profile is usually more floral in character.

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