November 30, 2017

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history ›   knowledge ›  


Which is better: Loose leaf or tea bag?

The humble tea bag was invented completely by chance by American tea merchant, Thomas Sullivan. In 1908, Sullivan sent pre-weighed samples of his tea to customers in small silk bags. His intention was purely to save time, so that the customer could simply decant the tea sample into a pot and brew it as normal. However, customers made the mistake of thinking that the bag was designed to aid the brewing process and put the whole bag in the tea pot.

Thomas Sullivan: the inventor of the tea bag
Thomas Sullivan, the accidental inventor of the teabag

Sullivan went on to redevelop the bag to make it more porous, after customer feedback that the silk was too fine and caused the tea bag to disintegrate. He changed the silk to gauze and the first commercial use tea bags were born.

Today more than 96% of all of the 60.2 billion cups of tea consumed each year in Britain alone is made by tea bags.

Green tea teabag in cup

Are teabags better than loose tea?

Here at Tèaura, the answer is an overwhelming no and with some very good reasons.

Unlike at the start of the 20th century, today the contents of tea bags are usually made from low tea grades, such as fannings. Fannings are small pieces of tea leaves that are left after the higher grade tea is sold. In the past, they were considered to be rejects of the manufacturing process.

Fannings have a larger surface area than whole leaves or loose tea leaves. This means there are more possibilities for the essential oils in the tea leaves, which give tea its distinctive aromatic flavour, to evaporate. This leads to a stale and dull cup of tea.

This is one reason why it is difficult to retain the freshness of tea bags. There are methods to help maximise the freshness, but it is not the same as the freshness of loose tea.

Teabag in cup Alice in Wonderland

Tea bags can also limit the brewing process. Loose leaf tea has the space to absorb water and to expand as they infuse in the water. This allows the water to extract a plethora of vitamin, minerals and aromas.

Tea bag manufacturers have attempted to rectify this problem by redesigning and attempting to improve the water circulation in tea bags. Pyramids, circular and sock-shaped bags have all been on or are currently on the market. Although the result is slightly better, it still results in a tea which is not as flavourful as it could or, more importantly, should be.

Is it really quicker to use teabags?

On first glance, tea bags might seem to be a lot more convenient, but the truth is that preparing loose tea takes the same amount of time to prepare. It only takes a matter of seconds to put the loose tea into a tea diffuser and allow it to brew, much the same as putting a tea bag into a pot. However, loose tea continues to produce the more refreshing cup of tea and brings out more flavours from the leaf, due to the extra space for them to expand.

Tea strainer in cup

 

Surely, a more aromatic and flavorful cup of tea is worth ditching the tea bag for? Why not try it yourself and taste the difference.

November 12, 2017

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cocktails ›   recipes ›  


Black Tea Bahama cocktail

This lightly sweet and refreshing cocktail combines the malty notes of our Keemun black tea with the spice of Drambuie. A great autumn cocktail. Gesamtansicht Artikel →
October 28, 2017

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history ›   knowledge ›  


The Tradition of British Afternoon Tea

If you asked someone to name something that is quintessentially British, along with answers like cricket, a Sunday Roast and fish and chips, you would probably also hear the answer afternoon tea. The tradition of taking afternoon tea started long after tea became a popular drink in Britain and was created almost by chance.

English Breakfast tea - black tea and teacups

Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is credited with being the inventor of afternoon tea in around 1840. During this time, it was common for upper classes to dine between 8 and 9pm. As it was customary to have only a light snack at midday, this left people feeling hungry throughout the afternoon.

Anna Russell portrait
Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford (image credit Wikipedia)

 

While visiting the 5th Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle, the Duchess complained of having a “sinking feeling” and asked for a pot of tea and some light refreshments to be brought to her quarters to ward off hunger until the evening.

Her idea was so successful that she soon decided to invite a few of her close friends to her private rooms for tea in the afternoon. The event became an occasion to share news, catch up with friends and receive visitors.

The Duchess was a friend of Queen Victoria, who was also introduced to the new social event. The Queen was an enthusiastic advocate of afternoon tea and the trend rapidly gained popularity. Announcements were made to friends to tell them at what time tea would be served. It was possible to be invited afternoon tea on every day of the week and establish a strong social network.

This popularity had a positive impact on manufacturing across the country. Capitalising on the new phenomenon, English china manufacturers and silversmiths began to produce fine accessories to be used to accompany the service of afternoon tea.

The tradition soon evolved into including more elaborate foods to be served with the tea: finger sandwiches, pastries and scones with jam all quickly becoming firm favourites. The main idea was to have small portions that would be easy to serve in a sitting room.

Centuries later, this tradition is still going strong. Many reputable hotels and restaurants, both in Britain and around the globe, serve their own interpretation of afternoon tea in decadent surroundings. While the selection of light refreshments remains similar, the choice of teas to choose from is far greater than would have been available to Anna Russell and her friends. The most arduous task today is choosing which tea to accompany your refreshments. You could argue that there are simply too many options to choose from.

English Breakfast Tea and milk

We prefer our tea without milk to taste the nuances of the quality leaf, but, being the base of many fine English Breakfast Teas, our Keemun couples very well with milk bringing out its malty notes.

September 11, 2017

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partners ›   Store news ›  


We are now stocked in MAME coffee shop in Zürich!

Rolex, Lindt, Bally and the cuckoo-clock – what do they all have in common? “Switzerland”, I hear you think aloud. “Quality and precision engineering?” Indeed!  Nowhere else in the world can claim such accolades. Nowhere else in the world screams “quality” quite like Zurich. Okay, maybe there are others (including Geneva), which capture our imagination. Still, we Swiss know quality when we see it. So, when an award-winning café in Zurich asked to stock our teas, we were overjoyed to be recognised for our quality and brand.

MAME Coffee shop

This award-winning café is called MAME. You can find it on Josefstrasse 160, Zurich. Run by two champion baristas named Emi-San and Mathieu, they know their coffee inside-out. Both Emi-San and Mathieu won the Swiss National Barista Championship (two years in a row) for their outstanding coffee-making skills. Their understanding of coffee itself and extremely well-honed brewing techniques are a sight to behold. Even an irregular coffee drinker would be bowled over by their know-how and dedication to the bean (side note, MAME means "beans" in Japanese).

Tèaura teas at MAME coffee shop

 

You can find our teas there now, brewed to perfection by Emi-San and Mathieu themselves. Pay them a well-deserved visit and order your favourite tea or try something totally new. We are confident that you will love our selection of fine teas. Tease out the delicate flavours of our tea leaves, get to know the uniqueness with each brew, soak in the wholesomeness as you hold the warm cup in your hands…   

Have you already had a cup of our tea from MAME? Let us know what you think - we love to hear our customers’ feedback!

 

MAME
Josefstrasse 160, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland
Official website, Facebook, Instagram

 

 

April 21, 2016

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review ›  


Featured in Montres-Passion

We have been featured in Montres-Passion in a lovely article. Take a look at the link below (French):

http://www.montres-passion.fr/teaura-du-the-du-temps-un-luxe.html

 

Green tea

March 28, 2016

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review ›  


More tea reviews

TheOrganicFashionUtopia have reviewed some of our teas! Take a look at the full article below:

http://theorganicfashionutopia.net/2016/03/18/teaura/

 

December 18, 2015

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review ›  


Swiss Blogger tea review

A customer has reviewed our teas! Take a look at the article at: (French)

http://www.itzabem.com/blog/tea-time.html

 

November 08, 2015

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how to guide ›   knowledge ›  


Schnellanleitung zum Erzielen der korrekten Temperatur beim Aufbrühen von unterschiedlichen Tees

Verschiedene Teesorten erfordern unterschiedliche Temperaturen – bei Schwarztee sollte die Temperatur bei ca. 95°C liegen, bei Grüntee zwischen 70°C und 85°C und bei Weisstee bei ca. 80°C. Tee erhält einen bitteren Geschmack, wenn er zu heiss gebrüht wird. Das perfekte Aroma des Tees kann so nicht zur Geltung kommen.

Trotz der steigenden Beliebtheit von Wasserkochern mit variabler Temperaturregelung, sind diese in vielen Haushalten nicht vorhanden. Es kann sehr schwierig sein die richtige Temperatur zu erreichen. Die Verwendung eines Thermometers funktioniert zwar, ist aber etwas umständlich. 

Wie kann man eine Wassertemperatur von 70°C erreichen um eine perfekte Tasse Grüntee zu erhalten?

Kyusu-Teekanne und zwei vorgewärmte Tassen.

Die 10°C Faustregel

Wenn man Wasser in einen anderen Keramikbehälter umschüttet, sinkt die Temperatur jeweils um ca. 10°C. Dies ist für die Temperaturregulierung sehr hilfreich. Möchte man beispielsweise eine Temperatur von 80°C erreichen, die man für einen Weisstee, wie unseren „Fuding Silver Needle“, benötigt, muss das siedende Wasser in eine leere Teekanne geschüttet werden. Die Teekanne nimmt die Hitze auf und kühlt das Wasser ab. Nach ca. 30 Sekunden wird ein Teil des Wassers in die vorbereiteten Teetassen gegossen, wo es nochmals abkühlen kann. In der Zwischenzeit füllt man den Tee (lose Blätter) in die Teekanne. Das Wasser aus den Tassen wird nun ebenfalls wieder der Kanne beigefügt.

Der Vorteil dieser Methodik liegt darin, dass sie überall mit Zugang zu heissem Wasser angewendet werden kann. Eine Teekanne ist hierzu ebenfalls nicht zwingend notwendig. Als Alternative kann ein Teesieb verwendet werden, wie zum Beispiel unser „Finum Brew Basket“. Generell wärmt ein Sieb Kanne und Tassen vor, was zu einer länger anhaltenden Wärme des Tees führt.

Zusammenfassung: 
  • Siedendes Wasser in eine leere Teekanne giessen
  • 30 Sekunden warten (um eine Wassertemperatur von 90°C zu erhalten)
  • Wasser der Teekanne in die Teetassen schütten, die später verwendet werden
  • Tee (lose Blätter) in das Sieb der Teekanne füllen
  • Das Wasser der Tassen wieder der Kanne beifügen
  • Je nach Angabe ca. 90 Sekunden warten
  • Teesieb entfernen um ein zu starkes Brühen zu vermeiden
  • Geniessen Sie in Ruhe Ihren perfekten Aufguss
Viel Spass beim Tee brühen!