New to loose leaf tea? You’ve come to the right place. Our beginner’s guide to loose leaf tea has everything you need to become a true connoisseur. Kick off your tea journey by getting to know some of the world’s most sought after tea types, then dive into our amazing assortment of teas and infusions – including best premium traditional teas, indulgent dessert blends, fruity iced teas and caffeine-free herbal infusions. We’ll even give you our fave tips and tricks on how to make the perfect cup of tea at home.
Ready to start exploring?
What is tea?
When most people talk about tea, they’re talking about the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, an evergreen shrub native to Asia. Rich black teas like Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey? Camellia sinensis. Premium Chinese and Japanese green teas? You guessed it – they’re Camellia sinensis, too. You may be surprised to know that this wonder-plant also makes some other amazing tea types you might not have even heard of before – like delicate, pure white tea, tightly-rolled oolong and earthy pu’erh.
But for us, the world of tea isn’t limited to Camellia sinensis plant. We like to use lots of other amazing plants and infusions like energizing South American yerba mate and guayusa, or mineral-packed organic rooibos – a naturally sweet, hydrating and caffeine-free shrub from South Africa. We also have a ton of fun herbal teas and fruit infusions like punch bowl-ready Caribbean Crush and colour-changing Magic Potion.
So what’s the difference between all of these tea types? It all comes down to how the tea leaves are processed.
Delicate white tea is the least processed of all the tea types. Just plucked and dried, it’s as close to the living tea bush as you can get. And since the active ingredients found in the tea leaves aren’t broken down, it’s packed with skin-loving antioxidants. With its gentle flavour and sweetness, it’s one of the rarest, most luxurious teas in the world.
Green tea is the most popular drink in the world, after water. It’s been sipped by millions, for thousands of years. And it isn’t just delicious and versatile – it’s known for having tons of antioxidants and health benefits, which is why it’s in so many detox blends. From steamed Japanese teas to pan-fired Chinese ones, green tea is bright, refreshing and energizing.
Need a boost? Power up with matcha green tea. Matcha powder is made by finely grinding the entire tea leaf, so you get all the benefits of green tea with every sip. It’s quick and easy to make and amazing as a hot or iced matcha latte. Skeptical? Try our delicious flavoured blends. And for all you superfans, our ultra-premium traditional matchas will blow your mind.
From the Chinese word for “black dragon,” oolong tea falls somewhere between black and green tea in terms of oxidation. Oxidation happens when the cells of the leaves are exposed to oxygen, which darkens the leaves, changing their aroma and flavor (similar to what happens when you leave a sliced apple on the counter).
Oolongs are a labour of love. Traditionally, production was a family affair, with processing methods being a closely guarded family secret. As a result, teas varied greatly from one grower to another. Today, oolong tea production can be rustic or ultra-modern, often handrolled into unique shapes. We love watching them unfurl in the cup as they release beautiful flavours ranging from floral and fruity to creamy, toasty and nutty. Our favourite part? You can re-steep them multiple times (aka gungfu style).
Black tea leaves are fully oxidized before they’re fired. This gives them a stronger, sweeter, more full-bodied flavour. Maybe that’s what makes rich blends like Cream of Earl Grey and David’s Breakfast Blend so popular. Whether you love ‘em with milk and sugar or savour them straight up, we’ve got the blend for you.
Pu’erh tea (pronounced “poor”) is a popular metabolism booster and has been used for thousands of years to aid digestion. But pu’erhs are actually the fine wines of the tea world – highly prized by connoisseurs, and only get better with age. Whether sipped “sheng” (green) or cooked, the process to produce them is long, involved and shrouded in secrecy. The result? A blissful complexity of flavour, from sweet and floral to smooth, rich and earthy.
Rooibos (pronounced “ROY-bos”) is Afrikaans for “red bush” – a South African miracle plant with tons of benefits. It’s especially popular with health-conscious sippers because it’s caffeine-free, full of minerals and antioxidants and naturally hydrating. We love both red and green rooibos for their natural sweetness and delicious mineral flavours – the perfect base for some of our favourite blends.
When it comes to herbal and fruit infusions, there are no rules. Tropical fruit slices? Steep ‘em up! Beautiful flowers? Why not! Herbs used in traditional medicine? We love ‘em! And most are naturally caffeine and calorie-free. So whether you’re craving a dessert tea, a bedtime blend or a refreshing new iced tea flavour, there’s a whole world of delicious to discover.
How much do I need?
Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know. Our teas are sold by weight, with 100 g (4 oz) making an average of 30-40 cups. So if you’re making one cup per day, it’ll last you about a month.
If you just want to try a small portion of a bunch of different teas, you might have fun trying out one of our tea samplers. They contain a variety of tea flavours, with enough tea to make a couple cups of each.
Brew the perfect cup
1) Measure your tea. We recommend a serving amount for each tea, but it’s really just a rule of thumb. Experiment and find your perfect balance!
2) Pour your water. Some of our teas call for cooler water, so the leaves don’t burn and become bitter. An easy trick is to let your kettle sit for a few minutes before pouring.
3) Let it steep! Different teas call for different steep times: while some can turn bitter after more than a few minutes, most herbals and maté blends can infuse all day.
Most importantly…don’t be afraid to break the rules! At the end of the day, it’s all about what makes you happy. We want people to have fun with our teas – the only “right” way to drink it is however you like it best.