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Teas 101

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2007

Takashimaya, a Japanese department store with locations around the world, including New York, is Martha's Secret Source for wonderful and unique teas. Opening their first store in Kyoto, Japan, in 1831, Takashimaya came to New York in 1993.

Tea plant cultivation began in China about 4,000 years ago, where it grew wild until the Chinese determined that the leaves helped flavor the taste of the water they boiled to prevent from getting sick. In the 8th century, the Japanese first became aware of tea. Today, China is still the No. 1 producer of tea, followed by India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.

Green Tea
Green teas range from smoky to sweet, and there are many to choose from, depending on your taste.

Genmaicha
A delicate blend of sencha, Japan's most popular tea. With roasted and popped rice, genmaicha has the nutty, slightly sweet flavor of rice crackers.

Budding Flower
Made with green tea leaves tied around chrysanthemum and globe amaranth flowers, budding flower tea hails from China and will "blossom" in a tea cup to create a beautiful presentation.

Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are not truly teas because they are not made from fruit, leaves, and spices and not the tea plant. They are caffeine-free and a nice way to end an evening meal.

Egyptian Chamomile
Harvested in Egypt, this tea has the aroma of fresh apples.

Lemongrass
A favorite in Asia, this refreshing Thai tea smells and tastes like lemons.

Black Teas
Black tea undergoes a fermentation process that gives it a strong, earthy flavor that lingers on the palate. Black teas are easily enhanced by adding fruit, floral, and spice flavors.

Takashimaya Supreme
Custom-blended by Takashimaya, this robust and fragrant drink is a mixture of assam, ceylon, and darjeeling teas from India.

Orange Cinnamon
With a spicy taste of orange rind, cloves, and three types of cinnamon, this Chinese tea is great for the holidays.

Takashimaya Rose
Blended with roses from China, Takashimaya rose has a complex taste and rich smell.

Resources
The teas featured on today's show can be found at ny-takashimaya.com. Special thanks to Takashimaya for giving their signature rose tea to our studio audience.