TeaSource

Beyond the Leaf

  • The Story of Dan Cong Oolong

    Our Dan Cong Oolong is hand-made by a very small tea company located in eastern Guangdong province of China. They call themselves Propitious Clouds Trading Co. and they are dedicated to making regional specialties and super-high quality teas. These folks own their own tea fields and small factory and have won many awards in tea competitions throughout China. 

    This tea is grown at an elevation of 2000’ and is hand-processed in very small batches. Here is the tea during the oxidation step.

    Owner Bill Waddington met Brian, the general manager, at a tea festival in Xiamen, China last year. Here they are sharing a cup of tea together. 

    Dan Cong literally translates as “lone bush” and refers to a high grade oolong that comes from a single tea bush or wild tea tree, as opposed to a large plantation of uniform commercial tea plants. Here the tea leaves are being picked from the garden.

    This is a very special oolong that goes through unique sun-drying, followed by multiple courses of rolling, fluffing, and oxidizing the leaves.

    Sun withering of the tea leaves.

    Rolling and shaking the leaves leads to the complexity and texture of this tea.

    Don't miss out on this incredible tea! Limited availability.

     

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  • 2017: The Year of the Blend

    In 2017 TeaSource is shining a spotlight on tea blends, both in-store and on the web. We’ll feature and discount tea blends throughout the year. We’ll have workshops on blending your own teas. We’ll be posting numerous blog posts throughout the year on tea blends and blending, and we’ll introduce 8-10 new tea blends throughout 2017.

    So, what is a tea blend? A tea blend is a combination of a straight tea (from Camellia sinensis) and something else. It can be a combination of straight teas, all from Camellia sinensis, like English Breakfast. Or it can be a straight tea blended with almost anything else: fruits, flavors, spices, herbs, candies, roots, vegetables, ad infinitum.

     

     

     

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  •  

    1. Exclusive deals!
    You like free stuff, right? Every month members can take advantage of an exclusive promotion. Enjoy perks like $10 off your order, free shipping, and discounts on teas and accessories.

     2. Learn more about tea.
    It still amazes us how much there is to learn about this one little plant. You’ll receive educational material, handouts, and tea tips throughout your membership.

     

    3. Geek out to your heart’s content.
    We wear the title “tea geek” around here like a badge of honor. Every new member receives a FREE professional cupping journal so you can build your own catalog of tea notes and impressions.

     

    4. We do all the work.
    In a world of infinite choices, we carefully select the two teas you receive in each package. You’ll get amazing teas delivered right to your doorstep without lifting a finger.

     

    5. Become part of a community.
    We have members in over 20 states across the U.S. and are still growing! Join us in our quest to discover and experience new and exceptional teas from all over the globe.

     

    Click here to view membership details and prices.

     

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  • What is Organic Tea?

    The word or label “organic” is the only one of those food marketing terms that by law has a specific meaning and defined usage. It is the only one of those food marketing terms that has teeth.  If a food is labeled “organic” there are some things, by law, you should be able to assume:

    • the food was grown without synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or sewage sludge

    • those crops cannot have been genetically engineered or irradiated

    • any facility coming in contact with that organic food follows strict guidelines on storage, cleanliness, sanitation, handling, other materials that may come in contact with the organic food (e.g. only approved cleaning products) etc.

    • and perhaps most importantly there is a complete paper trail of that crop from the field and seed to the final consumer product. This includes a complete unbroken train of paperwork, encompassing multiple inspections, certifications, documentation of that product to ensure that every step of the way it has complied with the legally mandated organic standards and practices. In other words, you are able to trace an individual product all the way back to its very origins; with inspections and documentation all along the way.

     

    So when TeaSource labels a tea organic, that means:

    :

    • TeaSource has a complete paper trail following that tea back to its origins: that certifies and documents that any entity (including the grower, the shipper, importers, etc.) responsible for that tea has been certified and inspected as a certified approved organic facility, and is strictly following organic standards and practices.
    • the main TeaSource warehouse in Roseville, MN, goes through an extremely thorough annual inspection by federally approved organic certifiers. In our case it is the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

    • TeaSource has a very detailed, documented and approved handling and tracking process for organic teas, which is very strictly adhered to. And then all that paperwork is inspected, annually, sheet by sheet, to make sure we are following are the rules.
    • within our warehouse the organic products are stored only in segregated/approved organic storage/holding locations.

    • within our warehouse the organic teas are opened, handled, blended, and packaged only in a specific approved manner and areas, so they never come in contact with other non-organic items (for instance non-approved cleaners), or even in contact with other teas that are not certified organic. This is one reason we can no longer weigh out organic tea bulk in the stores.  We are required to weigh and package all organics only in our approved warehouse.  We are not allowed to weigh them out to order in the retail stores and still call them “organic.”

    • every single package of TeaSource organic tea, is individually marked with the date that tea was packaged at TeaSource and a code number that gives us the history/traceability of that tea.

    • every package of TeaSource organic tea also specifies who has certified (and inspected) TeaSource.


    TeaSource is proud to support the USDA organics programs. Yes, it’s a lot more paperwork and hassle for us, but we don’t mind (too much), because that’s the only way the program can have some teeth and integrity.

    Bill Waddington,
    Owner TeaSource

     

    Shop Organic Teas at TeaSource

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  • Matcha More About Matcha: FAQs

     

    What is matcha?
    Matcha is a powdered green tea typically used in the Japanese tea ceremony.


    How do you make matcha?
    -Place 2 teaspoons of matcha into a bowl.
    -Add 8 oz. of 175 degree water.
    -Whisk the matcha for 30 seconds in quick “M” and “W” shapes with your wrist until it is fully dissolved and frothy on top.


    Do you need special equipment / special whisk?
    Traditionally, matcha is made in a matcha bowl (chawan) with a bamboo whisk (chasen). You can also use a standard soup bowl and a kitchen whisk.

     

    How is matcha different from regular tea? What kind of green tea does matcha come from?
    Matcha is made from the highest grade Japanese green tea, similar to Gyokuro. Shade-grown tea buds are plucked, the stems and veins are removed. The leaves are then ground into a fine powder.

    How long does matcha stay fresh?
    If stored well, matcha will stay fresh for up to one year. After that, it will slowly start to lose some of its flavor and vitality.


    What’s the best way to store matcha?
    The best way to store matcha is in an airtight container away from light, moisture, and other aromas in a cupboard or drawer.

     
    How much caffeine does matcha have compared to regular green tea?
    Matcha contains more caffeine than a regular green tea because it is made up of the whole tea leaf. Therefore, it releases more caffeine and antioxidants into the cup.

     
    Health benefits of matcha?
    Since all tea comes from the same plant, it’s all good for you. However, matcha is the only tea where you actually consume the whole leaf. Therefore, a cup of matcha will contain more antioxidants than other teas.

     
    What is the traditional Japanese way to do Matcha?
    -Use a bamboo tea scoop (chasaku) to measure two scoops of matcha.
    -Place the matcha in your matcha bowl (chawan).
    -Add ¼ cup of 170 degree water.
    -Use a bamboo whisk (chasen) to whisk the matcha.
    -Whisk in “M” and “W” shapes until it is fully dissolved and frothy.

     
    Where to go for the Japanese tea ceremony?
    Como Park Zoo & Conservatory offers a traditional Japanese Tea ceremony. You can register on their website.

     

    Read even more about matcha here or discover other ways to prepare matcha.

     

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  • Matcha Made in Heaven

    Check out some other ways our TeaSource staff is enjoying our new Matcha green teas.  The possibilities are endless!
     


    Organic Matcha Latte
    1. Whisk ½ - 1 tsp of Organic Matcha in ¼ cup of water (heated to 160-180 degrees)
    2. Add 6-8oz. of milk (heated 160-180 degrees)
    3. Sweeten to taste (optional)
     

    Blueberry Matcha Latte
    1. Whisk 1- 2 tsp of Blueberry Matcha in ¼ cup of water (heated to 160-180 degrees)
    2. Add 6-8oz. of milk (heated 160-180 degrees)
     

    Vanilla Matcha Shake
    1 tablespoon Organic Vanilla Matcha
    1 cup milk of your choice
    Handful of ice

    Place a large juice glass or jar in the freezer for as long as possible. In a blender, blend the matcha, milk and ice until smooth. Serve in the chilled glass.
     
     
    Matcha Raspberry Smoothie
    1/2 frozen banana
    1/2 cup frozen raspberries
    1/2 cup frozen peaches
    1/4 cup frozen strawberries
    1/2-3/4 cup milk of your choice
    1 1/2 cups baby spinach
    1 tablespoon Organic Raspberry Matcha

    Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

    Enjoy!


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