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Red Blossom Blog

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”?

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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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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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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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What is Competition Grade Tea?

What is Competition Grade Tea?

Many teas across all categories are marketed with the phrase “Competition Grade”, a moniker meant to indicate exceptional quality. In a post-imperial age, tea competitions are thought to be the ultimate authority on quality. But as with so many other naming conventions, the regulations surrounding this terminology are lax. While Competition Grade tea may indeed be high quality, the name is no guarantee. In fact, the concept of a competition inherently implies at least two distinct grades.

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What is Ginseng Tea?

What is Ginseng Tea?

Ginseng roots are not related to the tea plant, but have an equally long history in association with traditional herbal medicine. Across Asia, but especially in Korea and China, ginseng root has historically been a panacea for almost any ill. While some modern scientific research supports myriad benefits can be derived from taking ginseng, high prices and a naturally bitter flavor makes it a popular target for imitations and false claims.

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