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      Recipes & Guides

      Black Matcha Recipe

      Black Matcha Recipe

      This is the time of year when plants start to show their first buds although it will be a while before they begin to wear that beautiful fluorescent green of early spring foliage. During the days when the temperature is still cold, we enjoy a bowl of Black Matcha in the morning and Artemisia Matcha Latte in the evening.

      These two "Matcha" types are some of our most distinguished because they always bring up the conversation of "what is Matcha?" Both Black Matcha and Artemisia Matcha are powdered teas that are similar to the Song Dynasty style of tea making and the precursor to Japanese Matcha. Some of the main differences are prolonged storage and not having to sift before whisking due to the processing of these teas which fully dries them. Japanese Matcha has about 3-4% moisture and makes the tea extremely sensitive to storage while forcing the sifting procedure before making. Lastly, both Black and Artemisia Matcha foam up much easier with minimal effort!

      Black Matcha is a black tea stone-ground into a wonderful coco like powder and can be enjoyed traditionally with only hot water or your favorite milk. Depending on your preferred thickness you can use half water and milk or your own ratio.

      Black Matcha Recipe

      10oz cup
      3g of Black Matcha
      8oz of hot water 195F (substitute your favorite milk)

      Add Black Matcha to a bowl and add water. Using a Bamboo Chasen whisk for about 1-2 minutes until it is frothy and enjoy! Alternatively, you can use a thermos instead and shake it like a cocktail shaker. We recommend drinking matcha after it was freshly made as it will separate and continue to oxidize over time.

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      The Importance of Water for Tea

      The Importance of Water for Tea

      The single most important part of making tea is the quality of water. Tap water contains heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride that can negate almost half of the flavor and aroma in tea. For those of us who live in states where the water quality is not overly hard and comes from a good source, the implementation of a simple water filter is sufficient but filtered bottle water or spring water is even better. If you want to enjoy the most of your tea I urge you to reconsider what water you are using. It will not only benefit the taste of the tea but also the quantity of tea needed and the length of steeping to produce more flavor. The delicate nuances produced by carbohydrates, amino acids, and flavonoids in tea don't stand a chance when competing against chlorine and fluoride.

      Since ancient times, tea lovers have held the origin and quality of water in very high regard. It became a contest amongst connoisseurs to identify the source of the water being used. There are passages written about Lu Yu where he could tell that his lazy disciple drew the water from the bank of a famed river instead of walking over the bridge and dropping the bucket into the stream to draw the purest water. Some of the most famous water sources were wells, rivers, or even mountain creeks, and each had its distinct minerality, pH level, and taste.

      When it comes to enjoying a very high-quality tea, you absolutely should use good water! Some of our favorite bottles of spring water are Volvic and Fiji because of their near-perfect pH of 6.5 and you should avoid distilled water. At the teahouse, we use a two step filter that connects to our water faucet to fill our kettles and our ice machine for making iced tea. We've compiled a list of our most fragrant teas that will simply astound when brewed with good water. Enjoy!

      Ming Qing Long Jing - One of the finest representations of green tea made with extremely young tea leaves that are expertly pressed against a hot pan into a flat shape and infusing it with a delicate "smokey" aroma.

      Organic Buddha's Balhyo - A black tea that is lower in oxidation to preserve the delicate floral undertones from this hybrid varietal with a robust roast to make it taste like a perfect chocolate mousse! 

      Okumidori Tamaryokucha - Okumidori is a marvelous cultivar that expresses notes of Granny Smith apple with a slight white flower aftertaste and moderate amino acid levels (umami) with a refined baked taste. You will marvel at the beautiful emerald green color from the deep steaming. 

      Wen Shan Bao Zhong - This tea is often referred to as a green tea due to its extremely low oxidation levels yet it pungent floral appeal is a signature of the oolong family of teas. So bright with very little vegetal taste at all. 

      Da Hong Pao 2019 - One of the most expressive representations of this legendary oolong by using 18 different cultivars! It is a full bouquet of flowers that is waiting for you to discover with deep layers of roasting done over the course of five months. Each successive steeping reveals incredible undertones of taste and aroma that beckon the use of only the best water!  


      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

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