As we know the variety of teas available in the supermarket is sometimes overwhelmingly large, but the taste range of teas are not as broad as they seem.
Tea comes in a quite different range of qualities and prices. Artisan tea sits in the top range of them. Artisan teas come in the broad category of herbs that are produced traditionally. Artisan tea combines tradition, art and technology to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Differences between artisan tea and supermarket tea:
The tea is available in supermarket mostly has been produced by cutting tearing and curling ingredients. In this way, leaves are passed through a series of cylindrical rollers that crush, tear, and curl the tea into small pieces. Tea produced using this method is called CTC tea. This method enables companies to continue the mass production of different teas.
On the other hand, tea that is being used in artisan tea is mostly handpicked and the aim is to provide a tea with whole leaves and buds to provide richer and complex flavours. For artisan tea, the tea master uses his hand or some special machines to cut or twist the leaves in a way that keep the active ingredient inside. In this way the artisan tea would be not only visually beautiful but also leaves have the potential to steep multiple times.
Large tea brands have to store their teas in warehouses for a long time. They supply a huge amount of products to sell all year round. Therefore, it is probable that tea suffers from fewer flavours by the time it reaches you. In contrast, artisan tea minimizes the time frame taken between processing and sending the tea to the customer because artisan tea aims to provide the highest quality tea for the customer. To be clearer, artisan tea emphasizes the selling of quality over quantity and pay close attention to the clean and crisp flavour of herbal tea. Therefore, they might produce a limited amount of tea, with a focus on quality, taste and freshness.
In artisan tea, the tea master tests all ingredients several times. He/she ensures the good taste and quality of each production series and approves every batch.
There is a grading system and terminology for different teas. Generally, the more whole the leaf is and the more buds it has, the higher the grade of tea. Artisan tea is among top grades of tea because it made up of whole leaves and not from the “dust”. Normally ‘fanning’ and ‘dust’ grade tea used for teabags.
Quality point of view
The bigger cut the leaves and buds the higher nutritive value, flavour, and colour. Artisan tea has its own unique, tasty, complex flavours which come directly from the whole leaves, buds or dried fruits. Fannings are leftovers of higher grades of teas and gathered to be sold. Historically, dust or fannings were treated as the rejects of the manufacturing process in making high-grade teas.
Added ingredients and flavours
Artisan tea is made with good quality herbs and has no other added ingredients. The tea master creates flavoured tea by adding natural plants like peppermint leaves or rose petals. In contrast, supermarket teas are typically made with added ingredients or natural flavours to enhance the flavour or aroma.
Tea, Herbal tea and tisane
Many people confuse herbal tea with tea. Herbal teas made from dried herbs, flowers or fruits and they are not made from leaves of ‘Camellia Sinensis’. They also called tisanes and are a major part of the tea world, however, they are not technically tea. That is why; there is a trend toward the use of terms such as "tisane", "infusion" or "botanical”. These herbal teas or tisanes are called tea because the way they get prepared is the same as tea.
If you are adventurous with what you eat and drink and enjoy trying new things, you’ll likely love artisan tea. Artisan teas are full of flavours, fresh and nutritious. They also are great gifts to our loved ones. Sometimes this simple act of mindfulness and kindness can be part of the community support a person needs. A cup of tea no matter if it is an artisan customized one or CTC tea from a bag has the magic to calm you down, freshen your mind or enhance your overall health.