Specialty Teas Becoming The Beverage of Choice
The specialty tea market in the U.S. is expanding rapidly. Thanks to the news media, consumers are becoming more knowledgable about the superior flavor and quality that loose-leaf teas have over that found in teabags, as well about the significant health benefits the product offers.
Americans are becoming loyal devotees of tea and increasing consumption at a dramatic rate throughout the country. There are those who search out the cheapest box of 500 teabags for $2.00 at one of the wholesale clubs. Still, those with an eye on quality are shaping the world of loose-leaf specialty tea here in the U.S.
According to Chas Kroll, managing director of San Diego-based Royal Dynasty Tea (www.royaldynastytea.com), an online retailer of premium-grade teas and teaware, "Specialty greens, oolongs, blacks, whites and reds are hand-picked and processed. To process them any other way would be to delude their character. Processing is key and provides the method by which a tea’s characteristics are developed. If a flavor is added, it is natural, such as jasmine with tiny bits of flowers. If a blend, the finest are crafted by experts who have learned their skill as an artisan."
"Specialty teas, which are generally sold loose-leaf by the quarter-pound, are rich with unique flavors and aromas,? said Kroll. ?Our goal is to teach people how to appreciate and enjoy a tea’s unique flavor, while taking advantage of its powerful health benefits."
Consumer education is critically important in the unregulated tea industry. If someone is a teabag buyer, they need to know what is in the bag. Teabags are efficient, convenient and disposable. Unfortunately, most are manufactured using the high-production, low cost Crushing, Tearing, Curling Method (CTC) and often contain tea of inferior quality. They tend to release tannin, making them taste bitter when brewed too long. Specialty loose-leaf teas, on the other hand, offer superior taste and are brewed in a tea pot or cup, giving the leaves room to open and unfold, releasing their full flavor.
"Many new and sophisticated tea drinkers take advantage of inexpensive, fully-portable T-Sac Tea Filters made from quality, filter paper. Each filter is large enough for loose-leaf teas to unfold and open naturally, releasing their full flavor. Tea drinkers can take them anywhere, along with their favorite tea, and enjoy the same efficiency, convenience and disposability of conventional tea bags," according to Kroll. "Our company provides a free pack of 100 T-Sac Tea Filters with each order for tea for this reason."