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Where Does Our Tea Come From?

Taipei-Reservoir-Tea Garden

True or False

Is Chinese tea from China?

English Breakfast from England?

Did your tea gone for a world-wide trip before arriving at your doorsteps?

Find out more about this seemingly obvious question – where does your tea come from.

Keemun Red - Chinese Tea
Keemun Red – Chinese Tea

In the above video: Often we get asked, where do our tea come from?

I really find this an interesting question when I first started working with tea because I kind of think that, well, isn’t Japanese tea from Japan; Chinese tea from China?

And the fact is, NO!

In Australia, there are actually a lot of large tea suppliers that actually buy all these different teas.

Whether they’re Sri Lankan black tea or Chinese green tea and all that, they actually buy it from Europe particularly distribution house or sorting house from Germany and it is where they actually do a lot of sorting, mixing and grading.

Because of that, you can just go to this one company and buy all these different things and then they ship it in Australia.

Just imagine the world tour that your Chinese green tea is having, going all the way from China to Germany and then to Australia.

If you’re not sure where your tea actually made its last stop, ask you supplier and see whether they actually know about it because a lot of them don’t because it’s not something that everybody go and ask.

For us, we are bit more stubborn, we would rather like fresh tea and we rather like Chinese tea from China.

So we import if from China if it’s Chinese tea, Japan for Japanese tea, Sri Lanka for Sri Lankan or Ceylon tea, India for the Indian tea and there are some herbs from Europe as well.

So, definitely there is all kind of places that we’re importing separately for particular tea or herbs.

Where do your teas come from?

Definitely not just as you think and there are different suppliers sourcing their tea differently, so the freshness is something that you want to ask them about and see if they know more about it and they can provide you a bit more information of where your tea comes from.

 

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Choose your tea supplier

Our Organic Tea Confession

Tea Filters with Leaf Tea

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Tea Class 2-13/13 Tea and Food Matching

Certainly food is a great compliment to a good cup of tea.

If you are selling tea, whether in Australia or other countries, tea and food matching could be a great way to showcase your tea in a different perspective.

In this video we discuss some tips on tea and food matching, and where you can find even more tips – Australian Tea Guide 2014 edition.

Tea and food matching…

Before you start thinking that this is some kind of a snobbish – like stuff you get in a 5 star hotel, go back a step – think about last time you had a cup of tea and you went almost on autopilot, got a biscuit to go with that tea.

And you might say certain of biscuit works with this tea but not that kind of biscuit…that’s tea and food matching.

The most interesting part about tea and food matching is that you are free to mix and match and create a lot of weird combos.

Some think there is no rule in tea and food matching!

But we would propose these 2 basic concepts that you could talk to your customers about tea and food matching:

1. Complimentary
2. Interesting Contrast

For example, if you’ve got a berry muffin and you go with a berry tea, that’s complimentary.

They are basically of the same kind of taste.

If you match your chocolate with your chai, they are not exactly of the same taste but they contrast each other and give you this interesting and exciting combo.

In our latest tea guide, Australian Tea Guide 2014, there are a lot of tea and food pairs discussed.

There a lot of recipes and some of the basic concept tea and food matching such as the combination of dark meat with red tea or white tea with very light type of food or Oolong with heavy weight type of food such as red meat or food rich with carbohydrate.

We also have Yum Cha and there are a lot of interesting recipes.

The 2014 Australian Tea Guide is our foodie edition! 🙂

There are certainly a lot of tea and food combinations that you can try and it’s up to you if you wanted to give it a go and be adventurous with your tea.

If strawberry can go perfectly with balsamic vinegar, then a lot of things can go together!

So, it’s your turn to give it a go, have fun!

Got English Breakfast in your pantry? Go get nuttier things or red meat.

Green Tea goes really well with white meat, fish or lighter broth type of dishes.

Have a bit of a play, you will definitely find some interesting matching that will come out from these combos.

If you discover something interesting in tea and food matching, feel free to share it with us here.

For more interesting facts about tea visit Empiroteas.com.au and Betterteas.com.

Check out the Australian Tea Guide 2014, go to Teas.com.au.

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Australia Tea Guide 2014

Tea and Food Pairing

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Tea Class 2-12/13 Tea in the Kitchen

Are you adventurous with your tea?

If you love tea and also love cooking, then why not create a powerful combo out of it. Just think about this, “If tea is good enough to drink, it is good enough to eat!”

So what you are waiting for? Arm yourself with your favourite tea and charge to the kitchen!

In the above video: If someone asks you to describe your cup of tea, how will you describe it?

“I prefer mine hot or cold or with milk”, perhaps you say.

What if someone tells you, “I like mine in my cup cake” or “I love a dash of green tea in my summer day cocktail.”

Tea is indeed a versatile ingredient. Aside from giving you your favourite cuppa, it has been long used in herbal medicine and since it has lots of health benefits, people from ages ago incorporated this humble brew to their cooking.

Like in Japan, tea liquid is mixed with a thin stock and poured over rice to make a simple quick meal. While in Tibet, tea is consumed like a soup, served with butter and salt to complement their predominantly tea-based diet.

If you love tea and also love cooking, then why not create a powerful combo out of it.

Just think about this, “If tea is good enough to drink, it is good enough to eat!”

All tea are good for cooking?

You might ask, are all teas suitable for cooking?

The answer is NO!

Some tea has a very delicate taste so best to enjoy with other “additions”.

One good example is Silver Needle white tea, which has such a light dewy taste that it really should be enjoyed by itself.

The other end of this spectrum is some tea actually better suited for tea cuisine than drinking – by that I mean the Matcha Green Tea powder – I think of Matcha Tiramisu, Matcha milkshake or Matcha biscuits before I think of drinking it on its own 😉

Here are some of our favourite tea recipes that you will surely enjoy.

throat-sootherOsmanthus

Throat Soother

It has an apricot like scent. Osmanthus soothes the throat and relaxes the mind.
This beverage is easy to make and very soothing for the throat, hence the name.
It makes a good refreshing morning cup that will brighten up your day.

chaiffogatoChai Masala

Chaiffogato

Indulge in a cup of real chai!
Chai Masala is an aromatic mix of chai spices and black tea.
What better way to entertain your friends and family during a get together than showcasing your culinary prowess with your Chai.
This is so easy to make and so tasty!
Simply addictive!

smoky-ham-corn-bunsRussian Caravan

Smoky Ham & Corn Buns

Hark back to the days of the silk road and roadside campfires with this classic smoky black tea.
Make that ham and corn buns tasty than ever with that touch of smoky black tea.
The Russian Caravan tea gives it a full body smoky touch!

So what you are waiting for? Arm yourself with your favourite tea and charge to the kitchen!

Go to the Betterteas.com recipe section for more tea recipes.

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Matcha Tiramisu

Australia Tea Guide 2014

Types Of Tea

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How many tea should I stock?

Sweet Almond Black Tea

How many tea should you stock?

The number of teas you stock is going to directly influence what sort of “tea place” your business is going to project to your customers.

The market is ready for more tea. Many coffee drinkers are in fact, “closet tea drinkers” or coffee out with jittery hands.

The non-coffee drinkers are voting with their feet to places cater for them with good quality leaf tea. Do you know the whole tea drinking market is under serviced in Australia and you have an unfair advantage if you have decent leaf tea?

Cafes with 8 or more teas are taking tea seriously, as most tend to serve the standard 4-6, namely:

  1. English Breakfast
  2. Earl Grey
  3. Chamomile
  4. Peppermint
  5. Chai
  6. Green tea of some sort

You must proceed with care and dedication, however, if you want your tea range to bring in cashflow.

It is paramount your tea is marketed with appropriate understanding and staff training.

If you and your floor staff are only confident talking about the usual black tea, like Earl Grey and English Breakfast, it’s best to start with those and a couple of the other ones, whether it is something more exotic like Chai Masala or Ginger Kiss.

Once you are familiar with new teas, then work your way upping the range.

Your aim is not to stock more but stock with passion and understanding – this shows and customers can tell.

Hold staff meeting with tea tasting. Do VIP fundraiser tasting or happy hour tea and food matching deals.

Start with teas you drink and know, and your knowledge will take hold from there.

In the above video: How many teas should you stock?

The people who tend to ask us this question is pro-active, they are trying to say that, “okay, we want to take tea seriously but what’s the next step?”

For example, if you walk into a café and they stock 6-8 different kinds of tea such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chamomile, Peppermint, Chai and Green Tea, they are pretty standard and if you stock 6 of them, your customer will treat you like any other café.

But if you stock more than 6, like 8-10 different kinds of teas, you might add Rooibos, Hibiscus, Ginger, Darjeeling (Black Tea), more Green Tea, Genmaicha, maybe throw some Fruity one as well as Green Chai.

You might also add White Tea or Pu-erh, and then people will definitely start to look at you differently.

That is what you called “market perception”.

So if you want to take tea seriously, you absolutely need to expand the range.

The question now is where do you go after that?

The answer to that question can be answered by looking at where you are right now.

Let’s just say that you and your staff are black tea drinkers, if that is the case, don’t just go ballistic in purchasing herbal teas.

The reason behind this is that, it is going to be difficult for you, as black tea drinkers, to sell them convincingly.

Because you might not be so much into drinking herbal teas and when you sell them and when customer would ask you, “Hey, what does this tea taste like?” you would probably answer then, it taste herbal-ish, just like any other herbal tea.

Then, that might cause you a problem.

What we suggest is for you to start with something that you are familiar with, that you have bought in with your team, especially if they are the people who will do the selling for you. That helps!

Of course, training does matter.

You can do a meeting night where everybody will try a couple of tea, let them chat about it and just exchange some ideas.

You can also do a VIP night for your customers, so rather than just going totally freestyle, get them to actually fill in something.

When your VIP customer comes in, you can give them a survey form, nothing fancy or complicated, just a few simple questions and just let them tell you what they like.

You can also do a publicity gig such as fundraising and try to get some feedback from your local community.

You can also do publicity or marketing by means of your local newspaper.

The gist of it all is, it is always good to start with teas that you know and just add a little extra, like if you are familiar with black tea you might also consider to expand to green tea, just a couple of them.

You can start with the more robust tasting ones.

Or you can venture into herbals, such as Rooibos which is black tea like in terms of taste.

Just expand gradually and not throw everything on just one go!

Add new teas as you go along and make yourself familiar with the other teas.

There you have it, a little bit about how to expand your range.

If you’re a bit unsure as to what the next step is, Teas.com.au is here to help!

Just go and use our contact us form on the website and if you have any feedback, feel free to leave us a comment on this blog post.

We are looking forward into having another tea conversation with you! 🙂

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