In Our Words

Everyone's relationship to tea is unique. Here is our perspective.

Frequently asked questions

What is 'Subtle' tea?

Subtle tea is a term used here at Earth Water Tea to talk about the energetics of tea or each teas unique energetic signature. Each tea has this, however puer tea is a unique place to practice this subtle awareness of the energetics of tea. There are 2 types of puer. Sheng and Shou. Raw and cooked. The Sheng or raw puer is the original. Harvested, pressed and aged, getting better with every day it sits. Shou Puer was invented to mimic the Shen because of its high demand. Shou is created by a method of compost over several months. Within just a few months time, a young freshly harvested tea can mimic the flavor of a several decade aged sheng. That said, the flavors that are similar are on the surface of the palate. Thats often where it ends with shou, however the Sheng starts there but can go into great depth.

What are some of the similarites and difference of coffee and tea?

Lets get something clear right away. We love coffee! But we dont drink it every day. Tea is the second most drank beverage in the world after water and thats true for us too. The biggest thing that coffee and tea have in common is simply caffeine. We all know the effects of this in our bodies and minds. Coffee tends to have much more caffeine than tea. But that doesn't mean tea doesn't pack a punch. Believe us, it does. One of the unique aspects of tea is that, in addition to caffeine it also has something called L-Theanine. L-Theanine is an amino acid which is known to promote relaxation without feeling drowsy. So as anyone who has drank coffee knows, its about go go go until you crash. Whats cool about the addition of L-Theanine is that it brings balance to caffeine. The two together bring a perfectly relaxed, stimulating energy. One great historical example being that for centuries monks have been drinking tea to stay both alert and calm in meditation. To sit peacefully, with alert, focused awareness. What a gift this plant is! Check out the next post for a more in depth overview of L-Theanine and its benefits.

What is L-Theanine and what are its benefits?

L-Theanine is an amino acid. Whats exciting, and why we care is because it is most commonly found in tea leaves! One of the major benefits of L-Theanine is that it has been known to reduce stress and anxiety as well as lowering resting heart rate. A great way to start the day and perhaps why many subscribe to "afternoon tea time". A perfect addition to late night philosophical conversation among friends. L-Theanine is also great for focus (I wouldn't be writing these faq's without it). The combination fo caffeine and L-Theanine is a mriacle that only nature could design. Research has also indicated that L-Theanine can have a positive effect on the immune system. L-Theanine has also been shown to improve sleep quality.

What is Puer Tea?

Puer is a discovery, a rabbit hole, a fixation for the obsessed. It was discovered by accident, when it traveled long distances in wet humid climates. The result was drinking a tea that had aged with time. This lead to interesting flavors and qualities unknown prior. Because of this, Puer is the only tea intentionally put away for long periods of time because of its uniqe quality like wine, it gets better with time. Significantly better! That said, there are teas outside of puer, like Oolong, that are also aged. But not all teas are always aged, unlike Puer, if the tea drinker can wait.. Puer can be classified into two sub-categories. Sheng and Shou, or, raw and cooked. Because the popularity of puer has risen over time, so has its demand. Because of this, Shou was invented to meet this demand. It is a composting method to mimic and speed up the aging process of Puer so that a one year old shou can taste something like a 30 year or older sheng. On the surface, the flavors can be quite similar. However, the depth of a well aged sheng can only be found in itself. This explains much of the price and availability difference between the two. When most people are introduced and just getting into puer, they often begin with shou and move into and explore the world of sheng later on. Especially the young stuff. Which can be quite a lovely buzzz.

Why would I buy tea from Earth Water Tea?

We love tea, and we want to share it! EWT is about integrety and education. We source the highest quality tea we can find. Quality to us means tea grown without chemicals and pesticides, and grown by farmers who are passionate about tea and producing the best possible. Tea education is also a crucial aspect of selling tea. As the tea world can become a lifetime of learning for any passionate enthusiast, there is a lot of information out there. Our intent is to distill down as best we can, all the information we can so that Earth Water Tea can be a source of not only high quality tea but also high quality information so that you can make the best informed decisions as you navigate the fun and complex world of tea.

What's wrong with tea bags?

Nothing. It is simply a matter of quality. After the tea leaves have been harvested after a season of care and attention to the plant, they are then processed. This is done in many ways depending on the type of tea. At the end of the processing the tea is then sold as whole loose leaf or in the case of puer in many instances, in cakes and bricks. It is often the left over broken remnants of tea, sometimes in the form of dust that are further processed into tea bags. A tea bag is generelly pretty small, and not something a large leaf would survive whole for very long.

What is mug brew?

Mug brew is a method that fits between gung fu and super soak. It's as simple as putting your tea in one of those egg looking strainer thingies or one of those strainers that fits in your favorite mug. Depending on the type of tea, you can get anywhere from 3-6 brews at a rate of 45 seconds to 3 minutes per brew. The easiest tea to play with this method is shou puer. It has a much larger radius for forgiveness as it has little to no bitter or tannin flavors.

What is Super Soak??

I'm glad you asked! Super soak is one of our most favorite ways to brew tea. Generally used with either a shour puer, a well aged sheng puer or a medium to darker oolong. This extremely simple method of brewing tea produces a thick, rich, dank and stong tea that will be sure to fill a depleted caffeine battery. Basically, you put your tea in a dual walled vacuum sealed vessel, then you add boiling water for puer and a water temperature somewhere between 185 and 205 degrees fahrenheit for an oolong (when you see the little bubble rising befor the big boiling ones ;)) We recommend 7-14 grams of tea leaf to 16-32 ounces of water but play with it, have fun and enjoy what you come up with. Have an early morning? Soak the tea overnight before bed and wake up to exactly what you need to fuel your day. Super Soaks are the perfect on the go addition to any adventure.