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.
This simplistic, yet detailed kyusu is a great companion for any Japanese tea lover. It's jet black finish is accented with facet cuts around the outer sides and the curved handle fits perfectly in the palm. Inside, the mesh strainer wraps all the way around to prevent even the smallest tea particles from slipping into your cup. Traditionally, these pots are used in conjunction with a yuzamashi to cool the water before steeping the tea, but it works great on it's own as well, especially if you have a temperature-controlled kettle.
This particular kyusu 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.*
$ 60.00 $ 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.*
One of the most popular teas in Japan, Genmaicha blends green tea and toasted brown rice, some of which is popped. This blend is visually exciting and produces a sweet, vegetal flavor with a brothy mouth-fee, complimented by the toasty addition of rice. This green tea already naturally lower in caffeine content than black teas, has even less due to the presence of the brown rice. Enjoy this tea at any time of day clear and pure without any additions.
Simple glass pitcher. Comes in two sizes and is ideal for when your pot is larger than your cups. It's also called a "fair cup" because everyone gets the same steep time when it's poured into a common vessel and then into cups.
Can be used with or without the strainer. Strainer comes with a stainless steel holder.
Simple and classic, this teapot is perfect for showcasing your loose leaf teas. Made of high borosilicate glass, these pots can withstand temperatures between -4°F to 300°F. The lid is made from bamboo and fits snugly on top.
With a capacity for holding one quart, this is ideal for making cold brew or iced tea or when you have several guests to serve.
There is a spring strainer that fits in the spout that will strain out most larger leaves. If you plan to make a smaller leaf tea, you will need to pour through a finer strainer.
For those who value full transparency, this is the pot for you. Made from borosilicate glass that can withstand hot and cold water, this 125ml pitcher is great for almost any style of tea. It comes with a spring strainer inserted into the spout to strain out leaf particles but please be aware that if you steep small leaf teas like Japanese fukamushi, you will need to pour it through a finer sieve.
One of the best things about making tea is being able to witness the leaves reveal themselves as they steep. This pot allows you to see the transformation of the leaves and gauge the perfect time to pour as the liquor deepens.
Each cup holds 40ml, so the set will come with a free pitcher to hold the entirety of the steep so you can take your time rationing it into cups.
Please note that because of the position of the spout, you cannot fill the pot all the way to the rim. The maximum capacity is 125ml.
I take this everywhere! Easy to use and so handy, this is my go-to when I'm on the go. The double walled glass sides keep in heat so the outside stays cool, and the bamboo top screws on snugly to keep it from spilling.
You can make tea three ways with this set:
$ 9.00 $ 9.50
This is a tea I always come back to. Grown and processed in a village co-op in Simao, Yunnan, this tea has a depth and uniqueness that stirs my creativity. This is a pure Assamica varietal that goes through a longer wither to bring out the caramel-like aroma. Each tip is one or two leaves and a bud, covered with fine downy hairs. The flavor is thick and slightly smoky with notes of tobacco, cedar and cacao and a bright, slightly tannic finish. It is a tea that can be steeped in short, 20 second bursts but also stays smooth with a longer brewing time.
$ 105.00 $ 120.00
These perfectly plucked spring leaves are a delight to drink every time. The rolled tea is striped with beautiful golden velvet hairs which unfurl to reveal two young leaves and a bud. The flavor is well rounded with a warm cedar wood aroma, seamlessly accented with notes of stone fruit, and balanced with a velvety soft encore.
Origin: Yunnan, China
If you're a fan of Japanese green teas and haven't tried Tamaryokucha yet, you're missing out. This tea has some of the most robust flavors out there. Grown in Ureshino, it is produced in a way that is a cross between Gyokuro and Sencha. The tea plants are shade grown similar to Tencha (for making Matcha) or Gyokuro. This step increases the chlorophyll and decrease the bitterness. Then the leaves are plucked, but much younger than even a Sencha. The result is an incredible tea with vivid green liquor and an flavor that excites the senses. The aroma is like seaweed and fresh cut grass and the flavor saturates your whole mouth with umami.
To get the most out of this tea steep it lower than usual (around 140°-150°) for 1 minute. When resteeping, pour after 10 seconds. This tea is great for over 4 steeps and the leaves can be eaten afterwards with the addition of a little salt, dashi or soy sauce.
This is a truly lovely oolong, high-grown in Taiwan, and very lightly oxidized. The bright green leaves unfurl, showing the slightest outline of amber around the edges and radiate an incredibly sweet jasmine-like aroma. The leaves are not scented or flavored, but are masterfully crafted to bring out the natrual floral element within the leaves themselves. The flavor is fresh and uplifting with no astringency and a lingering embrace of sweet nectar.
Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
This attractive tea is made up of large uniform yellow-green leaves. The aroma is soft and honeyed with a clean bouquet. The infusion is mellow, copper-colored, and fragrant with a pleasant progression from softly sweet to slightly nutty, with a round body and pleasant, toasty finish. “Green Tara” (or Dolma) is an invocation of compassion in Tibetan Buddhism.
This tea is one of the highest quality teas being grown in Japan. Grown in shaded small gardens in Uji, by Koyamaen, a tea grower that has been in the Koyama family for over 300 years, this tea is truly special. The tea is grown the same way as tencha and matcha; The shading of the plants before harvest causes the leaves stretch and grow very thin and delicate and produces higher levels of chlorophyll. This process also increases the catechin antioxidants and decreases the tannins, making this tea less bitter and extremely high in health benefits.
The deep green needle-like leaves infuse into a bright green liquor with a hearty flavor. Fresh and full of life, this tea has medium body and a lingering sweetness. Don’t pass this extraordinary tea up, limited supplies are available only at certain times of the year!
Origin: Uji, Japan
We only have a few pieces of this gorgeous hand-painted Jingdezhen stoneware. Each time I use this teaware it elevates my tea experience to a higher level of beauty and mindfulness. Having such thoughtfully crafted pieces forces me to focus a bit more and in paying more attention brings a deeper more conscious intention to my tea ritual.
Each piece is one-of-a-kind and meticulously painted with beautiful waves. The firing brings out some of the minerals in the clay, creating a small freckles in the glaze. The gaiwan holds 150ml and feels so natural being handled and poured. Each cup holds 50ml, so the tea sets will include a glass pitcher to pour into. The gaiwan is showcased beautifully on the matching plate which centers the eye and offers a practical and visually pleasing way to prepare and present the tea.
A tea that “a mouse could walk on”. Our sturdy Irish Breakfast blend takes the chill off cold winter days and warms the “cockles of the soul”. We developed this wonderfully rich, strong brew with lingering toastiness and a slightly creamy element that comes from the addition of a silver tip grade Ceylon to the base of Indian and Chinese teas. Wake up your mornings with our Irish Breakfast, or lift yourself out of a tedious afternoon with this lively tea. Exceptional with cream or on its own, this tea is versatile and delicious.
Sold Out $ 16.50
This is a gorgeous tea and is fast becoming a Blue Willow favorite. Each leaf is blanketed in downy hairs with a new bud peeping out. Grown on the heights of Ai Lao Mountain in Yunnan, the dry leaf invokes memories of sweet dried fruit. The steeped tea is mild in tannins and has a soft sweet-grass note with substantial body and a smooth mouth feel. Good for several steeps, this tea will keep blossoming with each infusion.
$ 8.75 $ 8.50
This tea provides the perfect marriage of the best qualities of jasmine blossom and green tea. Harvesters pluck the green tea in spring and store it in chests until early fall when night-blooming jasmine is picked and layered with the tea. Overnight the essential oils of the blossoms permeate the tea, after which they are removed. The process of layering is repeated up to five times to achieve a truly harmonious pairing of flavors.
Top-quality green tea combines with jasmine to yield a tea with lush fragrance and silky mouth feel. These rare pearls are made of tender, young green tea leaves which are plucked and rolled into perfect pearls with beautiful downy strips. They are then stored until the jasmine is plucked in the summer. The fresh jasmine blooms are then layered with the pearls overnight and removed after imparting their fragrance; the process of layering can be repeated up to seven times.
This tea makes a wonderfully generous gift on special occasions, not only because of its delicate fragrance and taste, but also because of the magic unfurling of the pearls as the tea steeps. Each pearl is rolled with two young leaf and bud tips. Inhaling the jasmine-sweet aroma and taking the first sip of the infusion draws you into the warmth of a calm oasis: time stops and nothing matters but the seductive flavors of each sip. This tea can be re-steeped several times.
Sold Out $ 54.00
For those who understand that making tea is making art. These pieces are hand crafted with genuine Jingdezhen clay and have a mineral content which reacts with the heat in the firing. The glaze cascades from turquoise to warm sand to burnt umber, and has it's own unique freckles. No two pieces are the same.
The pot holds roughly 150ml and has an incredibly smooth, long pour. The lid fits snugly on top and even has a built in lid stand.
Each cup is squat and sturdy and can hold roughly 30ml.
The set includes one pot, two cups and a free glass pitcher (not pictured).
*We are currently waiting for our second shipment of this tea to arrive, since we sold out of our first shipment so fast! We will make this tea available again as soon as the new shipment arrives, by late September.*
One of our favorite teas! These tiny leaves have so much going on. Plucked in Fujian in the early spring, the tips are fully oxidized and lightly smoked. The dry leaf smells like plums and burnt caramel and just the steam is intoxicating. The tea itself is bold and sweet with a perfect balance of hardy oak smoke and chocolate and delicate fruity overtones.
Origin: Fujian, China
This is the sister tea to the Tamaryokucha, grown in Ureshino. Both these teas are shade grown and harvested in the spring, when the leaves are still young and approximately 1/2"-3.4" long. The difference lies in the processing. While the Tamaryokucha is steamed, typical of Japanese senchas, the Kamairicha is pan-fired in a large wok, similar to certain Chinese teas. This method was adopted from mainland China in an area just north of Nagasaki, which is known for it's melting pot of international cultures.
The result of processing this robust Japanese tea with traditional Chinese methods is a completely unique experience. The aroma is both sweet and vegetal with notes of hazelnut and soft to. The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied has just enough viscosity to linger long past the tea is gone. Steeping to a soft yellow-green, the soup is both bright and grounding. The vegetal depth and umami characteristics balance perfectly with the warming toasty notes the pan-firing imparts.
This tea is made by a third generation tea producer and only a limited quantity is available this year.
Harvest: Spring 2020
Origin: Saga, Japan
For many tea aficionados Keemun tea offers the peak black-tea experience. Rich, toasty and bold, Keemun was once the preferred breakfast tea of England. The small, carefully harvested ebony leaves produce a rich, oaky taste with undertones of sherry. The toasty aroma dances out of the cup and entices you to take sip after sip. Historically Keemun is enjoyed with the addition of milk and sugar, but stands well on its own for an added kick.
The green teas of Japan are unexcelled for vegetal freshness and sweetness. The dark green leaf of this tea yields a light-bodied, pleasing taste with clean and sweet aroma. An everyday “house tea” of the Japanese countryside, Blue Willow Bancha is appealing to those who are looking for a mellow pick-me-up that you can be enjoy with a variety of foods. 30% of leaf weight consists of polyphenols, a key component in Ayurvedic medicine.
$ 7.50 $ 7.50
Last chance to stock up on this tea coming out of Malaysia. A blend of black teas from Boh’s three exquisite tea gardens in the Cameron Highlands, the base of this tea is well rounded with a medium body and light astringency. The tang of the lemon extracts and dried orange peels linger on your tongue and add a wonderfully intense citrus aroma. Try this tea iced for a special summer treat!