All tea drinkers raise your hand! I thought so! So many people love the delicious, soothing flavor and tradition of drinking tea. Well, you are in for a treat today! Even if you are not an avid tea drinker this post could make you one!  I bet most of you have never had a cup of “whole leaf” tea before. Most teas Americans drink is a far cry from the complex flavor of real hand picked whole leaf tea!  Today I’m sharing tips for making the perfect cup of tea and a little tea “history” and amazing tea images as well as a very special GIVEAWAY!


A big thank you to Ken and Sam for introducing me to TERRACE BLOOM. Their amazing tea is grown and hand harvested in mountains of China’s Yunnan province. These two young men are the founders of TERRACE BLOOM and work directly with 22 Chinese village in the best place in the world for growing tea to  bring hand-crafted, whole leaf teas to you and good jobs and a sustainable way of life for the Chinese villagers! 

My son and daugher-in-law are very good friends with Ken and his wife. They are the loveliest, kind, fun couple. I had the great privilege of having Ken and Sam at my home to sip tea and hear their story.

I am so so pleased to bring this post to you and connect you with a superb tea and two of the finest young men I’ve had the pleasure to meet! They are dedicated to creating the best teas and helping the people that grow the tea in the Yunnan province in China create sustainable jobs and businesses.


You can read about their incredible story HERE. I am so pleased to tell you about this premium tea!

Here are a few tips that will help you make the very best tea… hot or cold!



Tea leaves that have been naturally cultivated and completely hand picked are not damaged or broken. They retain their flavors and give the drinker a true tea flavor experience! Don’t settle for mass production teas or tea “dust”! Drink hand picked, whole leaf tea! Good tea leaves make a good cup of tea! Buy the best leaves you can find!

The image below shows what whole tea leaves look like.




TERRACE BLOOM-tea-bags-stonegableblog

Pyramid tea bags have a big advantage over the standard tea bag. Pyramid tea bags have more room for the tea to infuse the water and make a better cup of tea.

Terrace Bloom has  beautiful pyramid tea bags. And because they use whole tea leaves the tea bags can be used several times producing a great quality tea! Look for loose Terrace Bloom teas coming soon!



This beautiful tea set was a gift from Sam’s family. I am so honored to make tea in it! So unique and exquisitely detailed!!!!

Not all teas brew at the same temperature! Make sure you know the perfect temperature for your tea!  

Green tea water should be heated to just before it boils. If you pour boiling water over green tea leaves the leaves will be damaged. When you start to see bubbles forming on the sides of a pan of water it’s time to pour it over green tea. The proper temperature is 170°.

Black tea water should be boiled. 212° is the perfect water temperature for black tea.

Do not microwave tea! It ruins the flavor and damages the tea leaves! 


The beautiful face of a tea worker.



I cringe every time I see people drinking tea with the tea bag in it! Growing up in Scotland and England I know that a good cup of tea needs proper steeping time and then the loose tea or bag removed!

Steep tea in a cup for 2-4 minutes and in a pot 3-5 minutes. Heat your cup or tea pot by adding hot water into it and letting it sit for a couple of minutes. The water should be spilled out before adding tea and water for tea.

How long you steep tea, in the end, is a matter of taste. Experiment with your tea to find the perfect steeping time for you!



Tea is extremely good for us! It helps fight free radicals, is an antioxidant and studies have shown that tea drinking is connected to lowering the risk of heart disease, cancers and degenerative diseases! Great news for tea drinkers! Drink it hot or cold… but make sure you drink it!


Terrace Bloom would make a great Christmas gift for the tea lover in your life!

Now you know how to make the perfect cup of tea! So let’s have a…


Ken and Sam (pictured below on the left and right with their Chinese partners in the center) have put together a beautiful TEA DRINKER’S GIVEAWAY  exclusively for StoneGable readers!


The GIVEAWAY includes…

TERRACE BLOOM Whole Leaf Blooming Jasmine Tea, Whole Leaf Yunnan Gold Black Tea and Whole Leaf Pearl Green Tea.


A beautiful handmade paper box of assorted teas. Let guest choose their teas from this organic, handmade  box!


A beautiful hand made tea box made from handmade papers made by a local from the Yunnan Province.




And a beautiful and unique Chinese tea set. 


This is such a special and near and dear to my heart giveaway. Thanks so much Ken and Sam!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5 TIPS FOR THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA-stonegableblog.com

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  1. We are big hot tea drinkers in the cooler months and I would love to win this awesome giveaway. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win it.

  2. Your tea set is special. I have been a tea drinker since my childhood and have continued to develop my love for it and my knowledge of it. I am so very, very pleased that teas have really come on strong in the last decade or so. Used to be the choices for us tea drinkers was rather limited. I start every morning with a cup or two of a good strong assam and end my day with a calmimg green or special herbal. One of these days I hope to take a trip to see for myself the fields and production techniques.

    1. I hope you will check out the beautiful images on the Terrace Bloom site taken from the tea fields.

      1. Amazing nature. I’m always amazed at how every leaf is handpicked! The brief clip on how they make the paper is lovely too.

  3. Hi Yvonne, I can’t start the day without a pot of tea and these look delicious. Now I just need you to teach us Brits how to make a decent cup of coffee ?

  4. Cynthia Sirois says:

    When I was growing up, we always had tea, not coffee! My father’s family hailed from England, so tea drinking was natural. I cherish my teapots and tea cups, and even though I do have a morning cup of coffee, I love everything about tea….from the art of making the proper pot of tea, to drinking a “cuppa”, as my Nana used to say!

  5. I did not realize there is so much involved in harvesting quality teas! Would love to win this giveaway.

  6. Thanks for bringing this informative posting to us. I’m anxious to try all of their teas and they will be part of my gift gifting this holiday season. Enjoyed reading the history of their teas.

  7. BamaCarol says:

    It looks like there are two types of tea gardens at Terrace Blooms – all natural tea terrance and Ancient Tea Gardens. Imagine if those ancient trees could talk! I love having a cup of hot tea in the winter evenings at the end of the day. It is such a wondering way to slow down the day.

  8. Barbara Bachus says:

    A nice cup of tea is the perfect way to unwind at the end of a busy day! Thank you for the opportunity!

  9. I thought all teas were brewed the same. Thanks for the great info! Helpful website.

  10. Cindy Sensenig says:

    I enjoy a cup of tea every morning and would love to win this giveaway to try their teas. Thank you for the lesson on tea, It was very interesting.

  11. I learned that Dai villagers gather bark to make the paper in which the tea is placed to be sold.

  12. Have been enjoying my cuppa tea since a child when I visited my Great-Grandmother, Granny with her homemade molasses cake…want to try this tea for sure. Thank you so much

  13. Thank you for this great post on teas. Friends, who are avid tea drinkers, come to visit and I’m never sure how to select or prepare tea. Happy tea drinking!

  14. What a wonderful story- their tea products are only a by product of this beautiful couples love for each other and their people. Please watch the Hanni wedding video. The pure joy on everyone’s face is so uplifting -I am so glad I started my day with this beautiful story of love!

  15. Thank you for the the educating me on the proper way to make tea and for the introduction to Terrace Bloom. Sipping on a cup of tea can bring a calmness to the moment.

  16. I love that they’ve incorporated traditional handmade paper for their packaging…lovely tea + lovely packaging= a win for all!

  17. I have always loved tea so this is a great giveaway. I’ve learned that they only pick the 2 freshest leaves and bud.
    Thanks to Terrace Blooms for such a great giveaway!

  18. Marie Powers says:

    Enjoyed the article on brewing the perfect cup of tea. I love visiting local tea rooms. My daughter gave me a surprise tea party with 20 of my friends for my Retirement Party this past March. I also subscribe to Tea Time magazine. I would love to receive the various teas and the beautiful and unique tea set. Thanks for always providing so many wonderful articles.

  19. Wow, love this post! Wonderful information that I did not know. I love drinking tea, and for some reason I haven’t taken the time lately to do so. Your post has reminded me how much I love it. Definitely need to find Terrace Bloom!

  20. I too am a loose leaf tea drinker and have recently dumped out all my dusty tea bags:) It was nice to learn about how at higher altitudes the tea grows slower but more complex in flavor. I am always amazed to see the Pearls of tea rolled into perfect little balls. Makes me want to savor a cup of tea right now! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  21. We enjoy tea at our home too. The information you shared was fascinating. Thank you. Love the tea set too!

  22. What a beautiful website Terrace Bloom has. They grow their tea at very high altitudes.

  23. Laura Lee says:

    We love tea…especially during the fall and winter. My son has become a bit of a tea” snob” and will love the whole leaf Terrace Bloom teas.

  24. I do love tea. Your Yixing teaset is gorgeous. Ancient tea farms … cool!

  25. You are a wealth of information! This tea looks interesting and to think you can use it to brew a cup more than one time is a whole new concept.

  26. I learned that in the ancient gardens, some tea trees can be 100’s of years old. Amazing!!!

  27. Cindy Wienkers says:

    Our family of 6 drinks a lot of tea. I loved reading about the tea farm. I was looking for the Pyramid bags on the site to put their loose tea in but I could not find them.

    1. I believe all of their tea is in pyramid bags right now. Each of the boxes says how many tea pyramids are in each one, and it says on the site that loose leaf tea is coming soon. Hope that helps!

  28. I loved learning about the Shang Za She tree that grows in harmony with the tea. The tea set would make the best gift for a special tea drinker in my life.

  29. What a great educational blog. The tea set is wonderful as we drink lots of tea.

  30. I have been a tea drinker my entire life because my grandmother was British. Visited the lovely Terrace Bloom website and would like to try their Yunnan Gold!

  31. Lanita Anderson says:

    Terrance Bloom was a very interesting website/blog! I learned that they work with 22 different rural villages in making/harvesting their tea and it’s not just a product, it’s a part of their culture and heritage. They also have the wonderful jasmine tea that I love! Thanks for sharing and a for a great give-away opportunity!

  32. Yvonne, you find the best products! I love this post. I occasionally splurge on loose tea but it doesn’t look like this tea. I’d like to try the real thing. My twin daughters and their guys will be here for Thanksgiving. I always have a little gift for them. Usually I find some cute handmade Christmas earrings, but this year I’ll get them each a Terrace Bloom Collection Box. That is right up their alley! I personally would love this giveaway as I’m a potter and I would love to see that tea set in person, not to mention trying the tea myself. Thanks for finding such great products to share with us!And I had no idea water temperature was important. Now I know!

  33. I really appreciate the info about making a great cup of tea, I’ve been doing it wrong. So amazing the partnership of Ken and Sam with the Yunnan people of China, from growing the tea to the final packaging, everything has been thought of.
    Thank you for sharing!

  34. Judy proctor says:

    I also love tea either hot or cold. Looking forward to trying this brand. Fascinating story about this company and family. These are the type of people I love doing business with. I look forward to your posts. Very informative! Thanks again for sharing!

  35. Lovely…their product packaging is so beautiful. My bff is a tea drinker and I’d love to gift her some of their teas for Christmas. She would be blown away by the beauty of the brand. She’s going to teach me about it and I bet I’ll be a fan, too. Love it that they owners are trying to help these people make a living doing something they’ve grown up with. Good people, these guys!! Thanks for telling us about them!

  36. I lived in England for 2 years, and thus became a lover of the art of having tea. The story behind the people who grow, harvest and package the Bloom teas is incredible. For their cultures to have survived all the upheaval and economic challenges says so much about their spirit and determination. I will definitely give the teas a try and would LOVE to win this fantastic give-away. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Good Morning Yvonne ~
    I drink hot tea every day – I use silver needle + a small teaspoon of ginger & lemon tea leaves –
    The combination of the two leaves are amazing.
    The ginger & lemon help if you have stomach problems, which I have from time to time.

    Enjoy your teas.
    Those cups & tea pot are beautiful

  38. I really enjoy the taste and the ritual of drinking tea. And all of the fun accessories are just a bonus. Fascinating story…so interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Higher elevations produce higher quality teas is something I learned. I have been drinking tea since childhood thanks in big part to my dad having been born in England. I love hot & iced teas!

  40. I’ve always loved my tea…and have enjoyed some white teas also…the tea box and the tea set are just beautiful…thanks for the opportunity to win!

  41. I had no ideas all varieties of tea started out the same. I gained “tea knowledge” by visiting their website.
    Thank you for sharing.

  42. Yvonne…….what a wonderful story. I learned that there are two types of tea gardens, one being the ancient gardens that have trees that are hundreds of years old. Lovely tea set and a wonderful story. Can hardly wait to try these teas. Thanks for the opportunity to learn.

  43. I learned that there are 2 types of Tea gardens, all natural Tea terraces and Ancient Tea gardens. Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. Vicky from Athens says:

    What a wonderful post to start my day. The tea will be wonderful, I know, and I look forward to ordering some. In fact, I can do a little Christmas shopping when I order for myself. The tea set is absolutely exquisite! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this fabulous gift.

  45. I loved seeing the tea gardens on Terrace Bloom.

  46. Tracy from Pullman, WA says:

    I love the whole “ritual” of tea drinking. I can’t wait for my order to arrive so I can taste some truly flavorful teas. Thank you for the great information-I didn’t know you should brew to different temperatures!

  47. I drink a lot of tea and the flavors and types at Terrace Bloom is really extensive. Too be honest I was surprised at how reasonably priced the tea is. Thank you for sharing how to make to the tea. I think I was bringing the water to too hot of a temperature and sometimes I was disappointed in the flavor.

  48. Did not realize the teas were grown at altitudes of 6,000 + feet!

  49. Hot tea is my drink of choice, year-round. That is one of the prettiest tea sets I’ve ever seen!

  50. My favorite fact about the Terrace Bloom teas is that it is hand-picked and served in a pyramid bag. The pyramid bag truly does allow for brewing the perfect cup of tea. My husband drinks a quart of English tea cold a day almost all year round with hot tea added in on really cold days in the winter. He is addicted to really good tea! I would love to gift him with this gift package which is being given so generouusly by Terrace Bloom. Thank you!!!!

  51. Charlotte says:

    This is a very lovely post. We love tea at our house. Thank you

  52. Teddee Grace says:

    What a wonderful giveaway! And I enjoyed all of the tea-making tips and the personal insight into these enterprising young people.

  53. I never realized the best brewing technique was with The Pryamid infusers…
    What a lovely site to purchase from and so nice they use villagers to help maketheir products

  54. It’s very interesting to learn about how these rural farmers grow the tea, keeping insects away, and fertilizing by using a tree. A tree! How much more organic does it get than that? I love the wonderful prices on this tea too. I certainly expected it to be much higher, so this was a pleasant surprise. Thank you for introducing this tea to us.

  55. I have always loved my tea! I never really knew about the different temps of water and the blends of tea! It is all so interesting!

  56. I would love to try the collection box or give one for Christmas! Looks amazing!

  57. TEA! Dear to my heart for the memories associated with it. My parents were missionaries in India and we went to a British boarding school in the Niligiri Hills in South India…land of tea plantations everywhere; in fact the school property bordered one plantation with only a foot path in between. The smell of the plants is intoxicating mingled with the eucalyptus and mimosa that also grew in the area. We always knew when the leaves were ready to be picked as we could hear the clicking noise made by the tea pickers…they cut off each whole leaf at the stem with their nimble fingers and carried huge sacks on their backs where they put the leaves. We toured many of the plantations and watched the drying process. Of course, we knew all about brewing a good cup of tea, too! This post has brought back many wonderful memories…thanks for the post. Oh, I always buy loose tea; just opening up a tin makes my mouth water.

  58. What a beautiful tea set! I too, am a tea drinker. I love hot tea, so soothing and a great stress reliever!

  59. Would enjoy winning this tea collection. ❤️

  60. Loved the Terrace Bloom site. Didn’t know about different water temperatures for different teas. I love tea, I drink it everyday, all year long. Winning this giveaway would be delightful! Thank you for the opportunity!

  61. Didnt know different temps for different teas
    Glad to know AND what a beautiful tea set Please enter me in your giveaway
    Thanks linda m

  62. Important to note that whole leaves are better quality and that water temperature is key to specific types of tea.

  63. Loved seeing the beautiful pictures on the Terrace Bloom website and reading about the two types of tea gardens. Have recently started drinking hot tea and I love the process of making the tea just as much as drinking it!

  64. Fascinating to read about the 2 types of tea gardens and the methods of harvesting and processing. I loved reading about how they plant the companion trees to draw away pests and fertilize the soil – companion planting is what I practice in my own little veggie garden in the city.

  65. Rachel Larson says:

    Love, Love, Love whole fresh Terrace Bloom tea! My son, Stephen sent me some for my birthday! It was packaged so pretty and you can taste the freshness of the whole, loose tea! I love Asian teapots! Would love to win!!!

  66. Barbara B. says:

    This was such an informative and lovely post. I went to their site and was amazed at their story and the very beautiful pictures. I have placed an order for the black tea, as I was inspired by both your post and the story of the villagers. AND, I don’t think I have ever had a cup of loose leaf tea! I am anxious to try their teas! Thank you and thank you also for the give away of such a beautiful gift!

  67. I LOVE a good cup of tea. I usually drink Twinings Lady Grey (an Earl Grey with a hint of citrus). I would love to try Terrace Bloom…although I did learn that they don’t make an Earl Grey. Maybe soon?

  68. Love that they have fair labor practices!

  69. Dana Wallace says:

    Lovely post. Terrace Bloom Teas are blended from two types of high altitude tea gardens; all natural tea terraces and ancient tea gardens.

  70. WOW! What an awesome giveaway! I love the tea set!

    I didn’t realize all that went into making tea. I may move to a higher altitude to get away from the bugs, here in the South they “bug” us year round!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win and good luck to everyone!

  71. This tea looks awesome. Thank you for sharing tips on how to make tea,

  72. Ruth Wiwchar says:

    The two phrases of advice I will always remember from my dear English grandmother are “hot the pot” – and “just to the boil” – the secrets of perfect tea brewing!

  73. I have used pyramid bags and loose tea before but these leaves look better than what I had! Can’t wait to try some! I always love learning about new things from you!

  74. Nicole Michelle says:

    I was reading about who they buy their tea from! I love that it’s small villages!

  75. This was a great article about tea. I get so many good ideas from you. I LOVE the tea pot. My son and his wife live in Yunnan as well. We have been to visit there three times. Isn’t it beautiful? We love the Chinese people and their hospitality.

  76. Anna Chan says:

    I drink tea everyday and I would love to try some of the terrace bloom teas, the “YUNNAN GOLD BLACK TEA” is calling to me.

  77. Nancy Moore says:

    What a lovely gift. Our society so needs to learn the art of pausing and savoring. Thank you for offering this beautiful giveaway!

  78. Hi Yvonne,
    Enjoyed the pictures of tea fields, learning about types, and organic gardening. Being a nurse I have been a tea drinker for many years as it is very healthy and they have such beautiful packaging. Thanks for the opportunity to win this amazing set.

  79. I loved reading how Ken and Sam help the villagers that have trouble selling their tea because of their remoteness.What amazing young men!

  80. A lovely tea. I would love to try it.

  81. I love hot tea, but have never had hot green tea – will be trying some though. I really enjoy black teas. I was unaware that the pyramid bags make a difference. I don’t drink the tea made from the iced tea bags you see in our grocery stores, as they taste very blah to me. I like a good strong tea, and I have a friend in the UK that gets me my tea. We send each other gift packages every few months – she loves a strong coffee sold here in the South, so we just swap. I do keep Twinings on hand and they have a Lady Grey that’s nice.
    Thanks to everyone involved for such a great giveaway.

  82. What an exquisite tea set..beautiful.
    Further what a very interesting read about the founders,…these two young men,
    And the blessings they are bringing to all 22 of the rural villages they are working with. All unique customs and languages. Amazing! I am happy they are being rewarded with their hard work..fairly and we are rewarded with this great prized teas from the highest elevations.
    Thank you.

  83. I looked on their site and learned that sustainable and small businesses don’t have to cost a fortune to support like I had thought! Thanks for this lovely giveaway!!

  84. I never realized that water temperature mattered and that whole leaves are important. What a beautiful giveaway.

  85. What a beautiful tea set. I love tea. I mostly drink green tea , in the summer my favorite summer drink is green tea with a few pumps of peppermint . Which I make by the picture . I let it steep over night or make sun tea. ,
    Have a great day.

  86. Not only is their tea grown & harvested by locals but Samuel is using his education and paying it forward by helping his village with schools and orphanages. This is near and dear to my heart and I’m so impressed with the quality of their tea. Anxious to try it.

  87. Michele Laramay says:

    I did not know that you shouldn’t boil the water for green tea. Interesting.

  88. I learned of the intense dedication involved in the production of these teas.

  89. I learned that they use handmade paper in their packaging! A very cool way to involve and support non-tea making small local businesses in their production.

  90. I am learning to enjoy herbal teas. Right now a mixture of peppermint and ginger are my favorite.

  91. I love that Terrace Bloom supports family farms and traditional tea-growing practices. Their teas not only are beautiful, but I bet they are delicious as well. I would love to try the blooming jasmine tea.

  92. I learned they plant Shang Za She trees in between the tea plants which helps to draw insects away from the tea plants, and also the leaves that fall from the Shang Za She trees help to fertilize the tea plants.
    Thank you, Yvonne, for the enjoyable read about tea. I am going to get myself some of this tea now!

  93. Heather S says:

    I learned their tea is from southern China 🙂

  94. Ronny Kosempel says:

    Never knew that about pyramid tea bags. I usually buy the British Blend tea in the round bags. Would love to try the Terrace Bloom tea. Good luck to them with their business.

  95. I learned the tea comes from Yunnan province in southern Chin.

  96. Ive used pyramid tea bags in the past. I didn’t realize til now that there was a science to them making my tea taste better.

  97. Hooray for Fair labour, healthy, delicious tea and a beautiful and unique teapot! Thank-you for introducing us Yvonne!

  98. Wonderful I formative Article. What I learned is Terrace Bloom is not just a Beverage it us a whole Experience in itself. Would Love to win the Giveaway. It’s a Great One.

  99. Crystal S says:

    I didn’t know that their teas are blended from two very distinct types of high altitude tea gardens.

  100. BEST. TEA. EVER. I already got in an order of tea from Terrace Bloom!!!! And the teas are AMAZING. The jasmine tea is wonderful. I have tried many jasmine teas (always hoping for a good one), and finally a delicate jasmine tea that tastes of true jasmine. It says on the box that each tea pyramid makes many cups of tea, and indeed they do. Besides ordering each of the three teas, I also ordered two of the collection boxes for gifts, and they are fantastic. The handmade paper box that they come in is so unique and special. I can’t wait to give these to my daughters.

    And besides getting to enjoy this wonderful tea, it also helps villages in China. It’s a win-win for everyone. I highly recommend this tea!!! Thank you, Yvonne, for bringing my daily tea to a new level!!!

  101. Crystal S says:

    I didn’t know that all Terrace Bloom teas come from Yunnan province in southern China.

  102. All Terrace Bloom teas come from Yunnan province in southern China 🙂 Had never heard the water boiling tips so thanks for the info

  103. crystal s says:

    I learned that they will soon be carrying loose leaf teas!

  104. I didn’t know that the best teas are grown at high elevations. The Terrace Bloom Collection Box would make a perfect hostess gift for Christmas.

  105. Learning about the multiple tea gardens, and that the different altitudes play a role in the tea was all very interesting.

  106. Diana Cote says:

    I learned that the most prized teas come from higher altitudes, where the tea actually grows slower. While this slower rate of growth may reduce yield, it’s actually highly beneficial because it allows the tea more time to develop the full, complex flavors that connoisseurs desire. I need to try their tea, I love tea but lately its hard to find good tea at the stores, they all seem to have a bitter taste and the flavors are lacking.

  107. WOW how very interesting that the most prized teas come from higher altitudes and that is where the tea actually grows slower. Who would have thought. I so love my teas I drink MANY cups of tea a day. It is so calming for me

  108. crystal s says:

    Well I learned their packaging that they use for their tea is handmade! That is pretty nice.

  109. Saira Zaidi says:


    I just read your post about Terrace Bloom Teas and was fascinated so went to their website to learn a little more. I am so impressed with their sustainable, while-leaf, high-quality teas. I am a tea lover and to see tea companies pushing to get such lovely teas to tea lovers is incredibly exciting! Thank you for sharing their story.