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Red Blossom Blog

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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Types of Oolong Tea: Rolled vs. Twisted

Types of Oolong Tea: Rolled vs. Twisted

Oolong teas compose one of the most varied categories of tea because they cover the entire range of oxidation levels between green and black tea. Newcomers to this category might be surprised to find that two teas called “oolong” could be completely different in aroma, flavor, and even leaf shape. In fact, there are four main types of oolong, hailing from four geographically isolated regions near the eastern coast of China. Each region has its own unique terroir and specialized varieties of Camellia sinensis, but the easiest influence to observe in the final flavors of the tea is each region’s specific crafting style. And one aspect of the finished tea that gives us a clue to crafting style is leaf shape.

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Signs of Quality: Whole Leaf vs. Broken Leaf

Signs of Quality: Whole Leaf vs. Broken Leaf

There are only a few rules of quality that apply across all styles of tea, but one piece of advice that is commonly given to new tea drinkers is to look for whole leaves. In fact, we have given this piece of advice many times ourselves. When shopping for loose leaf teas with complex flavor, looking for intact leaves is one of our highest priorities. But some teas, like English Breakfast blends or matcha, are always crushed or powdered, even at the highest grades. What is the real benefit of brewing whole leaf teas, and can there be advantages to using broken leaves, as well?

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Cakes vs. Loose Leaf: Types of Pu-erh Tea

Cakes vs. Loose Leaf: Types of Pu-erh Tea

Shopping for pu-erh can be confusing. With the added variables of age and fermentation, pu-erh is one of the most diverse categories of tea, and the growing popularity of the style only makes it easier to find bad examples. Since shopping for pu-erh can feel like a guessing game, it’s tempting to look for signs of quality in simple visual distinctions, like whether the tea is pressed into a cake or left in loose form. So what can we really tell about the tea from the way it is packaged?

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Is Monkey Picked Tea Really Picked By Monkeys?

Is Monkey Picked Tea Really Picked By Monkeys?

For drinkers of Chinese tea, the label “Monkey Picked” is a familiar one, typically applied to oolong teas made from the Tieguanyin variety in Anxi County, Fujian. Today, with the moniker applied to a vast range of teas within this style, it seems fairly obvious that it has taken on a poetic meaning, meant to imply information about the style and quality of the tea rather than offer factual information about the harvesting process. Certainly, tea farms in Anxi County don’t really depend on teams of monkeys to pluck their valuable leaves...do they?

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4 Reasons Why Chinese Teapots Are So Small

4 Reasons Why Chinese Teapots Are So Small

You may know that Chinese culture considers tea an appropriate beverage for any moment of every day. So it may seem counterintuitive that despite the vast quantities of tea consumed in China, traditional teapots (like those from Yixing) rarely hold more than eight ounces of water. To those of us familiar with western traditions, the small size of Chinese teapots can seem unusual, if not downright impractical. But in fact, there are several very logical reasons to use small teaware, even if you’re not Chinese.

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Fine China: 4 Types of Porcelain Clay

Fine China: 4 Types of Porcelain Clay

Chinese pottery has a long history, and is an integral part of the foundations of modern China. One of the greatest early achievements of Chinese potters was the development of denser clay materials that could be fired at extremely high temperatures, resulting in stronger finished pieces. While Chinese tradition calls all of these high-fired clays ‘porcelain’ even today, English speakers typically think of porcelain as a bright white, fine-grained clay, distinctly different from more common ‘stoneware’ pottery. When used in teaware, this type of porcelain offers a white background that makes it easy to see the color of the tea and leaves, along with a light, easy-to-handle weight and a sharp pouring edge that prevents dribbles.

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A Brief History of Longjing Tea

A Brief History of Longjing Tea

Longjing, literally translated as "Dragonwell", is now one of China’s most famous and storied teas. Like other whole leaf styles, the pan-roasted green tea, or something like it, was probably first made during the Ming Dynasty, when powdered teas went out of fashion among members of high society. But it was not until the reign of the Kangxi Emperor, in the later Qing Dynasty, that longjing tea was deemed worthy for imperial tribute and ultimately, international fame.

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Types of Oolong Tea: Nong Xiang vs. Qing Xiang

Types of Oolong Tea: Nong Xiang vs. Qing Xiang

Throughout the long history of tea in China, crafting methods have evolved and diverged to create the vast array of styles we know today. One such shift has transformed the colors and flavors of oolong teas within the last century, fundamentally changing the world’s definition of what makes a good oolong.

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What is Earl Grey Tea?

What is Earl Grey Tea?

Earl Grey tea, which originated in Britain in the 1820s, has since become one of the most popular types of tea in the western world. The unique added flavor of bergamot citrus fruit gives Earl Grey tea a distinctive aroma and flavor that was originally intended to imitate the natural citrus-like flavor notes of fine black teas from China.

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