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Red Blossom Blog

4 Myths About Caffeine in Tea

4 Myths About Caffeine in Tea

Though most people consume caffeine in some form or another on a daily basis, myths and misinformation persist about the way it works. In particular, there are several popularly held misbeliefs about the caffeine content in tea that are simply not true. Some are based in fragments of truth, while others are pure invention. Today, we’re clarifying the facts about four caffeine myths that we encounter often.

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What is Oriental Beauty Tea?

What is Oriental Beauty Tea?

Also known as Dongfang Meiren (“Eastern Beauty”), Bai Hao Oolong (“White Tip Oolong”) and Pengfeng Cha (“Braggart’s Tea”), Oriental Beauty is a unique and famous tea. Traditionally, it is grown in Hsinchu County, in the north of Taiwan. Here, the mountains give way to rolling hills, and the mild climate is ideal for growing tea. It’s probable that immigrants from the Chinese mainland started planting tea bushes here in the Ming Dynasty, and possible that these first bushes included the variety that would become Oriental Beauty.

It was not until 1933 that Oriental Beauty was introduced to the commercial market, after winning accolades in a tea competition. At the time, the Taiwanese government was making an effort to increase the quality of tea for export, and tea competitions were a fantastic way for them to reward farmers for making high quality tea. Buyers of the first batch of Oriental Beauty included the governor's office, and the tea fetched such high prices that the proud farmer’s boasts inspired the name “Braggart’s Tea”.

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The Ultimate Guide to Tea Infusers

The Ultimate Guide to Tea Infusers

Tea infusers, made to contain tea leaves while brewing, are an extremely popular tool for brewing loose leaf tea. A precursor to bagged teas, reusable infusers hold leaves captive while allowing water to flow freely through a filter of mesh or punched holes. They are particularly useful for brewing small leaf pieces, like those used for many Western-style black teas, because they prevent small bits from ending up in the brew. However, they’re also commonly used for other tea types, since they are easy to find, simple to use, and allow for leaves to be extracted to prevent over-brewing.

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Types of Tea: 3 Degrees of Blending

Types of Tea: 3 Degrees of Blending

Though most types of tea are defined by some combination of their variety, harvest date, provenance, and crafting style, there is typically a range of quality within each broadly defined type. In the interest of increasing yields, lower quality teas are grown quickly, in hotter climates or with fertilizers, and thereby sacrifice natural flavor quality. These become the base tea leaves for mass produced blends, a widespread practice which has given the term 'blended' a negative connotation among serious tea drinkers.

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Tasting Notes: Why Do Some Pu-erh Teas Taste Fishy?

Tasting Notes: Why Do Some Pu-erh Teas Taste Fishy?

The unusual category of pu-erh tea can be a divisive topic. Though loved and lauded by many die-hard connoisseurs, the unique flavor profile produced by microbial fermentation is unlike any other tea, and can be off-putting to new drinkers. Fans savor the bold, earthy flavors this style is known for, and appreciate the notes of peat, loam, and petrichor that make pu-erh teas so distinctive. But with popularity increasing worldwide for this tea from remote Yunnan Province, the market’s demand for inexpensive pu-erh tea has led to many examples that fall short of quality flavor.

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What is a Kyusu Teapot?

What is a Kyusu Teapot?

Shopping for teapots can be daunting, with seemingly endless styles to choose from and few physical differences among them. Materials, finishings, and craftsmanship can all influence the flavor of tea in subtle ways, but most teaware is sold without mention of these practical details. Instead, exotic-sounding descriptors like kyusu are used to indicate features - but the application of this term, in particular, can be inconsistent. So what does the term kyusu mean, exactly?

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8 Tips for Brewing Multiple Infusions

8 Tips for Brewing Multiple Infusions

For those new to the world of whole leaf, natural teas, the concept of re-steeping a single serving of tea leaves is often surprising. Unlike the powdered leaf pieces found in most tea bags, or even the finely ground beans use to make coffee, whole tea leaves offer less exposed surface area. The result is a slow unfurling of flavor, rather than immediate extraction, and the potential for several cups of flavorful tea from a single scoop of whole leaves.

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How Oxidation Changes Tea Flavor

How Oxidation Changes Tea Flavor

Clearly, this all-important stage of processing must have some major impact on flavor. But the influence of oxidation is hard to isolate, since crafting methods are usually specific to each traditional region. If we were to taste the hypothetical teas above, plucked from the same tea bush on the same day but processed in different ways, what range would we find in flavor? What molecular changes take place during oxidation that have such a profound effect on our palate? And what makes some varieties and harvests more suited for oxidation than others?

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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 give new Indian black teas the same citrus-like qualities found naturally in fine black teas from China.

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Which Teas Are Most Popular In China and Taiwan?

Which Teas Are Most Popular In China and Taiwan?

We are often asked to recommend the tea styles that are most popular in their country of origin. Thanks to the vast range of tea styles produced in China and Taiwan, each region has its own specialty, and local loyalties are fierce. If you’re looking for a gift or wondering what to buy while in China, check out this list for the best teas of each region.

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