Other Questions

"What is the difference between regular and herbal tea?"

When people refer to "regular tea" they typically mean White, Green, Oolong, or Black tea made from the leaf of the plant, camellia sinensis, grown principally in China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Africa and other subtropical mountainous areas around the world.

Herbal teas, properly called "herbal tisanes", are brewed from the roots, stems, bark, leaves and flowers of other plants, many of which taste good and/or have reported health benefits. Herbal teas are at least as old as "regular" tea, and have been an important part of cultural experience. Most modern medicines are distilled from herbal plants, or copied from nature in the form of synthetic compounds.

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"Why are your teas available only in loose-leaf form?"

Loose leaf teas simply offer the best variety, quality, and freshness. While the tea bag is convenient and some good tea can be found in tea bags in Europe, it is most often blended highly and goes stale much more quickly than loose tea, because it is "cut and sifted" to make it ready for the bag. The smallest leaf particles, grades such as "fannings" and "dust" are used in tea bags allowing the tea to brew quickly and strongly, but also making it difficult to keep fresh. Herbal teas in bags have different properties, but still are subject to going stale faster than loose leaf teas.

Making great loose leaf tea is no more difficult than coffee. Brew the recommended time and separate the leaves from the infusion by pouring off into your cup, another pot, or carafe.

ZHI currently offers the T-Sac which is a great way to steep your leaves in a convenient and quality retaining fashion, thereby bypassing the quality obscuring nature of old-school teabags.

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"What exactly are antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and catechins?"

Antioxidants bind harmful oxygen-containing molecules in your body called free radicals and peroxides that otherwise could damage your DNA, cell membranes, and other cell components. The process of breaking down food for energy creates free radicals in your body everyday. Naturally occurring antioxidants found in most plants including fruits and vegetables help your body keep free radicals in check.

Flavonoids are nutrient antioxidants found in most plants and many foods common in the human diet. There are 12 types of flavonoids, and one plant species may contain hundreds of different flavonoids. Polyphenol is a broad class of antioxidants including flavonoids and catechins. Catechins are a type of flavonoid contained in the leaves of tea. Catechins are very strong antioxidants, even more powerful than vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene at combating harmful free radicals and protecting fragile DNA.

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"Do you guys drink coffee over at ZHI?"

Not much, if at all. Although we certainly used to! One of us grew up with the specialty coffee craze in Seattle in the 1980's (before Starbucks, he is ready to point out). Part of the journey at Zhi Tea has been the gradual evolution from coffee to tea. Several of us here are vegetarians; many practice yoga, and meditation and, as such, coffee just became too agitating to the system.

That said, when one of us is looking for a good energizing bump, we need look no further than our Carnival Mat? or our Assam Breakfast!

Hey, coffee isn't evil; in fact, what would a college term paper be without it? If you are transitioning, relax! Enjoy the process, let yourself be pulled by the subtle, rejuvenating power of tea at your own pace.

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"What is chai exactly?"

Good question. Chai, an Indian word for tea (from the Chinese word 'cha'), is understood in America as an Indian way of preparing tea. Black tea blended with spices and prepared with sugar and milk. We offer a truly authentic Masala Chai . In India, the word "masala" refers to a traditional blend of fragrant spices, an essential ingredient in cooking and in tea.

Traditionally, Masala Chai is a bracing, strongly spiced beverage brewed with so-called "warm" spices. Most Masala Chai incorporates one or more of the following: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and cloves. Other possible ingredients include Nutmeg, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla , licorice or saffron.

Many recipes are treasured family blends, and vary from family to family and region to region. Chai is as popular in India as coffee is here in America. ZHI offers several types of gorgeous chais, including a completely caffeine-free chai made with rooibos and spices, called, Kenya Chai.

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"What if I don't like my tea? Can I send it back?"

We recommend trying a sample of an unknown tea before you buy; but if you find yourself with a tea you just don't enjoy for whatever reason we will accept a return and refund your full purchase price. See our Return Policy for more details.

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"What if I have trouble ordering online? Can I order over the phone? By check?"

We hope our site is as user-friendly as we think it is! But sometimes you just want someone to help you with your order. We have a friendly and knowledgeable staff person available by phone to take your order from 9-5 CST M-F at 1-888-ZHI-4TEA (944-4832). Yes, you may pay by check, but it will take up to 10 days for funds to clear.

We want your experiences at ZhiTea.com to be safe and secure and we are fully committed to this goal. Therefore, we use GeoTrust's (Verisign) 256 bit, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology enhanced with Server Gated Cryptography (SGC), the most robust encryption technology commercially available in the world, to encrypt your credit card number and other personal information as it travels over the internet from your computer to our secure server. SSL is a standard technology used by millions of other commercial e-commerce websites. You can always tell when a web page uses SSL since the “http” in your browser’s address box changes to “https” (the s stands for secure). Most browsers will also display a closed lock at the bottom of the page.

Using your credit card to place an online order with ZhiTea.com is far safer than using your credit card in a store or over the phone. This is true for several reasons both technical and practical, but most notably because your credit card number is never seen by anyone at ZHI instead of many people, as is potentially the case in a busy store or phone-sales line.

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"Why are the tins different weights? Are the tins different sizes?"

We have one size of tin across all tea types. The reason for the widely differing weights is simply the different weights of the leaf itself. Some tea is airy and light, some very dense. We fill the tins to capacity (although some settling may occur due to shipping) and that can vary from a little over an ounce for some of the fluffier whites like the Silver Needle, to dense ones such as the Assam Breakfast.

There are also smaller tins for the Matcha, the flowering teas, and the gift sets.

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If there are any questions or problems placing an internet order, please email us