WE HAVE MOVED!
(Just next door however!)
WE HAVE MOVED!
(Just next door however!)
WE HAVE MOVED!

WE HAVE MOVED!

Fear not! We are right next door on the street level. (It used to be the olive oil store.) Due to some water issues in the lower level, we were forced to move out. Sometimes misfortune works in your favour. Our new location is full of natural light, brighter and more beautiful than before. The new space feels larger as the layout is more open than before and higher ceilings. We are now located only a few meters from our previous location and our windows look out at the Plaza Theatre. The new address is 1130 Kensington Rd. (The old address was 1124...)

We are still providing our extensive selection of organic teas, matcha and even more beautiful teawares than before! Looking forward to seeing you soon.

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CUSTOM BLENDS

CUSTOM BLENDS

Did you know that The Naked Leaf has 14 custom blended teas? The process of creating unique blends can be complex and very interesting.

It begins with coming up with a flavour profile...floral, minty, spicy, smokey, fruity or a combination. Once that has been established, I try to figure out what other notes will work to make a successful blend. These may include earthy, woodsy, grassy etc.

Now that the concept is clear, I work to figure out which ingredients will work well together and in which amounts so that all the flavors can contribute to the final taste. Getting the base tea or herb correct is the start. 

For example, mint is often paired with green tea, or is used as the main flavour of an herbal blend. It is rarely paired with a black tea however. If blending with a green tea, finding the correct base is the next step. Japanese teas for example tend to have a vegetal/seaweed taste that I don't find particularly appealing as a pairing, but a Chinese green that can be a bit brighter in flavor may be interesting. It can take a lot of hit and miss to find the right balance.

In addition to doing some blending directly in the shop, I work with three companies to assist with blending teas that I am unable to create myself. I may not have flavors or ingredients available to fulfill the blends that I am looking for. Our Maple Chai or Breathe EZ (pictured above) would be examples of that.

Our custom blends are some of our most popular teas in the shop and I hope that you will stop by and try them out. We are very proud of our custom blend offerings. Other favourites include Happy Day, Citrus Mint, Naked Blend and Cinnamon Blast. Keep a look out our for our newest custom blend STRAWBERRY which will have dried strawberries and raspberries, eucalyptus, lemongrass and more! Should be in the shop by the end of July!

 

 

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Matcha!

Matcha!

Matcha originated when tea was introduced to Japan by Japanese monks that had returned from studying Buddhism in China. At the time of their return, the style of preparing any tea was to grind it into a fine powder and then beat it in a bowl to create the tea infusion. Over time, China moved away from powdered tea while Japan held onto some of these methods. Over time the process was improved and mastered resulting in the matcha powder we know. Today in addition to the traditional method of drinking matcha, it can be found in smoothies, baked goods and lattes. What hasn’t changed through all this time is the quality and benefits of those powdered green leaves.

Matcha is created from the highest grade tea leaf in Japan known as tencha. To create tencha, the tea bushes are grown in the shade. The process to cover acres of plants with large cloths is very laborious. Reducing the exposure to sunlight increases the chlorophyll content of the tea leaves , creating the much sought after umami /vegetal flavours of the tea. Like all Japanese green teas, the leaves are steamed at a high temperature to stop the oxidation process, preserving the lush green flavour of the leaf. However unlike other green teas, these leaves will not be rolled. Instead the stem of the leaf along with its veins will be removed so that the leaves can be ground into a fine powder. Stone mills are used to turn the tencha into matcha powder as no other process grinds the leaf as precisely as a stone mill. This method of stone milling is extremely time consuming taking up to an hour to create 30 grams of matcha powder.

Of all green teas, matcha offers the highest level of antioxidants and caffeine. Unlike a typical tea where you steep the leaves and then remove them, with matcha, because the leaves have been finely powdered, you are ingesting the entire leaf, therefore receiving all of the antioxidents and vitamins that the leaf offers.

The Naked Leaf we are pleased to offer Calgary three different varieties of matcha. The first is our pure Premium Organic Grade Matcha. This is for when you will be enjoying your tea without adding any sugar or other ingredients. Wonderfully flavorful on its own. The second is our Culinary Matcha. A slightly lower grade of tea that is fine to drink on its own, but is perfect for cooking. This tea can be used in baking, sauces, meat rubs or any other way you may want to add matcha into your diet. Our third is a Sweet Matcha powder for adding to smoothies, lattes or sprinkling on your yogurt. More tea than sugar, this is not an overly sweet blend.

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