The Art of Brewing the perfect cup of tea – Organic Merchant

Organic Merchant is dedicated to deliver the highest quality loose leaf herbal infusion; beautifully presented, individually hand blended and sustainably packaged with care and consideration.

The ingredients in Organic Merchant’s loose leaf teas have been carefully selected for their rich therapeutic properties and fulsome flavour. Each organic herbal infusion brews a kaleidoscope of colours and aromas to enchant the senses, heal the body and soothe the mind.

What makes your organic herbal teas so uniquely different to many other brands on the market?

Organic Merchant’s herbal infusions are 100% ACO certified organic, ensuring you are receiving the purest infusions possible. We guarantee a premium quality for each sip.

In order to retain freshness and therapeutic actions, our teas are unprocessed and only come as a loose leaf variety. Furthermore, each tea is hand-blend and hand-package individually, fresh to order.

All our botanical infusions have been expertly formulated for their nutrient value, beneficial effect and traditional therapeutic actions by a group of experienced naturopaths. We did not copy any other tea brand but built the blends over time based on consumer feedback, so you can be sure that our recipes are unique.

Last but not least we are committed to being a sustainable business. All our packaging is therefore proudly 100% recyclable and/or biodegradable. We present the entire range in reusable glass jars and sachet boxes made form 100% Australian recycled paper with a compostable plant-based cello-bag holding the loose leaf tea.

Why organic?

We simply believe that organic consumables are not only better for people, but also for the planet. As we are committed to being a sustainable business, we want to do our part in maintaining and sustaining the world for the future.

• A MEASURE OF PURITY

The earth’s flora and fauna deserves to live in simple purity. That its raw, wild, natural beauty is celebrated. Its purity is real, unaltered, without additives, without chemical intervention, irradiation, enhancement or genetic modification.

Our commitment to using 100% certified organic produce is a reflection of this, ensuring you are receiving the purest botanicals possible.

• A WAY OF LIFE

Our philosophy is to live with purity, mindfulness and in awareness with nature. The biosphere in which we live is so magnificently complex and interwoven. To us living close to nature is just common sense.

• AN ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE CHOICE

It is our intention to live each day making choices and actions that demonstrate care, respect and compassion for our families, the broader community and the environment. In ecological terms sustainability is the capacity to endure; to remain diverse and productive. One could say that nature has successfully achieved both diversity and productive excellence, even against the greatest odds. It is therefore important to us that the business practices we  employ each day at Organic Merchant are in unity with this philosophy and endorse sustainability.

Who is the person behind the beautifully crafted teas & what inspired you to create Organic Merchant?

If a cup of tea was a person, it would be Organic Merchant’s founder and director: Chalimah Jeanne. Warm, delightful and serene. She’s following a passion that stems from her childhood and has been nurtured by her strong knowledge of naturopathy. In 2005 Chalimah started practicing as a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. Whilst working in an integrative medical practice, the majority of her patients were being treated for complex conditions. Blending therapeutic botanical infusions and herbal teas for them was a natural extension of her clinical practice. The original range was created to support their
treatments.

“I believe that simple daily pleasures such as consuming a pure cup of organic herbal tea can be one of the most nourishing practices, and that the everyday items that serve and nurture us are also a thing of beauty. With these mantras in mind, I created Organic Merchant as a way to share this experience of wellness.” – Chalimah Jeanne

This philosophy is what generated and continues to generate Organic Merchant’s momentum. The company was originally founded in 2011, but did not officially become a company until autumn 2016. From its humble beginnings at the Paddington Markets, the range expanded to the over 35 blends we see today.

Included in Splendour Box this month is the Iced Tea Earl Grey. “A superbly fragrant, bergamot infused black tea with a French bouquet of lavender and rose. Bergamot is renowned for its uplifting citrus scent, and the addition of lavender and rose make it wonderfully restoring and relaxing.”

What makes this flavour tea so special?

Besides being a beautiful all time classic with an incredible floral fragrance, our Earl Grey Iced Tea blend is ideal for taking on the suppressive heat of the Australian summer days. The small amount of caffeine found in it will restore your energy without giving you the jitters, whilst the lavender will leave you feeling totally relaxed. A well-rounded blend, enjoyed by most.

Talk us through the Art of Brewing the perfect cup of tea.

There is no blueprint across all teas for how to brew the perfect cup, as it totally depends on the blend and its ingredients.

TEA TYPES

There are four main types of teas from the tea plant camellia sinensis. The picking and processing methods determine the type of the final produce.

1. BLACK TEA
Black tea is the most common type of tea worldwide. It is made by fermenting the harvested leaves for a couple of hours before heating or drying. This oxidation darkens the leaves and increases the amount of caffeine. Of all the teas, black tea has the strongest colour and flavour.

2. WHITE TEA
White tea is the rarest and the most exclusive tea. White tea consists of the whitish buds of the tea plant which are steamed then left to dry naturally. This tea is low in caffeine and sometimes has a slightly sweet flavour.

3. GREEN TEA
Green tea makes up approximately ten percent of the world’s tea. The leaves are picked, rolled and dried before they can go brown. Green tea has a distinctive aroma and has a slight astringent taste.

4. OOLONG TEA
Oolong Tea is semi fermented, which means leaves are processed immediately after picking. They only have a short period of oxidation which turns the leaves from green to red/ brown. Its leaves have a floral, fruity quality and hence have a delicate fruity taste. It is recommended to drink Oolong tea straight and not with milk, sugar or lemon.

5. HERBAL INFUSIONS OR TISANES
Herbal infused teas are not produced from the tea plant, but from flowers, leaves, roots or seeds. Common herbal beverages are chamomile, peppermint, fennel, rose hip, and lemon verbena. Herbal infusions that do not contain tea will generally not become bitter with extended brews. These can often be brewed with boiling water 3 times without jeopardising the taste.

6. BLENDS
Tea producers make blends by combining different types of teas, often in order to achieve flavour consistency from one season to the next. Common black tea blends include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, and Russian Caravan.

BREWING TIME

Green, White and Oolong Teas should be brewed at 80°C – 90°C, and left to infuse for 2-4 minutes. You can experiment with the ideal temperature and timing, according to your taste. We sometimes leave our green tea infusions for up to 10 minutes. Just be careful not to use water that is too hot, especially with Jasmine blends, as bitters might be released.

Black and Herbal Teas should be brewed at 95°C – 100°C. When it comes to brewing time, once again it totally depends on the individual’s preferences. Black teas might also release bitters when steeped for too long. Herbal teas on the other hand do not have to be removed at all. You can adjust the brewing time until the blend’s desired strength is achieved.

MORE TIPS FOR OPTIMAL TEA BREWING

Water quality affects taste. For best results, use filtered water. Finer tea particles and leaves will infuse more quickly than whole leaves. As a result, finer tea particles often release too much tannin too quickly, creating a harsher taste. You won’t have to worry about that too much with Organic Merchant’s blends, as we only use whole and unprocessed ingredients.

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