Now before I get crackin’ on what specialty tea is all about, let’s start off with some basic terms to get us all on the same page.
All teas; white, green, black or oolong, come from one and the same plant: camellia sinensis. By applying different levels of oxidation during the production process, we can control the flavour of the tea.
Most of us grow up drinking the “powdered” version of this plant, infused with parfums stuffed into small bags.What we don’t know is that we are missing out on the the real taste and experience this special plant can offer. This is where specialty tea comes in to save the day.
While there is no one definition of specialty tea out there yet, we like to draw a comparison to the specialty coffee scene, mixed in with our own FRANK terms. So here’s what we concluded. Specialty teas are:
- 1. Single origin and direct trade. Knowing where you came from is knowing where you’re going,right?. The more we know about the process, the people and the hard work hidden behind our teas,the more our passion for them grows. And well, direct trade is simply the only way we do business..
2. Loose leaf and pure. Now without getting into technical terms here, as teas are subject to a complicated grading system that can differ from one origin country to the next, we’ll put it into layman’s’ terms instead:
Specialty Teas have to be loose leaf and pure in order for the leaves to unfold and to release all their natural flavors. When we’re feeling extra nerdy, we like to watch our White Silver Needles dance around in the tea steeper when they get in contact with water. Jep, we warned you..
3. Lastly and certainly not least, for it to be a specialty tea it must have a higher quality taste. This is probably the hardest thing to define, as we all have pretty different palates. Yet, generally, specialty teas will have more delicate notes, and you’ll be able to taste simple, earthy ingredients such as melon, berries and vegetables. Some will even question, is this tea?
Let’s be frank, we’re still figuring out specialty tea ourselves. Yet, one thing is certain: we’re only at the very beginning of unleashing the potential of this diverse and interesting product. From Nepal, to Sri Lanka and Kenya, we’re discovering new treasures everyday, and can’t wait to take you with us on this journey.
Want to get a first taste of what specialty tea can offer? Head over to our webshop and secure yourself 1 of only 100 specialty boxes this holiday season.