As New Zealand specialists in loose leaf teas and tisanes, we know our tea types and varieties well. We’re regularly asked for help in choosing the ideal tea and love to be able to assist you to find the perfect choice.
The aroma, character and liquor of each tea is something we savour and we have developed some suggested guidelines below to help you.
When buying loose leaf tea for yourself or as a gift, we invite you to immerse yourself in the sensory adventure that tea leaf offers. You can enjoy the visual cues from the dry leaf pictured on our website or allow the descriptions of our flavours and ingredients to tantilise your taste buds.
Things to Consider When Buying Tea
Our experience over the years has taught us that the choice of tea or tisane is unrelated to any age or gender stereotypes so our advice is to avoid this assumption and think about your own (or the person you are buying for) likes and dislikes. Whether you are a tea lover or tea curious we hope you find the below steps useful as you refine your search to find the perfect choices.
We have listed some short cut links to take you straight to our recommended section on the website. May we suggest you read our full article before you leap into action.
Where to start - let’s narrow it down:
1. Caffeine or No Caffeine – what is the preference?
Congratulations, if you know this answer you have just made your life a lot simpler.
There is often confusion around whether tea contains caffeine or not. The fact is that all tea leaf whether it is black, green or white contains caffeine. When we are referring to “tea” we mean the leaf of the camellia sinensis bush.
Where camellia sinensis is not an ingredient this is known as a tisane. We refer to this as our Herbals and Fruits range which does not contain any tea leaf and therefore are all caffeine free.
For caffeine preferred drinkers:
We offer an extensive range of tea leaf styles that we are sure will hold the perfect solution for you.
If you are buying a gift it can be helpful to think about what you may know already. What style of caffeinated tea do they enjoy or do you recall them drinking? Is it:
- Black Tea with milk – go to Black Tea Blends
- Black Tea without milk – go to Single Estate Black Teas
- Earl Grey – go to Black Tea Blends
- Green Tea leaf – go to Green Tea
- White Tea Leaf – go to White Tea
On our website you will also find further, more detailed flavour guidelines but before you visit read some more suggestions at point 2 below to refine your search a little more.
For no caffeine preferred drinkers
For our caffeine free range of blends explore the Herbals and Fruits selection, but before you do just take a moment to read some more suggestions at point 2 below to refine your search even further.
2. Pure leaf or flavoured - what to choose?
Think about the individual – are you (or the person you are buying for) a purist that enjoys the complexity and layers offered by pure leaf?
If yes, avoid any flavoured or scented blends, instead focus on the incredible aromatics skilfully crafted into the natural leaf. Here are some pure leaf flavour profiles you can consider:
- Dried Fruits – muscatel grapes, currants - look to our Single Estate Black Tea range.
- Smokiness, camp fire style - then Lapsang Souchong is perfect
- Savoury profile rather than sweet – pure Green Tea – Dragonwell or Sencha
- Delicate with nuanced flavours - then a White Tea is perfect – White Peony or Silver Needle. Buterfly Pea Flower is a great caffeine free option which is also prized for its stress relieving properties
- Mint – caffeine free Peppy Mint which is also helpful for digestion
- Rooibos – caffeine free Pure Red or Green Rooibos
- Chamomile Flower - caffeine free, it is also enjoyed for its relaxing and calming properties
Flavoured and scented blends – a little something for everyone
Some people have a signature flavour that is immediately associated with them. Perhaps for example it is rose or vanilla, spice, fig, mint or citrus. This makes it easy and we have a number of flavours pictured on our website to cater for this along with recommendations.
If a flavour or aroma does not immediately come to mind think about this question in the culinary sense. If you were choosing a cake, what flavour would you pick? Be led by this.
Perhaps savoury is enjoyed over sweet. If this is the case then the savouriness of a pure green tea might be well suited, otherwise some starting flavour suggestions to help you choose:
- Vanilla - Toffee Nut Black or Coconut Cream black teas
- Citrus – Heavenly Lemon or Blood Orange tisanes
- Berry – Crimson Berry tisane
- Spice – Masala Chai black tea or Spiced Rooibos tisane
- Rose – Rose Earl Grey, Black Tea Rose, Rosie Plum, Fig and Rose
While you are browsing our range you will notice our umbrella logo. You can read more on why we choose the umbrella here or simply note that the umbrella colour changes to represent the different styles of tea and tisane. We hope you find this useful.
- Blue umbrellas for Black Teas
- Brown umbrellas for Single Estate Black Teas
- Green umbrellas for Green Teas
- White umbrellas for White Teas
- Red umbrella for Caffeine Free Herbals & Fruits Tisanes
3. Tea for all seasons:
A hot cup of tea is the perfect beverage to enjoy all year round, however iced tea really comes into its own during summer or party season. If you are wanting to choose the gift of a blend that is fail safe for preparing iced tea then we would recommend starting with something from our Herbals and Fruits range. As the iced teas are mastered then we suggest moving your attention to tea leaf which requires a little more care and attention.
4. Buying for someone who loves all tea or if you are still unsure:
If you find it impossible to choose then we have made it easier for you by creating a range of Variety Packs. These boxes contain six mini packs of our most popular tea and tisane blends and we offer these in a number of combinations. Read more about these here.
5. Create the perfect gift:
A gift of tea is very special and is perfect for so many occasions. If you wish to accompany your tea with some home-made baking then we have a number of delicious baked treats on the recipes section of our website for you to make and add to your gift. We also offer a beautiful gift wrap service.
Posted: Sunday 1 August 2021