Smoky. Jammy. Fruit-forward. Dry. To a wine connoisseur’s ear, these terms ring with a certain sense of familiarity. Wine lovers revel in this nuanced way to capture the complexity and ever-evolving world of wine. But did you know that the tea world actually has many parallels with the wine world? For wine drinkers looking to either reduce their alcohol consumption or branch out into other interesting drinks, tea may be the ideal drink to delve into because of its diversity of flavors and its complex history and production process.
A Brief Introduction
Despite the various names and types, all true tea comes from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. The way the tea buds and leaves are harvested and processed determines whether they are categorized as white, green, oolong, or black tea. These factors also determine the color, caffeine content, catechin levels, and flavor. In fact, the flavor of tea, like wine, is also affected by factors such as region, soil type, and climate.
Herbal tea, in the purest sense, is not actually “tea” because it does not come from the Camellia sinensis; it is instead a water-based brew of herbs and/or fruit. For example, rooibos (meaning red bush) tea is a type of herbal tea made from the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub found in South Africa.
This article will be focusing only on true teas, and more specifically, on loose-leaf teas rather than bagged teas, as loose-leaf tea imparts more complex flavors than its bagged counterpart. Read along below to learn about the five loose-leaf teas that will intrigue almost any wine connoisseur.
Tea Zone Premium Jasmine Green Tea – Bag
Jasmine green tea is made out of the sweet blend of Camellia Sinensis. The sweet Camellia sinensis is a flowering plant belonging to the Theaceae family. Along with the evergreen shrubs or small trees whose leaves and leaf buds are used to make tea.
It found its origin in the region of China in the 10th century BC. As the consumption of tea increased, man’s hunt for new flavors became ambitious as well. In this hunt, the man stumbled upon the beautiful flavors of the Jasmine leaves.
The Jasmine green tea flavor by tea zone is the closest a brand can offer to the real taste of Jasmine leaves. The natural aroma of it is soul-refreshing and it soothes and calms your nerves. The sweetness of its taste becomes more intense and calming when served with tender warmth and a squeeze of fresh lemon. The bold flavors of this tea can be brought out in different ways as well. It can be enjoyed when served cold as well.
Besides the calmness and tenderness of green tea, there are several other benefits of it as well. Jasmine green tea leaves are abundant in antioxidants. Antioxidants when taken in the right amount can be quite beneficial to the body and remove toxins. Green tea helps reduce weight as well when taken alongside some exercise. The luxury of Jasmine Green Tea by Tea Zone is delicious and serves well to our health.
Tea Zone Golden Milk Tea – Bag
The Golden Milk Tea serves the purpose of a green tea with just a few sips. It takes away the stress of long days and relieves the tense nerves with a single serving. The satisfying blend of golden milk tea consists of black tea leaves, cassia tora seeds, and vanilla powder.
Cassia tora seeds are extracted from an ancient Chinese herb. The herb itself is highly valuable in terms of taste and benefits. Historically, it is given high regard for the amazing health benefits and its strong natural flavors. It is extracted from the ripe seed of sicklepod and then added to the golden milk tea to provide amazing taste and health benefits.
Golden Milk tea is great for people who may experience heart-related problems. Constant and prescribed use of Golden Milk tea is known to bring down cholesterol to amazing levels. It is majorly full of antioxidants which protect the body’s immune system against foreign harmful entities. Moreover, it can be used to treat skin diseases as well. In ancient times, Chinese people used Golden milk tea to cure skin rashes just by clearing out the digestive system and removing harmful entities.
The tea can be prepared when boiled in freshly oxygenated water. Upon boiling add a sweetener to the boiling tea if you prefer your tea sweet. It is suggested not to boil the tea leaves for more than five minutes as it might overdo the flavor. Tea zone has made this perfect blend of golden milk tea that can be left unopened for about 24 months.
Thai Tea Leaves
As we already discussed above that tea resembles wine a lot in the case that its taste, texture, and quality heavily depend upon the region, environment, and soil type. And Thai tea leaves are one of the top-notch quality tea leaves when it comes to that. This product contains amazing roasted Thai tea leaves which are collected from the natural leaf fields in Thailand.
For those of you who don’t know, Thailand is one of the most ideal places on earth to grow tea because of its mountainous landscape and amazing weather. Thailand produces some of the finest teas in the world right now and one of them is also the winner of tea at the World Tea Festival. These Thai Tea Leaves definitely come with the same quality and bold aroma. These Thai leaves bring out great flavor whether they are served hot, cold, or in fruit or milk beverages. These Tea Leaves give out a dark red color when they are brewed and they are all-natural loose leaves.
Moreover, they are really affordable for a 13 oz bag and their bold taste and aroma keep making the praisers come back for more. They are definitely a great choice of loose leave tea if you are willing to stick to a single tea leaves product for a long period. You can just drink this tea every day and not get tired of its refreshing aroma and its great taste. We definitely recommend it as it is worth checking out for every tea lover.
Silver Needle (also called Baihao Yinzhen)
Silver Needle is categorized as a white tea, originating in the Fujian Province of China. It is considered the highest quality white tea because it is harvested after only a couple of weeks each spring, yielding young, tender buds that are minimally processed. When properly brewed, the leaves impart a delicate, floral flavor with melon, cucumber, and buttery honey notes.
Drinkers of medium-dry champagne may gravitate towards this tea because of its elegant flavors of fresh melon and subtle touch of honey. Fans of Viognier wines with peach and honeysuckle flavors may also find that this white tea familiar. Like a prized bottle of champagne, Silver Needle tea is also quite expensive and highly sought after. If you’re looking for a special occasion tea, Silver Needle ticks all the boxes.
To brew: use one tablespoon of leaves per six ounces of spring water and brew to a temperature of around 175 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for one to three minutes.
White Peony (also called Bai Mudan)
White Peony is also a white tea native to the Fujian Province of China and is cousin to the Silver Needle, except that it is fuller bodied with more potency. It is made from the pluck of one tea bud and two young leaves that are then sun-withered and partly oxidized. This tea tastes fresh, mellow, and sweet. While still a delicate white, it imparts a fuller flavor than Silver Needle due to the oxidization process.
If you enjoy highly aromatic and refreshing Rieslings, especially German Rieslings with their fruity sweetness, White Peony may be the tea for you. Even Sauvignon Blanc drinkers may be surprised by how much the smooth, lightly-sweet, and almost herbaceous tea reminds them of their favorite glass of white wine.
To brew: use two tablespoons of leaves per six ounces of spring water and brew to a temperature of around 185 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for two to three minutes.
Darjeeling tea gets its name from where it is grown and processed, which is the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. It is processed as a black tea (although slightly less oxidized than most black teas), using the top two leaves and one tea bud and has four steps: withering, rolling, oxidizing, and drying. It also has four flushes, which refers to the time in which the leaves are harvested. The second flush, after a leaf hopper and tea tortrix moth has attacked its leaves, is when the Darjeeling tea imparts its signature musky, sweet flavor.
This muscatel flavor will remind wine lovers of the muscat wines, those sweet white wines that are often fortified in the US. In fact, Darjeeling is often described as the most wine-tasting of all teas. First flush Darjeeling tea will impart a balance of sweetness and grassiness that wine-lovers, especially Sauvignon Blanc lovers, will inherently recognize.
To brew: use two teaspoons of leaves per eight ounces of water and brew to a temperature of 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for three to five minutes.
Pu’er, or pu-erh, is a fermented, mostly unoxidized green tea hailing from the Yunnan Province of China. Instead of typical green teas that come from a smaller leaf type, pu’er is made from a large leaf found in the mountains of Yunnan. It undergoes microbial fermentation after the leaves have been dried and rolled. It has two types: raw (sheng cha) and ripe (shu cha). Raw pu’er is the traditional, longer process of fermentation, while ripe pu’er is the modern, accelerated process.
Pu’er is a unique tea in that it has a wide range of flavors from delicate and floral to woody and savory, depending on whether it is raw or ripe, young or aged. Aged raw pu’er is reminiscent to an aged red Bordeaux with tobacco, velvet, and leather flavors. Port drinkers may also find enjoyment in the dark, rich flavor of an aged pu’er, whether raw or ripe.
To brew: use one teaspoon of leaves per eight ounces and brew to a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for five minutes.
Lapsang souchong is a black tea originating in Wuyi region of the Fujian province in China. It is harvested from the fourth and fifth leaves of the Camellia sinensis and is traditionally smoke-dried over a pinewood fire. By some accounts, it is considered one of the world’s oldest and most distinct teas.
This unique tea imparts a strong, smoky yet clean aroma, like a burst of campfire flames. It tastes like a rainy forest with a subtle pine sweetness edged with the smoke of fine cigars. Liquor drinkers often compare lapsang souchong to a single-malt scotch whiskey. Wine drinkers, however, may be reminded of the Napa Valley’s Syrah, with its full-bodied, dry flavor profile ranging from smoky bacon to red and black fruits.
To brew: use 1 teaspoon of leaves per eight ounces of water and brew to a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for three to five minutes.
You may have heard of loose leaf teas before but you may not have considered loose whole flower teas. Qi gives you just that! They provide this whole Shangri-la tea which will draw you in with its deep enriching flavor and intoxicating (not literally!) scent. The tea is by far one of the best-tasting teas we have ever come across and we can’t be satisfied with regular teas anymore.
When it comes to taste, the Shangri-la rose has mild fruity and floral tones with a tinge of sweetness in it. The rose scent is subtle yet relaxing. You will definitely feel it dancing around with your taste buds without being overpowering like a perfume.
The effects of this tea are numerous and fulfilling. Whenever I take a few sips, my body relaxes into a calm soothed state where I am able to focus more without panicking. This tea is 100% organic and is made with flowers grown on small farms. It owes its health benefits to the plethora of healthy chemicals in it, including antioxidants, vitamin A, C, E, iron, and calcium. These compounds will have your hair flowing and your nails sparkling and strong.
You may be paranoid about Qi’s claim that one flower brews three cups. Rest assured, they passed our test. One flower really brews three cups with the same intensity! This makes the tea great value! One piece of advice: invest in a clear mug when trying this tea. It will make all the difference!
If you are all about the taste but just can’t compromise the aesthetic then this tea is for you! It comes in the form of a gorgeous yellow flower that blooms as you pour hot water over it. Somehow, it is healing to watch this tea brew, as the flower not only regains its vigor but also lends some of its own to the water around it.
Don’t be under the delusion that this tea is only beautiful to the eye. Along with being just that, it is an absolute delight for the taste buds. It has a nice herbal flavor with a unique floral tone. The taste is mildly sweet and honey-like, making it pleasant for people of all ages. Not only is the taste worth everything but the fragrance fulfills you too. It is like the perfect treat for all the senses!
The tea is incredibly healthy as it is 100% organic and natural. Most people have an issue with teas because many of them contain some caffeine. However, royal chrysanthemum tea is completely caffeine-free so you can easily sip on a cup at bedtime. Being non-GMO, it is very safe to consume. For all vegans out there, this is your lucky day because this tea does not make use of any animal products. All in all, this tea is a win!
Earl Grey Loose Tea
Craving an aromatic and relaxing Earl Grey tea? Whittard Earl Grey Loose Tea is a delight to have. This aromatic tea calms your senses down and at the same time, it tastes incredibly delicious. It is an excellent option to serve your guests and leave them wanting more. In addition, it is the perfect tea to have in solace.
Earl Grey Loose Tea is a quintessential British loose leaf black tea that is a blend of flavors of bergamot and beautiful blue cornflowers. Good news for vegetarians, Whittard Earl Grey Loose tea is vegan suitable. Hence, you can have this tea even when you are on your vegan diet.
Whether you like lightly brewed tea or a strong flavored tea, Earl Grey is the match for you. Customers have also been using this in their baking recipes. You can try and bake some Earl Grey tea biscuits or a Madeline cake in the afternoon with Earl Gray.
Whittard Earl Grey Loose Tea is a blend of black tea, orange peel, bergamot flavoring, and cornflower petals. It needs to be stored in a cool and dry place, away from odors and strong light. Moreover, It is also advisable to store it in an airtight container once opened.
English Rose Loose Tea
What could be better than Whittard English Rose hot tea in the winters when you are snugged under your blanket wearing the most comfortable pajamas? Or, an iced English Rose cold tea in the most abrasive summer heat? Whittard English Rose tea is a mouthwatering loose-leaf tea that contains black tea, rose petals and buds, and flavoring.
This tea is best to enjoy on its own so that you can appreciate its aromatic fragrance. It has a floral, sweet, and aromatic taste profile to it. Whittard has recreated the taste of the classic “Meigui Gongfu” rose tea. Whittard rose tea also has used loose leaf black tea as a base with subtle floral flavors incorporated with rose petals and buds. Good news for people following vegan diet, this tea is vegetarian.
English Rose tea is super calming and fragrant. It needs to be stored in an airtight jar once opened. Keep it in a cool and dry place, away from odors and strong light.
To prepare yourself a delightful cup of rose tea, add 1 tsp of Whittard English Rose tea in your cup with an infuser. Add 200 ml boiling water and wait for at least 3 minutes to a maximum of 5 minutes to fully enjoy the flavors of the tea. Once done, remove the infuser and enjoy your delightful cup of rose tea.
Piccadilly Blend Loose Tea
Do you enjoy fruity notes in your teas? Well, we must say that fruity teas are super refreshing in the summers as well as winters. Whittard Piccadilly Blend has a fruity, floral loose leaf black tea blend that is a treat to enjoy in complete solace.
Piccadilly Blend has a taste profile classified as oriental floral flavor with fruity notes. This blend brings together the best of British and Eastern tea traditions. It contains loose leaf black tea with a floral flavor of rose, strawberry, lotus, and cornflower petals. It is an absolutely beautiful, radiant, and fragrant tea for your afternoons. Enjoy a relaxing cup of tea during your work break to boost up your productivity levels!
This lovely blend makes an excellent gift and a marvelous treat for yourself. The hint of strawberry reminisces the joy of having a classic scone or a jam, and the floral scent of rose soothes your nerves down. Strawberry and rose always make an outstanding combination together. You can double the essence of the treat by pairing shortbread with the incredibly delicious, fruity Piccadilly tea blend.
Tea need not be considered merely “hot leaf juice.” The tea world is vast and varied with as many subtleties as the wine world. These teas are just five of the countless teas that wine lovers may enjoy exploring. If you want to try some delicious teas at home, check out How to make Hibiscus Tea