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.
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.
Harvest: Spring 2020
Origin: Luye, Taiwan
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.
A Blue Willow specialty, World Peace is a caffeine-free herbal blend that surprises with its subtle, soothing flavors. Breathe freely and cultivate inward peace with the help of this blend of all organic herbs and spices. The freshness of peppermint is complimented by the soothing sweetness of licorice root and accented by the spice of cloves. World Peace is an excellent treat anytime, but is especially comforting to those suffering from colds, flu or allergies. The scent penetrates and opens the lungs. Sipping World Peace coats the throat with soothing herbs and comforts the stomach. For an added perk and immune-boost, add fresh, finely-sliced ginger.
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!