All posts in Tea Culture

Dr. Oolong talks Baked Oolongs

Wanting to build upon your tea experience?

Baked oolongs are a fantastic way to experience the wonder and flavor of oolong tea.  The baking process produces a rich, deep flavor.  Not only does it enhance the floral and fruit notes of a fine oolong, but it also creates a nutty, toasty taste that is unmistakable.

The baking process takes place at varying temperatures and varying times to produce a tea that is particular to the tea master’s style. The process can take several hours up to several days. One interesting and little known fact is that during this process, large amounts of caffeine is baked right out of the leaves! Dr. Oolong has seen first hand the stalagmites hanging from the ceilings in baking rooms. Pure caffeine!

Some great baked oolongs you may be familiar with include Royal Courtesan (gui fei), Ti Quan Yin, and Tung Ting. All are known for their depth of flavor and ability to hold up well to multiple steepings.  The time and attention that goes into making oolong teas is nothing short of impressive. Here at Zhi, we are truly grateful to the Taiwan tradition of care and creativity in giving the world some of the most remarkable teas on the planet!

The vast majority of the tea baking is only done in Taiwan under the supervision of, or by, the tea master himself. Only recently have a few handful of ambitious oolong fanatics have undertaken the challenge to bake oolongs in the United States. Solid training is necessary to do this, along with much trial and error. The advantage of this is the ability to create custom batches of tea. (Can you tell where this is going? :)

Yes, Dr. Oolong has thrown his tea leaves in the proverbial fire and has started baking oolongs in Austin. Stay tuned for small artisan custom batches of baked oolongs from Zhi Tea, coming soon.

 

Grilling with Tea

grilling with teaThis Labor Day weekend, let tea be your muse!

Not only is your favorite beverage a drink staple at any gathering, but tea can also be turned to as an innovate way to elevate your entrees.

Consider these great recipes and tips from our friends at Tea Mag. We love the many ideas for rubs, smoking, and sauces.

While you relax this weekend, find Zhi on Facebook and Twitter! We’re also on Pinterest and Instagram. Tag us in your teatime tweets and pictures so that we can share in your holiday weekend memories too. Use our handle @zhitea and hastag #zhitea so we can connect.  Have a great weekend! -ZT

Tea 101: Types of Tea

Zhi talks tea with Fresh Cup magazine

Every year, more and more customers are looking for higher quality tea. When Zhi was founded in 2007, specialty tea was just beginning. Today, two out of three homes have tea in their pantries (and we love when it’s Zhi tea ;)

But how does one start their relationship with tea?

In their article “Loving the Learning, “Fresh Cup magazine researched America’s growing tea culture and interviewed several tea retailers to talk about how to share tea education.

They found that while tea might be intimidating at first, simplicity and enthusiasm will be the shop owner’s tools to connect with their customers.

It’s Dr Oolong’s opinion that for beginning tea drinkers, experience trumps education. Do you agree?

Recipe Box: Strawberry Basil White Tea Smash

whitetea

Summer is in full swing!

Here at Zhi, we love the season’s fresh fruits and enjoy pairing them with our organic tea.

This beautiful berry infused tea will bliss out every summer get together. Once one sees how easy smashes are to make, they’ll quickly lead your menu planning for all your picnics and pool parties. Promise!

The recipe below makes a ½ gallon pitcher and can be enjoyed as a mocktail or cocktail.

 

Strawberry Basil White Tea Smash

5 minutes, makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons dry White Pomegranate  Zhi Tea

  • 4 cups hot water

  • 3 cups cold water

  • 1 pint strawberries

  • ¼ cup sugar or agave

  • basil leaves

  • ice

  • 8 oz vodka or gin*optional


Teaware:

  • wooden spoon

  • bowl

  • teapot or strainer

  • half gallon pitcher

  • cups


Directions:

  1. Fill half gallon pitcher with ice.

  2. Steep 4 tbs of dry White Pomegranate Tea in 4 cups of hot water for 3 minutes.

    • Be mindful of water temperature as to not scald the tea.

  3. Pour steeped tea into half gallon pitcher over ice.

  4. Add 3 cups of cold water to the pitcher.

  5. In a seperate bowl, use your wooden spoon to muddle sweetener, 1 cup strawberries, and 12 basil leaves.

  6. Pour strawberry smash into pitcher as well.

  7. Stir to mix.

  8. Taste. You can add more fruit, basil and sweeten further if you like.

  9. If you’d like to make it into a cocktail, add some vodka or gin.

  10. Now, your pitcher of iced tea is complete.

  11. Pour over cups filled with ice and enjoy!

  12. Garnish with strawberry fan.