more on TEA

What's the difference between all these teas?

Tea comes from the plant camellia sinensis, and the different types of tea depends on their oxidation level. Herbal "teas" don't contain this plant, and so they technically aren't really tea, but rather tisanes or infusions.

For Naturally Caffeinated Teas:

  • Black tea is 90-100% oxidized, and brews a dark, honey colour. Typically has a full, strong body, with malty notes.
  • Green tea is 10-40% oxidized, and brews a lighter chartreuse. Usually has notes of grass or seaweed.
  • Oolong tea falls between a green or black tea, and varies greatly in brew colour and tasting notes.
  • White tea is almost completely unoxidized, and brews a pale cream, with a very light and delicate flavour profile.

    For Non-Caffeinated Teas:

  • Herbal tea is made from any combination of dried fruits, herbs, plants, or spices.
  • Rooibos, Afrikaans for red bush, is made from the leaves of a bush plant, and brews a rich amber, with a tangy, fruity note.
  • Honeybush, similar to rooibos, comes from a South African bush, but has a fuller body and sweeter, honey notes.
  • Hold on - what about Orange Pekoe?

    Orange Pekoe refers to the grade of the tea leaves themselves, as opposed to the type of tea. Grading depends on the size of the leaf, where on the plant it was picked, and when. It's all very complicated, and the highest grade differs depending on the country.

    Safe to say, if you're looking for something with a similar flavour profile and body, we'd recommend a no-fuss black tea like our Assam or English Breakfast.

    Which tea has the most caffeine then?
    And how come you don't sell any decaf teas?

    Similar to roasts for coffee, the more oxidized the tea is, the less caffeine it has. So white tea has the most caffeine, followed by green, then oolong, then black. However, depending on the tea and how you steep your brew, you may find the reverse to be true!

    As for decaf, the process of removing caffeine severely impacts the flavour and health benefits of the tea, and still leaves some caffeine behind. For that reason, we highly recommend any of our naturally non-caffeinated teas instead.

    Alternatively, you can "make" any of our caffeinated teas decaf by simply steeping the tea for 5-10 minutes in boiling hot water and throwing this first steep away. Your second steep will be much less caffeinated, and without any of the chemical processing!

    How does tea compare to coffee for caffeine?

    Fun fact, tea has more caffeine than coffee! If you eat the leaves whole, that is. Once brewed, coffee does contain more caffeine. However, tea also contains an amino acid called L-Theanine which studies have shown to help relax the mind while also improving mental focus. So if you're in for a long day of working, tea is the way to go. If you need to get pumped before a workout, go for the coffee.

    If you find tea usually isn't strong enough, but coffee makes you too jittery, try matcha! As it's finely ground green tea, you're ingesting whole tea leaves, thus giving you a huge hit of caffeine, but thanks to our friend L-Theanine, you digest it slower, so you get an even, all-day energy boost.

    So what's the deal with all this flavouring stuff?

    To keep it simple, there's roughly three types of flavouring:

  • Artificial flavourings are manufactured from chemical compounds. They typically taste quite fake and include things not found in nature (cotton candy, anyone?).
  • Natural flavourings are derived from the real thing. It was, at some point, in contact with an actual fruit, plant, spice, or nut.
  • Organic flavourings are more like an extract or oil obtained from certified organic product. These have a stronger, purer taste.
  • At Steam, we make a concious effort to only offer teas that contain natural or organic flavourings. No artificial flavours here!

    ORDERs & gifting

    Do you offer in-store pick up?

    We do! Just add items to your cart as per usual, and at check out, you should see an option for local pickup.

    Help! I can't find a tea I swear you used to carry.

    We have sadly discontinued some teas that we've found were less popular (we're very small and we need the shelf space!). We also may have just rotated it out for the season. Give us a shout if there's a tea you're just dying to have, and we may have some left!

    I don't know where to start! What do you recommend?

    We're always happy to offer recommendations for you or a friend! Feel free to drop us a line or come by in-person. Alternatively, you can check our main page for our Best Sellers and Steam Favourites. They'll be updated every season!

    I'm buying some tea as a present, do you offer gift wrap?

    We can certainly try! Just leave us a note at checkout and we'll give it our best shot. If you want something extra fancy, please let us know ahead of time so we can try to accommodate!

    Can you package my order into separate bags?
    Alternatively, can you combine my order into one bag?

    We can separate larger orders of tea into smaller bags (1kg into two 500g bags) or combine smaller orders into a larger bag (200g into one bag). Just leave us a note at checkout to let us know!

    Do you offer discounts on bulk orders?

    We do! You might have noticed the price for 300g is already 10% off compared to 3 x 100g. And if you order 1kg, it'll be 15% off compared to 10 x 100g.

    Please be aware that it may take us 1-2 business days to fulfill these larger orders due to limited stock.

    For larger wholesale orders for cafes, restaurants, or retail, please contact us directly at

    Do you offer favours for weddings or corporate events?

    We'd love to be a part of your special event! Please send us an inquiry with as much detail as possible regarding the number of favours and when you'd need them by.

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