This loose puerh from Mangjing village is made up of leaf from several family's efforts to combine all of the old growth and feral tea growing in the mountains. The fog-covered hills are home to an incredible range of biodiversity, in which tea plants thrive in the mineral-rich soil that feeds the local ecosystem.
This tea was plucked and pile-fermented in 2015, and has been evolving in the years it has been aging. The liquor is a rich umber with a strong peat-like aroma. Each sip allows you to explore the depth and variety of flavors present in the leaf, from chocolate, to earth, wood, and notes of spice. The leaves can be re-steeped all day long and their warmth and smoothness have the effect of cultivating an inner, grounded energy.
Plucked from wild trees growing high on Ai Lao Mountain, this loose leaf shou cha is perfect as an introduction to puerh or as a refreshing breather for the afficionado. It has been sorted to include only the tips and has an effect that is clarifying and uplifting.
The first steep yields a bright and vivid infusion, with each consecutive cup reaching deeper notes of the leaf. The mineral content of the soil is prevalent in the cup with bright, energizing notes of copper, and grounding undertones of cocoa and damp earth. The liquor has a silky mouthfeel and leaves a lasting coolness in the throat, unusual for a tea of this style.
Hello Tea Friends! As you may know, we had to temporarily close the our brick-and-mortar shop. As a result all of our amazing co-workers are out of work and relying on unemployment, which just doesn't cut it.
If you can, will you please consider adding a tip to your order? The funds collected will go directly to Lili, Joanna, Kevin, Dakota, Ellie, and Niko. You can contribute in as many increments of $5 as you wish :)
I sincerely hope you are safe and healthy in the midst of these uncertain times. Thank you for being a part of our little tea family.
*We are currently waiting for the 2020 Spring harvest to arrive. It is expected in early June. You can check back then or pre-order now to have your tea sent the moment it arrives here*
Our top grade sencha from Kirishima. This tea is from the Asatsuyu cultivar of tea and has earned the nickname of "Natural Gyokuro" for good reasons. Although it is not shade-grown, it has a vivid green liquor and deep umami characteristic that is typically associated with gyokuros. The farm it is grown on is completely self-contained, bio-dynamic and the oldest tea farm in the region. The aroma of the dry leaves is compelling and rich and only grows as it is steamed. The resulting tea is out of this world and a gift to any sencha-lover.
The tea leaves of Assam are large and thick when compared to the Chinese variety, which have been planted in most other regions of India. The resulting flavors derived from these plants are unique to the region, known the world over for being distinctively malty and bold, with a high note of astringency. We have found an excellent second-flush Assam, grown organically in the lush Brahmaputra River valley. The bright and brisk tea shows off the Assam characteristics with vigor and is a great way to get started in the mornings. Stands up well to milk and sugar, but delightful on its own as well.
Here's a tea you won't find anywhere else. Awa Bancha is only made in one small prefecture in Japan, and is barely known even in Japan. It goes through a unique lacto-fermentation process that yields a tea like no other.
The uniqueness of this tea starts at the plucking, which takes place in the summer, when the leaves have grown large and hardened. Every leaf is stripped from the branches, so each year the whole plant re-grows and there is only one harvest each year. From there, the leaves are boiled to soften them and make them more pliable. They are then rolled, similar to an oolong, but then packed into fermentation jars, and covered with banana leaves and heavy rocks to soak in their own juices. Because the tea is harvested so late, the leaves have a higher sugar content, which increases the fermenation that occurs. About a month later, the leaves are removed and air-dried.
The result is a drink that is slightly sour, sweet, and tangy depending on how you steep it. It is incredibly versatile and can be boiled over a fire to get the medicinal properties, or steeped more delicately to extract the sweeter notes. Awa Bancha's nickname used to be "peasant's tea" because it was typically boiled and every leaf was used, unlike other teas.
The flavor is best suited for those who love pickles, sauerkraut and all things probiotic. It is great for the gut and the more you drink it, the more your body will crave its effects.
2019 leaf plucked from 2000 meter elevation trees on Ai Lao Mountain. The leaf composition is a perfect blend of expertly plucked tips and larger leaves with very little breakage in the processing. The result is a smooth, well-rounded tea with notes of apricot and sweet hay. These cakes can be broken up and enjoyed now, or stock op on a bamboo-wrapped tong and age it!
This is the perfect kyusu for making Japanese teas, especially green teas and sencha. The side handle and thick walls make is easy to handle and the high-fired clay doesn't leave any flavors to meddle with your infusion. The inside has a fine mesh strainer which will filter out leaves even from small leaf or fukamushi teas. This pot holds roughly 250ml, or 8 oz.
When steeping Japanese green teas, it is important to extract every last drop from the pot, as any water left will become bitter in the next steep. For that reason, this design makes is easy to shake out the last drop and get the best flavor out of your tea.
*TIP: Never put these pots in the dish washer and be sure to wash them after each use so the mesh doesn't become clogged.*
Here is an intriguing offer for the adventurous oolong lover. This oolong is made in Kagoshima, Japan from the second flush benifuki cultivar. Known for its astringency and bold flavor, benifuki softens a bit in the summer, and makes an interesting starting point for producing an oolong. Best flash-steeped in a gaiwan, this oolong has similar characteristics as a baozhong, but with more umph. Sweet and floral at the start, with a lingering dryness that keeps you wanting more.
Beautiful little birds on a branch to keep your tea company. The porcelain is a blue-grey color and has nice thick walls that don't get too hot. Each cup holds about 25ml.
One of our most popular teas! The leaves of the Black Honey Oolong are gorgeous, curled, first-flush tips from the Luye township in Southern Taiwan. The aroma of the dry leaves is so sweet and intoxicating, but nothing compared to the steeped honey-like fragrance and flavor. This tea is grown on a single organic farm run by a woman and her son. The region is home to a type of bug called the leaf hopper, which bites the tea plants and sucks the nectar from the leaves, causing the fermentation process to begin while the leaves are still on the plants. When these leaves are plucked and oxidized, the result is a naturally honey-like sweetness within the leaf. Several other growing regions try to replicate this process, but this is where is occurs naturally.
Blue Willow blends Blood Orange as a fruit tisane containing dried orange peel, hibiscus petals, rose hips, cranberries and other fruits. Steeping to deep magenta liquor, the robust tartness is well rounded with citrus appeal. The beverage can be enjoyed hot or iced and drunk any time of day due to the lack of caffeine. It is a versatile blend and makes a great addition to black, or other teas for those who love to experiment. Especially refreshing iced with lemon and sugar.
$ 11.00Sweet little enamel pin of a pot fulla blooming tea. By Tea Thoughts.
$ 11.00This is my favorite way to strain tea. Each leaf is unique and will last for weeks of regular use if handled with care. The bodhi leaf skeletons are carefully collected and the veins make a perfect coarseness to prevent small particles from falling into the brew. These are 100% real leaves and are not coated with anything to preserve them. After time, they will start to get small holes, but they really do last a long time and add an extra special touch to tea time.
Pure Ceylon tea is blended with Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans to create this aromatic blend. The sweet smell of vanilla beckons and the bold black leaves create an astringency that is accented by the natural sugars. This tea delivers a brisk pick-up throughout the day with an alluring accent. Especially great iced with fresh lemon. While there is no bourbon whisky in this blend, it makes a great base for a hot toddy!
For those who can't get enough tea and require it in all forms. Especially attached to your keys. By Tea Thoughts.
*tassel colors vary
$ 26.00Wear your tea with this beautiful enamel camellia sinensis necklace with 22K gold plating and 24" chain. Treat yourself (or that special tea-lover in your life). By Tea Thoughts.
$ 50.00This chawan echos the style of a different era. The textured matte glaze and carved edges, paired with the angled bottom give a nod to tetsubin ironware. The interior has a soft mauve glaze and spiral in the center that will reveal itself when you finish your last sip of matcha.
We have two types of ceremonial-grade matcha. Shohaku is best for making Usucha, (thin tea) while Kinrin is even smoother and can be used for Koicha (thich tea) or Usucha.
Shohaku is a great everyday matcha that is excellent prepared traditionally and still has a slight tannin characteristic so it won't get lost if you add it to a latte or smoothie. The color is vivid green with a deep seaweed-like base and bright grassy finish.
The Kinrin is a velvety-smooth matcha with robust umami flavor and offers rich notes of steamed kombu and a light sweetness. To prepare this as Koicha, use three times as much tea with less water and whisk with a chasen at least 200 times!
Both of our matcha offerings are produced and stone-ground by Marukyu Koyamaen, a family tea business that has been growing and producing tea in Uji for over 300 years.
Sri Lankans, for over 150 years, have grown this first flush Ceylon tea on the magical misty hillsides of Dimbula province. The long, dark, wiry leaves create a rich, fruity and satisfying cup strong enough to take milk and also excellent when steeped more briefly and sipped alone. The tea growers pluck only the delicate tips of the tea plants, circulating along the rows of tea bushes frequently to catch the golden tips at their peak. These leaves offer the best of Dimbula, carrying the fragrance of fog-shrouded mornings and the warmth of the sunny afternoons into your cup. Ceylon Golden is unblended and opens a clear window into the characteristics of the growing region. We recommend Blue Willow Ceylon for both mornings and afternoons, to be enjoyed by itself or with a variety of foods. We also find it particularly refreshing served iced during the hot summer months.
While it seems everyone has been familiar with the calming characteristics of chamomile since childhood, it is surprisingly difficult to find a quality chamomile with favorable flavor qualities. We are proud to offer a certified organic chamomile which has such a delicate sweetness and completely clean flavor which is sure to relax the mind and please the taste buds. Our chamomile is a whole-bud variety grown in Egypt.
Love making matcha? Join the club. By Tea Thoughts.
*Tassel colors vary
$ 15.00If you are a regular matcha maker, you might want to invest in a futaoki, or holder. It helps the chasen (whisk) hold its shape between uses to prolong its integrity. A simple item that will help in the long run. This one is a soft blue color.
$ 9.00A simple single-notch matcha scoop for all you matcha lovers. When making ceremonial grade matcha, a chashaku is usually used to ration two scoops of tea into the chawan. No matter how you make it, it can't hurt to have the right tools. Each of these utensils is cut and formed from a piece of bamboo and will last for the rest of your life if cared for properly. Make sure it is stored someplace clean and dry and don't get it wet. Simply wipe clean with a clean, dry cloth after each use.
For those who like to add a little green in their cooking. This is a premium food grade matcha, produced by the same folks as our ceremonial grades. It is a vibrant green with intense umami flavor and grassy notes. But it also has an astringent kick to it, which is helpful when using it to cook or bake (or even make lattes and smoothies). When combined with other ingredients, the tannins are canceled out and the flavor of the matcha isn't drowned out. If the matcha is too smooth, it will get pushed into the background with the addition of other ingredients.
Add this to cookies, smoothies, make ice cream, salad dressing, you name it. Not only will it taste great, but you'll also be getting the elevated health benefits like catechins, chlorophyll, vitamins and antioxidants. It's a win-win!
This is NOT the type of matcha you get in the bulk aisle at the grocery store. It is processed in Uji, Japan by a family that has been making matcha for over 300 years.
The British discovered the wonderful tea-growing properties of the Darjeeling district in West Bengal in the nineteenth century. We have found an estate there that provides us with an organic and fair traded Darjeeling tea. The light body and floral accents of this tea create a wonderful delicacy and flexibility that is favored by tea drinkers worldwide. The musky aroma arises from the incomplete oxidation process and gives this softly flavored tea the elasticity to be appreciated from breakfast to dessert. During the day, Blue Willow Darjeeling provides a wonderful, light lift with a muscatel sweetness and clean finish. The full, fresh flavor and delicate floral hints create a truly pleasurable sipping experience on its own, with a sturdiness that can handle the addition of sugar and milk.
$ 14.00Store your favorite tea in style. These porcelain caddies will help keep your tea fresh by protecting it from the elements. The lid makes a seal to keep air and moisture out, and the thick walls help maintain a stable temperature. The porcelain is dark blue with a gold ring around the rim. The lid is make from bamboo and each caddy will hold about 2-4 oz. of tea depending on its volume. Roughly 4" high and 3" across.
These sheng (raw puerh) pearls are hand rolled into 7g servings from the mao cha we used to press our cakes in 2018. If you aren't ready to commit to a whole cake, or like the ease of having pre-weighed portions, this is a great option.
These pearls comprise first-flush, pre-rain tips which were plucked in 2018 from strictly old growth, wild trees and have a lot going on. Best when flash steeped repeatedly, this tea is like a slow drip of energy, and really can steep all day. The aroma is fresh, bright and incredibly floral. When sipped, the tea leads with an intense burst that is at once dry and silky, leaving a cooling sensation in your throat. The flavor is verdant with notes of dried apricot, and the astringency is beginning to smooth out and embrace it's inner earthiness in the years it's been aging.
These pearls will only get better over time and supplies are limited.
British diplomat and statesman Charles, Second Earl of Grey, is said to have received the original recipe for this scented tea in China in the Nineteenth Century. Despite its worldwide popularity, no one can say for certain what was in the original formula, or who the source was of this spectacular combination of black tea with oil of bergamot orange. We do know that the best ingredients produce the best blends. Blue Willow uses only fresh oil of bergamot, derived from the Mediterranean bergamot plant, a variety of citrus. We blend premium Chinese and Indian black teas, applying just the right amount of bergamot oil. Our method creates a perfect balance of the robust citrus aroma of the Mediterranean orange and the warm, oaky, fruity flavors of the tea leaves themselves. Blue Willow’s Earl Grey blend is accented with the addition of blue cornflowers and orange peels, which liven up the appearance of the tea and add an extra floral hint to the flavor. Taken black, with a twist of lemon, or with milk and sugar, Earl Grey has won the favor of many tea drinkers and provides an excellent cup at breakfast, teatime or with dessert.
Every tea merchant tends to create their own proprietary blend to reflect a certain flavor profile and represent a good “house” tea at a good value. While some companies try to hide inferior teas in a muddled blend, Blue Willow took an extra step to formulate our English Breakfast blend. We use our finest quality Estate teas from Darjeeling, Ceylon, and China’s Anhui and Yunnan provinces. Every component adds a unique note to this tea, creating a brisk, aromatic and very full-bodied blend, excellent with or without cream and superb iced.
This classic, wok-fired green tea has a delicate, decidedly sweet flavor and steeps to a lovely, yellow-green color with fresh scent. The taste is both green and slightly nutty with a slight astringency in the finish. The overall cup is refreshing and soothing and is reputed to help keep the mind stimulated yet clear.
$ 68.00 $ 70.00
For those who make a lot of Japanese green tea, this is the pot for you. It has been designed specifically for brewing fukamushi, or deep steamed tea. The process for making fukamushi breaks down the leaves into much smaller pieces, bringing out a vivid green color and intense flavor. However, in typical teapots the particles will easily sneak through the spout and even in other kyusus the tea can clump towards the spout, decreasing the rapidness of the pour and increasing the steep time. For this reason, the spout is located at the inner bottom of the pot, below the mesh. This way, as the tea pools at the front of the pot while pouring, the water can still escape below.
This particular kyusu is a beautiful off-white and holds about 250ml, or 8oz. It has a modern, yet classic style and will fit in perfectly with an array of different teaware.
*TIP: Never put these pots in the dishwasher and clean well after each use to prevent the mesh from clogging.*