Specialty Teas

Specialty Tea has been a part of human history for millennia and has been steeped in tradition throughout the ages. After being enjoyed for centuries in China, it eventually made its way across the world.

It has played a part in the establishment of trade routes and wars have even been fought over it. And still, there is nothing as relaxing as sipping a cup of tea.

In recent times, there has been a shift away from the blends of everyday teas towards organic and specialty teas. Tea drinkers around the globe have been stirring the pot, as they seem to have a thirst for unique blends.

This has caused the tea industry to adapt to an evolving market and brew up some exciting new varieties. The industry is offering an ever-expanding range of flavors and experiences.

Why is there a surge in specialty teas?

For a long time, many people have enjoyed tea because of its delicious taste. So why the sudden demand for something different? Many discerning consumers are looking for premium-quality, highly flavorful specialty teas.

A new generation of tea enthusiasts: A new generation of tea drinkers has emerged. They want high-quality tea that exudes unique, distinctive flavors.

Perceived health benefits: In modern times, there is a definitive move towards what is believed to be healthier choices, like tea. While more research needs to be done on the health benefits of tea, the belief exists that tea can invigorate you, improve alertness, assist with digestion and have a calming effect when you are stressed.

New flavors: Many people have a desire for new taste sensations. They may not be content with settling for familiar flavors, but instead want to create an uplifting experience out of tea-drinking. Many people want their tea to be an adventure and thus they seek unique blends that can fulfill their taste requirements. This trend is pushing the tea industry to cater to a diverse range of tastes.

Premium products: Specialty teas are often created from whole leaves, sourced from specific origins and meticulously processed. This results in fuller flavors and superior aromas.

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How the tea industry is responding

The tea industry is excited about the changes in consumer preferences and they are working hard to fulfill the market’s requests. There have already been various adaptations to cater to these consumer trends.

Diverse products: Tea producers and purveyors have been launching diverse product lines. They are introducing unique flavors, sometimes even adding exotic ingredients to their specialty tea lines. These diverse varieties cater to a wide range of consumers and tastes.

Ethically sourced: Some consumers had concerns about the origins and quality of teas, so tea producers made a move to ensure their teas are ethically and organically sourced.

Tea accessories: The tea industry has also introduced new ways to brew and blend tea and as such, there has been a rise in tea-brewing accessories. An example of these are the chasen, which is a whisk and the chawan, which is a bowl. These are specifically for brewing and mixing matcha tea.

The Surge for Specialty Teas and Adaptation of the Tea Industry
Person pouring water-into green sauce // Source

What makes specialty teas different?

Specialty tea is superior in quality, often coming from specific single-origins. The collection process usually involves selecting and hand-plucking the young tea leaves. These teas undergo very little processing, but any processing done is meticulous to ensure the integrity of the leaves and flavor. This is why the tea is highly flavorful and aromatic.

Specialty tea is a premium product made from whole tea leaves, whereas everyday tea bags often use fannings and tea dust. This results in multiple infusions and a richer taste.

Whereas normal tea has a few, albeit limited, variations, specialty teas come in a wide variety of flavors, including fruity, floral, herbal and spiced teas. Consumers looking for unique tastes can find these in a cup of brewed specialty tea. Whether you want relaxation, rejuvenation, or a taste adventure, the world of specialty teas awaits.

Specialty tea examples

While loose-leaf teas are common with specialty teas, some specialty tea bags also exist.

These often use higher-quality ingredients, like whole leaves or larger fragments. They come in biodegradable or pyramid-shaped bags for better brewing. Specialty teas can come in powdered form, such as matcha powders, a shade-grown and stone-ground green tea known for its distinctive taste.

The industry continues to grow

The surge for specialty tea indicates consumers want extraordinary experiences, unique flavors and the best quality tea products. This change in demand has motivated the tea industry to adapt. These changes have opened up a new world of specialty teas, flavors and experiences. The future of the tea industry may keep bringing new tastes and experiences to our teacups.

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