Loose Leaf Tea 101 + A Giveaway [Featuring K’Tizo Tea]

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We love spreading the word about things we love – whether it’s coffee, flannel shirts, bags, or jewelry. Our latest favorite? K’Tizo Tea.

I met Judy, founder of K’Tizo, several months ago at an event at a local cupcake bakery. After sampling a few of her products I knew I had to do a tea post on the blog. So a few weeks later over a glass of Indian Summer iced tea, Judy shared about the art and science of this intriguing beverage, launching me into a new obsession that I couldn’t wait to share with you.

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In just a few hours with Judy, a tea sommelier and Certified Tea Specialist, I was captivated by all there was to learn. You can expect many more tea-related posts to come, but for this first one I wanted to whet your palate by sharing a few main points and brewing instructions for four types of tea – black, green, herbal and rooibos.

KTizo Tea Text

Black teas have been highly oxidized. In other words, the leaves from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) have been through a natural chemical process known as enzymatic browning (the same thing that makes apples turn brown when they’re left out). Usually this process begins after tea leaves are rolled or macerated, which begins the cell breakdown that results in the “browning” (for more on the oxidation process, click here).

Black teas range a great deal in their flavor profile, and many blends lend themselves well to adding milk and sugar. The amount of caffeine in black tea is about half that of coffee. Steep most black teas with water at 208 degrees for 3-5 minutes.

In green teas, no oxidation has taken place. Many people see it as bitter and harsh and one of the main reasons for that is improper brewing. Pouring boiling water over green tea will scorch it and letting it steep for too long yields undesirable bitterness. Green tea should typically be steeped with water that is at 180 degrees for only 1-2 minutes. A cup of green tea, which is high in antioxidants, contains less caffeine than black tea since it’s steeped at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time.

Herbal teas (also sometimes referred to as tisanes) aren’t actually tea at all. True tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. Instead, herbal tea is a mix of fruit, flowers, leaves, spices or other plant materials. Herbal teas contain no caffeine and should be brewed with 208 degree water (just under a boil) for 5-7 minutes.

For a long time, I actually had no idea what rooibos tea really was – I just knew I liked it. Through K’Tizo I learned that rooibos is a tisane from South Africa and is sometimes referred to as Rooibush or “red bush”. In other words, rooibos tea comes from a South African herb, not the Camellia sinensis. Rooibos tea tends to have an earthy and nutty flavor, contains no caffeine and is high in antioxidants. Brew rooibos with 208 degree water for 5-7 minutes.

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K’Tizo puts the basics of tea brewing into an extremely helpful chart pictured below. K’Tizo also includes this chart on each one of their bags of loose leaf tea so you can ensure your tea is properly brewed every time.


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The Giveaway! If you’ve been following us for the last few months, you know that we LOVE to give things away! And of course the best way to learn more about tea is to try it, so K’Tizo is giving away three teas plus a loose leaf tea infuser. The winner will be able to choose which tea set they’d like – greens/whites (organic), black (organic), artisan or herbal/rooibos. The giveaway is only open to US residents. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Featured Teas in this post: Vanilla Creme (Black), Pecan Rooibos, Irish Breakfast (Black), Pina Colada Twist (Herbal), Raspberry Acai (Green), Darjeeling 1st Flush (Black), Darjeeling Sungma (Black)

To learn more, visit the K’Tizo Tea website and blog!

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  1. The vanilla creme black tea sound like my kind of drink! This tea could be the perfect Christmas gift for my mom

  2. The time and temperature chart is so helpful – going to put that in my tea drawer.

  3. Well it seems that i have been brewing my tea wrong as well hahah. I love tea, my family and i drink tea at least 3 times a day. My favorite tea is any chai tea really, but then black tea would be my next favorite. Man i would love to win so i could share this with my mother. I absolutely adore this blog. It is so educational as well as inspiring. Thank you guys so much for sharing your wonderful intellect on DIYs

  4. Elizabeth says:

    All of the tea looks delicious!

  5. I love tea and I get so excited when people get into loose leaf tea. Love this giveaway and if love to win!!


  6. The Vanilla Creme sounds heavenly!

  7. Donna Ingalls says:

    Love the vanilla creme tea.
    Thanks so much for the great tea brewing chart. I printed it out and taped it to the inside of my kitchen cabinet door. Great reference tool.

  8. I must admit I’ve never tried this tea but would love to. We only drink loose tea and although my husband operates a coffee cafe I only drink tea. Go figure…lol.

  9. I would love to try the “PINA COLADA TWIST”

  10. I love tea and usually use tea bags but I would love to expand my knowledge and start using loose teas.

  11. I think because of the time of year it is and it sounds warm and cozy, I would like to try the Cinnamon Spice black tea blend. So many sound great!

    Thanks for the great brewing info also, very helpful.

  12. I adore lose teas. The pecan one sounds wonderful!

  13. I love loose teas! Not a coffee drinker at all, so I do tea every morning, and that Raspberry Acai green sounds great!

  14. I would love to try the Schizandra Berries tea!

  15. The Vanilla Creme looks perfect!

  16. Loose leaf teas are the best!! There are so many that I would love to try. The Autumn Spice sounds amazing!!

  17. Daily Woman (Lacey) says:

    I would like the try the Coconut Quench

  18. I am trying to like tea more ( I am a huge coffee addict) So this was really interesting to read. The pecan one is right up my alley.

  19. Pick just ONE tea? Oh my there are so many that sound delicious!! The Autumn Spice, Paradise, Smoky Mountain, and the Cinnamon Spice are just a few of the ones I would LOVE to try… and then my boys have a list almost as long as my arm that they would like to try!

  20. These teas look amazing!! Vanilla Creme, Pecan Rooibos, and Cinnamon Spice sound perfect for chilly weather.

  21. I’d love the Black Tea Set. The Pina Colada sounds sooooo good!
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