Tea has a very long shelf life. At least if you keep some things in mind and understand that light, air, moisture, heat and odour are the enemies of tea.
The UV rays in (sun) light bleaches tea leaves and can cause your teas’ taste and aroma to almost completely disappear. Always keep your tea sealed in an airtight container that blocks out all light and keep it in a cool dark place. Never use glass jars.
Heat can also damage the quality of your tea. Never keep your tea close to ovens, radiators, or other sources of heat.
Moisture is another culprit. Tea has a long shelf-life because it is dried. This also means tea readily absorbs water from the air. The original packaging, even if properly sealed, is not always sufficient. Choose a dry storage area away from washing machines, kettles, etc..
Air and odours
Tea has the ability to absorb odours very quickly. Do not store tea near vegetables, herbs or cleaning agents and never in the fridge. Keeping your tea in an airtight container will prevent air, water or unwanted odours reaching your favourite teas. Never use any porous packaging such as paper bags.
Stainless steel tea canister
With the above rules in mind, Arte & Zayne has developed its very own stainless steel tea canisters. Because it’s also important to please the eye, our air- and light-tight containers combine quality with an elegant but tough industrial look. These eye-catchers will keep the flavour and aroma of your favourite tea at their best for a long long time.
All of Arte & Zayne’s 30 organic loose leaf blends are available in our Stainless steel tea canisters (100 grams) and in handy light- and airtight refill sachets.
Tea, Love & Chocolate: Arte & Zayne Valentine’s Day Special
A delight to give, a joy to receive and a sweet and enchanting adventure of the senses for you and your Valentine to enjoy. Tea, Chocolate & Valentine’s Day go together like Romeo & Juliet.
For this February 14th, Arte & Zayne presents a charming Valentine’s Day gift box that will show your Valentine you’ve got love on your mind. Filled with one of Arte & Zayne’s romantic and sensually enticing teas and especially paired Raw TLC Chocolates. Packed in a beautiful gift box for less than 30 euro!
Raw TLC Chocolates (Tea, Love & Chocolate) is Art & Zayne’s very own range of unique handcrafted raw chocolate thins. A primal combination of the highest quality raw organic chocolate and nine of our finest tea blends, these delectable chocolates will sweep your special someone of their feet.
We have put together a collection of nine beautiful gift boxes for you to choose from. Want to give the ultimate gift of love? How about a combination of No. 20 Es Vedrá Sunset and Raw TLC Chocolate. A romantic melange of soft white tea buds, scented grapefruit and lemon, married with the earthy warm flavour of tea infused raw chocolate. Close your eyes and let the flavours (and hearts) melt to a love-infused whole.
Looking to set your loved one’s heart racing this Valentine’s Day? Try a seductively combination of No. 06 Treasure Island and Raw TLC Chocolate, The fiery fruity notes in both tea and chocolate are certain to awaken those hidden desires.
There are seven more perfectly paired Valentine’s Day gift boxes to discover, each with their own very special sensory characteristics and taste sensations. Take your pick!
Tea, Love & Chocolate: a warm and truly thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift to remind our loved ones just how much we love them. Always important, but now more impactful than ever way.
Shop our Valentine’s Day specials below and enjoy extra sweet savings. But get your order in time. We will make sure your gift is delivered to you in good time for Sunday February the 14th.
Brewing tea is much more than just pouring boiling water into a teapot. By following these 6 tips you’ll make a top-notch brew every time.
How much tea to use
As a general rule, we recommend you use between 12 and 15 grams of loose tea per litre of water. For a large cup or mug (350 ml), that’s about 5 grams of loose tea leaves, or a full teaspoon. These quantities can vary, of course, depending on the type of tea and your own personal preference. Some people like their tea strong and almost bitter-tasting while others prefer a milder tea. Ultimately, it’s all a matter of taste and it may take a few tries to get your tea just the way you want it.
Ideal water temperature
The temperature of the water can make a world of difference to the taste of tea. If the water is too cold, the leaves will not release their full flavour and character. If the water is too hot, the leaves will release bitter particles and the tea tea lose all its delicate taste nuances. The ideal temperature for brewing tea varies per tea type, but is generally between 70 and 80 degrees.
Most black teas can take higher temperatures than white and green teas. All Arte & Zayne tea packs contain the ideal brewing instructions for each different type of tea, including the ideal water temperature and steep time. But the art of tea brewing is all about doing what tastes right and these instructions are meant as a guide. Feel free to try hotter and colder temperatures on your quest for the perfect cup of tea.
Steeping time is another important factor in the art of tea brewing. The longer the tea is left to infuse in the hot water, the more the leaves release their flavour and health-promoting compounds, and the stronger the tea. Steeping times vary depending on the type of tea, but don’t worry, we provide the ideal steeping time for your chosen Arte & Zayne tea on every pack.
When you steep tea, a foam can collect on the surface. This foaming of tea is a result of a chemical reaction when the gases and minerals naturally present in drinking water come into contact with the organic compounds in the tea leaves. These compounds are perfectly healthy, and will disappear if you allow the water to boil for a minute and then leave it to cool before pouring it onto the tea.
Teapots and tea cups
Tea does not like temperature fluctuations. Be sure to preheat your teapot and cups by rinsing them with a little boiling water before you add the tea. Also remember to give the water enough time to get to the right temperature before you pour it in. And, last but not least, never ever wash your teapot with washing-up liquid, just rinse it with boiling water after each use.
Tea has an almost indefinite shelf life and won’t spoil as long as it is kept in an airtight container that blocks out all moisture and light. Arte & Zayna offers a range of elegant but tough stainless steel tea caddies and tins to store your favourite teas.
Do you have a question about making tea? Or a suggestion? Feel free to mail them to us at email@example.com
Nothing is the same this year. Not even Christmas. So why not see it as a prime time to break with the old traditions and customs and try something completely new?
Enhance your Christmas gathering with fine tea instead of wine, for example. Taste-wise, tea is as delicious and as complex as a glass of wine. Tea can complement or contrast the flavour of a beautiful meal, heightening the perception of flavours and creating spectacular new taste sensations. There is a reason why there are tea sommeliers as well as wine sommeliers.
There’s a tea for every different kind of dish and every type of cuisine. Strong black tea such as No 25 Shades of Black, works well with savoury and spicy meat dishes. The vegetal tones of a green tea lend themselves to poultry and vegetarian dishes.
Cheese fondue and No 12 Nabatean Train are a golden combination; not only in aroma and taste but especially because the crisp hot tea helps stimulates the digestion. While white teas match well the delicate taste of fish, smoked fish asks for the smoky accents of a tea like Mellow Yellow. Minty herbal teas pair exquisitely with sweet desserts and chocolate.
The general rule of thumb is: serve fine green teas with any dish you would normally pair with white wine and pair black tea with heavier dishes that are traditionally accompanied by red wine. But the rules are not set in stone. Just like with wine, you can be adventurous and try different combinations and pairings. Trust your own palate!
You can choose to serve tea throughout your dinner party or serve tea with one or two courses and wine in between. Alternatively, you can cater to your guests individual tastes and serve both. Each to their own taste.
If you’d like to know more about tea as a delicious and refined alcohol-free alternative to wine, we’d love to tell you all about it in our shop. We’ll give you advice on the diversity of flavours, and think along with you on pairing food with teas to complement your festive meal.
We also look forward to organising tasting sessions and tea-pairing events in our shop in Amsterdam as soon as the Covid-19 situation permits. In the meantime, subscribe to our newsletter to stay with us on our journey into the world of tea.
We like to think that our teas are not just teas. Our teas tell stories. Stories from all over the world. From places we have seen, from the people, we have met in them and from all the cultures we have come to discover.
What is tea?
The story of tea all starts with a special seed, growing to become a beautiful small tree. Or bush. Or a plant. Tomato/tomato. Thing is, it is, in fact, a fairly beautiful piece of nature but the most intriguing thing about this little evergreen called Camellia Sinensis is that it’s the genesis to all teas in the world. That’s right. All types of tea derive from this specific plant which originally only grew in Asia but has whilst been cultivated in other tropical areas around the globe. Which makes sense, since tea is the second most consumed drink in the world. Winner by a mile, if you leave water out of if the equation. And tea has been around for millennia. It has long been recognized for its numerous powers and benefits to body and mind, from the antioxidants in green and white tea to the powerful characteristics and aromas of black tea blends.
So, now you know that whatever infusion you may enjoy or come to discover if it contains leaves from good old Camellia, you may call it tea. Otherwise, you may not (but we won’t judge you if you do). What type of tea eventually comes from those leaves obviously depends on a bunch of variables but it can be divided into six basic categories: Black, Oolong, Dark, Green, White and (pretty unknown to most people) Yellow Tea. For our organic tea blends, we have used the black, green and white versions, which we combined with heaps of delicious herbs, fruits, flowers and exclusive fragrances.
From the moment a young leave on the Camellia Sinensis is growing, it’s exact journey to becoming tea is almost impossible to predict. What kind of tea it will eventually produce and what will be poured into cups and glasses throughout the world depends on processing, growing conditions, geography and origin of that single leaf. Through careful selection of its best leaves and delicate processing, tea ultimately abounds in colours, taste and lavish fragrances. Every type of tea has its own unique signature.
The process of making tea is a delicate one and it requires patience and devotion. It takes no less than seven consecutive steps before you can start enjoying (or packing and shipping) your desired tea! We broke it down for you:
Cultivation of….: exactly, the Camellia Sinensis
Trimming: every tree, bush or plant needs its occasional hairdo to prosper
Plucking: harvesting the leaves (this can be a very calming, nearly meditative process, try it sometimes!)
Withering: the leaves (no matter what type of tea you desire) need to be dried in open air
Rolling: twisting the leaves (by hand or mechanical) releases their enzymes and juices
Oxidation: used for black and dark teas. It exposes the leaves to oxygen for as long as needed (up to 3 hours) by spreading them out evenly on large trays that supply enough air flow
Heating: heating (or firing) the leaves with hot air stops the oxidation process and makes them ready for sorting, cutting and packing.
Our take on tea
Ok, these were just the plain physics. We found out that once tea becomes a brew, entire new worlds appear behind the rich infusion in your glass or cup. Worlds full of stories, culture, harmony and friendship. And that is what matters to us most: discovering stories, creating harmony and seeking friendship. Tea opens a nearly boundless world of imagination and opportunities. A world we plunged headfirst into.
Tea offers a vast world of combinations for our taste buds. We found out that, like wine, tea is absolutely perfect to accompany you on all your culinary travels and adventures. Have you ever tried tea with strong and bold French cheese? Or with spicy, savory dishes? We sure hadn’t. But it makes so much sense! All the specific tastes and fragrances tea has to offer, from utterly subtle to plain bold, are meant to be paired and experimented with. Each tea infusion’s delicacy reveals itself optimally when you take their intended brewing temperature and infusion time into consideration. And why not skip the good old mug for a change, and pour and serve a beautiful tea or tisane in a fine glass: it really lifts the taste and the occasion!
We like to think that our teas are not just teas. Our teas tell stories. Stories from all over the world. From places we have seen, from the people, we have met in them and from all the cultures we have come to discover.
Mesmerised by the world of tea
We are Arte & Zayne: travelers and wonderers by choice, tea freaks by coincidence. We have known each other since we were born, yet we have just met. Call us brothers, sisters, friends, lovers, musicians, magicians; whatever your imagination tells you we might be. Our imagination told us we should travel, to the far ends of the world. In search of adventure, in search of beauty. Both within the world itself and in the people and places we would come to discover.
In 2016, we unexpectedly came across a fanatic tea sommelier in Berlin. He unreservedly shared his enthusiasm about tea with us, and we couldn’t be anything but all ears… He talked about the delicacy of tea, about its vast diversity in fragrances and tastes, about its history, its future, and about the true art of making tea. The world of tea turned out to be an unbelievably fascinating, captivating and versatile one and this conversation marked the beginning of our journey into it. A journey that just keeps getting more and more interesting.
Stories and traditions
Tea turns out to be so much more than just a beverage; more than a bag of dried leaves drowned in a cup of hot water. Tea tells a story. Stories about distant and exotic lands; about fields of mesmerizing beauty where tea leaves get plucked by hand; stories of intense aromas and colors, stories about traditions, solidarity, and rituals. The history of tea is long and complex, spreading across multiple cultures over the span of thousands of years. Many have had their own tea traditions, mostly for centuries, some even for millennia. And that is no coincidence.
Our tea journey
Our real enchantment came while we humbly witnessed a tea ceremony in Assam, India. It was magical… the fragrances, the colours, the attention to detail, its soft-spiritedness and its beguile. It was an aromatic spiritual moment, where alchemy came to mind when we looked at each other but couldn’t speak. Surrounded by people who wholeheartedly welcomed us in their ceremony of friendship and perfection. From that moment on we knew we had a mission: to recreate and relive that special moment, over and over again, all over the world and bring it back home. To share it with as many people we could think of. So we took our sacred first tea experience, filled our suitcases with the best teas we could find and set out to explore. Our imagination was fully ignited and our real journey had finally begun…
Yellow tea is considered the rarest tea in the world. It is produced in small batches in an extremely delicate way and is only available outside of China on a very limited basis. A batch of high-quality organic yellow tea is very difficult to get your hands on. But… once you have that, then you are guaranteed an absolute treat. But what exactly is yellow tea? How is it made? Why is it so exclusive and just as important: what does it taste like? High time we highlighted the basis of this famous, delicate and unusual infusion. It is produced in small batches in an extremely delicate way and is only available outside of China on a very limited basis. A batch of high-quality organic yellow tea is very difficult to get your hands on. But… once you get that, then you are guaranteed an absolute treat. But what exactly is yellow tea? How is it made? Why is it so exclusive and minimal so important: how does it taste? High time we highlighted the basis of this famous, delicate and unusual infusion.
An imperial choice
– Yellow tea as the ultimate gift –
Yellow tea dates back to the early Qing Dynasty (1390 – 1650 AD) and was initially reserved only for emperors. This meant that yellow tea was prepared with great care as a tribute to the imperial court. It was also a common gift for an emperor to give to his guests. It is said that such a donation of yellow tea to the Germanic Empire in southern Scandinavia (now Denmark) brought yellow tea to the attention of the West. Like all other teas, yellow tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. But unlike the profusion of green tea varieties, yellow tea comes in only three varieties, depending on the region where the leaves were grown and harvested. Yellow tea generally has a sweet, clear and floral flavor and a soft fruity floral aroma. In addition, yellow tea has a medium body, which means that the taste is neither too strong nor too weak and that it has an enormous coupling capacity. Not only is it exceptional in taste and feel, but it also offers quite a few health benefits. These properties make yellow tea a must for all tea lovers.
Harvesting and cultivating yellow tea
– A matter of patience and dedication –
Harvesting the tea leaves needed to produce yellow tea is usually done in March, just before the last snowfall of the year. At a time when China’s high mountains are often still covered with snow and ice, tea farmers maneuver through dangerous conditions to get the very first tips from the tea bushes. And that’s just the beginning… To finally get yellow tea follows an extremely painstaking and time consuming process, requiring a traditional skill that very few people master. The initial stage is similar to green tea: the leaves are collected and dried in large pots, but then the process changes. What follows is the sealing or as the natives call “men huan”. The key to this procedure is the temperature at which it is done. Only a handful of masters in China know the exact temperature and the secret is never shared.
Every year there is only about one week in which the weather conditions are good enough to process yellow tea. A brief moment of perfect balance between temperature and humidity.
The fresh tea leaves are covered, for example with linen or thick paper. At set timed intervals, the tea is then re-baked, freshly packed and cooled and slightly oxidized. This allows the leaves to release and reabsorb moisture, a type of breathing process that the Chinese call “reabsorbing essence.” The leaves lose their green color, turn yellow and the taste changes. This process takes days and requires a lot of patience and dedication. The tea leaves are made slowly roasted to complete the process. Given all this, it is not difficult to see why yellow tea has remained so exclusive. No doubt it would even have died out if it weren’t so highly regarded by the locals.
What does yellow tea taste like?
We take a short look here, but: the taste of yellow tea is unparalleled. It is also an extremely delicate green tea drink, without the vegetable notes and grassy elements that come with most green teas. Instead, it gives the feeling of extreme purity, like drinking fresh morning dew. Yellow tea is soft, fresh, slightly sweet and the finish is remarkably smooth.
Combine yellow tea
– What do I eat with yellow tea? – To begin with: nothing. We recommend that you only enjoy your first few cups of organic yellow tea so that you can fully enjoy purity and subtle shifts in taste and fragrance. Once you are familiar with the basics, yellow tea offers absolutely stunning pairing options. During our tastings and food pairing events, many people referred to the taste of yellow tea as “slightly fermented”. And in combination with raw seafood, such as oysters, this connotation seems perfect, because the two combined create a real sensation.
Arte & amp; Zayne origin: our soft yellow
In our Origins range we have one amazing limited edition yellow tea available to you: Mellow Yellow: a 100% pure and uncut Huang Shan yellow tea, revealing all the beauty and purity that this unique tea variety has to offer.
Assuring the commitment – Arte & Zayne teas are CERTIFIED organic
At Arte & Zayne, we sell only 100% organic teas and tisanes. And this is not just a claim we make. Since control authority Skal Biocontrole has identified us as a certified organic company, we can be absolutely, 100% certain of it. And we’re proud of it! But what does organic certification actually mean, and why do we need it in the first place?
Organic is booming
As more and more consumers make a conscious decision to choose organic products over conventional ones, the worldwide demand for organically grown food is on the rise. And that is great news. It shows we are reconnecting human and nature while addressing the basic needs of the population. It’s up to all of us to do our part to stop the harming of our earth. And going organic is a great place to start.
However, an increasing demand naturally means supply needs to find ways to keep up too. And while in the early days of the organic movement small farmers would sell their products directly at farmers’ markets, nowadays consumers are purchasing their organic products through traditional channels, like supermarkets. But how can you be certain that the products you are buying through a large retail chain are in fact genuinely organic? Simply: you can’t. To assure you are actually getting what you’ve committed to (and paying for), i.e. a product marketed as organic was in fact produced according to organic production standards, organic certification was needed, and created.
Organic is not just a label
Organic is a legally protected term. A product may only be called organic if the production process complies with legal regulations: governments determine the rules, organic entrepreneurs comply with these and control authorities monitor compliance. By issuing the organic production logo, they make the reliability of organic products visible, for both buyer and consumer.
In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants. Control authorities, like Skal, are responsible for the implementation and administration of the organic rules for food producers, importers and trading companies. They inspect and award organic certification to farms and businesses that meet the organic standards, inspecting each of the certified businesses at least once a year, including unannounced and random visits.
Certified organic tea
The growing of organic tea is relatively new and the rules under which organic tea is produced are fairly complicated and tightly controlled. This is because It relies on totally natural organic matter such as compost, plants and trees to provide the necessary nutrients and ground cover. So when a tea is labeled certified organic, quite a few efforts have been made.
At Arte & Zayne, we believe the best tea comes from biodiverse, organic tea plantations. Not only do organic tea farms work with mother nature instead of fighting it, we have found the tea just tastes better. This is the reason we committed ourselves to become a certified organic company, assuring us we are using only 100% organic ingredients to compose our 100% organic signature tea blends. And we are absolutely, 100% certain of it 🙂
At Arte & Zayne, we believe the best tea comes from biodiverse, organic tea plantations. The more we researched organic teas before we started, the more we fell in love with the organic tea concept. Not only do organic tea farms work with mother nature instead of fighting it but we have found the tea just tastes better. So we decided to only use certified organic ingredients to compose our signature tea blends.
However, for the average consumer it is not easy to know whether or not organic tea is better than conventional tea. Besides, there’s a lot of discussion on whether or not it actually matters. Here’s what we think.
Organic means no chemicals
One of the major differences between organic tea and conventional tea is that organic tea is grown without the use of chemicals. Stuff as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides have well-documented harmful effects on the environment and on farmers and consumers who may ingest residues. We stumbled upon a Canadian study that found that pesticide residues in dry tea leaves do make their way into brewed tea. And since one of the reasons we like tea is they can be a significant source of antioxidants this made us cry a little bit.
As where conventional tea-growing methods may maximize production in the short term, there is a serious environmental and human cost. Choosing organic tea means supporting growing methods like plant-based natural fertilizers and deterrents, which are safer for the environment and for the farmers who work on the land. The benefit to you? No chemicals end up in your cup!
In cooperation with mother nature
In an interesting article about organic tea farming in China, a local organic tea farmer is interviewed. Quote: “There is something immensely satisfying about understanding the complexity of a system and working with that system, not against it to achieve your aim. Moreover, our tea simply tastes better for it. This is down to a number of factors, of course, granted processing and the breed of the plant play a huge role, but, all other variables being equal, truly organic produce has an extra intangible something which makes it all the more delicious. The tea we produce is more vibrant, fragrant and robust than anything we have encountered from non-organic farms.”
Even though there are many non-organic tea plantations that have been cultivating plants for years developing unique and delicious teas, we have found that organic teas seem to have a more velvety taste and tongue feel. We believe organic teas deliver more intense and purer taste experiences, beautiful to enjoy on their own and simply mesmerizing to pair and experiment with.
Pairing tea with food opens a world on its own. For centuries, sommeliers and chefs have been pairing food with wine and most of us are only just beginning to learn the concept of pairing tea with food. With real dishes that is. But it is simply spectacular! Tea superbly enhances the taste of a dish as well as the drink itself.
Unique pairing abilities
Just as with wines, the possibilities are nearly limitless and with all different types and varieties of tea available to pair with your culinary adventures, this may seem overwhelming. But we’re here to help! In our next blog we will dive deeper into the concept of tea and food pairing. We will provide you with the basic rules and reveal some really unique and awesome flavour combinations.
Choose organic tea
As for organic tea vs non organic tea: we highly recommend to choose organic kinds, honestly made and traded. Organic teas are not hard to come by, hardly cost more money and you really make a difference with each cup of tea you drink. We have already made that choice, so you will only find 100% organic and honest teas and tisanes in our tea shop.
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