Five Takes on Green Tea


Hojicha

This roasted green tea is low in caffeine but high in toastiness! Great hot or cold + goes well with milk.

Learn more about Hojicha Green.


Taste the Difference.

Take A Journey Through Our Library of Green Tea

When you first start getting into teas, names like Genmaicha and Sencha might be overwhelming. What makes these green teas different? The answer starts with the sourcing and drying processes and ends with your tastebuds.

Jasmine

Green tea married with strong floral notes from jasmine blossoms that play like LeBron and sing like Mariah. Not to mention, it's loaded with natural antioxidants.


Learn more about Jasmine Green.

Coconut

A tropical blend of real shredded coconut, coconut oil, and green tea. A tangy sweet liquor for those with any kind of sweet tooth.



Learn more about Coconut Green.

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Lychee

A blend of lychee fruit and fragrant green tea. Smooth and easy fruity taste; a cross between a pear and a grape with some distinct floral notes.



Learn more about Lychee Green.

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Genmaicha

Famous Japanese lightly-roasted rice and green tea. Also known as “popcorn tea" for it's grassy, nutty notes. Works equally well hot or cold + goes great with milk.

Learn more about Genmaicha.

Nitro Tea on Tap


Tie Guan Yin

Tie Guan Yin is an oolong that combines nuttiness, with delicate floral notes. It has a surprisingly sweet aftertaste and pairs with an evening of baking. Don't worry, it'll be on tap at our nitro bar too ;)


Bubbles In My Tea?

Fan of fizzy drinks? Look no further. When adding nitrogen to a tea we are not actually “changing” the flavor of a tea, but rather, brightening it.


But, How Does Nitro Work?

Science Behind the Bubbles

Foam Forms

By nitrogenating a tea, a head of nitrogen gas forms on the top of the tea, contributing to a new creamy mouthfeel to the tea.

Less Bitter, More Sweet.

In our experiments and tastings with nitro tea, a common response that we get from tasters is that the result in taste is a less bitter tea.

Bubbly Magic

While nitrogenating a tea won't change the chemical composition of a tea, the presence of nitrogen bubbles sliding across your taste buds might inhibit their ability to perceive bitterness.


Connect Through Tea

At Our Select Boba Guys Locations

Nitro Tea on Tap

Looking to sit down with friends and enjoy a bubbly glass of matcha?

We have Nitro on tap at our Boba Guys Potrero Hill and NOPA locations. Learn more about our other locations' offerings here.

Tea Flight Reservations

Experience our select teas, mocktails, and new experiments we've been brewing up at our Hayes Valley location. Learn how we source our teas from around the world, secret tips for the perfect at-home brew, and take as many sips as you like.

Ice, Ice, Baby


Coconut Green Tea

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A tropical blend of real shredded coconut, coconut oil, and green tea. A tangy sweet liquor for those with any kind of sweet tooth.


Brew It. Chill It. Sip It.

Iced Teas for Summer Days

Whether it’s lounging on the beach, a picnic in the park, or cooling off in the evening -- iced tea is a great compliment to the dog days of summer. Below, we've rounded up our top 4 contenders for the "most chill" brew.

Lychee Green

A blend of lychee fruit and fragrant greentea. Really great as an iced tea but still goes (really) well with milk.

Pairs well with a good book and a trip to the beach.

Learn more about Lychee Green.

Coconut Green

A tropical blend of real shredded coconut, coconut oil, and green tea. A tangy sweet liquor for those with any kind of sweet tooth.

Pairs well with a picnic in the park.

Learn more about Coconut Green.

Rose Black

Delicate, young rosebuds and petals mixed with the sweet fullness of a Keemun black tea. This tea has a very strong rose scent and with its naturally sweet flavor.

Pairs well with evening conversations with close friends.

Learn more about Rose Black.

Chamomile Mint

The peppermint offers a cooling sensation, complimented by the calming chamomile. This tea is great for indigestion and does not contain any caffeine.

Pairs well with a book before bed.

Learn more about Chamomile Mint.


Ice, Ice, Baby.

Pro Tips For Chilled Drinks

Brew It Right.

Brew and steep your iced tea like a pro. The process is a bit different from your go-to cup of hot tea but totally worth it.

Learn more on our blog.

Ice, Matters.

Ice is arguably the most important ingredient in making iced tea. We have some tips and tricks for brewing that we use behind the tea bar.

Learn more on our blog.

Beyond The Tea - Bedtime Tips

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Chamomile Mint Tea

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Originally blended by Boba Guys. The peppermint offers a cooling sensation, complimented by the calming chamomile. Scroll down for more bedtime tips.


Five Ways to Get Ready for Bed

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We all have our routines and habits that help us go to bed. Some read their favorite books, others scroll endlessly on social media, and some fall asleep to their favorite TV show.

Whatever your routine may be, some things we do help us fall asleep, while others keep us up. It’s said that one needs roughly 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night - so we’re here to help you make good on that promise to yourself.

Reduce Screentime

Using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed delays our body’s internal clock.

Our recommendation? Lay off the screen-time right before bed. Easier said than done - but we have a few ideas on what to replace screen time with.

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Reading

Above, we mentioned how screen time right can delay sleep. In its place? Read a book!

Not only can it help wind-down the mind, but it can also be a great time to catch-up on topics you’ve been meaning to read up on (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up anyone?).

Relaxing Tunes

Although one doesn’t think of turning up the volume to go to bed, there are benefits to calming the mind with music.

Inspired by our friends over at Juniper Ridge, we put together a playlist of our favorite tunes to listen to before bed. Check it out the#SteepTunes playlist on our Spotify!

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Meditation

"Meditation is exploring. It’s a special place where each and every moment is momentous. When one meditates, we venture into the workings of our minds: our sensations, our emotions, and thoughts." -Mindful

It can help us re-center, and even though some people do it for 10 minutes, a few minutes every day can make a difference. Do it right before bed? You’ll be able to sleep like a baby with nothing clouding your head-space.

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Steep Before Sleep

Herbal "tea" consists of the millions of plants in the world that you can brew, steep, or infuse in water. These herbals are caffeine-free and often have other medical benefits to drinking them, including beneficial relaxing effects.

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Chamomile, in particular, has been used for centuries in teas as a mild, relaxing sleep aid, as chamomile’s mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia fall asleep more easily.

Floral, Fruity, and Ready for Summer

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What makes Lychee Green Tea perfect for summer?

Lychee Green Tea is the best iced, to fully taste its fruity, floral notes. The inclusion rose petals in our blend that brings out the floral notes of the lychee fruit extract infused into our green tea. Happy sipping ✨

source -    Fix Feast Flair

So.... What Exactly is Lychee Fruit?

source -    Fix Feast Flair

Origin
Lychee fruit is native to Southern China but can be found all over Southeast Asia.

Sourcing
As the popularity of the fruit has grown, local lychee farms have started to pop up over around the US. Commonly, lychee fruit comes in a can you can find at most Asian supermarkets!

Taste
Lychee is commonly described to taste a bit like a grape, with underlying floral and acidic notes.

Look & Feel
On the outside lychee is covered by a hard, speckled orange exterior. On the inside, the fruit is a milky white. When peeled, lychee is about the size of a strawberry.

 
source -    Bon Aippetit

source - Bon Aippetit

Refreshing Recipes for Warm Days

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Lychee Sunrise

A chilled mocktail perfect for a summer day.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a Lime

  • 1 Fl oz of grenadine

  • 2-3 spearmint leaves

  • 1 & 1/4 Fl oz of Rose Black Tea

  • 4 & 3/4 Fl oz of Lychee Green Tea

Recipe

  1. Cut half a lime into four pieces and place into a cocktail shaker. 

  2. Muddle the lime with spearmint mint leaves and grenadine.

  3. Add ice into a glass.

  4. Strain the muddled liquid into the glass.

  5. Pour rose black tea into the glass.

  6. Slowly pour the lychee green teainto the glass.

Lychee Tea Popsicles 

Frozen pops perfect for gatherings or a quick pick-me-up. 

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of brewed Lychee GreenTea, chilled.

  • 1 of cup of mint

  • 1 slice of lime

  • 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener

Recipe

  1. Mix in your choice of sweetener, mint, and lime into brewed, chilledtea.

  2. Fill popsicle sleeves up to the brim.

  3. Put popsicle tray in your freezer overnight.

  4. Pull out the next day and enjoy! 

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The Cadillac of Black Teas

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Golden Honey Black

Made from the gold tips of the tea leaf, Golden Honey Black is often referred to as the “Cadillac of Black Teas"

Sourcing and Process

Black teas after undergoing the process of oxidation bring out the roasted, savory, malted notes of the tea. Sourced from Fujian, China, Golden Honey Black is made from the youngest, carefully selected gold tips which result in a more sweet, silky profile.

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You'd Love This Tea If...

It's great for those who want that body of flavor, but also have a sweet tooth. It's malted, black tea flavor finishes off with coffee and honey endnotes. Golden Honey Black described as the sweeter sister to Darjeeling Black tea.

Prepare It:

Great hot or cold, and recommended with milk for a silky consistency.

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Pairs Well With:

Balance the sweet, honey notes with fruits like apples and pears. Or with light, savory dinner dishes like roasted potatoes, zucchini, or eggplant. Great for a late-summer meal shared with a couple of close friends.

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Your Daily Matcha Fix

What's Your Matcha Routine?

Matcha lattes are amazing -- they even have their own emoji 🍵 But did anyone mention you could make a revitalizing face-mask out of it? Or incorporate it into your breakfast routine? Rise and shine... and try something new ✨

Matcha Face-mask

A great way to start your lazy Sunday. It tightens up and energizes your skin. Beware, matcha does contain caffeine, so this isn't recommended for before bed. Learn more about our favorite recipe here.

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Energizing Brunch Bowls

A healthy alternative for those who might not have time to grab matcha from the local cafe in the morning. Try this energizing oatmeal bowl by Choosing Chia for something new ✨

Bubbly Matcha

Wonderful for the summer days when naturally, our appetite shrinks but we still need to be energized throughout the day. Check out this simple, sparkling recipe.

A Summer Treat

Great for a picnic with friends, or something to cool down after the dog days of summer. We found these refreshing popsicles and ice cream recipes to experiment with.

Crazy About Matcha

What Is Matcha?

The word “Matcha” is a transliteration from the Japanese word mat-cha (抹茶). Mat (抹) means “to grind” and cha (茶) means “tea.”

And that’s the beauty of matcha; you are left with this vibrant green powder, and when you dissolve and whisk that into hot water you are left with a tea that houses the benefits of the entire tea leaf.


Matcha Basics

How to get the perfect cup of matcha at home:

  1. Put 1 tsp of matcha in a bowl

  2. Heat-up 50ml of water to 175ºF

  3. Add a touch of the hot water to the bowl and slightly whisk the matcha and water to create a paste

  4. Once the paste is formed, pour in the rest of the water and whisk thoroughly (until a frothy foam appears on top of the matcha)

  5. Strain the matcha into your cup

  6. Enjoy 🍵

Pro tips:

  • Whisk in a circular and zig-zag motion to create a thick foam

  • Pair with milk for a creamy matcha latte

  • Pair with fruit and ice for refreshing iced matcha


Sourcing

Our matcha is organic premium grade, grown and produced in Nishio City in Aichi Prefecture. Nishio has been known around the world as the cradle of the finest matcha for more than 800 years.

Health Benefits

Matcha is commonly referred to as a super-tea: it contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is released to counteract the caffeine found in matcha, creating an alert-yet-calm effect throughout your day. Truly, what more could we want? ✨

Matcha Experiments Pt.1

MATCHA DE LECHE

It started with tea-mocktails, ended up with matcha. With the recent launch of our own in-house organic ceremonial grade matcha, it opened the doors to experiment with the super tea. In another attempt to expand what tea can do beyond the cup and what we can steep up at the tea bar, we thought we would start experimenting with what a matcha based line of creative sips could look like. 


It started pure and simple, with matcha shots. Think ginger shots; knocking back an extreme kick of health. With matcha shots, you get a concentrated version of the super tea, meaning that all of the anti-inflammatory antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and crash free caffeine, are that much more potent! What a better way to start your morning or power through a meeting or just work at the tea bar than with a kick of feel matcha feels goods?


We were hitting a wall with the matcha shots (or maybe at that point were far too caffeinated to continue taste testing the tea straight up), so we decided to take a break and think of what else could be on the matcha menu (preferably something on the more sippable side as opposed to shooters)!

 
It was in that “tea-high” moment that the Matcha De Leche was born. The sweeter sister of the Matcha Latte and the earthier version of a Vietnamese Iced Coffee, it consists of rich and grassy matcha, topped with organic smooth and decadent condensed milk. It has a creamy mouthfeel. The kind that coats your entire tongue and lingers long after each taste, and when poured over ice, it all balances out becoming an equally refreshing sip. If you've never had a Vietnamese Iced Coffee before, it's hard to exactly explain, but if you've had a Matcha Latte before (even with whole milk) think creamier, richer, and uniquely sweeter. 


The nature of all of our experimentations brings some winners and some losers. This matcha mixture definitely opened our eyes to how matcha could reinvent some of our favorite classics just like Vietnamese Iced Coffee. And hey, if future others fail, at least it’s an opportunity to think of more matcha puns.

There’s matcha to learn in the art of experimentation. 

Come by the tea bar and ask our tea geek, Ken, if he's sampling one of these! If not, we have all the instructions and directions you could need to whip up your own, just pick up a bag of Tea People Matcha at the store or online!

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Tea People Ceremonial Grade Organic Matcha
220 ml Water
60 ml Organic Condensed Milk
Ice

Directions:
1. Whisk 1 Tablespoon of Tea People Matcha with 220 ml of hot water (170 degrees) : Add water slowly, first making a thick bright green paste. Then add more while whisking like crazy. Make it frothy!
2.  Fill a 12 oz cup with small cubed ice. 
3. Pour matcha over ice. 
4. Measure out condensed milk  (60 ml) and pour slowly over the top ice. 
5. With a bar spoon, stir vigorously until all is mixed together. The matcha should now be a pale green color! 

The Malibu Mocktail

It could be said that, "The Malibu" was named after the summer sunset in Southern California, with its gold and pink hues. Instead, the real story behind the mocktail, involves singer Anderson .Paak and his song, "Malibu," along with our desire to get back into the "lab."

As of recent, we’ve been feeling like we haven’t been experimenting at the tea bar as much as we used to; those late nights playing around with how tea can be pushed beyond the cup (or in this case, a different kind of cup). It's that different kind of cup that made us start thinking about the trend of mocktails and how we could infuse the tea world into the recently popular non-alcoholic drink scene. 

We’ve played around a bunch before with making tea cocktails, balancing the fusion of alcohol bases and tea concentrates, but tea-mocktails require a unique kind of concocting. Mocktails are non-alcoholic versions of typically alcoholic beverages. There’s an attention to detail in their development. Without having alcohol their flavor profiles require a different kind of backbone to build upon. For tea-mocktails, it’s even more about tea as an ingredient and how every other added one pairs perfectly with the flavors of that specific loose leaf.  Thinking outside the box and just grabbing enticing craft ingredients with the singular goal of highlighting a tea is what really excites us the most about this tea-mocktail trend and menu we are building. Not to mention, building off the taste of one of our very own teas is where the fun really starts!

Just check out Imbibe Magazine, an online and print publication that focuses on liquid culture (so cool)! They have an entire section on their website dedicated to the alcohol-free drink movement. The page is split between ways to virginize and elevate classic cocktails and what's happening in the craft / artisanal coffee and tea world. No matter the angle, the important content is based on the fact that all of the featured drinks use next-level and out of the box ingredients. This new wave of mocktails breaks out of its past that includes drinks like Shirley Temples or Daiquiris; mocktails are now about complexity.

The mocktail's inherent attention to detail and complexity is why we wanted to build a tea-mocktail menu for the tea bar. Premium quality loose leaf has always been viewed as an archaic, unapproachable, and complex sip. Tea People's mission is to demystify that assumption. We want to do the same thing with mocktails as we aim to do for tea. It's not about taking away the complexity of tea or tea-mocktails, it's about making them approachable for everyone. We want our menu to make the concept of a craft sip simple to the everyday drinker. 


The Malibu, is the first craft tea-mocktail we’re launching at the tea bar. The Malibu features our July tea of the month, Coconut Green. This loose leaf has a green tea base and is flavored with real coconut flakes and extract, so on its own it’s naturally sweet and almost creamy in mouthfeel.
Our tea geek Ken Kawachi said in regards to the thought process behind the drink that, 

“The goal was to create a crisp, clean, and refreshing drink with an emphasis on tropical feelings out of Coconut Green tea. After multiple tests, one shaker accident resulting in a ruined shirt and tie, and the will to continue, the Malibu came to life. “


These tropical feelings came in the from of spearmint sprigs and a choice of fresh housemade strawberry or mango puree, all shaken and strained over ice.  The vibrancy of these ingredients both highlight the loose leaf, but also allow for the natural creaminess and refreshingly light aftertaste to shine through. 

For now, as we build out our new tea-mocktail menu at the tea bar, we’re sampling all of our creations! So far we've gotten pretty rave reviews in the drinks ability to highlight the Coconut Green tea from tea connoisseurs and novice tea lovers alike! Come share your tasting notes with one of our tea geeks and see what the tea-mocktail scene is all about.  

Print out this recipe and try it for yourself or swing on by the tea bar (8 Octavia, SF) to taste our first go at a tea-mocktail!

Stay tuned for more mocktails, recipes, and happenings at the tea bar by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on social media. Our behind the scenes are always fun to follow! 

 

#sourced Taiping Green

Taiping Green is two in one; two leaves pressed into one leaf.  While we were abroad on this year's sourcing trip, we found Taiping Houkui in Yellow Mountain. Each leaf is hand shaped and hand pressed so that two stems and leaves create one tall uniquely shaped loose leaf.  

The leaves can then stand up straight in various types of cup and can be sipped on farmer style. No need for straining! They're beautifully slender and strong in aroma. With notes of warm summer squash like flavors, it can be best described as the ultimate tea to drink on a breezy summer day. 

Think July summer night cookouts; charred vegetables, earthy and woodsy smells, plus long lingering warm notes. Taiping Green's cool factor isn't just because of its shape. We got to visit an entire museum dedicated to the loose leaf; from growing to processing and production, we learned how amazing of a tea this green sip really is. 

#sourced 2017

If you’ve been following our journey, you’ll remember that in the beginning of the year, one of our tea geeks traveled all the way to China to go straight to the source. This trip we focused on finding farmers that were doing their own thing; tea farmers that were in the fields crafting unique loose leafs and carrying out deep personal histories through the art of steeping.

We traveled to three different locations: Suzhou, Yellow Mountain, and Wuyi Mountain, collecting a total of seven special small batch teas. 

En route to taste the new Green Coil, the green tea sister to our popular Black Coil. 

We brought back pounds + pounds of teas and have been steeping and sipping them, figuring out how to share these new loose leafs with you. Finally, we decided that the gems we found on this #sourced trip, should be put into their own Limited Edition line of unique teas that are freshly farm to cup.

We’ve curated a little bit of everything that all have personal stories behind their leaves.  From oolong to herbal, they're all from different cities, different farmers, and different tea fields. These Limited Edition teas are hand grown, hand crafted, hand packaged, and hand labeled, with love, care, and history. Check out the line up and see which sourced small batch teas made the cut from our China trip! 

On Wuyi Mountain, where three different tea cultivars are growing next to each other. Also, the home to the new Big Red Robe and Lapsang Souchong. 

Follow our hashtag #sourced for more about the Limited Edition releases and unique individual stories! 

Foraging Blends with Juniper Ridge

At Tea People, we're always looking for ways to go beyond the cup. A few weekends ago, we literally went outside the cup, and joined Juniper Ridge at Camp Navarro in the Redwoods of California. 

The weekend was dedicated to the Winter Harvesting of Redwood. Guided by, Hall Newbegin, the CEO, we hiked through the forest, learning how to identify the nature around While removing invasive species on the mountain, harvesting other plants, and foraging for other herbs (and mushrooms), we were simultaneously gathering ingredients that we later distilled into a Winter Redwood fragrance for Juniper Ridge. 

Juniper Ridge products are 100% wildcrafted and produced using old perfume making techniques including distillation, tincturing, infusion and enfleurage. A hundred years ago, all perfumes were made this way. Today, they're the only ones who handle every step of the process themselves, from beginning to end. These formulas vary from year to year and harvest to harvest, based on rainfall, temperature, exact harvesting location, and season. They formulate Wilderness Perfume by distilling and extracting fragrance from wildflowers, plants, bark, moss, mushrooms, and tree trimmings that we harvest on the trail.

We got to play a role in this amazing process, from start to finish. Rolling around in the wet earth, smelling the fir trees, meandering around with our guide books; we discovered how many amazing ingredients we're surrounded by. It got us thinking about how we could borrow these techniques and create some new blends for Tea People. 

Some of the things that we foraged besides Redwood included: Douglas Fir, Yerba Buena, Lemon Verbena, and tables worth of wild mushrooms. That night, we started adding some of what we harvested to what we were already steeping. Our Chamomile Mint was elevated with the smooth citrus notes of the Lemon Verbena and got an extra minty rush with the flowers of wild Yerba Buena. Everyone filled their mugs while we started a fire, some even used it as a base for hot toddies. We also started pruning all of the leaves off of branches of Douglas Fir and added them to the nutty pan roasted leaves of our Hojicha. The fusion of the two created the perfect outdoor hot steep that tasted particularly festive for this time of year too. 

Next time you're out in the wild, steep some of your favorite Tea People loose leaf with herbs that you forage. Let us know what kind of new blends you can create with the nature around you and keep an eye out for future tea collaborations!

Chamomile Mint
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Top Nitro Teas

We played around with some of our best selling loose leafs to see which teas worked best as Nitro Teas. At the Tea Bar, we've been doing blind sampling of kegged teas versus normal steeps. The results are in and we narrowed it down to our top three teas. All of them lost their bitterness and tang, become more smooth and floral, and became creamy tasting sips. 

Earl Grey
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Lychee Green Tea
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The Effects of Nitro Tea

We've been experimenting a lot with nitro tea lately, but what does that mean?

More or less it means that we've been going full on science experiment with our collection of loose leafs. Technically speaking, it means that we're been adding a different dimension to each tea: a head

Have we already lost you? No worries! We're here to break down each aspect of nitro tea for you; start to mouthfeel finish. 

The head that is created in the process of nitro is responsible for the development in flavor. The flavor of tea is broken down into three different sensations: taste, aroma and mouth feel. All of these are determined by the amount of different chemical compounds in the tea. When adding nitrogen to a tea we are not actually “changing” the flavor of a tea, but rather contributing to it. By nitrogenating a tea, a head of nitrogen gas forms on the top of the tea, contributing to a new creamy mouthfeel to the tea. 

However, in our experiments and tastings with nitro tea, a common response that we get from tasters is that the result in taste is a less bitter tea. We came up with the following hypothesis about why this happens:
While nitrogenating a tea wont change the chemical composition of a tea, the presence of nitrogen bubbles sliding across your taste buds might inhibit their ability to perceive bitterness.  Ultimately, the effervescence tricks your tastebuds into detecting less bitterness. 

We geeked out pretty hard over nitrogen's ability to change our tea tastebuds. Check out our entire Nitro page for even more science and even our own guide on how to DIY your own nitro! 

Nalata Nalata

While recently in NYC, we met up with the owners of Nalata Nalata, "A retail experience founded on promoting the awareness of the people and the stories behind our curated lifestyle products," where we got to shoot some tea photos, check out their physical space, and hear about their #steeplife. 

We spoke with co-founder Angélique J.V. Chmielewski over some Jasmine Green Tea:

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How did the initial vision for Nalata Nalata come to fruition?

The initial vision for Nalata Nalata came into fruition because we simply wanted to know who makes the products that we use.

 How do you go about curating what brands the store ends up carrying?

 A lot of the time friends introduce designers and artisans we work with to us and over time we develop relationships with these people that evolve quite naturally.   

Shopping in your store is definitely an experience in and of itself, what are the most important things when creating a retail experience? 

 The most important things to consider when creating a retail experience are a balance of information and inspiration. Increasingly people are more conscious about what they consume so it is our job to inform them of why we like a product so they can come up with their own opinions. At the same time we want people to feel inspired to live better for whatever their lifestyle may be so we give options that we truly believe can motivate this sense. More than anything we hope that guests can walk out of our retail space and feel more mindful of the people, places and things that surround their everyday lives.

You guys spend a lot of time learning the story behind all of the artists you feature, what made you decide that learning the 'backstory' was so vital? 

 We spend a lot of time learning the story behind all of the designers and artisans we work with because nowadays, where things are more readily available, having a connection to the story behind a product is a key factor that adds to its value. The products we carry have stories behind them that we believe in so it’s a joy to share them with others. We’ve always gone after the who, what, where, when and why of a product because if you can answer all those questions, than you can get a better sense of its purpose in the world. Products with purpose have the ability to make the world a better place.

Do you have a favorite backstory that you've highlighted?

Our favorite backstories are usually about family-run businesses. We like to support family-run businesses because no matter how many generations of inheritance the company is on, they seem to never stop striving to not only survive, but also to evolve and get better. The Tajika family who has been making handcrafted scissors and shears for four generations is an example of one of our favorite Backstories.

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Speaking of backstories, what are some of the backstories of the Nalata Nalata team?

Our story begins in Canada where my husband and I were born. We grew up there and spent our formative years in Edmonton, which is where we met before moving to New York to pursue our careers in design.  

What's do the tea leave say about the store's future?

This year we have a lot of projects on the go. We’re most excited about our upcoming publication set to launch in 2017.

Tea People x Luv Haus

If you haven't noticed, we've been out of tea ware for awhile. That's because we've been on the hunt for an artist to collaborate with to create the perfect tea drinking vessel, just for you. Berkeley, CA based ceramist Shawn Kam, from LUV HAUS Ceramics, has hand crafted just that; the ultimate tea cupMade by hand for your hand, we've put together three batches of one-of-a-kind soda fired tea tumblers. 

Made by hand for your hand, is not just a saying. After a year prototyping and dialing in the shape; bridging the between user and cup, these cups were made with the tea drinker in mind. Designed to nestle in the palm of your hand, they capture that perfect symphony of warmth radiating from your favorite cup of tea. The lip is molded to be the perfect catch to keep it from slipping from your hand, a great perch to grip when it’s just a little too warm, and keeps you from potentially burning your lip mid sip. Not to mention, they're microwave and dishwasher safe, for extra simplicity. 

Individually packaged, each cup is unique because of the detailed process of soda firing it undergoes. Soda firing is a dynamic and variable firing process wherein liquified soda carbonate is sprayed into the firing kiln at 2,280 F through several ports on each side. The soda spray immediately vaporizes and is swept up in the path of the flame, painting on the ware and creating a glaze. Each firing results in completely organic and unique interaction of the flame and vapor. That means that no tea cup will ever look like yours. 

Well designed, locally produced, and distinctly one of a kind; Tea People x LUV HAUS cups are the answer to your search for the ultimate tea drinking vessel.

Our Own Camellia Sinensis

Our Camelia Sinensis: Del & Desmond

Our Camelia Sinensis: Del & Desmond

After all of these years of sippin' tea we've had some amazing teas, walked the slopes of tea mountains and tasted the beautiful landscapes of the tea's growing region within the cup. We've met many tea growers and heard the simple yet humble stories of generations of family tea farming traditions. As Tea People, we've always felt like we were one step away from the source. So, finally after all our time steeping tea, we've finally crossed the gap between the farmer and the drinker. From tea farm to table, at our beautiful tea bar space in San Francisco, we have begun to cultivate our own camellia sinensis tea plants.

All tea comes from the camellia sinensis, meaning that our new plant friends are the source of all of our loose leafs. The tea plants (lovingly named Del and Desmond) are adjusting to their new environment in our office and slowly starting to spur new growth. While we are a long way from a full scale tea production, these plants are our first step in the direction of understanding and mastering the art of tea cultivation.  We'll be keeping you updated as our new plant friends grow and will eventually start building guides on how you can grow your own tea at home! 

Favorite Fall Steeps

Fall is officially upon us! In other words, it's prime tea season. That means it's time for roasty + toasty, hot steeps. Just like some teas are better on the rocks, some loose leafs are best freshly brewed still hot. #somelikeithot While all of our teas are great as steamy sips, we've picked our top six favorites to warm up and celebrate autumn with. From the festive and classic spices of our Indian Chai and the toasty + roasty Hojicha, to the robust and earthy Natural Puerh, we've picked out some of the best hot steeps out there. 

Herbal Cocktails: Hibiscus Mint Spritzer

We've been really into seltzer lately and with fall just around the corner, we wanted to concoct an alcoholic spritzer, iced and shaken, to say goodbye to summer. Our newest herbal, Hibiscus Mint, is best iced. It has strong notes of peppermint, a rich body of tart hibiscus flowers, rounded off with real rose hips. It makes a really great base for experimenting with because of all of its bold ingredients. Its flavor stays rich against a variety of other pairings and with a little lemon, sugar, and seltzer, the hand-blended brew only gets better. 

We started by cold brewing the Hibiscus Mint in our small brewpot overnight in the fridge. (Note: steeping it longer makes the mint flavor more prominent. So, adjust accordingly)! Next we muddled lemon with 2 oz of simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. For our simple syrup we used a 1:1 ratio with white sugar. Next, we chose a sake base for our cocktail, adding 2oz of filtered Ozeki sake to our cocktail shaker.

What's left is adding the two strongest ingredients: tea and effervescence. Add 4oz of the tea concentrate to the shaker, top with ice, and shake vigorously. We chose to leave the ice out and strain the cocktail into a fun glass, leaving plenty of room to add your choice of seltzer. Not all seltzers are the same! Some have more fizz, more bubbles, more body; others are more flat and can water down the rest of the drink. Deciding on how much seltzer to add is totally a taste and mouthfeel preference. We started by adding 2oz and adjusting from there!

Sip, enjoy, savor, and repeat. 

Happy sipping!