We talk a lot about providing grower fresh teas and that we carry a very high quality grade of teas. I'll bet many of you are curious as to who is growing these teas and where they are harvested.
With the exception of our Rooibos herbal infusions, Teajo teas originate from a region called Assam, which is situated in the eastern foothills of the Himalayas. Our grower operates tea cooperatives in this region and has been doing so for over 25 years. Most people in the U.S. do not realize that there is a good chance that the tea they are drinking contains some remnants of tea from the Assam region. In most cases, large tea buyers or consolidators purchase the tea from Assam and then proceed to blend with teas from other regions and countries to make products such as English Breakfast tea or generic Black tea.The difference in our case is that we do not blend with other tea types, so our black and green teas contain only pure Assam tea leaves primarily for reasons of quality and freshness.
More about the harvesting process in the next blog.
Are you still drinking tea from a tea bag? My goal is that by the time you finish reading this article, you will reconsider your tea bag ways and think seriously about switching to loose tea. If better quality, freshness and flavor are not important to you, then continue with your tea bags. Otherwise, you may want to read some of my arguments below in favor of loose tea.
I hear the following excuse all the time..."I don't have time to make loose tea and like the convenience of the tea bag..." We as Americans are so caught up in convenience and instant gratification that we continue to sacrifice quality and flavor, not to mention health benefits when it comes to tea. Making loose tea is so simple that it takes only requires a marginal increase in time over using a tea bag. All you need to brew loose tea is either (a) an unbleached tea filter pouch or (b) a Smart Tea Maker or similar brewing device. Visit http://www.teajo.com/teainfo-preparing.php to learn more about the brewing options for loose tea. If using a Smart Tea Maker, you are looking at an investment of less than $20 to enjoy great loose tea. You can also purchase a box of 100 unbleached tea filters for less than $6.00. In terms of time, it may take a few more minutes to prepare loose tea vs. tea bag preparation. But isn't it worth a few extra minutes of your time for superior quality and taste?
While there are some tea bag products that try to duplicate the quality and freshness of loose tea, few of them come close. Tea bags traditionally contain dust or fannings, which are the lowest grade of leftovers after the tea leaves are processed. There are a few companies that are now placing higher grade tea into their bags, but they still fall short of loose leaf quality. Break open a tea bag, look at the contents and compare the size of the leaves to that of loose tea. Do you notice how much larger and more defined the loose tea leaves are? There is an entire grading system for tea leaves, which is based on the leaf size and texture. I will not go into detail here but will expand upon tea grades in future blogs. The other differences you will notice are the superior aroma and freshness of loose tea, especially when it comes to flavored teas. Unless the tea bags are individually sealed, they are exposed to air and will lose flavor and freshness much quicker than loose tea. The tea bag also restricts the amount of space needed for the tea leaves to expand, which also affects the infusion process.
When you are finished drinking loose tea, there are no staples, nylon or silk bags to throw away. Loose tea is much more environmentally friendly. The worst offenders are the pyramid shaped silk tea bags which purportedly offer the quality of loose tea in the convenience of a bag. What is the point of putting a healthy, organic product like tea into a synthetic, non-environmentally friendly bag and throw them both together in boiling hot water? These pyramid tea bags look pretty, but considering their ridiculous cost, they are still lacking in quality and flavor when compared to loose tea.
In the end, it comes down to having enough compelling reasons to change any habit. If you decide to make the switch to loose tea, I have the feeling you will not return to tea bags. I understand that not everyone feels the same way about quality and flavor as I do when it comes to tea. If this is the case, stick with your box of 100 tea bags for $2.99. It is not worth your time or money to convert to loose tea. However, if you really care about what you are drinking and you still drink tea from a tea bag, it is time for you to make the change.
Congratulations to Laura Klopp of Brandon, FL, who is the winner of a Smart Tea Maker, 2 oz. of Very Raspberry and 2 oz. of Lemon Ginger Green!
We had a great time at The Gourmet Feastival, as our Teajo Flavored Iced Teas received great reviews from the many who attended the event at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center last Thursday.
Our three more popular flavors, Lemon Ginger Green, Very Raspberry and Red Mango Rooibos.
My wife, Sheetal, and I posing at our booth before the event.
With my good friend, Johnny, who with his wife, Sally, were both a tremendous help during the event.
Serving tea as the crowd begins to roll in.
Sampling all the flavors!
Nice crowd of happy people tasting great food, fine wine and of course, refreshing iced teas!
Sheetal and Sally taking a breather!