Monday, January 28, 2013

The Art of Tea - Custom Blends and Great Gift Ideas @ArtOfTea

art of tea logo

It has been very cold here in the North East.  Perfect for sitting inside with a nice pot of hot tea.  I recently had the opportunity to sample some of the amazing blends from the Art of Tea company.

Located in Los Angeles, California this company imports some of the world’s finest organic teas and botanicals.  The custom blends are personally crafted from these carefully chosen items and then offered for retail sale.

I would encourage any tea lover to spend some time browsing around the website, you will find something for every taste.  They offer black, green, and white teas - as well as rooibos, yerba, citron, hibiscus and guayusa.

Whether your taste is for the traditional or if you prefer fusion blends you will find both the tea you desire and all of the accessories you will need to enjoy it.  There are also fantastic gift suggestions, sampler packs and gift certificates available.

Because of the numerous specially created blends they can offer special collections to celebrate each season.  There were some lovely selections for Christmas and now there are both wintertime and Valentine's suggestions.

Bagged teas are available but the more magnificent choices are loose tea.  If you have never enjoyed a pot of freshly brewed loose tea, don't be intimidated!  Both the website and the packaging will help you through the process. This is what loose tea looks like:
The Art of Tea Company uses this rather smart envelope that has one clear side so that you can see exactly what you're getting.  It also has a zipper seal closure on top. The other side has the name of the blend, a description, the ingredients, if it is caffeine free, and the optimal steeping time.

Once you have selected your tea you can make it by the cup or the pot.  In the photo below you can see a glass pot with the screened lid.  In front of that is a device which is spring loaded.  A plunger is pressed down to open it up for adding the tea.  Then it is placed into a cup for steeping.  There are many other devices available - even disposable screen bags.
  I simply put the loose tea into the pot, while I heat up the water.
When it is ready I add the hot water and let it steep according to the directions.  Once it has brewed, I pour it into a cup and drink it.   It is really not complicated at all.

Many of these teas can also be enjoyed iced.  Just brew it a bit stronger, sweeten if desired, and pour over a generous amount of ice.  (Be sure that the container you are using can withstand the temperatures!)

I tried the following varieties:
Earl Grey Creme: Organic high grown estate black tea hand blended with fragrant oil of bergamot and a touch of French vanilla. A remarkable blend with fresh citrus notes followed by a rich and robust finish. White Coconut Creme: Select white tea hand blended with coconut, safflowers, and cornflowers. Delivers a sweet creamy texture with a light body, and a good balance of coconut. Chocolate Monkey: Chocolate, banana, rooibos and pink peppercorn blended together with apple bits to create an incredible dessert tea. Great hot or iced. Jasmine Pearls Dating back over 1000 years, the traditional tea scenting techniques are still used to make this special tea. Aromatic organic jasmine blossoms are used for scenting the most tender organic green tea leaves and buds then hand rolled into small pearls. This salubrious tea is exquisite in flavor and aroma and yields a clear, light green hue with a delicate finish. Green Pear Renew your senses from the inside out with this sweet, crisp, springtime inspired infusion. Succulent, juicy essences of pear melodiously balanced by a fresh, blossomy aroma deliver a light, refreshing finish on the palate. Garden of EdenFresh, fruity and complex in flavor, this luminous exotic medley has an enticing floral aroma with high notes of summer ripened mangoes and passionfruit. Steeps a vibrant reddish hue with a clean, sweet finish and is great hot or iced.  Italian Blood OrangeThis invigorating citrus blend steeps a beautiful light pink hue and leaves behind a clean and refreshing finish of fresh orange blossoms.
Visit The Art of Tea on the web, like their page on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, check out their great pins on Pinterest, or check out and follow the Art of Tea blog.

These are wonderful, high quality teas and I think that tea lovers should definitely try them out.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.