When your tea comes in an Eshai box, you can rest assured that every ingredient in it is the real deal. We’re all about wholesome goodness and tea in its natural form.
Wake up to real tea (with nutrients your body recognises!)
Eshai teas are filled to the brim with beautiful, real and quality ingredients. We have no room for "natural" nor "artificial" flavourings, additives, fillers, perfumes or fragrances. We believe it's important for you to know what you're putting in your body and encourage you to ensure any tea you drink is free from such unnecessary additives. This is one of the major inspirations behind Eshai's ethos of hand-blending it's teas (other than ensuring authentic recipes, of course). We want you to feel confident that every ingredient in your tea is 100% natural and real. Where possible, we opt for certified organic ingredients, with quality always being the guiding force in our decision making.
What are flavourings (and is natural okay)?
Flavoured Tea vs Flavourful Tea
Many teas are blended or sprayed with flavourings and fragrances to create a stock-standard, manufactured taste and aroma. Yes, we did say ‘many’ – check your tea labels, and you may be surprised
Whether they're labelled as natural or artificial, these flavours and perfumes are designed in a laboratory. Natural flavours begin with fruits, spices, flowers, herbs, roots, leaves or bark but are then processed into an extract far from its natural state. Artificial flavourings are purely synthetic having only known life as a chemical. Scientists toy with thousands of chemical combos, testing and perfecting until they find a formula that can fool your tastebuds into thinking they've sensed something tasty.
Fakes don't taste good!
We'll leave it up to you to imagine why companies put these chemicals in a drink which has its roots in nature and which is traditionally used as a health tonic, an 'elixir of life'. While the consumption of unnecessary chemicals is something we all tend to avoid where possible, for us there is another level to our distaste for them. Put simply, if the ingredients these chemicals were sprayed on were of high enough quality, the chemicals wouldn't be needed. No matter how good of a job the lab technicians do, they can never reproduce the natural taste of real tea. The flavourings and perfumes add a single sensual dimension to the tea. Whereas a true quality blend, with real ingredients, will create a symphony of delicately balanced flavours with a natural sweetness and deliciously lingering aftertaste that captures you in a complete tea-drinking trance – one that cannot be replicated.
You deserve a natural, chemical free, tea-lightful brew
Much like a fake designer handbag that looks the part but lacks the quality, flavours in tea mask their low quality and are an easy, cheap and instant fix. But such a mindset runs in direct contrast to the traditional artform of tea making. Tea appreciation involves a great respect for the beautiful process of brewing tea. No self-respecting café would dare serve their coffee-loving patrons an instant, flavoured coffee. We feel it's high time tea lovers, and those out to get to know tea, received the same treatment!
It is for this reason that Eshai will never compromise on quality. We do not source low quality teas, mask them with flavours, and sell them as a premium product at premium prices. Rather, we celebrate and share with you the artform of brewing the teas by drawing on the old traditions. Ancient wisdom tells us how to create a delicious cup of tea, naturally. And it starts with ensuring we source only genuinely premium quality products, ones that receive a nod of approval from tea-loving countries!
What do we mean by real ingredients?
Put down the dust and start drinking real tea!
You'd be forgiven for thinking "well, tea is just tea, isn't it?" and not bothering to check labels. And with the time needed for a premium commodity, regular teabags can seem like a convenient option. But the sad fact is, the dusty wisps of tea tucked away in your average teabag have been so chopped, squashed and mistreated they end up devoid of that quality tea flavour you desire. That's why tea in tea bags are called 'fannings' or 'dust' and are not considered 'tea leaves'.
We are so proud of the quality ingredients we use in our teas and blends, and so delighted with how fresh and vibrant they look, we wouldn't dream of hiding them away in tea bags. All those whole tea, herbs, flowers, fruits and spices deserve to be displayed. These ingredients are bursting with so much natural, tasty goodness we don't need to add anything more. And, letting them be free in their natural, loose leaf state, without the confines of a tea bag, gives them the freedom needed to fully unfurl and release the very best of their flavour. In turn, this allows you to celebrate the artform of making a cup of tea as well as the joy of drinking it.
What do we mean by premium quality teas?
Inspiring tea to greatness
When famous artists and musicians are interviewed, they're often asked "who are your greatest influences?" But it's not just humans who achieve growth through this kind of inspiration. Just as the flavour and quality of wine and coffee are influenced by the elements that surround their life, growth and journey, so it is with tea. The terroir (latitude, elevation, micro-climate, weather patterns, soil type and quality), time of harvesting (the season, the time in the season, and even the time of day) and the pluck (the age of the leaves, the part of the bush it is plucked from, the leaf configuration/number of leaves plucked, whether it was plucked by hand or mechanically, the skill of the tea pickers), influence the tea leaves during their lives in the natural world. Once harvested, the manufacturing and processing methods used to turn fresh leaf into dried leaf and convert them into their chosen class of tea (green, black, white, yellow, oolong or pu-erh tea) further shape and develop each tea's emerging flavour profile.
Much like the expert tasters of the wine and coffee worlds, there are expert tea tasters. These lucky folks have developed their palate for the intricacies of tea and the abundance of subtle flavour differences it can be coloured with. With finely tuned senses, and a rich tea-tasting vocabulary, developed over many years in the industry, they are experts in determining the true quality of every tea they sip. From one mouthful of an infusion, they can get a sense of the history of the tea, and weave stories of its homeland, its life expectancy and the characteristics it contains with stunning accuracy.
These masterful tasters delight in the details with no leaf left unturned in their quality-determining quest. In addition to the hue of the infused leaf, they carefully consider the colour, quality, strength, flavour and aroma of the brewed liquor (the tea liquid). This is done through a process called "cupping" which involves, scrutiny, sniffing, slurping and spitting! Professional tea tasters will cup anywhere from 200 – 400 samples of tea each day.
Tried and tasted, expert-approved teas
As you can see, every element of tea creation and appreciation is an artform all its own, and tea tasting is no different. This is why we ensure every ingredient we consider for one of our blends has been tested and approved by a relevant tea expert. We work exclusively with people who share our deep love and respect for tea, and it's always a thrill to receive input from those who dedicated their lives to sourcing and endorsing the finest ingredients in the tea world.
From the shortlist of ingredients that meet their strict standards, we then get even more selective! Even with the finest ingredients on Earth, you still need to ensure that there's harmony in the blend. So, the final tests take place in the Eshai tea lab. There, we sample ingredients and experiment with blends until we find those truly transcendent combinations that are destined to find their way into an Eshai box. We are committed to delivering perfection to our Tea Tribe, so you'll never find a single low-grade in one of our boxes.
From our hands to yours, let’s put the love (and the realness) back into tea!