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      Recipes & Guides

      Ming Qian Long Jing Brewing Techniques

      If you are enjoying a fresh batch of Long Jing in the months of March - June, you can add simmered water directly into your gaiwan first then float the tea leaves on top and steep them for about 60s.  This will bring the water temperature down quickly and naturally and delicately release the taste.  Successive steepings, the water should be tempered by pouring into a pitcher first, then adding to the gaiwan.  Steeping can be kept to 10-15s increments. 

      Long Jing enjoyed in the summer that has slightly aged and lost some of that beautiful greeness but gained depth can be added to the middle of the water.  What I mean by that is fill your gaiwan only halfway with water from the kettle then float the tealeaves on top and top off with more hot water from the kettle.  Steeping times are the same for the first at 60s, then 10-15s for successive steepings. 

      Long Jing enjoyed in the Fall and later, add the tea to the bottom of the gaiwan bring and add hot water directly on top and steep for 5-10s for the first and then increasing by 5s for successive steepings. 

      Hope this will help you enjoy the many layers of taste to this magical tea!

      New Harvest Gongmei 2020

      New Harvest Gongmei 2020

      Gongmei 2020 White Tea Arrival

      Traditional white tea is one of the selections that truly embodies the spirit of fall.  The dried leaves of this sun withered tea resemble the colors of fall foliage.  The beautiful tones of brown, red, yellow, and a hint of green, reveal some of the nuances held within a cup of this exquisite tea.  You may be surprised to hear that the description of this white tea is anything but white and that leads us to the discussion of how white tea is categorized.  
      White tea was used to name this category of tea because the most regarded version is Yin Zhen or Silver Needles.  This is a tea that only the first buds are used and this particular type of tea tree produces a higher percentage of trichomes than any other tea plant.  The trichomes are tiny hairs that are covered with crystals and have a white shimmer when looked at under a light. Appearance alone is not now white tea is categorized and that leads to some confusion.  
      The explanation is simple though and it is the reason why Gongmei has such an alluring aroma! White tea is categorized by the process, or lack of processing since the leaves or buds should be left to wither without any physical agitation.  Tea is normally tossed or rolled to stimulate oxidation and it creates a very unique taste and smell found in oolong and red (aka black) teas.  
      When large leaves are used to make white tea instead of just buds, the flavor and aroma become much more pronounced especially when the leaves are allowed to wither under the sun for an extended amount of time.  
      In our selection, we have both a new harvest, which is slightly green in taste and full of energy from fresh tea leaves, and an exquisitely aged version which has less caffeine but deeper notes of malt, caramel, and osmanthus on the nose.  We hope you will enjoy comparing the two or blending them with your favorite teas.  A great way to spice up your everyday tea is to use an equal part of this Gongmei and brew it with Wild Tree Assam, Grains Sticks Leaves, or even Yin Yang Iron Cake Sheng Puerh 1993.  

      Organic Gongmei 2020

      Organic Aged Gongmei 2015

      Iced Tea: Summer Iced Matcha and Iced Matcha Latte

      Iced Tea: Summer Iced Matcha and Iced Matcha Latte

      Summer Iced Matcha

      Summer is upon us, and it is time to chill out! 

      Matcha is one of our go-to teas for the summer because of how easy it is to make.  Our Summer Iced Matcha is not as thick and meant to quench your thirst with a little bit of energy boost for that midday drag after being in the sun.  We always recommend using good quality water and ice cubes.  It will bring out the best taste of your matcha! 

      1 liter cold bottled or filtered water

      2 teaspoon (5-6g) of sifted matcha

      1 liter pitcher

      Add the matcha to a bowl and incorporate some of the water so that you can whisk it together and get a good consistency.  Add more water into the mixture we just created so that it will pour easily into the pitcher and not leave too much matcha stuck on the bowl.  Add some ice to the pitcher and top off with the remaining water.  Time to sit back and enjoy!  We recommend that you drink it within 30-60 minutes after making since the matcha will start to oxidize and turn brown after it comes in contact with the water.  

      Iced Matcha 

      Sumer Iced Matcha Latte

      When you have the summertime blues, you go latte! The summer version is less thick, easy to drink, and uses a ratio of half water and your favorite milk.  Oh, and it is very Instagramable with the milk at the bottom, and the green tea floated on top! 

      2 teaspoon (4-5g) of sifted matcha

      4oz cold water

      4oz your favorite choice of cold milk

      12-16oz glass

      4-5 Ice cubes

      In a bowl, add the matcha and then pour over the water.  Whisk together and create an even consistency.  Don't worry about trying to create foam, as this is hard to do with cold water.   Add the ice cubes to the glass and pour in the milk.  The milk should be at the same level or below the ice.  Pour the matcha slowly over the ice so that it stays separated.  Instagram time! You can choose to mix or slowly drink it separately and swirl the ice in the glass.  

      Enjoy and stay cool! Shop our Matcha

      Tea Dealers Matcha

      Not All Ceremonial Matcha Are Created Equal

      Not All Ceremonial Matcha Are Created Equal

      "Ceremonial Matcha" is a label that depicts a certain kind of quality in powdered green tea.  At the moment, matcha does not have any standards of naming or grading, which has lead to confusion and misleading information.  Customers end up with a bitter taste in their mouth after spending a lot of money on what they trusted to be a quality product.  

      How can you tell if certain matcha is good quality and how much should I expect to pay?  One of the absolute signs of high-quality matcha is the color.  The matcha should have a deep green color, almost like fresh moss.  If there is any yellow or brown tint to it, then it has not been shaded long enough to develop chlorophyll or has oxidized. Second is the aroma, which should be pungent and smell almost sweet like dark chocolate.  The aroma in matcha is the first thing that disappears when matcha is not fresh.  Last but not least is the taste of matcha.  Matcha should taste sweet with a delicate bitterness and lots of umami like asparagus or green peas.  

      Since many people buy matcha online these days, tasting and smelling matcha may not be an option, so you will have to look at what information is provided.  Vendors that share a lot of details tend to be the most trustworthy and know their product well.  When buying matcha online, you should look for the origin, cultivar or varietal, or processing methods.  The origin of matcha should be Japan, although it is also made in Vietnam, China, Korea, and even India.  The two regions in Japan that produce the highest quality matcha are Uji and Yame.  There are other regions close to these areas and can be considered good quality but not the best.  

      Knowing the cultivar used in matcha is also essential since certain types of tea trees are known to produce a higher amount of amino acids and are the best for making matcha.  It is the same as champagne, where the best champagne is made from chardonnay or pinot noir grapes.  High-quality matcha is made of Saemidori, Samidori, Asahi, Gokoh, or Uji Hikari cultivars. Each cultivar presents its own set of difficulties with farming and production, and that makes them more expensive then sencha cultivars.  Some of these challenges are frost, weakness to molding or disease, small and brittle leaves, and low harvest yields. You will quickly find that most of the Japanese brands do not disclose their secret blend of cultivars and expect you to pay high prices based on their reputation alone.  I will say that just because they are a Japanese company does not automatically make their matcha premium quality.

      In recent years with the help of the internet and social media, farmers have been able to sell their product directly to consumers resulting in unblended, single farm matcha of very high quality.  Blending of matcha cultivars is common practice and serves two purposes.  By skillfully blending different varieties, you can create incredibly complex tasting matcha that has the best characteristics of each type of tea tree.  The other reason is not so positive, and it is to dilute high-quality cultivars with lower quality to control the cost and increase the quantity available. 

      The highest quality matcha should only be made using the first spring leaves, shaded for 3-4 weeks, under a canopy made of straw, picked by hand, and matured for about six months before stone grinding.  The first leaves contain the most vitamins and amino acids that the plant has been storing since the winter. Shading the plant from the sun boosts the amount of chlorophyll and results in greener and sweeter tea.  By using a straw canopy instead of synthetic nylon, you can naturally control the amount of humidity.  Japan is a very humid place, and it rains quite a lot in the spring, so being able to control moisture levels is very important so that mold or bacteria doesn't develop and destroy the plants.  Synthetic materials can't absorb moisture, and often chemicals have to be used to prevent mold.  

      Tea leaves that are picked by experienced workers are uniform in size and shape and result in a balanced taste.  The leaves are delicately plucked and help to prevent any bitterness.  The leaves are then steamed, shaped, and dried into Tencha, which is stored for three to six months to let the taste become deeper and balanced.  With modern technology and refrigeration, tencha can be stored without oxygen in a sub-zero freezers for up to two years!  Once there is a demand, tencha is taken out of storage and freshly ground using mechanized stone mortars that slowly grind it to a micro-fine powder.  Tea is ground into powder using several different methods, but grinding too fast generates heat and destroys some of the taste and aroma.  That is why stone ground matcha is considered higher quality.  

      These are some of the main points to learning and grading matcha.  As we have explained, the production of premium matcha is quite limited; thus, prices are higher than teas like sencha. Unfortunately, the cost of matcha has no direct correlation to the quality nor freshness.  Your decision to purchase matcha from a vendor should be based on their reputation and the overall quality of all their teas.  There should be consistency in quality, especially in Japanese teas. 

      Through years of experience and established relationships, we are able to bring our selection of matcha that is focused on cultivars and taste.  We airship our matcha every six weeks to ensure the freshest tea possible and store it in sub-zero freezers until it is ready to be shipped to you.  Our matcha is stamped with freshness dates, six months from the day it is ground. All of our everyday matcha customers consider our matcha to be the best they have ever had.


      Emerald Green Tea Cold Brew

      Emerald Green Tea Cold Brew

      One of our all-time favorite presentations and thirst quencher for cold brew tea is using deep steamed sencha.  The beautiful bright green color of the liquid is almost fluorescent and so captivating. 
      It is also a fail proof way of making Japanese green tea without any lingering bitterness!  Cold brewing extracts more of the Amino Acids that create sweetness and umami in tea and none of the bitter components and less caffeine.
      Tannins, which created astringency, and caffeine are extracted at high temperatures. 
      What you will need:
      1 Liter pitcher
      1 Liter filtered or bottled water at room temperature
      20g or 2-3 tablespoons of Tamaryokucha Sencha (Okuyutaka or Tsuyu Hikari)
      Add tea to the pitcher and add water. 
      Place in the fridge and allow to chill for at least two hours or overnight. 
      Once the water is chilled enough, it won't make the cold brew any stronger so you won't have to worry! Make sure you have a strainer so that you catch the leaves as you are pouring out of the pitcher. 
      Hack:  If you don't have a pitcher or filtered water, just buy 1L bottled water.  Pour out a little bit to make room, add the tea, and then replace the water you poured out and simply let chill.  You can take this to the office, gym, or picnic! 
      Iced Green Tea