What We Talk About When We Talk About Tea
We receive lots of questions about our Chai concentrates and teas, and we LOVE to see how many of our customers are truly inquisitive about what we do. We use a variety of techniques and local ingredients that give our beverages their signature flavors, but teas and how we use them are obviously more nuanced.
So, for Chai lovers like us, we decided to dedicate this blog to sharing tea and Tanglewood facts by answering your FAQs.
How long does it last?
Like most products that require refrigeration, there’s a limit on how long perishables can sit when opened. For Tanglewood Concentrates, they’ll be good for 1 month after opening when refrigerated.
Do you use any artificial ingredients?
We love answering this one. All Tanglewood teas use all-natural and unprocessed ingredients. Still, we use lemons that have citric acid in them to preserve the tea.
What type of tea do you use in your concentrates?
We use Organic Assam from the Banaspaty Tea Estate that's Organic and Fair Trade. We import it through QTrade, which is one of the first companies to create direct trade relationships with tea growers. The owner, Manik Jayakumar, is originally from Ceylon. He was a tea grower before moving to the US and starting QTrade.
How much caffeine does each serving of Tanglewood?
Each serving of Tanglewood Chai has about 22 mg of caffeine—similar to a cup of black tea.
How do you make your tea concentrates?
Essentially, each batch of tea we make uses a giant tea bag similar to what you use at home. The only difference is that we add less water, so the finished tea is much stronger. We then bottle each one by hand. This helps reduce packaging and allows us to use fewer energy resources.
I noticed that the Lavender Fog, Ginger Spiced Chai and the Turmeric Thai Tea are all organic, why don't you get certified?
We completely understand why companies choose to become certified organic—it's a great tool and an indicator of ethical sourcing! As a small company, we had to decide where to allocate resources. We eventually chose to put those resources back into our business by paying our staff a living wage and focusing on quality sourcing so we can buy local as much as possible.
Are you going to make an unsweetened Chai?
Yes, in 2022 we are going to release an unsweetened Chai for home consumption. Stay tuned for more info!
What is the difference between Chai and tea?
Now, we’ve all asked for Chai tea lattes, and the ubiquity of those two words together has led to some confusion, leaving some to ask, “is it Chai tea or Chai?”
Chai originates in India. It’s said to have been created thousands of years ago as an Ayurvedic drink. In Hindi, the primary language spoken in India, “Chai” means “tea.” Meaning, Chai and tea are basically the same things.
What are the main types of tea?
One of our favorite things about tea, aka Camellia sinensis, is its variety. For our purposes, we’ll simplify things and cover the two core types of tea you should know with info provided by Tea People.
Basic varieties: These include black, green, Oolong, white, and Pu-erh teas. While they’re considered basic, each variety offers its own distinct flavor profiles.
Flavored teas: These teas are made by adding flowers, herbs, or other natural flavors to black or green teas and yours truly. The most common flavored teas are Earl Gray Jasmine, and Chai Concentrates.
Why do different teas need different temperatures?
Different teas need different temperatures to reach their intended flavor profiles. For starters, you never want to add boiling water when brewing tea because it can burn the leaves. In contrast, you also don’t want your tea to be too cold. Generally, teas should be brewed between 140 degrees to 212 degrees.
Here’s a quick Tea Brewing Temperature Guide to reach enriching flavors:
- Black tea: 212 degrees
- Green tea: 175 to 180 degrees
- White tea: 175 to 180 degrees
- Oolong tea: 195 degrees
- Pu-erh tea: 212 degrees
- Purple tea: 175 to 180 degrees
- Herbal tea: 212 degrees
- Rooibos tea: 212 degrees
Is tea better than coffee?We love tea and anything related to Chai, but both bevs are totally different. In terms of the health benefits, the coffee vs. tea debate is still up in the air because of the complexities of their ingredients and the variables around individual health.
If you’re looking for a delicious Chai Concentrate made with excellent tea, you can’t go wrong with our Ginger Spiced Chai. If you’re in Portland and want to say hi over a cup of coffee or tea, visit us at the Either/Or Cafe. Cheers!