Steeping parameters are on the sample envelope, retail box (inner pouch), bulk bag, MIYABI can, and site listing (scroll down) for each tea. These are our suggestions after rigorous testing. We cup our teas monthly to account for changes due to aging, storage and weather conditions, and other factors that affect tea. Generally, we advise steeping at higher weight for less time. Experimentation is encouraged.
– Steep at a ratio of 1:3 (1 gram tea : 3 ounces water). – Fill vessel with cool water. – Steep overnight in refrigeration, or for 12 hours.
TEA CONCENTRATE (use in tea lattes, to replace water in simple syrups, or other sig drink prep)
– Steep at a ratio of 1:2 (1 gram tea : 2 ounces water). – Steep at suggested temperature (refer to label). – Steep to-strength (5-10 minutes).
HUGO TEA SPACE
Hugo Tea Space is a modern specialty tea café in Bucktown, Chicago. Here, we serve tea with a method called gong fu cha ("tea with effort"), which is basically steeping more leaves, with less water, for less time, over the course of multiple steeps (sometimes up to 10 or more). This is where our smallest lot teas end up; stop by to experience teas we can't sell online.
The reasons for this are many—but most often, a farm simply lacks the incentive to go through the rigors of organic certification (a process that takes several years and costs a lot of money). Unlike the very real narrative in coffee of the small farmer who can't afford certification, our non-certified producers simply don't need to go organic (strong domestic market for their product, unlike most coffee producers), or don't want to compromise their land / farming practices (usually several generations old). Our Nagasaki matcha, for instance, is grown with fermented fertilizer made with wildcaught fish from the bay—a completely clean and sustainable method--but small amounts of non-organic fertilizer are added to the mix to provide consistency in nutrition, making the fields technically non-organic.
That said, we make special efforts to only work with producers who use no synthetic agrochemicals, and who are committed to clean, biodynamic farming practices. To verify this, we put all our producers through 3rd party lab testing, and make personal visits to the farms to ensure everything is up to standard.
The USDA (US), EU (Europe), and JAS (Japan) organic certifying bodies are extremely strict, and guarantee a certain standard of cultivation, processing, storage, and more that far outpaces conventional agriculture in terms of environmental impact and human health. Despite what you may hear, the organic standard is seriously trustworthy, and in most instances is a better choice than uncertified tea.
That said, it's not always better—sometimes, certified organic growers are working with inferior material, have poor production standards, or are otherwise not producing great tea, albeit organic.
The most ideal tea comes from older tea trees growing on clean land (no artifical agrochemicals used, ever) at high elevation, and produced to finish by true masters of tea making. Organic can be a helpful buying guideline (especially in a grocery store setting where allthe tea is liable to be subpar quality), but other metrics matter more to us. You decide what's important to you.
See above. This is a reality in coffee, and a rarity in tea.
We take our partnerships seriously. If you feel your coffee shop or restaurant is a good fit, say hello.
Yes. In-person and virtual trainings are available. Schedule a video chat with our educator: firstname.lastname@example.org