The Way of Tea with The Urban Tea Merchant's Tea Sommelier, Reza Nasooti

October 21, 2012

tea sommelier, reza nasooti, twg tea, the urban tea merchant, model, good looking, sexy

I remember...

In University I remember how some professors would make a subject so difficult while others made the most complicated simple and clear.

At The Urban Tea Merchant we have tea experts handy to facilitate and guide you in discovering new flavours and aromas that only teas can bring and are tailored specifically to your palate no matter if you are a heavy coffee, wine or scotch drinker.  

With this in mind allow me to shed some light and offer some basic insights on what tea is and general guidelines to follow when enjoying loose leaf tea.  

TWG Tea, The Urban Tea Merchant, Teapot, Design Teapot

What is Tea? 

First of all anything that comes from Camelia Sinensis Plant is considered tea.  By default all teas are considered Green but the way the leaves are processed helps determine which category they ultimately fall under.  

   Yin Zhen, Tea, Loose Leaves, White Tea, TWG Tea, The Urban Tea Merchant

White Teas are the least processed of all the teas.  There is a plucking and drying with leaves prevented from oxidization.  The liquor and body are considered light and refreshing.


Emperor Sencha, Sencha, Green Tea, Tea, Loose Leaves, TWG Tea, The Urban Tea Merchant

Green Teas are not oxidized either but the drying process is slightly different.  They are known for their vegetative or grassy notes depending mainly on if the are processed in China or Japan.


Yellow tea, TWG Tea, loose leaves, the urban tea merchant

Yellow Teas are fine Green teas which undergo through a longer drying process leaving them less grassy than Green teas.

    Tu Kuan Yin, Oolong, Tea, Loose Leaves, TWG Tea, The Urban Tea Merchant

Oolong Teas are partially oxidized Green teas.  Oxidization can range from 15% to 80% which plays a major role in the flavour.  They have a lingering quality that is very desirable and are categorized somewhere in between Green and Black teas.


TWG Tea, The Urban Tea Merchant, Black Tea, Loose Leaves 

Black Teas are fully oxidized Green teas and are the most processed of all the teas. From your classic   English Breakfast to the more unique Keemun black teas are the most widely consumed tea.   


pu erh, tea, loose leaves, twg tea, the urban tea merchant

Pu Erh are teas that undergo a fermentation and aging process.  Incredible health benefits with amazing earthly notes.

Rooibos, Tea, Loose Leaves, TWG Tea, The Urban Tea Merchant

Tisanes, Rooibos, Chamomile, Peppermint etc. are classified under Herbals and are technically not Tea.

How to Prepare loose leaves?

equipage, teapot, design black, TWG Tea

Here are 5 Golden Rules to follow when preparing Loose leaf teas.

1. Tea Equipage

    The ritual of tea is a full sensory experience.  The teapot or vessel you use plays almost as     big of a role as the tea quality itself.             

2. Water Quality 

    Ideally filtered water or Spring water. 

3. Leaf Quantity
    A general rule of thumb is to use 2.5gr which is approximately a round tsp per 7oz cup.

4. Water Temperature
    White and Green Teas generally require 80 degrees Celsius as the leaves are more delicate.
    Oolongs generally require 90 degrees Celcius as the leaves are more mature.
    Black Teas, Pu Erhs and Herbals can take high temperatures of 95 degrees 

5. Length of Infusion
    Pu Erhs generally require around 5 minutes
    Black Teas generally require between 3-5 minutes depending on desired strength
    Green Teas generally require between 1-3 minutes 
    White Teas generally require between 4-7 minutes
    Oolong Teas generally require between 4-7 minutes
    Herbals & Rooibos generally require between 5 minutes

The above information is basic and the more advanced tea lover will be aware of more specific preparation methods especially when it comes to Fine Harvest Rare teas.  To learn more about how to prepare loose tea accordingly, view The Urban Tea Merchant's Tea Preparation Chart with TWG Tea.


Please visit The Urban Tea Merchant - Downtown Vancouver or buy TWG Tea online

The Urban Tea Merchant

1070 West Georgia Street, Vancouver