To compose a really good tea, you need the right feel and above all an irrepressible thirst to get to know everything about it.
Every tea has a different taste and every person’s sense of taste is different. This is why we don’t solely rely on our personal perceptions but use the expertise of our specialists. Our various tea varieties are developed together with a team of experienced tea sensory assessors and sommeliers. And we don’t limit ourselves to our extensive knowledge of the individual teas and their taste – we also love to be inspired by new trends.
For example, we came up with the idea of creating a tea interpretation of the popular Aperol Spritz cocktail while sitting in a bar. That idea became our fruit infusion BITTER ORANGE. With its tart-sweet aroma of sun-ripened oranges, it also makes a delicious chilled drink in summer. But our classics are anything but ordinary either. For our THE CAMOMILE, for instance, we process substantially more of the whole flowers. Not only does it look delicious, this also gives it a very full aroma.
Every tea is as individual as its diverse taste profile. And yet they all come from the same plant – black, white and green tea.
Camellia sinensis is the Latin name for the Chinese tea bush, the mother of all teas. Tea comes exclusively from the leaves, buds and delicate stems of this plant. Infusions, on the other hand, are made of fruit or herbs and should really be referred to as “tea-like products”.
Tea is generally divided into two varieties: the Chinese sinensis variety has small, delicate leaves that grow slowly. Although it produces less of a yield, it can also be cultivated in non-tropical regions. When brewed, this tea has an attractive, light colour and an aromatic mild-flowery flavour. We suggest you try our LEGEND OF PAI MU TAN to explore this variety.
Next up is the assamica variety, which was cultivated by the British and is mostly used for the production of black tea. Originating from Northeast India, the Assam area is now the largest contiguous tea growing area in the world. Assamica is characterised by its yield and strong taste – as with our STRONG ASSAM, with its invigorating malty-spicy character.
In Germany, herbal and fruit infusions are even more popular than classic teas. This comes as no surprise, because with an infinite number of ingredients and combination options, each one truly has its own character. From the irresistibly fruity-creamy CREAMY STRAWBERRY and the fresh-spicy CLUB GINGER to the intense, chocolaty PURE CHOC, the new creations are so popular, they are proving to be competition for smoothies and mixed drinks – even though they are entirely caffeine-free.
Because if it’s organically produced, you can enjoy it with a clear conscience. That’s why all the ingredients of our teas and infusions bear the organic seal that only certified plantations receive. Our HONEY ROOIBOS comes from the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape of South Africa and is in addition distinguished for its highly sustainable cultivation.
The aromas that make each tea unique originate in the countless growing areas of the world. The unique taste of each tea comes from different soils, climate conditions and individual production methods. With its elegant, fresh-smelling character, our SUPREME GYOKURO, which comes from a small growing area in Japan, is thus entirely different from our PREMIUM DARJEELING with its slightly nutty note of muscatel. This is grown in northern India on the slopes of the Himalayas.
In general, the tea plant Camellia sinensis grows best in loose soil that is rich in humus and slightly acidic. Temperatures should be around 19 °C, with hot, wet summers and mild, dry winters Another decisive factor for the quality of a tea’s taste is the altitude. The higher the growing area, the slower the plant will grow and the more tender the leaf becomes, which in turn translates into a higher quality. The tea plants for our BEYOND NEPAL, for example, grow on one of the world’s highest plantations.
Avoury tea is produced in large, prestigious growing areas as well as on smaller private plantations that produce very special quality. Some of our tea is sourced from the Indian district of Darjeeling, for example, which is a growing region that most people are probably aware of. However, what is not so well known is that high-quality teas are also grown in Rwanda. For our EARL GREY and LADY ROSE duo, we selected a tea plantation in Rukeri, in north-western Rwanda. With nutrient-rich soil and a warm, humid climate, this area is perfect for developing the special aromas of these teas.
Only 2% of tea sold worldwide comes from organic farming. Organic means that no chemical pesticides or synthetic growth promoters are used in growing the crops and no genetically modified plants are cultivated. It goes without saying that all Avoury teas are certified organic.
Tea leaves are still harvested by hand in China, a job that requires an instinctive feel. The young leaves on the uppermost part of the bush are of the highest quality and contain the highest concentration of natural ingredients. For premium teas, “two leaves and a bud” – the top two young leaves and the bud – are picked. To protect the dry, sensitive leaves from breaking, they are often rolled into ornate pearls, such as we use for our THAI JING SHUAN.
After harvesting, the individual tea leaves are first withered to make them supple and prevent them from breaking during the next steps. To achieve this, the leaves are spread on large frames covered with wire mesh in ventilated rooms and turned several times. The withering takes place at a temperature between 25 and 30 °C and the leaves lose 20-30% of their moisture.
Piled on top of each other, the leaves start to oxidise slowly at about 25 °C and 95% humidity. Oxidising causes valuable essential oils and flavourings to develop; this is the process that gives the tea its natural colour. The cell sap colours the chlorophyll a reddish brown, which is easily seen in the colour of black teas. Oxidation lasts up to 12 hours and ends with the introduction of dry heat.
Rolling the tea leaves causes the cell walls to break down. This stimulates oxidation and ensures that the ingredients dissolve more easily during later infusion. The rolling process also gives the tea its individual look: from spherical to curly, from needle-like to smooth. Hand-rolled teas are the extravagant exotics of all teas, and this is reflected in the price. If you would like to taste such a real handmade tea, try our PEARLS OF JASMINE.
Deciding on the right time to start the drying process is crucial for the tea’s later taste. This stage requires the full expertise and sensitivity of a tea master. They have to rely on the smell and feel of the tea to decide if it has the proper quality. By using high heat the oxidation process is stopped and drying commences. It is of crucial importance to choose the optimum temperature and duration of the drying in order to complete the production process.
Each tea has unique nuances and aromas that make it incomparable. Teas differ not only in their cultivation and production, but also in their preparation.
The right portion size of a tea is always dictated by the type of tea and by how strongly it unfolds its flavours. For example, black teas are stronger in taste and you need less tea when brewing it. The filling quantity in the Avoury tea capsule is therefore optimally adapted to the respective tea. In order to fully develop their aroma, teas and infusions need a lot of space and freedom of movement. For this reason, the special chamber system of the Avoury Tea Machine was developed so that the tea can circulate freely in the water inside the capsule. In general, the longer a tea is brewed, the faster the flavourings dissolve in the water. Each tea requires its own specific water temperature to develop every nuance of its taste. Black tea needs high temperatures, while white tea is much more sensitive. The Avoury system automatically detects which tea is brewing and adjusts the brewing temperature to the requirements of that tea. The result is that every tea tastes exactly as it should. Green tea is particularly demanding in its preparation. If the water is too hot or it is brewed for too long, bitter substances form. If the water is too cold, the aromas cannot dissolve. For newcomers to the art of drinking green tea, the Avoury Tea Machine is a particularly good alternative to conventional preparation. The right brewing time is important for a perfect result and it is different for each tea. Fruit infusions, for example, require a longer brewing time than most teas to fully develop their aromas. This is also recognised by the Avoury Tea Machine and the brewing time adjusted automatically. All you have to do is enjoy the tea.
A tea develops the typical aroma of black, green, white or oolong according to the production steps it undergoes. But some teas also receive a special treatment that has a significant influence on their taste.
Why shake something to life if you can wake it up oh-so gently?
For a long time, the pick-me-up in tea was called "theine" – when in fact, it is actually the well-known drug caffeine. But in tea, the stimulant has a completely different effect than in coffee. This is because in tea, caffeine is bound to polyphenols. What this means, is that the shorter the brewing time of the tea, the higher the unbound amount of caffeine. Binding to tannins reduces the effect of caffeine in tea. This means that it is a little weaker than in coffee, but it lasts longer. The caffeine content in tea is dependent on many parameters. In addition to the plant, the growing region, the climate and the harvest time, the amount of tea, the brewing time and the water temperature are of great influence.