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Fresh Tea Counts – All Our Teas Packaged in Food Grade Tins

At Tea Phactory we care about keeping your hand-selected, premium, loose leaf teas absolutely fresh. That’s why we pack every tea order in a food grade tin made of high-quality tinplated steel. This packaging keeps air and light away from your teas, ensuring the flavors are as bright and delicious the day you drink them as they were the day we packed them. Sure, we could use something less expensive like lined paper or plastic, but we care too much about our tea and your tea-drinking experience.

There’s something else we care about, the environment. We understand that any type of packaging has some environmental impact. However, there’s one thing you can do with our tins that you can’t do with a paper or plastic bag – reuse them.

Since our tins are food grade they are great for use in the kitchen. Refill them with herbs, spices, or baking mixes. Additionally, they are simply perfect for general kitchen organization.

Get creative and use them to store craft supplies like buttons, safety pins, and beads. Or make a travel sewing kit with small scissors, thread, sewing needles, and a thimble.

Have a green thumb? These tins are perfect for growing succulents, fresh herbs, or catnip. Place them on a windowsill for a mini container garden.

Whatever you use your empty Tea Phactory tin for it’s a perfect way to get imaginative and reduce waste. It’s our little added value to you and the environment.

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How to Cold Brew Loose Leaf Tea

Sometimes it’s just too hot to put on the tea kettle, which probably means iced tea is needed more than ever. Good thing there’s a perfect solution – cold brew. In addition to beating the heat, the cold brew method can produce superior results reducing both dilution and bitterness. The result is a sweet, smooth tea with increased clarity.

By not exposing tea leaves to hot water, fewer catechins and tannins are steeped out. The benefit is a less astringent brew which allows more delicate and elusive flavors to shine. However, the same holds true for caffeine, so keep that in mind if iced tea is a go to pick-me-up or an evening elixir.

Cold brewing works with most every type of loose leaf tea including green, white, black, and oolong. It’s a fantastic way to breathe new life into old favorites. The subtle to dramatic shifts in flavor achieved by cold brewing is worth the wait. Since the method can take up to eight hours it’s essential to plan ahead.

Other than the time spent waiting, cold brew is one of the simplest methods. Just place cold water and tea leaves in a vessel, refrigerate, wait, and strain. However, it doesn’t hurt to know the details.

How to Cold Brew Tea:

  1. Measure 2 tablespoons of loose leaf tea in a vessel.
  2. Add 48 ounces of cold, clean water.
  3. Place in the refrigerator and steep for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  4. Strain and add sweetener if desired.
  5. Serve over ice or drink it cold, straight from the fridge without any ice to dilute the flavor.

Cold-brew Iced Tea Brewing Tips:

  • Use double the amount of loose leaf tea used for brewing hot tea.
  • Use fresh, cold water. The quality of water will affect the taste of the tea.
  • Be sure to strain the leaf from the tea once steeping is complete.

Now that basics are covered, experimentation is key to developing unique and delicious cold brews. Again, since the chances of bitterness and clouding are significantly reduced, it’s hard to go wrong. Feel free to increase the amount of tea, don’t be afraid to use more leaf, or vary the steeping time.

Already cold brewed a tried and true favorite? Try something new. This method is particularly suited to delicate white teas like White Peony or Snow Buds. The mild flavors of these refined and understated teas are truly enhanced by cold brewing.

For those who like sweet teas try our Tropical Breeze or Black Currant. Keep in mind this method brings out more of the tea’s natural sweetness, so sample the batch before adding additional sweetener. If needed, try honey or agave, both dissolve more easily in cold liquids.

Already have a pitcher of cold brew that’s not quite ready? Need tea now? Try this alternative hot brewing method for flavorful iced tea.

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How to Make Iced Tea

Summer time is tea time and what better way to kick off the season than by brewing up your favorite iced tea? It’s easy, here’s how.

Start by choosing the perfect tea. While black teas are most commonly used for iced tea, almost any type of loose leaf tea or herbal blend can be chilled and made into a refreshing iced tea.

What You’ll Need:

  • Your favorite loose leaf tea
  • Fresh water
  • A way to heat the water: electric tea kettle, stove with a tea kettle, a campfire
  • A vessel to put the water and tea in for steeping: a large pitcher
  • A method of straining the tea: coffee filter, tea strainer
  • Cups, glasses
  • Ice

How to Make Homemade Iced Tea:

  1. Heat the water to just a boil and pour the hot water into your steeping vessel.
  2. Measure out the tea and add it to the pitcher of hot water. You want to double the amount of tea you would use for hot tea when making iced tea. Allow the tea to steep for 2-3 minutes and strain.
  3. Pour over ice and enjoy.

Once you’ve got that delicious beverage in hand find a cool, shady spot and enjoy the summer months.

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Top Five Strongest Black Teas

Strongest Black Loose Leaf Teas

Black tea accounts for more than 90% of all teas sold in the West. Americans drink black tea hot throughout the day, as an alternative to coffee. We also enjoy iced tea, most of which are made from black tea. Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast are all popular blends made from black teas.

Black teas offer a bolder, stronger flavor range due to their longer period of oxidation during manufacture.

If you like your teas bold and strong you will definitely want to have these teas in your collection:

  • Yunnan – fully bodied and slightly peppery, but with a light maple sweetness. Yunnan comes from a remote region in China.
  • Assam – slightly malty, rich and dark. The Assam region is the largest tea producing district in India, and their black tea is a standard in the industry for its rich, heavy liquor. It’s also a good tea for blending.
  • Ceylon (Sri Lanka) – medium to strong, depending on region. The island of Sri Lanka is known for producing three types of tea depending on the altitude where they are grown: low-grown, medium grown, and high-grown. Teas grown in the higher elevations (5,900-6,500 ft.) of Sri Lanka have a good balance of flavor.
  • Darjeeling – a light tea, with a nutty, fruity, and/or floral flavor. Produced only in the Darjeeling region of India, Darjeeling is also known as the “champagne” of teas. It’s a great tea to enjoy in the afternoon because it’s lighter than many other black teas.
  • Oolong – flavors of apricot and peach – Oolong teas fall between green and black teas, with the lighter varieties being closer to green, and the darker ones closer to black teas. Choose a dark oolong for the strongest flavor. Mid-day is a good time to brew oolong, when you can best enjoy the complex flavors and aromas. Oolongs improve with multiple infusions.
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What is Matcha?

What is matcha

Matcha is a powdered green tea that was brought to Japan from China by Zen Monks around the seventh century. Buddhist monks used matcha for their Japanese tea ceremony, Cha No Yu, which the people of Japan still perform daily. Harmony, respect, purity, and serenity define the principles of the Cha No Yu.

Matcha is derived by grinding green tea leaves in a stone mill to form a fine powder. Powerful and concentrated, Matcha is rich in vitamin C. Somewhat bitter, with a slight aftertaste of spinach, Matcha is traditionally served with something sweet just prior to drinking the tea.

Brewing Matcha Tea


  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 8 oz of water, heated to 175°


  1. place matcha powder in bowl
  2. pour in warm water
  3. whisk slowly, at first, and then faster, in a ‘W’ formation until tea is frothy (about 1 minute)

I like to drink Matcha in the early afternoon as a quick all-natural energy boost.

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Three Tips to Prevent Cloudy Iced Tea

Tips Preventing Cloudy Iced Tea

Spring is here and we can start looking forward to sunshine, warmer weather, and drinking plenty of refreshing iced tea. There are many bottled or ready-to-drink iced teas on the store shelves, but they can be loaded with sugar and preservatives.

Brewing your own iced tea is fun and allows you to control the ingredients. You can personalize your iced tea by adding fresh or frozen fruits, different herbs and spices, and sweetener to your taste.

Sometimes iced tea can turn out cloudy or foggy in appearance, referred to as clouding. This happens randomly and is purely cosmetic – it doesn’t change the flavor or reflect the quality of the tea.

Solutions to Three Causes of Clouding

  1. Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals that can form visible solids which are not easily dissolved in cooler water temperatures.
    Solution: Use filtered water.
  2. “Shocking the iced tea” (a term coined by tea industry consultant Richard Guzauskas) is a phenomenon that occurs when black tea is cooled too quickly.
    Solution: Allow the brewed tea to come to room temperature naturally prior to refrigeration.
  3. Black teas are most prone to clouding due to the oxidation during production.
    Solution: Use green loose leaf teas, herbals, rooibos, or yerba maté, all of which make tasty iced teas.

TIP: If your tea does become cloudy you can save it by adding a small amount of hot water. This will reorganize the chemical structure of the tea and remove the cloudiness. Take care not to add too much hot water or the tea flavor will become diluted.
To avoid cloudiness all-together try the cold-brewing method.

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Three Tips to Brewing Fresh White Loose Leaf Tea

Brewing Fresh White Iced Tea

White teas are a great place to start if you’re new to drinking tea. They have a light fruity flavor with a floral aroma, and they’re sweeter than other teas. White teas are delicate, so water, temperature, and time are important.

  1. Water: Use the best fresh water possible when brewing white tea, since their flavor is so light. Chlorine and other chemicals in tap water can affect the taste of the tea. Bottled water may also affect the flavor because of added salts and other minerals. Filtered water or spring water are the best choices.
  2. Brewing Temperature: White teas need a lower brewing temperature because the leaves scorch easily. A temperature between 175-185° is about right. Special equipment isn’t necessary to get your water to the right temperature. The simplest way is to bring water just to a boil (about 206°F), turn off the heat and let the water cool for 2 to 3 minutes. An instant-read thermometer is a helpful tool to make sure you have the correct temperature.
  3. Brewing Time: White teas require a short brewing time, usually only 1-5minutes, depending on your personal taste preference. As with all teas, the strength of the tea depends on the amount of leaf used, not the length of the brewing time. Over steeped tea will become bitter. Use a timer and adjust the amount of leaf if you prefer a stronger tea.
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Why Water Quality Matters when Brewing Tea

Water Quality Matters Brewing Tea

Fine tea and good quality water are the only ingredients you need to make a delicious cup of tea. Using the best water available to you whenever possible will brew a flavorful cup and improve the pleasure you experience drinking your favorite teas.

The ideal water will taste fresh and lively with no aftertaste. Taste your water at room temperature, it shouldn’t taste salty, bitter or acidic. The minerals in hard water will make water taste chalky or metallic. Chlorine gives water a slightly acidic taste, and over-carbonation can make water taste dirty.

Appearance and odor are also good indicators of water quality. Check for clarity or cloudiness by swirling a small amount of water in a clear glass. Simply smelling the water just above the water line you should not detect sulfur, plastic or chemicals.

The best choices of water for brewing a great cup of tea are:

  • Fresh spring water – the high oxygen content brews a brisk cup of tea, making spring water the optimum choice, if available.
  • Filtered water – many moderately priced carbon filters are available on the market, including water pitchers and filters that attach directly to your faucet.
  • Bottled water – the FDA requires labels designating the source of the water, for example, spring, glacial, or artesian water. Choose carefully, as some bottled water contains salts and other minerals that can spoil the flavor of the tea.

Make good-tasting, high quality water a priority when brewing your tea and you will notice the difference.

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What are the Different Types of Tea?

Tea Varieties

Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. The Chinese have been drinking tea for nearly 5000 years and the Japanese developed an intricate tea ceremony to celebrate this delicious healthy beverage.

The term ‘tea’ has historically referred to a beverage brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, including green and black teas. Over time tea has come to mean any drink of herbs, fruits, nuts, flowers and leaves that are prepared by steeping in hot water.

There are over 10,000 varieties of loose leaf teas and an endless combination of healthy herbal infusions, providing a multitude of flavorful aromatic brews to please every palate.

Loose Leaf Tea Types

White Tea:

A rare tea produced in the far northeastern provinces of China, white tea is made from the unopened bud of the leaves and is lightly processed by steaming and drying. White tea brews a pale yellow-green cup with a slightly sweet flavor.

Green Tea:

To retain their original flavor and color, green teas are steamed, dried in a wok or roasted immediately after being plucked from the bush. There are several types of green teas, each have a different flavor, but all share a fresh springtime aroma. The flavor is light and somewhat grassy with a touch of sweetness, and brews a pale yellow-green liquor.


Oolong teas are partially processed and range in flavor somewhere between the delicacy of green tea and the depth of black tea. Greener oolongs brew a very pale amber-green liquor and with an aroma similar to hyacinth or narcissus blossoms. Darker oolongs brew a pale amber liquor with a light fruity character. Both varieties benefit from multiple infusions.

Black Tea:

Most black tea is produced in India and Sri Lanka, accounting for more than 90 percent of all the tea sold in the West. The varieties and manufacture of black tea vary greatly from country to country, but black teas are always the most processed of all the teas. Black tea is more strongly flavored than green tea, ranging from full bodied and smoky to bold and malty.

Herbal Blends (also Infusions, Tisanes or Botanicals)

Herbal blends have been consumed throughout the world even longer than traditional teas and are typically recognized for their healthy caffeine-free qualities. Herbals are made from a variety of herbs, leaves, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, flowers, roots or bark from plants. Some of the most well-known ingredients are chamomile flower, dandelion root, peppermint leaf, and spearmint leaf.

Rooibos (also Rositea, Red Tea or Red Bush)

Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) is a refreshing caffeine-free beverage made from the leaves of the rooibos plant. The people of South Africa have consumed this “red tea” for centuries, and it is becoming increasingly popular all over the world due to its many health benefits. Rooibos has a unique sweet flavor unlike any other tea.

Yerba Maté (or Maté)

Yerba maté (yer-bah mah-tay) is rich in vitamins and minerals and provides numerous antioxidants making it a true power drink. Yerba Maté is a good substitute for coffee because it energizes without causing the jitters associated with coffee. Yerba maté comes in green and roasted varieties, and has a smooth flavor similar to green tea.

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Rejuvenate Your Mind and Body with Yerba Mate

Rejuvenate Mind Body Yerba Mate

When I want something to start my morning or pick me up during the day, I brew a cup of Yerba Maté. It gives me a calm boost of energy without making me feel jittery or over-caffeinated.

Yerba Maté is not a true tea, but an herbal made from the cut leaves and twigs of the South American holly tree Ilex paraguariensis. The people of South America have used Yerba Maté as a social beverage for hundreds of years, usually served in a gourd and sipped with a metal straw or bombilla, which strains the tea from the herb.

Brewed Yerba Maté is smooth with a sweet grassy flavor, similar to some varieties of green tea. It’s especially tasty with a slice of lemon and makes a delicious iced beverage.

According to Brigette Mars, A.H.G., an herbalist and nutritional consultant, Yerba Maté has some remarkable health benefits. In her book, Healing Herbal Teas, A Complete Guide to Making Delicious, Healthful Beverages, she states that Yerba Maté:

  • stimulates the mind, respiratory system, and the nervous system
  • is often used to improve memory and concentration
  • won’t interfere with sleep
  • cleanses the blood
  • decreases the appetite
  • boosts energy, and more

As always, check with your doctor before using any herbal product.