This week, Teasenz has launched a new tea maker. Discover the features below and don’t forget to watch the video.
This week, Teasenz has launched a new tea maker. Discover the features below and don’t forget to watch the video.
In the past transporting tea from Yunnan to neighbouring regions was a difficult task. Pu erh tea used to be compressed tightly in massive sizes for easy transportation. We discovered this cylinder shaped pu erh during a tea expo, and the merchant was selling them while demonstrating how he gets a slice of it with a sawing machine!
Forget beer and wine made from grapes. Bloomberg recently published an article that the growth of the booze market in China is slowing done. The demand for beer is even in decline. However, there’s one bright spot in the industry: traditional Chinese Yellow Rice wine, known in China as ‘Huang Jiu’.
Together with beer and red wine, huang Jiu is considered as 1 of the 3 biggest traditional liquors by the Chinese.
The market for white rice wine (Bai Jiu) is still much larger than yellow rice wine. Bai jiu is expensive and popular among Chinese generals and government officials, but China is cracking down on corruption and extravagance since 2014, resulting in lower demand.
Huang jiu on the other hand is seeing a strong growth. Chinese people have enjoyed strong economic growth in the past decade and as a result consuming more imported Western goods. However, many Chinese are also rediscovering their own background and rediscover traditional Chinese food and beverages.
Different from white rice wine, the yellow cousin contains much less alcohol making it more suitable for a larger crowd. In addition, it’s highly nutritious containing 18 kinds of amino acids. A wine with so much nutritional value is what makes it attract a growing crowd.
Yellow rice wine is brewed directly from rice. Sometimes millet or wheat could also be used as an alternative to rice. Unlike white rice wine, it’s not distilled and contains not more than 20% alcohol due to the inhibition of fermentation by ethanol at that concentration.
Yellow wine is pasteurised, aged, and filtered before they are finally bottled and sold. Depending on the variation in production, the final color could range from beige to reddish brown. Yellow wine is mainly classified by production regions, each with their own variation of production methods. See below the list:
Besides the region yellow wine is also classified as: dry, half dry, half sweet, sweet.
Huangjiu mainly consumed in Mainland China and Taiwan and consumed in different ways.
While drinking yellow wine cold is still the most popular way to go, the traditional way of drinking yellow wine is actually by warming it until a perfect temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). Drinking the wine warm is considered healthy for the stomach.
The older generations often drink the wine from a bowl instead of a glass or cup.
Among younger people in China, Yellow wine is often drank cold. The wine is first refrigerated and then served with ice. Sometimes fresh fruits are added for additional taste.
The Chinese love to pair yellow wine with dishes. Dry wines are paired with vegetables and cold appetizers. Semi-dry types are paired with red meat, crab and other seafood. Half-sweet types are paired with chicken and duck. At last, sweet-types are paired with desserts.
In some regions Huang Jiu is also used for cooking traditional Chinese dishes. Popular dishes include huang jiu chicken soup and huang jiu steamed crab.
The fanatic brewing millennials are mostly based in Ontario and Western Canada. Surprisingly there’s only a slight majority of female tea drinkers (53%), while traditionally tea is more popular among women. What’s also interesting is that 44% of the millennial tea drinkers are parents and are part of a 3-4 person households. This suggest that parents tend to be more health conscious then non-parent millennials.
In the past there was still a preference for coffee over tea, but a mayor conclusion of the report is that they like tea and coffee equally. Millennials are curious and like to try new flavours. There’s a trending demand for loose leaf tea and tea infusers to brew them conveniently.
Tea is associated with many health perks including relaxation, improving sleep, reducing anxiety etc. While there’s a growing interest for artisan tea enjoyed for the flavour and aroma, buying tea for health benefits is still the major reason of purchase.
2 out of 3 millennials drink at least 1 cup of tea a week. This group accounts for 36% of all Canadian tea drinkers. However, they consume consume fewer cups per week (4.6 versus 6.1). This suggest that even though more millennials drink tea, they drink it less frequently.
15% of the tea is purchased at specialty stores and this proportion is growing. However, still the majority of the tea is bought through grocery and mass merchandise stores (48%).
One major reason to visit specialty stores is because consumers want to explore new teas. Those millennials have a wide interest in variety, quality and expert advice. They also like the fact that they can sample small quantities and taste teas before buying. The best way to introduce teas to millennials is by introducing unique flavour and blends. It’s interesting to know that the brand of the tea is relatively unimportant when purchasing in specialty stores.
Does more expensive teas generally taste better? What are the factors behind the pricing of tea? With so many different teas available, and a wide range of prices, it’s worth to understand the pricing rationale, so that you can make a more informed buying decision.
1. Supply versus Demand
The most basic reason for prices to differ is how much demand there’s for a type of tea relative to how much supply available. Imagine there are two equally good teas, but one has only an annual supply of 100 KG while the other has a much larger annual production of 10.000 KG.
The farmer of the 100 KG tea will tend to keep the price high, to maximise it’s sales. The other farmer faces risks of not being able to sell out his stock, and will keep lowering the price to increase the sales.
This at the same time proofs more expensive teas aren’t necessarily better. Supply and demand dynamics are very obvious in reality, with seasonal weather being on of the most important factors affecting supply. Too many consecutive days of rain or drought can ruin a harvest.
This is also a reason why agricultural insurance is on the rise in China.
Trends also affect the demand of a specific product at a specific point in time. In 2015, there’s was a new research publication backing the health benefits of Honeysuckle tea. At that time, the demand suddenly surged drastically. Because the producers were short of stock, they increased their prices.
Now imagine that there are two equally good teas with equal supply conditions. However, now one is offered by a company with a strong brand, while the other doesn’t come with any brand at all. The first will come with a higher price, because the customer sees value in the brand. It could be that the brand offers stable quality and thus piece of mind. Others offer a complete experience, such as an environment that allows them to enjoy consuming the product. Starbucks is a very good example from the coffee industry.
In addition, companies invest in their brand by incurring for example overhead and marketing costs. These costs needs to be recovered, resulting in markups on the retail price.
Related to the brand is packaging. Packaging add value in several ways. A tea bag can be considered convenient packaging, as it makes the preparation of tea easier compared to loose leaf tea. Packaging can also keep teas fresh. Take for example, pouches with zip closure that can help to keep your tea fresh. Or tea in tins, that are more suitable as a gift.
For some teas, especially pu erh, the age also affects the price. For those teas, the ripening process result in a better flavour and aroma.
Assume there are 2 tea cakes made from the same quality of raw material and from the same origin. However, one cake is 10 years old while the other is just 1 year old. The older cake will be much more expensive. A pu erh tea lover will be willing to spend more money on the 10 year cake, simply because when buys the 1 year cake, he’ll have to wait another 9 years before he can enjoy the same taste. Thus, saving time can be seen as valuable.
5. Storage Conditions
When tea is harvested, it might not be all sold directly. When tea is stored properly, the quality can be kept fresh, and thus sold for a better price in the future. Coming back to the pu erh cakes, this becomes even more important. Cakes that are preserved in the right conditions, ripen and develop a better flavour, making them more valuable.
Do you know any more factors? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comment section below!
Chicken soup is boring, but not when you give it a twist with Jasmine tea. Here’s what’s required:
Preheat oven to 190 ° C. Use a large heatproof frying pan or wok and pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the pan and add onions, carrots, ginger and fennel. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Keep stirring in the pan until the vegetables are slightly softened, this is after about 6-8 minutes.
Afterwards, you scoop out the vegetables in a separate bowl. Pour water into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Turn the stove off when the water boils, add the jasmine tea leaves. Put the lid on the pan and let the tea infuse for 5 minutes.
Make chicken stock in a pan and put it on low heat. After 5 minutes, add the tea to the chicken stock. Dry the chicken breasts with kitchen paper and coat the chicken breasts then with half a tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the chicken to taste by adding salt, pepper and coriander. Heat the pan that was used for the vegetables again and add the remaining olive oil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and fry it at high temperature. Then place the pan in the preheated oven and bake the chicken breasts for 15 minutes.
Cook the spaghetti or noodles, and then let it drain well. Cut all the meat of the chicken breasts once it’s done. Put the spaghetti or noodles in a bowl and add the chicken and vegetables as well. Then pour the delicious tea broth over and garnish with coriander and chives. There you go!
Enjoy and make sure you leave a comment if you have tried this recipe at home 😉
Black tea is not only a popular beverage, but it can at the same time be used to make excellent salad dressings! For this smoked chicken salad you need the following ingredients:
Ingredients for dressing:
For the dressing, bring the apple juice to boil in a pan. Turn of the heat and sprinkle the tea leaves in the pan and let it steep for 5 minutes. Afterwards, separate the leaves from the steeped apple juice tea and let it cool down.
Separate the leaves from the steeped apple juice tea and let it cool down.
Once the tea has cooled, add mustard, yoghurt, pepper and salt. Then mix the ingredients well.
Soak the raisins in boiling water for at least 10 minutes . They must eventually be soft. Rinse them with water and let them drain.
Wash the lettuce and let it dry. Divide the salad among 4 plates dry.
Cut the smoked chicken into chunks or stripes. Peel the pears and remove the core. Cut the pears into thin slices. Peel the water chestnuts and cut them into slices as well.
Put the smoked chicken, grapes, pears and water chestnuts in a bowl. Pour about half the dressing with it. (There will be 1 tablespoon of dressing per person left). Mix everything well together.
Divide the chicken salad on 4 plates and pour another the remaining dressing over each plate. Serve and enjoy! Dare to try and share your thoughts 😉
Dragon Well tea is the most famous of Chinese green tea that is known for its wonderful taste and amazingly fine quality. It is also a tea with a long history with its production dating back 1,500 years ago. According Cha-Jing (the world’s first tea book written by Lu Yu), it was recorded as early as Song Dynasty. Two fascinating legends have been passed down through generations and they are definitely worth to read to make your experience of this drinking Dragon Well tea even better.
Legend of Dragon Well
Long ago, a tea elf had 8 teacups and always used them to brew teas for his guests in fairyland. One day many gods came and visited his home, the elf was panicking and dropped one cup to the human world. The god Dongbing helped him to go to the human world and told him he had only one chance to get the cup back. The elf went down to the mountain in Shifeng (one of the Legendary Dragon Well Green Tea Villages). He believed his cup was there but he couldn’t find it. Searching for a whole day, he was tired and thirty. Fortunately, he found an old lady who was brewing teas and she was very nice to give him a cup of tea. Then he found the tea water tasted like his. Thus he asked the old lady where the water and the tea came from. She pointed to a well not far away and said the well appeared long ago after something dropped from the sky. The water was from the well and the teas were irrigated by the water. At that moment, the elf knew that his cup became this well long time ago since one day in the fairyland is equal to many years in the human world. To thank the old lady for treating him cordially, he decided to leave the cup there and turned back to fairyland. He told this story to some of his dragon friends and they sometimes visit the well and drink water from there. Then this well has become very important for the local green teas and therefore is named after the Well visited by Dragons
Legend of 18 tea trees beside the Dragon Well
Then many years passed, the old lady’s house became a famous temple called “Hugong”. And 18 tea trees, irrigated by the water from Dragon Well, were planted outside of it. In Qing Dynasty, an emperor called Qianlong came to Hangzhou and visited Hugong temple. When he was picking teas from the tea trees outside the temple, he received a message that his mother was ill and wished his immediate return to Beijing. He shoved the leaves he had picked into his sleeve and immediately left for Beijing. Upon his return he immediately went to visit his mother. She noticed the smell of the leaves coming from his sleeves. Qianlong decided to immediately brew a cup of tea made from the Dragon Well tea leaves for her. The holy tea cured her disease. The Emperor was very grateful and gave the 18 tea trees Imperial status. Since then, Dragon Well tea became the tribute tea to emperors.
Until today, the 18 tea trees remain at the Shifeng Mountain and attract thousands of tourists all over the world.
The way we call tea in different regions of the world is influenced by the different pronunciations of the word ‘tea’ in Chinese as well as the power balance of different regions throughout history.
China has many ethnic groups and thus they have their own pronunciations of the word tea.
Starting from the 6th Century, China started exporting tea during the Sui Dynasty. The North was the most influential region with many export activities focused on shipping tea to Japan, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Portugal and other Arabic countries. Therefore, these countries way of pronouncing tea is very similar to ‘cha’. Try to translate the word tea from English to any language from the mentioned countries, and you will find that they use ‘cha’ or variations such as ‘chai’ or ‘char’. For example:
During this period, economic activity shifted from the North to the Southern part of China where tea was at that time pronounced as ‘Tey’. Main export destinations in Europe with the most demand coming from Britain, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, and Spain. These countries therefore use pronunciations close to ‘tey’ or ‘ti’.
What’s particularly interesting is that even though Portugal and Spain are neighboring countries with a very closely related language, they pronounce tea differently (Portugal: chá, Spain:té). This proofs the importance of dominance of tea producing regions in China over different periods of time through history.
Some European countries such as Poland are an exception. In Polish the word for tea isn’t related to either of the pronunciations mentioned above, but comes from the word ‘herb’: herbata.
At the same time the Dai, Miao, and Yi minorities Southwestern part of China also started exporting tea to neighboring countries, such as Laos, Burma, Cambodia. As these ethnic minorities pronounce tea as ‘la’ the importing countries are using the same term in their languages.