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

Dec. 25th delivery cutoffs -- UPS: TODAY | US Postal: Dec. 19

Red Blossom Blog

Signs of Quality: Bagged Teas vs. Loose Leaves

Signs of Quality: Bagged Teas vs. Loose Leaves

For a large number of tea drinkers in the modern world, tea bags are the norm. In any regions where European influences have shaped the tea culture, bagged teas are readily available in grocery stores and cafes, while loose leaf teas are sold in specialty shops, associated with special brewing rituals, or generally considered “too fancy” for everyday consumption.

In fact, the difference between bagged and loose leaves is only that: packaging. Loose tea leaves are not always of better quality than those found in bags, and bagged teas are not always “easier” to brew. As with any aspect of tea, the manner in which the leaves are packaged is a choice that each tea drinker can make for themselves. In this blog post, we’ll break down what you can (and can’t) tell about a tea’s quality from the way it is packaged.

Continue reading

Tasting Notes: Bitterness vs. Astringency

Tasting Notes: Bitterness vs. Astringency

Tea and wine have a lot in common. High quality examples of both are recognized by varieties, or environmentally specialized sub-categories of a single plant species. Both depend on factors of terroir, including soil quality and climate, to develop ideal flavor profiles. And both require skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail in order to meet the high standards of connoisseurs.

Find out more about our standards for judging high quality tea >>

Though the resulting products are very different, there are also parallels between flavor quality, and the way that the final cup is judged. While each presents a huge range of flavor profiles, bitterness and astringency are often cited in tasting notes for both, carrying inherent subtext about the overall quality of the final product.

Continue reading

What is Da Hong Pao Tea?

What is Da Hong Pao Tea?

As one of the most famously celebrated teas in China, Da Hong Pao (translated as either ‘Big Red Robe’, or more poetically, ‘Grand Scarlet Robe’) is surrounded by myth and legend. While fantastic stories have helped to build this tea’s reputation as a rare and valuable commodity, they say little about the quality of flavor found in any particular leaf. So what makes Da Hong Pao so special, and what does it mean when a product is labeled “Big Red Robe”?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading
  • Page 1 of 6
  • Page 1 of 6