The Tea Smith After 5

Tea Smithies are constantly experimenting with tea blends, cooking with matcha, and making off-menu drinks. After much
pastedImage consideration, we’ve decided to start offering several of these creations on a special menu, available only at our Old Market location after 5p Thursday-Saturday and anytime on Sunday.

Our ‘After 5’ menu features refreshing tea based cocktails (sans alcohol!), blended drinks, small bites, and even a few desserts! Our drinks are non-alcoholic, served in special glassware, and our food offerings include options for our gluten-free and vegan friends, too!

Many Omaha residents and visitors frequent the Old Market because it is a great place to gather with friends or for work, to grab a drink, shop, eat, and unwind. The Tea Smith Old Market has always been a place of calm amongst the storm of the Old Market hustle and bustle, offering teas, accessories, snacks, and wi-fi. With our new After 5 menu, we’ve also added some additional comfy seating and adjusted our lighting to make our Old Market location the perfect spot to Gather, Eat, Drink, and Relax.

We are SO excited to share our new creations with you! Over the coming days, we will share photos and details of these new items. Stay tuned!!

Click Here to view our After 5 menu!

First Flush Darjeelings, Margaret’s Hope and Gopaldhara Queens have arrived!

Darjeeling is a special place, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, home to over seventy different tea estates. In order protect the reputation of Darjeeling tea, these estates have been given special status by the Tea Board of India, which guarantees the source of Darjeeling tea. (Source: www.teaboard.gov.in)

The taste of Darjeeling is ultimately what has given it its unparalleled reputation for quality worldwide. The most renowned Darjeeling tea either comes from the first or second flush. The first flush includes harvested teas from late Feb. to mid April. Harvested in June, the second flush teas are more fully developed. Both flushes are as wonderful as the other but hold different flavors. The tea which is harvested in spring – when the leaves are small – hold a light and floral flavor and those pulled in the second flush hold a strong and bold taste.

The taste most commonly associated with Darjeeling tea is that of ‘muscatel’, a grape that is commonly used in wine production. The liquor of Darjeeling tea is a golden, bright color, while the flavor is bright and aromatic, with notes of warm spice. Darjeeling teas also feature fresh citrusy, fruity notes.

Each season, The Tea Smith staff spends a considerable amount of time sampling the Darjeeling offerings until we find teas that we are proud to offer to our customers.

Margaret’s Hope is a world famous name when it comes to Darjeeling tea. Planted about a century

Darjeeling-1st-Flush-Glenburn-Estate

ago, the unusual name ‘Margaret’s Hope’ was given to the garden in 1927, by the owner Mr. Cruikshank. His daughter, Margaret, captivated by the beauty, had a deep attachment to the garden. Unfortunately, she died of a tropical disease while traveling years later. Her father named the garden in her memory. Margaret’s Hope, is as romantic a place as its name suggests. Occasional views of the Himalayan peaks, the abundance of trees, the wild flowers and streams appear to beckon the China bushes to create some of the most exquisite teas in the country. Once you experience the flavor and sweetness of this tea, you will understand why Margaret’s Hope is listed among the very top of Darjeeling estates and boasts of a very devoted following.
Located in Mirik Valley, Gopaldhara is one of the highest tea estates in Darjeeling and is known for exquisite quality teas.

Darjeeling-1st-Flush

In 1881, the original planters started planting teas on lush green fields that belonged to a person named ‘Gopal’. As the fields were combined with numerous natural streams, called ‘dharas’ in the local language, a combination of the two gave the name ‘Gopaldhara’ to the planted tea fields.
An exquisitely aromatic and floral spring black tea, Gopaldhara Queens has energizing notes of sweet fruits and subtle grassy hints of coriander in the background. The leaves display beautiful shades of green and the liquor is light golden. The finish is smooth, long and sweet. An excellent, must have first flush tea.

Tips for Making the Perfect First Flush Cuppa

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Add one teaspoon per person, plus ‘one for the pot’, to a warmed teapot. Bring water to the boil then wait for the water to cool about 30 degrees, then pour over the leaves. Allow to brew for 3-5 minutes and stir prior to serving. First Flush Darjeeling is best drunk without milk. First Flush Darjeeling is a perfect afternoon refreshment, and the ideal accompaniment to a freshly baked scone.

Introducing a Friend to Tea

Women Having Tea
Did you know that tea is the second most consumed liquid on earth, only after water? It also contains a plethora of health benefits from increasing our metabolism, to helping prevent cancer, to controlling cholesterol levels.

I’m the first to admit- walking into my first teashop was quite an intimidating experience. There were all types of cool canisters along the wall with teas I had never heard of, some of which I wasn’t even sure of the pronunciation. Yes, I was actually scared. My eyes quickly darted over all of the tea names and landed on one I had heard of and knew I could pronounce- Earl Grey.

So when a friend of mine asked if I could be her tour guide into the world of tea, I was elated! Two years since that first Earl Grey, I felt like I had a much better grasp on the fabulous world of tea. Here are some simple tips when introducing yourself or a friend to tea!

First and foremost- have fun! Don’t take it too seriously. It should be an enjoyable experience to try new teas. The first step is to get the necessary supplies. They will include a tea infuser, a tea kettle and a nice mug to enjoy your tea in.

As a tea tour guide, the best thing to do is to not be overwhelming. Sure, let them know that the world of tea is so much bigger than this cup or this variety, but also bring it to a level that they can relate to. Show them what tea can do for them. Whisk up a Matcha tea and ask if they feel like they have more energy. Have them take notes when trying new teas. It’s hard to remember all of the types/flavors later on.

If possible, visit your local tea store during a slow time of day. A weekday afternoon might be a good time. Start out slow, maybe order a tea flight with 3 or 4 sample teas. The staff will be able to spend more time with you talking about some store favorites along with answering all of your questions! Make sure to try the store samples too!

Enroll together in a tea class! Tea 101, Matcha Madness, and Introduction to Green Teas are offered at the Tea Smith and are all great choices to learn more about tea.

If you’re unsure about where to start with all the different tea types, try a tea sampler box! Tea samplers include (6) seasonal loose teas. Another great option is to check out a tea subscription box. The Tea Smith hand-picks blends and flavors to best complement each month of the season, from spicy and comforting teas during the wintertime, to fruity teas for icing on long summer days.

In the end, show your new tea drinking friend that tea is something worth paying attention to, not just a hot drink for when you’re under the weather.

Spring Teas have Sprung

Tea Smith Tea and white cup

With the arrival of spring and its ever-warming weather, there are a plethora of bright, floral and herbal teas to match what’s happening outside. Spring teas are among the most beautiful, colorful, and delightful flavors available at any time of year. And for tea-lovers, the start of spring is pure enjoyment!

In Japan, the season of spring is marked by the aromatic, pink blossoms of cherry trees. The sense of renewal is captured in our Cherry Blossom Green Tea, marked with dried cherry bits. http://www.theteasmith.com/product/Cherry-Blossom-Green-Tea.html

Spring is most arguably the high season for Chinese tea. Some of the nation’s best and most sought-after teas originate in spring, when the first buds on tea plants are harvested after the winter.

Jasmine Pearl is comprised of Fine Pouchong leaves, scented with jasmine blooms, then rolled into pearls that unfurl in your cup. These slender green leaves produce their entrancing aroma for three, four, five infusions. http://www.theteasmith.com/product/Finest-Jasmine-Pearls-Green-Tea.html

Black tea is widely known for its wealth of benefits, from increasing energy to boosting immunity. Simply Strawberry Black Tea has a subtle aroma and flavor when hot, but a slightly stronger aroma and sweet flavor once it has cooled making it a treat that can be enjoyed all year long! http://www.theteasmith.com/product/Simply-Strawberry-Black-Tea.html

Perfect for a sunny spring day is The Tea Smith’s Orange Blosson Rooibos tea. This is a light, orange-scented tea with curls of orange zest. When infused, the rind imparts a splash of citrus that comes together with the crispness of rooibos. http://www.theteasmith.com/product/Orange-Blossom-Rooibos-Tea.html

If you’re looking for something soothing after a long day, the natural oils in Lavender White Tea promote relaxation even before you take that first sip. White teas are enjoyed for their floral notes. Add natural lavender flowers and you have a tea that is uplifting and at the same time relaxing. http://www.theteasmith.com/product/Lavender-Spring-White-Tea.html

The short time between spring and summer brings about the new first flush Darjeelings from India. First flushes are regarded as the “champagne of tea.” Stay tuned! We will be announcing the arrival of our 2017 Darjeeling- 1st Flush- soon!