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Do you want to buy loose tea? Then you are at the right place. In our assortment, you will find a wide range of the 'real' tea – with leaves from the Camellia Sinensis, but you can also buy fruit tea, infusions, and blends from us. All our teas are carefully selected, with a thorough quality check, because just like you, we love outstanding tea!
Loose tea has seen a significant surge in recent years. While in the West the term ‘tea’ has long been synonymous with the classic teabag, traditionally filled with black CTC tea, more and more people are now turning to loose tea. The exponentially growing popularity of green tea, which initially attracted attention due to its many health benefits, has played a big role in this shift. For years, in the West, we didn’t look beyond that bag filled with powdered black tea, but the rise of green tea made the West realize that tea was much more than that.
With the arrival of green tea, more and more people discovered that the world of tea is an incredibly vast domain with a rich history, with so much yet to be explored. We learned that there isn’t just a distinction between green tea and black tea, but also many differences within those categories. For instance, we discovered the presence of both Chinese and Japanese green teas and how their tastes differ from one another. Even within the Chinese tea culture, we came across variations like Gunpowder tea, Mao Feng, Ling Jung, and of course, the popular green jasmine tea. Later on, white tea gained more attention, primarily due to its wonderful health properties and minimal processing. Recently, matcha has also made its appearance more prominently, a green tea from Japan that is consumed in powder form, making it one of the few teas where you ingest the tea leaves themselves.
In recent years, a whole new world of tea opened up for many Westerners. With this exposure came a growing interest in the origin of tea. Teabags represent a very European way of drinking tea, but as we delve deeper into tea, we’re transitioning to loose tea. In the East, mostly loose tea is consumed. And that’s not surprising. Tea has a history spanning thousands of years, and obviously, teabags are a very recent invention, designed to make it easier for Westerners. Teabags fit perfectly within our fast-paced lifestyle.
Loose tea demands just a bit more. As we become increasingly aware of how our hurried lifestyles negatively impact our health, more people are looking for ways to slow down and take the time to recharge. Loose tea is ideal for this. It compels you to take a moment, to be more present. In places like China and Japan, and other tea nations, tea goes hand in hand with ceremonies and rituals. Loose tea is much more than just a source for a delicious warm drink; it’s a social event, a way to bring people together, steeped in spirituality and myths, and yes, even used in business dealings. Making tea is seen as an art and a form of hospitality.
As we in the West become more conscious of how we consume and where our food products come from, and as the vast and fascinating world of tea unveils itself, the interest in loose tea grows at a rapid pace. We want to take our time; we want to see those beautiful full tea leaves; we’ve discovered the mesmerizing power of tea leaves unfurling in a pot of hot water; we let our taste buds experience various new sensations, and we even begin to appreciate the rituals of the East.
The Western way of serving loose tea:
In the West, we often use a large teapot to pour tea. Within the Western method of tea-making, there are two different ways. The classic Western way of making tea and the herbalist way of tea-making. For the classic Western method of loose tea, you use about 12 grams per liter. You then let it steep for about 2 to 3 minutes. After the loose tea has steeped sufficiently, you remove the tea filter to ensure that the tea cannot infuse further. You can also use the two-pot technique, where you let the leaves steep loose in a teapot and then pour the tea through a tea strainer or tea filter into another pot to serve.
Another method is the herbalist method, where much fewer loose tea leaves are used, and the tea is steeped for a longer time. The general rule here is 2 grams per liter and a steeping time of about 15 minutes. This has the advantage of extracting more different substances from the tea leaves. It does take a bit more time. For this method, it’s recommended to use a tea stand with a candle so that your tea doesn’t get cold.
The Eastern way of making tea:
The traditional Eastern method is much less known to us but has a very meditative essence for many. Of course, there are various Eastern brewing methods, which is not surprising given that tea culture spans many different countries with unique customs and preferences. One of the most renowned methods is the Chinese way: the Gong Fu Cha method. For this method, a Gaiwan or a Yixing pot is used. In this method of brewing loose tea, a large quantity of tea leaves is placed in a small cup (about 100 to 200 ml), water (at the appropriate temperature) is poured over it, and in less than a minute, the tea is already decanted, traditionally into a pitcher and not using a tea filter. The tea from the pitcher is then poured into small cups for the individuals at the table. The Gong Fu Cha method is a much more traditional way of serving tea and, thus, revolves more around the social aspect. Of course, you can also use the Gong Fu Cha method purely for yourself; it’s a wonderful way to tie your tea experience to a ritual, which feels very meditative.
At Thee.be, we aim to offer a wide range of loose teas so that you can familiarize yourself with various types of black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong, and pu-erh. In addition, we seek out some more exclusive teas. We also offer different blends and infusions. We are always looking for new flavors and discoveries to continually amaze you with the wonders of the world of tea. At Thee.be, we are convinced that tea is the best drink you can have, and there’s something for everyone. Whether you like the sweetness of a fruit tea or the bitter aftertaste of matcha, there’s a tea for everyone.