CINNAMON PLUM
NOW IN STOCK
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!

 

 

Read more
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.

Read more
JASMINE!

JASMINE!

Its scented tea month at The Naked Leaf and what better tea to highlight than the classic, flowery and aromatic jasmine tea. With a beautiful scent and delicate balance of flavour between the flower and the tea leaf, jasmine tea truly is one of a kind.

Making fine jasmine tea requires precision, expertise and a great deal time. The highest grade of jasmine teas come from the Fujian region of China. Jasmine and other scented teas have existed in China since the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The most crucial part of making jasmine tea is obtaining the best jasmine flowers as they bloom. During the Fujian provinces sweltering summer the jasmine flowers will begin to bud. During the night the flowers will open, and their aroma hits its peak potency near the middle of the evening. Experienced pickers will set out at night and choose only the best flowers based on their color. Getting the best flowers requires some serious dedication as pickers will have to stay out until 4:00 AM! The Jasmine will then be left in a heated room for four hours as their aroma evolves, and buds open further.

After the buds have opened fully, the flowers are ready to be mixed in with tea leaves, heated and monitored for up to twelve hours as the leaves absorb the aromas from the flowers. The process is not over yet as the jasmine leaves will need to be scented more than once to achieve the desired aroma and taste. The old jasmine flowers must be removed, and new flowers introduced, the leaves will be scented again and again until the scent master is satisfied with the teas’ aroma. For premium jasmine teas the leaves may be scented up to five times and the entire process can take up to a month to complete. A good sign of a high-quality jasmine tea is the lack of jasmine flowers mixed in with the tea as the jasmine flower loses its aroma only four hours after it is used to scent the tea. Lower grade Jasmine teas may leave the flowers in the blend to add bulk to the tea but will not add any benefit to the flavour.

At The Naked Leaf we are proud to serve high-quality jasmine teas and offer four varieties. The Jasmine Leaf is our classic jasmine that stands well above the average restaurant jasmine tea. If you’re looking for that classic jasmine taste this is certainly the tea for you. The Jasmine Pearls are a more premium tea and after the scenting process has been completed, the leaves of this tea are hand rolled into small pearls. The rolling process preserves the oils of the tea leaf that would normally evaporate if the leaf were left open. The result is a sweeter jasmine tea with a more textured and robust jasmine flavour. Our Premium Jasmine Oolong combines an extended jasmine scenting process with a premium oolong tea. This tea provides a complex and balanced flavour as the darker tones of the oolong counterpoint the sweet floral aroma of jasmine. For those looking for an exceptional treat, our Silver Needle Jasmine (pictured) is amazing. The leaves must be picked by expert hands to ensure the tea is composed entirely of the delicate downy buds of the tea plant. The beauty of this tea lies within the light, bright and smooth flavour provided by the tea-leaf that works in tandem with the jasmine scent to provide a velvety texture that coats the entire mouth. Try this tea if you are looking for an extremely refined jasmine experience.

Read more

Instagram

Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your Tea Basket