Asiatica’s selection of loose leaf and blooming tea are of the highest caliber in quality, taste and fragrance.
Determination of appropriate water temperature so you will benefit from tea
There are many ways to determine when your water is hot enough for steeping your tea without the use of a thermometer.
- “Sheng Pien” meaning “sound distinguishing”. Using your ear you can distinguish three clear levels of heat.
At the first level, the water makes a low humming sound and is called medium-done, yin-yang, or baby water. Such water is never used for making tea and in fact is never used for anything in cooking, as yin-yang water is said to be unhealthy.
At the second level the water starts to pop noisily in your kettle or container. This is called mature water and is generally the right level for making tea.
At the third level, the water bubbles ferociously. This is called old man water or white hair water and is not used for making tea.
2. ‘Chi Pien”, meaning “air distinguishing”. This method involves watching the steam as the water heats up.
At the first level, the steam rises in small streams, very slowly, gradually, and gently. This is baby water, which is unusable.
At the second level the steam rises at a moderate volume. This is about the right level for most teas.
At the third level the steam ascends at a high volume, like chunks of cloud. This indicates old man water and is no longer suitable to make tea.
3. “Hsing Pien” meaning “form distinguishing”. This method involves looking at the bubbles in the water as it is being heated.
At the first level a number of small bubbles come up through the water from the bottom of the kettle of container. Because the bubbles are roughly the size of a crab’s eye, this is called crab-eye water.
At the second level the small bubbles begin to disappear, to be replaced by continuous streams of larger bubbles. This water is called fish-eye water and is approximately the right temperature for most teas.
At the third level the water is bubbling viciously and indicates old man water.
General brewing instructions
1) Put 1-2 teaspoon(s) of tea into your teapot. This is a general guideline as the amount of tea used can vary according to personal taste.
2) Rinse your tea by pouring approximately 125mL of hot water into the teapot, then pouring it out right after.
3) Pour in 500 ml of hot water per teaspoon of tea, adjusting the water to the suitable temperature with the methods detailed in ‘Determination of appropriate water temperature’, or by using a thermometer to reach the correct temperature for whichever tea type you are brewing.
4) Let tea steep for the amount of time corresponding to the type of tea. It is important to note that the longer you allow the tea to steep, the stronger the flavour becomes, and that the lengths of infusion and the water temperatures for all the tea types are approximate. You may always shorten, lengthen, decrease or increase all of the given information to suit your personal taste.
5) Strain tea (if desired), let cool (optionally) and enjoy!
Length of infusion: 2-3 minutes Water temperature: 80-85º C / 176-185º F
This unique tea came into popularity during the Song Dynasty in China, from 960-1279. It was so very valued and cherished that, in fact, they were suitable as offerings and gifts to the emperor.
At Asiatica, our most popular white teas are the silver needle, white peony tea and shou mei teas. In general, white tea is seen to have great health benefits as it is light in flavour yet heavily imbued with antioxidants.
Length of infusion: 1-3 minutes Water temperature: 80-85º C / 176-185º F
The green tea has been a widely celebrated product since more than 4000 years ago. Legend goes that an emperor was drinking a cup of hot water when tea leaves fell into the cup, and thus tea was born.
Some of the most favoured teas at Asiatica are the jasmine dragon pearls, dragonwell, sencha and the royal bi luo chun. The most notable health benefits of green tea are the qualities that allow the prevention of cancer and heart disease, prevention of diabetes and stroke, aiding in digestion and even the strengthening of the immune system.
Length of infusion: 4-7 minutes Water temperature: 90-100º C / 194-212º F
Also known as the black dragon tea, oolong tea dates back more than 500 years, before the 16th Ming dynasty. The exact origins of this specialty tea are unknown, but there have been three main theories as to these particulars. The oolong teas of Asiatica come from the high mountains of Taiwan.
Other than the mysterious airs regarding the ancestry of oolong tea, we are presently capable of enjoying this tea’s exclusive flavours with the categories offered by Asiatica, which include the ginseng oolong, milky oolong, oolong premium, oriental beauty, and the ti kuan yin. All these types of teas share the traits of increasing your metabolism which in turn helps with weight loss, the diminishment of concentrations of fat as well as facilitating digestion. Additionally, our ginseng oolong tea is an excellent choice for starting your mornings, with its energizing flavour and effects.
Black & Red Tea
Length of infusion: 4-6 minutes Water temperature: 100º C / 212º F
This specific kind of tea came to be when the ancient Chinese found that as the tea leaves went through a fermentation process, the colour would darken and the potency would increase significantly. This type of tea would henceforth be known as black tea, for its darker hues. However, this sort of tea is also known as red tea, after the colouring of the liquid produced after the tea leaves are left to steep in hot water.
An assortment of red/black tea is kept in the stocks of Asiatica, with the most renowned being the keemun, lychee red tea, organic Earl grey, Taiwanese black tea and pu-erh. As with many other kinds of tea, black tea is loaded with antioxidants that can assist in the reduction of inflammation. Black tea also holds the cardiovascular benefits but a quality unique to the red and black tea is the reduction of the risk of coronary heart disease by fifty percent, as shown in a study of over 3000 adults in Saudi Arabia. In addition, unlike the other black teas, the pu-erh has its own unique benefit in that it naturally lowers cholesterol. Animal research suggests that pu-erh tea might lower certain blood fats called triglycerides as well as total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
Herbal & Floral Tea
Length of infusion: 4-7 minutes Water temperature: 100º C / 212º F
The dried, edible parts of all floral plants, including the stems, flowering buds, leaves and petals, are what make up the herbal and floral teas that we can taste from the collection from Asiatica. The practice of drinking herbal and floral tea dates back many centuries and has been explored by a large expanse of Asian and Western cultures, in which each culture has thoroughly enjoyed this art.
Rosebuds, camomile, lavender, chrysanthemum, osmanthus, organic chai mix: all of these herbal and floral teas that are sold at Asiatica have properties entirely specific to themselves. For example, the camomile tea’s most well-known traits are the ones that calm and bring sleep, comfort and a drowsy state. The rosebuds tea are known for increasing your blood circulation which can bring on a more youthful appearance, lavender relieves indigestion, chrysanthemum can help with anti-fever effects, osmanthus can improve skin and chai mix has anti-inflammatory characteristics. However, all of these teas share one property: they are all naturally healthy and delicious.
Yerba Mate Tea
Length of infusion: 2-4 minutes Water temperature: 73-79º C / 165-175º F
The yerba maté tea is believed to have arisen from South America, with the Guarani people being its first harvesters and drinkers. The tree in which the leaves came from and the tea leaves themselves were considered gifts from the gods, and the drink was highly praised and cherished among the people.
Asiatica offers the organic yerba maté active, which actually contains extracts of vitamin C. As with the other categories of tea, the yerba maté tea reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, inflammation and risk of diseases. Another benefit, exclusive to this tea, is that the many amounts of powerful antioxidants in it are able to strengthen the natural defences of an organism, thus allowing safety from cellular destruction and even prevention of cancer.
Length of infusion: 5-10 minutes Water temperature: 100º C / 212º F
Rooibos tea originated more than 300 years ago, from the regions of Cederberg, South Africa. It is said that it was either the inhabitants of the mountainous area or the explorers and travellers that found the Rooibos leaves were suitable for the brewing of the tea. Henceforth, the Rooibos tea was born.
The massala chai and “after 8” are the organic rooibos teas that we keep in our store. Of the many health benefits stored in the drink that is steeped rooibos leaves in water, the main ones shared with the other types of tea are the positive antioxidants, cardiovascular benefits and lowering of blood pressure. However, the characteristics unique to this tea are the prevention of liver disease, of respiratory problems and of skin problems such as those who suffer from eczema.
The first usage documented in 1705 and the first description published in 1808, the honeybush plant began its course as a tea leaf about 200 years ago in the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Bearing many similarities to the rooibos tea, the striking traits unique to the honeybush plant are its fragrance, which smells of honey, and its taste, which is sweeter than the rooibos tea, though equally as enjoyable.
Our organic, all-natural honeybush vanilla tea is sure to please anyone’s taste buds, with its delectable aromas and sweetness. We suggest a touch of milk, honey or sugar (or both!) to our honeybush tea to bring forth these scrumptious scents. The great health benefits of the rooibos tea are shared with the honeybush tea, with its antioxidants, lowering of blood pressure, prevention of liver disease and many others. Both teas are also completely natural, caffeine free, and are even able to aid in impeding the effects of ageing. In addition, this tea is also rich in vitamin C, iron, potassium and a variety of other minerals.
For Energy, Detox, Weightloss and Concentration
Matcha powdered green tea is a mood enhancing antioxidant powerhouse. A natural weightloss aid, PH Balancer and detox agent. A sugar-free coffee alternative without the jitters. Matcha is a premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. It is the heart of the Japanese way of tea and has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years. Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. For this reason, matcha is also known as a mood enhancer. Buddhist monks drank matcha to assist in meditation, as matcha’s amino acids, combined with caffeine, offer a sustained calm alertness over time. Amino acids are also what gives matcha is distinctive taste. They contribute to what is known as the fifth taste, or umami, characterized by a rich creamy mouth feel. Matcha is renowned for numerous health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas because matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.
Chlorophyll and amino acids give matcha its unique rich taste, an initial vegetal, astringent taste, followed by a lingering sweetness. Matcha made in the traditional Japanese style, whisked with water, is a full-bodied green tea. The intensity of the experience compares to one’s first taste of dark chocolate or red wine. When added as an ingredient, the taste of matcha becomes subtler. It adds the flavor and color of green tea to your creation, be it a smoothie, latte, savory sauce or pastry.
Step One – Sift 1-2 tsp matcha into a cup using a small sifter
Step Two – Add 2 oz hot water. For best results use water just under a boil.
Step Three – Whisk vigorously in a zig zag motion until the tea is frothy.
Step Four – Enjoy your matcha tea straight from the bowl.
Try 1 tsp of matcha. Add a few drops of hot water and mix into a paste with a spoon. Then add 6 oz of water. Adjust measurement to suit taste.