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Jasmine Green Tea Pearls

Enjoy the introduction to Teas New Jersey’s Green Jasmine Dragon Pearls and small introduction into the Gong Fu style of tea brewing! Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe, and check out our teas and tea ware!

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Our Imperial White Peony!

Imperial White Peony

Origin: China, Fuding Province.

Flavor: Delicate Sweetness, Bright Starfruit, Cream, Slight, Pleasant Astringency

This tea is a luxury grade harvest is from the first flush of last year’s Spring from Fuding Province China, a region in famous for growing Pai Mu Tan, Silver Needle White, and Bai Lin Hong Cha.   White Peony is a classic Chinese tea because of its vibrant and fresh profile. The leaves of this tea were fermented and processed indoors, which produced a brilliant green color and fresh flavor. The bright and clean leaves are evidence of the delicate care and passion put into the crafting of this fine selection.  The light golden liquor is complex with full-bodied, fresh flavor and calming aroma.  The experience meets the tongue with the freshness of bright starfruit passes with the taste of sweet cream and flowers, followed by a slight refreshing astringency.  This tea can be brewed at 185F for a short period of time, around 20 seconds.  This method is bright, cleansing, and astringent.  You can also try brewing this tea around 170F for about two minutes for an infusion that enhances the sweet warming thickness of the liquor.  This tea is also great cold brewed!

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Our Ceremonial and Everyday Matcha

Samurai Matcha

Matcha is a powdered Green tea which today is most commonly found and produced in Japan. Powdered Green tea was first brought to Japan from China in the twelfth-century by Zen monks who were studying Chan Buddhism in China. The tea plants used to produce Matcha are shaded for three weeks, 21 days, before they are harvested. The leaves are processed whole until their veins and stems are removed.  What is saved from this process are the dry leafy parts of the leaves and is called Tencha. The Tencha leaf flakes are stone ground by slow moving grinders in order to create the Green Tea powder we call Matcha. The mixture of Matcha and water has a deep earthy flavor with subtle light notes depending on the variety.  However, matcha is characteristically rich.  Matcha is different from steeped tea in that it is whisked to serve and entirely consumed. This results in stronger levels of caffeine and richer nutritional intake.  Matcha powder is served by whisking the powder with water in a bowl until the liquid is well mixed and filmed with a thick froth of small bubbles.

Our Samurai Ceremonial Matcha!

Origin: Japan, Obuku Valley, Kyoto Prefecture

Flavor: Sweet, Grassy

This premium Samurai Ceremonial Grade Matcha tea is hand picked in the Obuku Valley in Kyoto Prefecture.  The hand picking and stone grinding of matcha is indicative of a ceremonial grade matcha.  The care with which this tea is processed provides the finished tea with a smooth and mellow aroma and flavor palette, Samurai Matcha is produced from pure Gyokuro leaves and has a light emerald color and fine texture. Samurai Matcha is rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamins.  Samurai Matcha was originally produced for Japan’s Samurai warriors during the thirteenth century, after they learnt the ancient art of the tea ceremony from Buddhist monks who valued the tea for its meditative and restorative qualities.

Everyday Matcha

Our Everyday Matcha!

Origin: Japan, Izu

Cultivar:

Flavor: Sweet, Grassy

Izu Matcha green tea is made from traditional Gyokuro leaves which are shaded before harvest to increase the chlorophyll content in the leaves, which give the tea great umami richness. This matcha has a sweet aroma balanced by a lightly astringent base note, which provides a complex tasting experience and distinctive flavor. Izu Matcha has a satisfying grassy taste which is mild and complex in its depths. This tea is great prepared with water, or blended with rice milk or coconut milk for an entirely new taste experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect taste for you.

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Loose Leaf VS Tea Bag

Black Tea, Oolong, Green Tea Loose VS Tea Bag

The method of consumption of tea has changed many times throughout history. When tea leaves were first starting to be infused with water in China, the leaves were packed into cakes with a multitude of other things like ginger to add different flavor and add to the numerous health benefits that tea has all alone. People in China then started stone grinding the tea leaves to consume whisked with water in a similar way to how Matcha is enjoyed today. Then people started brewing tea with the loose leaves. Steeping loose leaves in water is the most popular way in which Tea is enjoyed today. However, there are always variations in brewing methods. One of the major changes to the method of brewing leaf tea is the use of disposable tea bags. When the English started enjoying Chinese tea they drank whole leaf tea, what we refer to today as loose leaf tea. This changed in the last century when large tea corporations desired to produce disposable more convenient ways to brew and sell tea. Today these large corporations do this by purchasing what is referred to as “tea dust” in the tea world. Tea dust is produced in two ways. The first way in which tea dust is produced starts with low-grade tea grown near cities or close to pollution hotspots due to the desire for cheap, quick, and easy transportation. This tea is harvested, fixed, dried, then crushed into tea dust and sold in tea bags. The second method of acquiring tea dust for tea bags is by collecting the remains of what is left over from the production of good quality tea leaves. This includes the stems and everything else that gets sifted away from the good quality leaves. This is often collected by the producers and sold in bulk to large tea corporations. It is collected by machine or sometimes even swept off the ground of the production floor and stuffed into large sacks with any kind of dirt or insects and whatever else might be there.

As tea lovers, we find this a little disturbing and absurd. Even good quality Tea is relatively cheap when considering the number of possible infusions in the gong fu and western brewing styles. However, most of us in the Western world simply don’t know what true tea is and can go years loving tea in tea bag form without even considering what the dust inside the bags might look like whole. We believe this to be a detriment to ourselves and to the tea we are drinking! Tea is a beverage of relaxation and appreciation. It slows us down and calms us, and those properties of the tea drinking experience are greatly enhanced when you can see the tea leaves unfurl in the water and come to life. Allowing the leaves to move about the water, to let the water pass through the leaves, is fundamental to the steeping of tea. This observing of the leaves allows you to appreciate more fully the aesthetic beauty of the leaves. The experience of observing the leaves is grounding and earthy. The aroma of loose leaf tea is enticing and complex and an added layer of the tea drinking experience that is enjoyable to us naturally. The flavor of the tea is more complex in its loose leaf form as well and has less of the harshness that tea bags might have. This is especially true for green tea bags, which often have an overpowering sour flavor that is not present in loose leaf tea.

Many tea bag distributors are also now switching from tea bags to tea sachets, which are mostly made with synthetic plastic materials, and though they often contain more whole leaf teas, there is little information provided for them on the processing and origins of the teas. The synthetic plastic materials also might be of some concern for some due to their being steeped in boiling water.

Tea New Jersey is dedicated to sourcing the best loose leaf tea for you and helping you in your transition to loose leaf tea if our teas are your first encounter and also promise to help enhance your experience if you are a practiced loose leaf tea drinker. Let us know if you have any questions and we look forward to helping you enjoy the good leaf!

Tea New Jersey’s Gong Fu Brew Guide, Western Brew Guide.

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Our “English Breakfast” Tea

Keemun Mao Feng Premium

Flavor: Toasted, Fruity, Floral, Smoky Finish

English Breakfast tea is one of the most famous teas worldwide due to British Imperialism in China and South-East Asia.  Some might believe English Breakfast to be a singular variety of tea, however what we know as “English Breakfast” is actually a blend of different varieties of Black tea. Blending teas is a practice used for even the most prized and revered teas.  Tea masters often blend leaves of the same variety for the best tasting tea.  This is true even for Matcha powdered tea from Japan.  In regard to the English Breakfast blend, Keemun Mao Feng is one of the most used varieties.  This premium tea is delicious in itself, and we wanted to offer you a chance to taste this much beloved tea apart from in its blended state!

Our Keemun Mao Feng Premium is a top quality leaf tea from Qimun County, Anhui Province in China. This tea is composed of tightly rolled whole leaves with high oxidation and produce a distinctively deep flavor. This Keemun Mao Feng has a rich amber liquor with a brisk, full bodied, rich toasty flavor and a fruity floral aroma of spring orchards. This tea is also special for its long lasting sweetness, and rich and delicious aftertaste!

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Our Japanese Greens!

Fukamushi Sencha
Premium Sencha Tenkaichi

We’re excited to offer five of our favorite Japanese green teas. This selection includes two premium Senchas, one being in the Fukamushi long-steamed style, which is more broken than shorter steamed Senchas and has a deeper green, thick liquor with flavors of cooked spinach and Gyokuro like umami. Our other Sencha, Sencha Tenkaichi, is very different a with a warm buttery thickness and flavor that coats the mouth with a long lasting sweet aftertaste. Our Kabusecha is a shaded Japanese green tea. This tea is shaded for around 12 days, which is nearly half the time that Gyokuro is shaded for. Our Kabusecha is a nice balance of umami and grassy notes with a nice drying sensation that encourages a clean salivation with

Gyokuro Gokou

vegetal notes. We are also proud to offer two very incredible Gyokuro teas. Gyokuro is known for its umami richness, which both of our teas accomplish. However, if you’re looking for the best umami punch, nothing beats our Gyokuro Gokou, which is shaded for a total of fifty days before harvest, while Gyokuro is typically shaded for only thirty days before harvest. Our other Gyokuro is our Uji Gyokuro.  Try them both and let us know what you think!

Homare Kabusecha

 

Uji Gyokuro

 

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Ever Heard of a Gong Fu Brew?

Gong Fu Brew

The Gong Fu style of tea brewing has been the most popular style of tea leaf brewing in China since the Ming Dynasty.  This style of leaf brewing became popular after the practice of whisking powdered tea, like matcha, became lost in China.  (However, the practice of whisking powdered tea was preserved in Japan).  The basic philosophy behind Gong Fu brewing is based on extracting the full and complex flavors of the tea.  The strength of the flavor of tea prepared in the Gong Fu style is rather surprising to people who have only ever drank Western Brewed style tea.

Gong Fu style brewing is achieved by using a large amount of leaf to a small amount of water paired with short steeping times, with steeps as short as 10 seconds for some teas.  These are often called micro-brews in the tea world.  However, the Gong Fu brewing also incorporates multiple brews.  Because the large amount of leaves is steeped for so little time per infusion, the leaves are able to hold onto much of their flavors throughout multiple infusions, and the differences in flavor between infusions is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated.  While the large amount of leaf is meant to offer the most flavor that the tea has to offer, the multiple infusions is meant to explore the depth and complexities of the tea leaves’ compounds.

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Yixing Clay Gaiwan
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Glass Gaiwan
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Porcelain Gaiwan with Yixing Clay
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Yixing Clay Tea Pot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gong Fu Tea Ware: Tea leaves prepared in the Gong Fu style in China are brewed in either a Gaiwan (lidded bowl), a small brewing vessel with a saucer, cup, and lid, or in China’s famous and small Yixing clay tea pots.  (Yixing is the type of clay used)  Both of these vessels are typically found between 100ml-300ml.  Gaiwans are typically found in the same ranges.  These small brewing vessels are perfect for micro brews.  In them the leaves are meant to be brewed and poured into small pitchers, known as Fair Cups.  The practice of pouring the tea from the pot into the fair cup allows the finished tea liquor to blend its flavors which might otherwise be uneven.  This also ensures that the tea liquor does not steep longer than is desired.  Pouring directly into cups from the pot or Gaiwan would give the first guest and last guest very different teas, the former weaker and the latter stronger.  However, pouring first into the fair cup and then into the cups of the guests ensures that each guest receives tea that is steeped for the same amount of time and which can be enjoyed as a social experience.

There is also a method of pouring directly into the cups in the Gong Fu style, during which the host quickly circles above the cups while pouring from the Gaiwan or Yixing pot.  The host circles the above the cups while pouring until the Gaiwan or pot is empty.  The liquor in the cups should look very similar.  However, this style is rather messy and quite wasteful.  It should only be done on a table you wouldn’t mind getting a little wet! We recommend using a pitcher or fair cup!  Fair cups also allow you to store multiple infusions if you desire a large cup with the same strong Gong Fu flavor and complexities.

The principles of Gong Fu brewing are practiced pretty much everywhere tea is grown in order to test the flavors and qualities of the finished tea leaves.  However, Western brewing is by far more popular around the world.

Check out our Gong Fu brew guide: Gong Fu Brew Guide (1)

 

 

Check out our TeaSources!

 

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White Tea

Brief:

White tea is produced when fresh tea buds and leaves are allowed to wither for long periods of times after being carefully picked.  The tea buds and leaves are allowed to wither for days before they are dried, or until they dry on their own.  This prolonged state of withering allows the fresh buds and leaves to undergo a long window passive oxidation.  However, the passive oxidation very minimal compared to the oxidation processes that Black tea undergo.  White tea leaves tend to be more fragrant than other teas and also tend to be particularly sweet.  White tea finds its origin in China’s Fujian province, where most White teas are produced.

Bai Hao Yin Zhen, or White Hair Silver Needle, is a bud tea known for its silvery white color and hairs.  These leaves are large and thick.  This tea has a sweet, almost sappy, flavor with subtle grassy notes and a light golden tea liquor.

Bai Mu Dan, or White Peony, is a white tea of plant buds and leaves.  This tea has a sweet, mild flavor with floral and fruity notes and a deep golden liquor.

Gong Mei, or Tribute Eyebrow, is a type of Bai Mu Dan that is made from older leaves.  The flavor of this tea is known for its soft thickness and like color.

Shou Mei, or Longevity Eyebrow, is made with even longer aged tea leaves and is the most popular due to its lower grade.  However, its flavor relies on its age.  Should Mei is also often used to make white tea cakes!

Yue Guang Bai, or Moonlight White, is withered in the dark for longer periods of time.  This tea is made with both bud and leaf, leaving the leaves contrasting colors of both white and black when dried.  This tea has a sweet and malty flavor and thick  liquor with an exceptional aroma.

 

If you’re a fan of White tea, tell us what you’d like to try and we’ll look into sourcing it!  Have a favorite flavor profile?  Let us know below!

Check out our Tea-Sources!

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Puerh Tea

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Puerh

Puerh is a fermented tea.  There is a little confusion about what fermented tea actually is due to misunderstandings in tea producing nations and in the West.  Some tea places call all dark tea fermented tea simply because the leaves look as though they have gone through fermentation.  However, we know that Black tea leaves are not processed through fermentation, their processing relies on oxidation.  Although, because Puerh is fermented and aged, meaning that it sits for long periods of time exposed to moisture and air, the tea leaves naturally oxidize slowly.

Puerh is produced by one of two ways.  The first way is to allow the leaves to naturally ferment and oxidize on their own over time.  This method is called Sheng Puerh.  Shu Puerh is intentionally pile fermented tea.  The leaves of Shu Puerh are piled wet and allowed to sit for a controlled amount of time with continuous and controlled amounts of moisture and are turned over the course of the processing.  Leaves can be piled wet for from a few hours to a few weeks.

The tea leaves are then packed into molds and dried in a warm room where they are wrapped in paper or weaved form fitting bamboo baskets.  After unwrapping, the Puerh bricks can be broken apart for brewing.  The tool for picking apart the Puerh is known as a Puerh knife.

Puerh is most commonly made with the buds and first four leaves of the tea plant.  This tea is made with all types of finished tea leaves of all sizes.  The process of tea fermentation relies on the presence of tea indigenous micro-organisms that ferment the compacted leaves.  Fermentation occurs when the tea leaves begin to breakdown due to the natural bacteria and other micro-organisms naturally present.  These leaves tend not to be as oxidized as ‘fully oxidized’ teas like Black tea.  Pu-erh is typically smoother than traditional Black teas, but with deeper, warmer, flavors than Green tea.

When buying Puerh, you will come across Ripe and Raw Puerh.  Ripe Puerh is the pile processed type, Shu Puerh.  This tea tends to be more mellow, earthy, and dark than Sheng Puerh.  Sheng Puerh is what you will find described as Raw Puerh.  This fermented tea is not wet piled, but allowed to ferment over time with a process of sun drying and rolling.  Raw Puerh is light with a light yellow liquor and chestnut, buddy profile.

If you’re a fan of Puerh tea, tell us what you’d like to try and we’ll look into sourcing it!  Have a favorite flavor profile?  Let us know below!

Check out our Tea-Sources!

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What’s Oolong?

Oolong

Brief:

Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized tea.  It is often considered to be somewhere in between Green and Black tea, with both light and dark notes.  Different types of Oolongs vary in the level of oxidation that they receive.  Traditional styled Oolongs tend to be more oxidized than modern style Oolongs.  The modern style of oxidizing Oolongs is focused on preserving the bright fresh lightness of the leaves.  The modern style preserves the greenness in the finished tea.  Though lighter Oolongs are meant to preserve a freshness in a similar way to Green tea, leaves meant for Oolongs are bruised before being fixed.  This bruising promotes oxidation and withering, that allows the leaves to oxidize slowly.  Oolong is also one of the favorite teas to roast.  Roasting Oolong promotes smoothness in the darker notes of the tea.  Oolongs typically have a butter sweet aroma when processed in the modern style, and a deeper, charcoal aroma in the tradition style and when roasted.  Oolongs are known for coming rolled, in the shape of a ball or in strips similar to Black tea.

Oolong teas are most famously produced in China and Taiwan.  The methods of production have mutually effected the production in both of these places.  One of the most noted diversions was between the modern and traditional styles.  However, the different methods are practiced in both places today.

Chinese Oolongs: Fujian Province

Anxi Tie Guan Yin, or Anxi Iron Goddess of Mercy, is a famous Oolong that is ball rolled and enjoyed both roasted and unroasted with a floral aroma and lasting sweet flavor.  The liquor color of this tea depends on whether it is roasted.  Unroasted, it is green, roasted, it is golden.

Anxi Huang Jin Gui, or Anxi Golden Cassia is a ball rolled Oolong known for the yellow color of its dry leaves and yellow liquor.  The flavor of this tea known for its smooth sweetness and lasting nutty taste.

Anxi Ben Shan, or Anxi Original Mountain, is a lightly roasted ball rolled Oolong with a complex flavor of both high and low notes that include floral and nutty tastes.

Anxi Mao Xie, or Anxi Hairy Crab, is a ball roasted Oolong characterized by the hair on its leaves.  This tea has a thick, sweet flavor with less floral notes.

Anxi Jin Guan Yin, or Golden Guanyin, is another ball roasted Oolong with bright, slightly sweet vegetal flavors and a sweet mineral aroma.

Wu Yi Da Hong Pao, or Wu Yi Big Red Robe, is a famous Chinese roasted Oolong that is charcoal roasted.  This tea has a copper-gold color and sweet fruity roasted flavor.

Wu Yi Shui Jin Gui, or Wu Yi Golden Water Turtle, another roasted Oolong, is noted for its dark chocolate aroma and floral taste.  However, this tea does not go bitter.    

Wu Yi Tie Luo Han, or Wu Yi Iron Monk, is a roasted Oolong with dark chocolate, roasted, sweet, mineral flavor and creamy aftertaste.

Wu Yi Bai Ji Guan, or Wu Yi White Cockscomb, is characterized by its yellow/brown colored dried leaves.  This is a rare Chinese Oolong with a sweet, floral, and fruiting flavor and light liquor.

Wu Yi Rou Gui is a roasted Oolong characterized by its aromatic dry, cinnamon flavors.

Wu Yi Shui Xian is a roasted Oolong known for its refreshing floral flavors and smoothness.  This tea is also known for its notes of honey.

Taiwanese Oolongs

Taiwan is in close proximity to China’s Fujian province and is most famous for its Oolong teas.  Taiwan is where the modern style of Oolong tea production originated.

Jin Xuan, or Golden Lily, is a famous ball rolled Taiwanese Oolong with light a golden finished leaf color and lightly golden liquor.  This tea is known for its creamy viscosity and milky aroma.

Si Ji Chun, Four Seasons of Spring, is a fresh green ball rolled Oolong that is lightly oxidized and lightly roasted.  This tea has a mineral, fruity flavor and rich, bright gardenia aroma with a light amber liquor.

Cuiyu, or Green Jade/Emerald Oolong, is a bright green ball rolled Oolong that is lightly oxidized with yellowish green liquor and a floral flavor.

Qing Xin, or Green Heart, is a light green ball rolled Oolong with sweet bright floral aroma and sweet creamy flavor.

Nantou Dong Ding, or Frozen Peak Oolong, is a ball rolled Oolong typically with a slight roast and lower oxidation.  This tea has a light color and floral aroma with sweet, creamy, fruity flavor.

Muzha Tie Guan Yin, or Iron Goddess, is a heavy roasted ball rolled Oolong with a deep roasted, minty aroma and a roasted slightly sweet flavor.

Wen Shan Bao Zhong, or Wen Shan Wrapped Kind, is a strip Oolong that is only slightly oxidized, and therefore remarkably green with a light green liquor.  This tea has a smooth, toasty,  butter flavor with a floral, sweet aroma.

Dong Fang Mei Ren, or Oriental Beauty, is a strip Oolong tea that is heavily oxidized with a goof amount of buds in the finished tea product.  This tea has a fruity, floral aroma and famously sweet taste.

Gao Shan, or High Mountain, is a ball rolled Oolong that is less oxidized and unroasted with lighter green colors in the finished leaves and light golden liquor.  This tea has sweet milky flavors and a floral aroma.

 

If you’re a fan of Oolong tea, tell us what you’d like to try and we’ll look into sourcing it!  Have a favorite flavor profile?  Let us know below!

 

Check out our Tea-Sources!