What Does ‘Handcrafted’ Mean?
If you’re familiar with us here at The Tea Spot, you know that we often characterize our tea blends as “handcrafted.” Today, I’d like to show you exactly what that means and how our blends come to be.
Our teas come from all corners of the world–traditional regions like India, China, Sri Lanka and Japan–into our warehouse where we turn them into our own creations. Our herbal and botanical blending elements come from a whole host of other places: Washington mint, South African rooibos, Moroccan rosebuds, to name a few. These ingredients are hand grown and picked at the source, but when they arrive here at our warehouse on the eastern slope of the Rockies, we try to turn them into something more. Our blends are our babies, carefully formed through rigorous (and largely enjoyable) taste testing sessions where we sometimes butt heads, but often agree exactly when we’ve produced the best cup.
When we’ve agreed on a recipe, we bump up the scale. This is when I roll up my sleeves and get to work. Typically, I’m blending a batch for packaging and sale that comes to about 30 lbs. It’s a simple but careful process of combining just the right amount of leaves, in the right order, so that the blend comes out even and smooth. Donning my hairnet, gloves, and trusty large scoop, I dole out the leaves and ingredients into a weighed container, pound by pound. Then comes the fun part: the physical blending. I use something I call the ‘badger method,’ but that’s far too embarrassing to comment on at length. Suffice to say it’s my way of making sure every cup has the perfect ratio of flavors, so that you can come to expect consistency from your favorite teas. Today we’re producing our Organic Jasmine Petals tea, a blend of a lovely Chinese Green and whole Jasmine Flowers (from Oregon). A simple but elegant blend. You’ve seen the before, so here’s the after: