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Red Blossom Blog

How Tea Grows: Anatomy of a Tea Plant

How Tea Grows: Anatomy of a Tea Plant

With the wide variety of tea styles produced worldwide, it can be hard to believe that all types of tea, excluding herbal tisanes, are made from the same species. Flavors and even the physical attributes of the finished leaves can vary drastically from tea to tea, giving the impression that green teas are in some way fundamentally different from black teas.

But in fact, all teas come from the same Camellia sinensis plant. Thousands of years of cultivation have teased myriad colors, textures, and flavors out of this single species, which now distinguish the huge variety of teas we know and love.

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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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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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How Does Weather Change Tea Flavor?

How Does Weather Change Tea Flavor?

One of the things we love about working with traditional tea farms is that the growers we work with are primarily concerned with how the tea tastes, rather than how much they can produce. With this focus on quality over quantity, we are free to appreciate the ways in which even subtle differences in growing conditions can dramatically change the final flavor in our cup. By tasting several lots of tea from the same farm or season, it is easier to isolate specific variables like changes in weather patterns between different farms or years, or even between specific weeks during the harvest season.

Differences in weather between seasons are one of the most important factors in the overall grade of the finished tea, and often correlate to levels of bitterness or astringency as the plant grows more mature leaves throughout the annual growth process. Differences in regional weather patterns, along with local flavor preferences and crafting styles, define ideal harvest dates for each type of traditional tea. And variations in weather patterns, whether from year to year or week to week, keep growers, crafters and tasters on their toes, ensuring that no two harvests taste exactly the same.

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Tasting Notes: 3 Reasons to Slurp Your Tea

Tasting Notes: 3 Reasons to Slurp Your Tea

One of the biggest divides in the tea world concerns slurping, and whether or not it improves the flavor of a tea. While considered rude by proper English rules, we always advocate slurping your sip for the best flavor experience. Our favorite technique is to sip a small amount, then gently draw air in through pursed lips to aerate the liquid. While it can take a little practice to get right, we’ve got three good reasons for you to give it a try.

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