A Brief Primer About Teas

Tea and Tea Blends

Taste the Difference

Our teas come from all over the world. Each tea and tea blend we offer is personally tasted and selected. We are very proud of the exacting and demanding selection process that brings our customers the best and most unique teas, and specialty blends.

We not only offer tea products tailored to the American palate, but also highly popular traditional and non-traditional Japanese teas developed for the sophisticated Asian tea palate.

Many of our teas come from one of these main categories of tea: white, green, oolong, and black tea. We also carry herbal infusions, or tisanes, sometimes called herbal and botanical teas which do not contain the camellia sinensis (tea) leaf. These blends have rich complex floral, fruit and herbal flavor palates. Several of them contain no caffeine.

Each type of our tea, tea blend and herbal botanical tea has its own characteristic taste palate and support a healthy lifestyle. The best way to explore our products and find out which of our products are for you is to visit our location in Melbourne FL or chat by phone with us.

If we do not carry the type of tea product you would like please contact us and we will be happy to work with you to find just the right tea or tea blend from our network of suppliers.

We hope that the following Tea Primer is helpful.

 

What about Tea

It is estimated that there are over 5000 types of teas.  But the reality is, just as with grapes for wine, the flavor characteristics of tea is not only derived from the processing and curing procedure but also has subtleties imparted by the area it is grown, how it is cultivated and when it is picked, the climate of any particular growing season as well as the harvesting and storing techniques.  Equally important is the tea-grade.  Just as with any produce it is graded.  The best grades are what you would find in fine tea shops (such as Dragonfly Botanica) down to the lesser remnant grades that are often ground down and blended without regard to region and sold as commodity teas.  The latter are what are generally found in most mass-market tea bags.

 

Tea Economics 101

One of the hallmarks of fine loose leaf teas is not only their superior taste and freshness but also how economical they are. When you purchase prepackaged tea-bags you are paying for processing and packaging.  These generally lower quality tea bag products can only be steeped once.  Fine loose leaf teas can (some would say should) be steeped twice or three times.  As a general rule one-ounce of finer quality loose leaf tea will make between 8-10 cups of tea for the first steeping and 8-10 cups for the second.

 

 General Categories of Teas

 

white tea

White Teas

White tea is the purest and least processed of all teas. The tea leaves are picked early in their development before they have developed substantial levels of chlorophyl. Next to matcha, it has the highest antioxidant properties of all teas. This loose leaf tea brews a light color and flavor.

 

 

Tea and Tea BlendsGreen Teas

Green teas are among the most popular types of teas in Asia.  They are generally considered the every day tea for many.  These teas are picked at the height of the chlorophyll level.  They are dried and cut into various styles.  They vary from Senchas, which are characterized by their long thin strands and very vegetal aromas that are reminiscent of a fine meadow to hearty gunpowder style teas so called because the leaves are tightly rolled to resemble gunpowder or gun-shot.  There are innumerable varieties, styles and blends of greens.  They are generally have excellent anti-oxidant properties and a moderate level of caffeine.

 

 

Oolong Teas

Oolong tea, also known as wu long tea, is full-bodied with a flavorful fragrance and sweet aroma. Most people commonly recognize oolong tea as the variety of tea served in Chinese restaurants. Oolongs have a good level of antioxidant properties and tend to be fairly high in caffeine content. They are frequently mixed with floral, herbal or fruit components to give full bodied teas.  There are some unusual varieties such as Milky or Creamy Oolongs which by nature have a taste reminiscent of evaporated milk.  Very popular in Asia a bit hard to find in the US.

 

Black Tea

 

Black Teas

Black tea is the tea most people know since you likely grew up dipping tea bags of black tea in your cup (or enjoyed this tea from an iced tea pitcher in the South). It has moderate antioxidant levels and generally a high level of caffeine. Like oolong tea, black tea is frequently used as the base tea in very popular energizing tea blends.  It is a very popular blending tea and is used as a base with an amazing array of other florals and flavoring.  Many tea aficionados have developed their own blends based on black tea bases.

 

 

Jasmine Teas

These are fine teas blended with dried aromatic jasmine flower. These teas are frequently found in Asian restaurants and make a delightful accompaniment to rich and savory foods. These teas can also be blended with other herbs, spices and botanicals to give a complex and relaxing tea blend.

 

 

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Teas

Rooibos tea, or red tea, is made from a South African red bush berry. It is useful in appetite management as it tends to reduce food cravings. Rooibos is very high in antioxidant properties, generally comparable to good quality green teas.  So, for those who wish to avoid caffeinated products but want antioxidant benefits rooibos teas are just perfect.  It is frequently used as a caffeine free substitute for coffee. Rooibos teas can be delicious hot or iced.   They can be blended with many other types of herbals to give a very broad range of flavors and styles.

 

 

Blooming Tea

Blooming Teas

These are also called artisan or flowering teas. These teas actually ‘bloom’ as they steep and create a beautiful and flavorful bouquet in the steeping vessel. They are hand tied by tea artists and often include some type of flavor or scent along with the beautiful design. These romantic teas make a great gift for your significant other!

 

 

 

Matcha

Matcha is made by carefully drying green tea leaves then pulverizing them into a fine powder. Match is prepared by mixing the pulverized whole tea leaf into water, milk, almond/soy milk as a hot or cold beverage. Because you are taking in the whole leaf, you get the full benefit of tea – from excellent antioxidants and phytochemicals to amino-acids and a sustained invigorating dose of caffeine. Matcha is also excellent as an additive to fruit or vegetable smoothies or in soup. Matcha is a true power food and because it helps increase metabolic efficiency it is often used to help build muscle and lose weight.

 

 

Tea Blends

Tea blends often have the best of both worlds since they combine more than one type of premium tea. Mixing teas in a blend is one of the best ways to get great flavor. Shop our Signature Tea Blends or work with our tea experts make your own personal and special occasion blends!

 

Fruit Teas

These are sometimes referred to as a tisane.  They are made up of dried bits of fruits.  Almost every type of fruit can be found in a stunning array of blends.  Tisanes range from cranberry, orange, pomegranate, mango, kiwi, strawberry, pear or apple.  These fruit components can also be blended with rose hips, hibiscus, jasmine, mints or other herbals to create some very novel and delicious beverages. These fruit teas have no caffeine but little antioxidant properties.  They are very good hot but make exceptional cold-brew iced tea beverages.

 

Herbal Botanical Teas

Herbal Botanical Teas do not contain any leaves from the camellia plant family. These are sometimes referred to as a tisane. Herbal Botanical Teas can be broken into three categories: rooibos teas, mate teas, and herbal botanical infusions. Herbal infusions consist of pure herbs, flowers, and fruits and natural essences. They are delicious hot or iced. Many of our Herbal Botanical Teas provide healthful benefits to enhance your life.