Back to Tradition…
Inspired by Asia’s great tea cultures, we don’t just source some of the world’s finest tea leaves, we want to give you the know-how to get the best from them. The principle of Gong Fu inspires everything we do at JING. We apply the rules of this ancient art of tea making, from the loose tea we source, to how it is packed and stored, to the teaware and recipes we develop. We are the first to admit that drinking from a Gaiwan on a water tray, whilst being uplifting and authentic, is not always practical in our everyday busy lives. Developing a tea bag to encapsulate our fundamental principles was our real challenge…
Challenging Tea bag Conventions
Well some decisions were easy. We knew we would use whole leaf tea to not compromise on taste and flavour. The dust included in most mass market tea bags is a sad representation of tea. If not stored well, tea’s delicious flavours and exciting colours start to fade, so packaging in airtight metallic sachets was a no-brainer. We even pack at source so that freshness is sealed in practically as it is produced.
Why a pyramid? Much more work went into the tea bag format and material. After hundreds of tests, trials and tastings, we settled on the current size and shape – the pyramid allows room for the tea to move about, unfurl and infuse properly. The mesh material is a plant-based polymer which is very permeable, transparent and biodegradable; you can literally throw it away with your compost.
The Tea to Water Ratio: Our Endless Dilemma
So now we had made decisions on our tea, tea bag format and packaging. Our biggest challenge was on deciding the quantity of tea. Gong Fu tea tradition dictates you should always brew exactly the amount of tea you will drink. This way you get the full range of flavours and won’t leave your leaves to stew and ruin your second cup. What quantity of tea produces the best cup of tea? And more importantly how much water is in in a typical cup so we know how much tea for each bag.
The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Cup
Here’s where it gets a little bit mad. We then spent weeks buying and measuring cups from cafes, restaurants, hotels, department stores and our own homes. We bought mugs, porcelain and glass cups, saucers and even paper cups. We were obsessed – how much water is in the “average cup”? We cannot share the exact numbers as this is one of our most precious trade secrets, our “Coca Cola recipe” locked away in a vault, but suffice to say, it is a topic we still discuss and debate vigorously.
The Rewarding Journey…
Our tasting room is where the magic happens. This is where we are trialling new teas, doing masterclasses and blind tastings versus competition. We constantly test our teas versus similar teas from competitors to improve the tea sourced, or refine recipes. We are obviously biased when it comes to our preferred tea brand but blind tasting is the only way for us to truly confirm that we really do deliver an unrivalled cup of tea. Was obsessing about these details when developing our tea bags worth the time and effort? If it helps our customers enjoy tea at its best, and to discover the pleasure of great tea, then we think so.