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A Melodrama About Tea in Five Acts

The Devotea - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 21:41

ACT 1: IN WHICH ONE RESPONDS TO SOGGY DESPERATION In one long dark teatime of the soul*, I stared into the abyss, pondered the hell hole that was my surroundings, and wondered at the inhumanity of it all. Yes, I was in Melbourne Airport. In late February, 2008 I blogged about a trip interstate. At […]

The post A Melodrama About Tea in Five Acts appeared first on Lord Devotea's Tea Spouts.

It’s Not Easy Being Green from Cat Spring Yaupon Tea

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 16:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Yaupon Tea

Where to Buy: Cat Spring Yaupon Tea

Tea Description:

As a tribute to Kermit the Frog’s ballad about the color green, our floral and fresh green yaupon tea blend bears the name, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”.

This green yaupon tea blend from Cat Spring Tea is a fresh soft green tea with a hint of mint and overtones of wildflowers, it is similar to a green jasmine tea yet without sharpness.

Contains: yaupon tea, organic green rooibos, organic ginger, organic lemongrass, and organic compliant lime flavoring.
The gorgeous longhorn and Texas wildflower artwork is by Dolan Geiman.

Learn more about this tea here.

Amazon also sells this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yaupon Tea is a type I can honestly say I’ve never heard of. That’s one of the reasons of tea. The variety you get is amazing. So many different types and blends to try. There is always something new to check out!

From my research, I’ve found that Yaupon Tea is made from a plant native to North America. It actually has a really cool story.  I won’t weigh the review of the tea down by all the facts but if you are interested like I was about the story behind this tea, check out this article.

So let’s chat about the tea itself.  This tea had a very herbal look to it. Bright greens with pops of a yellow-white inclusion which I’m assuming is the ginger.  The dry leaf has a pretty strong ginger aroma to it and me being one that doesn’t care too much for ginger, I was starting to wonder if I was going to like this.

I brewed this up like  I would any other green tea and allowed the tea to steep for a bit (about 4 minutes).  The brew still had a very strong ginger aroma and looked more like a black tea than a green tea when brewed up.  I allowed the tea to cool for a few minutes and then took my first sip.

This is a unique tasting tea for sure and one that probably could use a bit more steeping.  The tea reminds me more of a black tea than a green tea. I don’t pick up any of the green grassy notes or rich buttery-ness that I typically get out of green tea but more of an earthy malty flavor.  I am noticing a slight sweetness that is nice but the ginger takes over towards the end of the sip and almost overwhelms the tea.  The ginger is to me the only downside of this tea. I would love to see the green rooibos and lime flavorings that are in this blend really take over so I am going to try and steep this tea one more time to see if I shake up the package if I can get more of those inclusions to pop.

I started fresh and added in three scoops instead of the 2 I used last go around. I allowed the tea to steep for about 7 minutes and cool for three.  Took my first sip and I have to say, my experience was pretty much the same with this infusion as the first.  I didn’t pick up any of the lime flavorings or the green rooibos but I did get this lovely malty earthy ginger sweet flavor that really is tasty.  Being the huge fan of green rooibos and lime, I was hoping that I would get.  Regardless, the tea is still tasty the the experience is quite unique. So much so that I’m wanting to try the a few more from the line.

I did take one more quick experiment and made an iced tea out of the brew. Out of all the different ways to make the tea, this one is my favorite. The tea takes on a different level of deliciousness.  Yes, the ginger is still the most notable flavor but the sweetness and floral notes are kicked up a bit more providing a much needed contrast.   In just about every other sip, I swear I’m picking up those green rooibos honey notes.

All in all, a really lovely tea and one that I want to learn more about!

The post It’s Not Easy Being Green from Cat Spring Yaupon Tea appeared first on SororiTea Sisters.

Friday Round Up: May 15th - May 21st

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 16:00
Camellia Flower Pu'erh Cake - Aliexpress
+Kayleigh Jade of Kitty Loves Tea wrote about the infamous "God of Night Sweats" cake. I think I may be one of the last of my tea friends to try this rather dubiously translated cake.

Honeycomb
Cody at The Oolong Drunk wrote a great review of a Bing Dao puerh from Bitter Leaf Teas. I love the thoroughness of his posts. I never can get myself to track that much detail but I love reading it on the blogs of others.

A Guy and His Gaiwan
+Geoffrey Norman told the story of his first gaiwan, simultaneously on the new gaiwan service offered by +Smith Teamaker. That gaiwan staking basket is definitely something I think all tea nerds could use!

2016 Fade Sheng Puer from April 2016 White2Tea Club
+Charissa Gascho reviwed a puerh tea that I have definitely had my eye on. It's a brick made out of Huangpian, what is generally considered a less desirable leaf. The material used is high quality though.

Interview w/Emilio of The Jade Leaf [Taiwan Tapes] — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #82
James at +Tea DB traveled to Taiwan and interviewed Emilio from The Jade Leaf. I am in love with those wooden side handle teapots!
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Blast from the Past: Real Tea – On the Go

T Ching - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 12:08

It was three-and-a-half years ago that I converted to tea after thirty years of drinking stinking coffee.  The wonderful thing about tea is that you can drink it all day long and suffer neither the jitters nor the social plague of coffee breath.  For those of you who subscribe to the creed that freedom is the absence of choice – you’ll find yourselves a willing prisoner to tea.  Black, green, white, oolong, blended, first flush, second flush, Chinese, Indian, South African – I could go on and on.

Simply put, when I am not actually drinking tea, I am thinking tea.  How can I have good, hot, fresh whole-leaf tea all day long?  I tried a thermal cup used for coffee.  It was made of beautiful stainless steel and was easy to grip.  It had a handy sipping cap.  Problem was, when you put brewed tea into it, it would get cold too soon, even with a five-minute boiling water warm-up.

The next one was an improvement.  Holding 16 ounces, it was a stacked affair consisting of a steeping basket, a steeping lid that doubled as a caddy for the basket after steeping, and a sipping lid.  It had a few aesthetic as well as practical problems.  It was made of plastic, except for the aluminum steeping basket.  The plastic became clouded and grubby within a few weeks, and the basket developed that white residue that can only mean that I, the consumer, was consuming the chemical residue of bauxite refining.  Besides, there is something inherently wrong with sipping tea through a dime-sized opening.

For my birthday, a friend got me a Tea Tumbler called Namu Baru.  Holding 13.5 ounces in an attractive stainless steel dual-wall vacuum bottle, it has three parts – a screw-on top, an infuser basket, and a drinking vessel.  You place the leaves in the basket, screw it into the drinking vessel, put on the cap, and turn it upside down for the prescribed steeping time.  Turn it right side up and the tea is done.  The amazing aspect of the Namu Baru is that it keeps the tea incredibly hot for an incredibly long time.  The literature says six hours. I can testify that it was whistling hot for four hours.  The problem here is the practical aspect of drinking from the vessel.  If you leave the infuser basket attached, it is an awkward operation.  If you remove the infuser, the stainless steel edge of the container is sharp on the lips and very hot.  Not ideal, but better than the two previous options.

Finally, there is the Eight Cranes Perfect Steeper.  It comes in a beautiful black-and-gold box.  The cylinder is made of tempered glass and brushed stainless steel.  Like the Namu Baru, it has three operational pieces.  You pour the water in the vessel, carefully tighten the steeper basket filled with leaves to the vessel, wind on the cap, and turn the whole thing upside down to steep.  Because I was dealing with hot glass, finger-tight was not good enough, and my hands were scalded with very hot water leaking through the seals as I turned the container over to steep.  I haven’t made that mistake again!  The glass vessel beats the Namu Baru for comfort in sipping, but the tea cools quickly.

If you’re looking for a “to-go” tumbler that is attractive and keeps the tea hot all day, get the Namu Baru.  If you want a cup on-the-go that you can drink from a comfortable and beautiful glass container, Eight Cranes is your choice.

This article was originally posted to T Ching in May of 2010.

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The post Blast from the Past: Real Tea – On the Go appeared first on T Ching.

Favorite Tea Ware - Boychik

Notes on Tea - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 17:01
As a tea drinker, and I am sure this is true for you, I adore teaware, from the bombilla to the whisk (aka chasen). Everyone has their favorites! This series showcases the favorite teaware of folks in the tea blogging community as well as people who enjoy drinking tea. It's a pleasure to share the favorite tea ware of "boychik". After joining Steepster four years ago, boychik's tea preferences changed from Assam/Ceylon/Darjeeling and English Breakfast/Earl Grey to Chinese teas (Puerh, Honcho, Yancha) though currently she's "exploring Taiwanese oolongs". Boychik described tea and teaware as obsessions. The teaware shown in this post have all been featured on her Instagram feed


Jian Shui Kyusu

This kyushu is from Yunnan Sourcing. Jian Shui is excellent for shou (I like it more than Yixing for shou or aged Sheng). It's thick, retains heat well and has a nice pour, no leaks.


Shiboridashi

This shiboridashi is by Greenwoodstudio on Etsy. It is 80ml. It is perfect for sampling any teas since its glazed inside. The size is convenient, pours quickly, no leaks. It is easy to hold, I prefer shibo to gaiwan. It doesn't burn my fingers. I use it all the time.


Ruyao teacup

This ruyao teacup is from White 2 Tea Co. Thick and heavy, retains heat well, very comfortable to hold, doesn't burn my fingers because of ridges.


Damascus steel pu knife

I got it on Aliexpress, after stubbing myself with pu pics (I have several). While they are okay on loose or medium pressed cake, they don't work on iron cakes. This one is a life and hand saver. I don't sacrifice my blood to pu gods no more!

See another view of this knife here.


Scale

I always measure my tea. I have my own parameters and try to stick to them. I'm not good at guessing if I got enough rolled oolong or if this chunk of pu is 10g. If my tea session wasn't great at least I know how much tea I should use next time to make it work.

Thank you Inna for participating in this series. I'll keep my eye on the Greenwoodstudio on Etsy for their shiboridashi offerings. Also, between you and a few other puerh fans, I know to use 10g of the tea! All photos are courtesy of Inna Farber. The text was edited slightly.


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Pomegranate Green Tea from Solstice Tea Traders

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 16:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea

Where to Buy: Solstice Tea Traders 

Tea Description:

Solstice Tea Traders Pomegranate Loose Leaf Green Tea is an amazing tea that lends itself well to hot or iced applications, and is a perfect option for summer afternoons, or cold mornings.Enjoy our pomegranate tea packed in large one pound bags, an amazing way to enjoy green tea, with a little extra flavor, without having to add a lot of sugar.

Learn more about this tea here. 

Taster’s Review:

Ever stumble upon a tea that just completely makes you say “What?!?”  This tea did that to me.

I review products for companies on Amazon all the time. Besides my blog and doing tea reviews for SororiTea Sisters, it is one of my favorite ways to spend my time.  Whenever I see tea up for grabs needing a review, I always get giddy and hope I make the cut.

So when this tea arrived in its giant 16oz package (yes, 1 lb!) I wasn’t sure what I would be in for except that I have a pound of this tea.  I opened the enormous tea pouch up and was hit with this lovely fragrance mix of green tea, pomegranate, and a sweet rose bud floral undertone.  I was incredibly impressed.  The tea leaves didn’t’ appear to be crushed but lovely and with a lot of substance. I couldn’t wait to try this tea.

Brewed up like a green tea and allowed to steep for about 4 minutes, this tea yields an amazing flavor.  Lovely rich buttery green tea notes with a jammy pomegranate flavor and a sweetness from the rose buds that really bring this tea to another notch.  There is just a slight hint of a tartness from the pomegranate but it is very very slight.  Everything is just so smooth and all the flavors are right where they need to be. (I have a feeling I’ll be drinking this tea all day).

The jammy notes are what get me the most and I can say that this tea has me hooked. I’ve already got a pitcher going for a cold brew for this week and I’m planning on making some iced tea as well for the day.  I’m on my third cup from the same infusion and the flavors are still giving me so much love.

This is one of those teas that proves you can’t judge a book (or tea) by its cover. This tea is amazingly priced for what you get and I can’t wait to try and check out the other teas I have coming.  Highly recommend this tea for a flavored green tea that bursts with flavor. I’m absolutely serving this at my sister in law’s baby shower in a few weeks. It is really that good and one that everybody would enjoy. The flavors are bright enough to give flavor but not so overwhelming that you can’t taste the green tea base. One of those teas you just have to share!

The post Pomegranate Green Tea from Solstice Tea Traders appeared first on SororiTea Sisters.

Review: Golden Leaf Tea

T Ching - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 12:31

Golden Leaf Tea  is an online tea retailer that specializes in Oolong, black, and pu erh teas from Taiwan (hence the name, I assume). They’re single-origin and minimally processed. They don’t have as much of a variety of options as some other retailers, but they’re very proud of the high-quality teas they do have. I just happen to have a love affair with the darker teas, so I was thrilled to have a chance to give these a sip. They sent me quite a variety to sample, so let me give you a quick tour of some of my favorites:

Honey Red Jade Tea

This is a fermented tea I have never had before. It’s lightly sweet–it definitely has a subtle honey flavor. This is supposedly due to an insect that feeds on the leaves. All I can say is, “Thank you, bugs!” The sweetness is most welcome and is especially delicious iced. I am very much a fan of teas that can naturally bring its own sweetness to the party, and I hope to have this one again, and soon.

Pouchong Oolong

This is a very common variety of oolong, and it’s one I am quite familiar with. This oolong lightly-oxidized pouchong is also a tad sweet. This tea is one that I would recommend to anyone who loves green teas, as pouchongs are probably some of the lightest, greenest oolongs you can get. If I hadn’t known what I was drinking, I could have sworn it was a dark Dragonwell. Very nice.

100-Year Pu Erh

Golden Leaf has three kinds of pu erh, all from teas of different ages. Anywhere from 100-300 years old. I was able to try the 100-year tree’s leaves, and boy is it smooth! Each teaspoon’s worth is good for about seven steeps or so, and they’re good for a long afternoon tea session. Their pu erhs are available in limited quantities, so if you want to give these a try (and I highly recommend you do) please check them out.

Golden Tea Leaf has some wonderful teas (some of them award-winning), and it’s definitely worth your while to try some!

The post Review: Golden Leaf Tea appeared first on T Ching.

Favorite Tea Ware - Lisa Chan of Tiny Pinecone

Notes on Tea - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 18:30
As a tea drinker, and I am sure this is true for you, I adore teaware, from the bombilla to the whisk (aka chasen). Everyone has their favorites! This series showcases the favorite teaware of folks in the tea blogging community as well as people who enjoy drinking tea. Today I am excited to share the favorite tea vessels of Lisa Chan of Tiny Pinecone. Although the tea and sweets shop is now closed, you can read about Lisa's adventures on her blog and on Instagram. As of this writing, Lisa is apprenticing with Jhen Tea in Taiwan.


My gaiwan and tea tray. It is so simple, but so efficient! The fastest way to get the best out of tea. My best friend found this one on Amazon, and I have others, but since he gave me this one it is my favorite.



My most favorite cups! They were handmade in Taiwan. It fits right in my hand so comfortably, and I love the interior crackle that is revealing itself over time. It is nice to see the coil and how it was made. Especially fun are its three feet. Countless times I have knocked the cup over, but it saved itself by the curve of its belly. So cute and roly poly.


My matcha bowl is not traditional. It is stoneware but looks like a bent and dented bowl you'd find at a campfire. I love it because I keep my matcha in a repurposed soup can, and this bowl fits right in. I found it in NJ at Mitsuwa, and it turned out to be the perfect size for a bowl of matcha.


When I enjoy infusions like barley tea, or corn tea, I love using my chubby glass Kinto pot. The cups and saucers were handmade for Tiny Pinecone by the Brooklyn artist, Beth Bolgla. All the thought Beth put in to the tea ware makes the user smile...from the tactile quality of the dots, to the fun stamps on the bottom that only show when you take your last sips of tea. When I hold these cups, I hold all my memories of serving the lovely customers that came to visit our pop-up shop.

I fondly recall the dotted Tiny Pinecone cups. I now have a simple, white gaiwan, which I haven't yet used but think it will become a favorite. I'd like to thank Lisa again for participating in this series. Your vessels are beautiful. All photos and stories courtesy of Lisa Chan.

Focus by BlendBee

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 16:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: BlendBee

Tea Description: Sharpen your mind & stay focused.

This invigorating black tea & yerba mate blend was specifically designed for a tea lover whose favorite tea was discontinued. We recreated it for her, and to our delight, we loved this blend and decided to whole world should have it. It definitely helps you to stay focused and has a great energy. Enjoy!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea is named Focus but it is doing anything but making me focus right now. . because right now I’m taking a break from work and seeing what other blends BlendBee offers.

BlendBee is one I’ve had a few blends by but I will have to say, this particular blend has me craving and wanting more of their blends! This tea is giving me those warm tea fuzzies and I can’t seem to get enough.

BlendBee was created in 2014 by Jamah Dacus, a health-crazed tea lover (from the website).  From what I’m seeing, these blends are handmade and seem to be crazy unique and fun.  With teas like Ginger Ninja. . .this site has my attention for sure!

Focus is a gorgeous blend of black tea, yerba mate, rose buds, and other ingredients. The coloring of this tea is beautiful, with the pops of this lovely red mixed in with the black and yerba mate tea base. With those two teas having more of an earthy tone, the rosebuds leap out at you, demanding your attention.

I brewed this tea up per the instructions (boiled fresh water and steep for 5-15 minutes).  I will say, I was worried about my first sip. I started having a conversation with a co-worker and allowed this tea to over steep by about 10 minutes. All I have to say is friends. . . this tea is crazy forgiving!

My first sip of this tea was like an explosion. Bursts of bright lovely flavors swirled, giving me a lovely afternoon beverage. The black tea is a subtle and gentle smoothness that gives way for the yerba mate to give a slightly earthy note. From what I can tell, the cacao nibs provide a dark rich silky touch and the rosebuds provide a sweetness that really becomes the star.  The lemon balm and orange extract are my favorite part of this tea. They give this really lush citrus note that combined with the other ingredients takes this tea up to another level.  There is also a subtle note of a roasted flavored.

I’m literally on my 3 infusion of this tea and I can’t get enough. Sure I’m starting to feel jittery from the yerba mate, but I can’t help it. This tea is that good and demands the attention and love.

BlendBee has impressed me and I will be ordering more of this tea for sure!

The post Focus by BlendBee appeared first on SororiTea Sisters.

Wymm Tea Jingmai Sheng 2013 First Spring

Tea For Me Please - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 16:00
Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: varied greens and browns, compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 degrees
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: gold

I was a bit sad to discover that this was the last sheng puerh sample in my "to review" pile from Wymm Tea. Thankfully there is still one last shou left to savor until I'm able to place an order. I know I've mentioned this before (like every time I've written about one of their teas), but I absolutely adore the mulberry paper that their tea is wrapped in. It's just so soft and it smells amazing! This tea hails from Jingmai in Southwestern Yunnan province. It was harvested in 2011 and pressed in 2013. I always like to see both dates listed for puerh tea because they are equally important. The taste was surprisingly floral. There were notes of orchid that I would definitely have only expected from an oolong. A welcome level of astringency tempered the natural sweetness that might have been too cloying otherwise. I did at least 10 consecutive infusions before running out to run some errands. Later that evening I squeezed out a few more so these leaves definitely had a lot to give. This tea is a bit pricey but if I had $300 to blow on a cake of tea, this would definitely be one that I'd buy. I've visited Wymm Tea's website many times before and only just now noticed that there is a music section. How cool is that? To my delight there are four albums with selections ranging from Yunnan folk songs to Chinese classical music.

Jingmai Sheng 2013 First Spring sample provided by Wymm Tea.




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10 Best English Lit Books To Read While Drinking Tea

T Ching - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 12:14

By Kitty B.

Everyone’s done it at least once. Make themselves their comfort tea (masala chai on my end or a really deep oolong), grab a blanket, and curl up with a good book. But what to read? Never fear: this nerdy girl has got the answer! Here is a list of great pieces of English Literature you should check out next time you need something to pair with your Earl or Lady Grey.

10) Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein

No matter how many times you have seen the movie, the book is creepier. And you will be glad for that warm cup while reading about the ship in the Arctic and that half-frozen, heart-broken German who paid so great a sacrifice for the obsession of knowledge.

9) Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

Creepy not your thing? How about one of the original rom-coms? Austen is the queen of this genre. Just remember that is supposed to be a romantic comedy. These sisters will make you giggle and their love losses will break your heart, but don’t worry! It’s always a happy ending in 18th century Northern Ireland.

8) Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

Prefer a real passion flavored romance? On the English Moors perhaps? Then this is the book for you. A multi-generational story of just how far love will take some men and women in their quest from love to jealousy to possession and finally bitter resentment.

7) Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

Or perhaps you prefer the other Bronte Sister? Then follow Jane in her luckless life, but let me tell you–it is a real emotional roller coaster.

6 ) John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga

If you like big books and cannot lie, then you need The Forsyte Saga. This multi-generational story focuses on two men, cousins, all competing for family affections, women, and wealth.

5) Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

So you read A Christmas Carol in middle school and then you forgot about Dickens. Allow me to reintroduce you. He is a bit daunting, but the language grows on you. Then you focus on the difficult and odd tale the he brings while making you grow a heavy heart for all those poor and unfortunate English souls.

4) C. S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew

So you read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but wait! There was always more! This is the prequel to the children’s tale and it is perfect if you want some magic in your life, but don’t have several days to devote to reading a 600-page novel.

3) J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

You saw this coming the moment I said English Literature. Not much to say about how perfect the combination of Hobbits, tea, and second breakfast is, except you should give it a try. It’s a longer book, but no one’s judging you for having a third breakfast or a second lunch ;)

2) James Joyce’s Dubliners

REBELLION!! FREE IRELAND!! Everyone needs some rebellion in their lives, so I have to throw in some Irish nationalism. Technically Joyce was an English citizen at the time these pieces were published, though I have a feeling you would have gotten a swift punch in the jaw for reminding him of that. So create the mood with some Irish Breakfast (throw in the brandy–we won’t tell), and be prepared to understand a different sort of heartache.

1) Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

There is a tea party with a Mad Hatter and Chesire Cat. Need I say more? Sure, it is nonsense, but so are many other things in this world. So follow Alice and get a real lesson in snark.

There you have it: ten novel ideas for your reading pleasure. Let us know and I’ll share my list for other countries as well!

 

The post 10 Best English Lit Books To Read While Drinking Tea appeared first on T Ching.

Tea Cupping - Tasting Two Oriental Beauty Oolongs

Notes on Tea - Tue, 05/17/2016 - 18:01

One of my early teaware purchases was a 6 oz cupping set. I was inspired to do so after attending a Harney & Sons tea tasting* where professional cupping sets were used. When I prepared by teas in the cupping set, I did not do so with an eye to formally evaluation the smell, taste, and aromatic features of the tea. I liked the ease  the cupping set afforded me in steeping and pouring my. This has changed with my enrollment in a tea education course. I am learning how to use the cupping set like a professional. I literally have a better handle on pouring from the set. Also, I received a 4 oz cupping set as part of my course materials and now I am able to evaluate two types of tea in the same family, for example, two Oriental Beauty oolongs, which are the subject of this post.


Oriental Beauty is a Taiwanese oolong. The oolong is also known as Bai Hao which translates to "white tip" or "white down" and refers to the white bud that is picked alongside the first two leaves in the fine plucking style. The cultivar used to make this oolong is Qing Xin Dapan. (Learn more about tea cultivars here.) One of the Oriental Beauty I tasted is a Reserve style from Te Company and the other is "Formosa Bai Hao" from Adagio Teas. (Formosa is the Portuguese word for beautiful. Although the island was never colonized by Portugal, Portuguese sailors who were stranded on the island in 1544 referred to it as Ilha Formosa and Formosa was used until the end of World War Two.)

Image: Te Company Oriental Beauty Reserve (1st infusion)
I used 4 oz of 195F water in both the 6 oz and 4 oz cups. The Te Company Oriental Beauty Reserve was prepared in the 4 oz cup while the Adagio oolong was infused in the 6 oz cup. The Reserve is always pictured on the left when both oolongs are shown in the same photograph. I infused 2 teaspoons of leaf (recommended amount by both companies) for 3 minutes three times though this review focuses on the first infusion. Below I present my tasting notes of both oolongs using a modified tea assessment and sensory evaluation form.

Te Company - Oriental Beauty ReserveAdagio - Formosa Bai Hao Dry leaf smell sweet, malted cream sweet, woody Dry leaf color, shape mix of reddish and dark brown leaves with white/silver grey buds; twisted leaf mix of reddish and dark brown leaves with white/silver grey buds; twisted leaf First infusion color light amber; clear copper; clear  First infusion smell floral sweet, woody First infusion taste sweet, woody, floral, herbal (lavender mint); lingering; smooth; round mouthfeel chocolate, floral, spicy (nutmeg); dry; thick, slightly chewy texture Infused leaf smell floral, fruity chocolate, dried fruit Infused leaf color mostly reddish; narrow leaves mostly dark; broad leaves
Image: Adagio Teas Formosa Bai Hao (1st infusion)
The second and third infusions all exhibited the smells, tastes, and aromas listed above. I like both of these oolongs. If you prefer a heavier, woody Oriental Beauty then the Adagio offering is for you. If you like a lighter, floral forward Oriental Beauty then try Te Company's Reserve. I would love to hear your experiences with Oriental Beauty oolongs.

The Formosa Bai Hao was provided for review by Adagio Teas. I won the Te Company Oriental Beatuy Reserve in a Riverbed Books raffle.

* You can read my tasting notes on Harney & Sons white teasChinese and Japanese green teasTaiwanese and Chinese oolongs, and Chinese black and puerh teas.

Premium Cha Khao Hom – Thai Rice Tea – From Siam Tee

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 05/17/2016 - 16:00

 

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong, Jin Xuan with natural flavouring.

Where to Buy: Siam Tee

Tea Description:

Cha Khao Hom Thai Rice Tea Premium – 100% natural scented Jin Xuan oolong tea;Exclusive Thai tea specialty from Doi Mae Salong, North Thailand; harmonious combination of high-quality Thai Jin Xuan oolong tea and natural flavor dispensers “Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye” (= “sweet fragrance rice tender leaves”).

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Firstly; I need everyone to bare with me while I do this review. Truth be told I’m out of my comfort zone with this tea but it sounds so wonderfully unique that I have to try it. That means I need to learn as I go, which will hopefully be passed onto you wonderful people.

When it comes to Thai tea I think about Oolong and fruity tasting black/red tea. Well this is an Oolong, Jin Xuan as it states on the description but it’s flavoured with a herb to give it a rice flavour. This herb is fairly common throughout Asia and it is noted to being translated from Chinese to English as “sticky rice” herb. A quick search has shown me that the Chinese name for this herb is Nuo Dao Gen. As well as “sticky rice” it is also commonly translated as “Glutinous Rice”. The part of the plant that is most commonly used is the root and it is said to be very helpful with night sweats and hormonal issues. Another few searches later and I find that this root is very commonly used in Asian food and it is not known to have any side effects, so fear not if you are disliking the idea of taking a random herb.

Some of this information became familiar, I have tried a Pu Erh before which claimed to be ‘glutinous rice’ flavour. It was a while ago and I remember the rice being lost against the strong Sheng. But alas, this version is an Oolong base which frankly I find super exciting!

It’s time to open the packet and reveal this mysterious wonder. As soon as the bag is open enough for me to stick in my nose I inhale deeply. First thoughts? “Woah that is ricey”. It’s sweet and toasted but the rice scent is remarkable. A part of me wants to eat it….

In appearance it looks like some normal Jin Xuan Oolong. The pieces are an assortment of small, medium and large sizes with shiny green and dark brown colours on the leaves.

This tea comes in two different grades: Classic and Premium. I dove straight into the premium end and honestly, so far I am happy with the scent and appearance enough to agree the leaves are indeed Premium. If you want more information on this tea including a comparison on the two grades then Siam Tee has a great article on their blog here.

This is the steeping instructions as taken from the sales page:

For the preparation we recommend pouring from 3.5 to 5 grams of tea- “pearl” with 85 ° C – 90 ° C hot water and a steeping time of 2-3 minutes in a first Infusion.

That sounds good to me, I’m actually thankful this was helpful enough to guide me with steeping information.

Just pouring in the water created a beautiful rice aroma that was strong enough to fill my kitchen and living room. Wow, it’s making me salivate!

Once steeped a yellow tea liquid is produced with the aforementioned rice aroma. If someone were to blindfold me and ask me to guess what it was by scent I would say it was a bowl of rice. There is also the same sweetness and toasted notes from it’s raw form.

The first few sips are interesting…I can detect a toasted grass, milky, floral Oolong but by it’s side is a sweet yet thickly moreish rice flavour. The after taste is a lingering thick (almost stodgy) rice note that has coated the whole of my tongue. A few more sips and it has an added sour note though honestly it’s not for long. I have noticed a slight dryness however which becomes noticeable in the after taste which frankly feels even more like I’m eating rice.

Ok so as rice heavy as this tastes it still does not take much away from the Jin Xuan base which manages to hold it’s own. This I am pleased with, if you’re going to drink Jin Xuan then you should really be tasting it.

Half a cup in and the dryness has increased again to a point that I have a cotton dry tongue. Not pleasant but the lingering after taste is making up for it. It’s still consistent though in strength and flavour from those first few sips.

Coming into this tea I had little understanding of what to expect, the nearest I could imagine was something similar to Japanese GenMaicha which has toasted rice pieces in. Now post drink I can say it’s very different. GenMaicha is more toasted and bitty where as this is fresh and definitely glutinous. It was strange (to say the least) but still pleasant and even the drying quality didn’t put me off. I can honestly say that I can see myself drinking a lot of this tea in the near future. Worth a try if you are after something new, or an authentic taste of Thailand.

Happy Steeping!

The post Premium Cha Khao Hom – Thai Rice Tea – From Siam Tee appeared first on SororiTea Sisters.

Illustrated Review: Pu Erh Xishuangbanna

T Ching - Tue, 05/17/2016 - 12:00

Savor a sip of your Pu-erh tea. Allow the rich, black liquid to swirl on your tongue and make your senses dance. Can you feel it? The connection to spirit? How your body communicates while drinking Pu-reh tea is what the Chinese call “Cha Qi” –– tea energy life force. Hailing originally from the Yunnan province, the fermented and aged tea made from old tea trees is used to revive concentration and usher in relaxation without losing its energizing properties. And, if you consume too much Pu-erh tea, or any tea of low oxidization, you might become tea drunk or “Cha Zui” –– having consumed too much caffeine.

A Pu-erh can make you feel TEAriffic!  Rumi says it best with: “Love is the energizing elixir of the universe, the cause and effect of all harmonies.” All this to say, I’m drinking in the Cha Qi with Thé Pu-reh Sheng Xishuangbanna from The De Cru, Montreal, Quebec spicetrekkers.com,

Cheng Xishuangbana – Wash the leaves twice for 15 seconds each time with water 85C.  Use the tea water to wash the cups and warm your teapot. Two to three minutes for the first infusion. For the other infusions, shorten the time to 20 seconds or less. Enjoy.

Interested in individually designed tea reviews? Weaving compelling visual stories for social media is a passion of mine. I love creating immersive illustrated reviews that awaken people to tea and culture. If you desire an illustrated review to engage your followers, please contact me.

The post Illustrated Review: Pu Erh Xishuangbanna appeared first on T Ching.

A weekend of tea events in April: A family affair with a surprise visit from Victoria's Tea Salon

Barb's Tea Shop - Tue, 05/17/2016 - 02:39

Rebekah C., Associate Director w/ BTS & Doug K., Director - under Martha Baldwin's portrait.
In April, Barb's Tea Service presented four events:  Downton Abbey-inspired teas at the Townsend Hotel and Walled Lake Library and on the third weekend of the month, back-to-back teas in Birmingham and Canton.

The first event was a volunteer/patron appreciation afternoon tea at Birmingham's Baldwin Library. BTS presented Tea History and Etiquette along with preparing and serving tea. We were invited by Rebekah Craft, Associate Director and Doug Koschik, Library Director. The room was filled with volunteers and board members - a truly wonderful and friendly group of people.


Rachel starts brewing the tea before guests arrive.
The library supplied the scones and pastries and BTS brewed up some delicious  Earl Grey and Lomi Lomi, a tasty herbal, both from Socra Tea.

Baldwin supplied the scones and pastries. BTS served up tea from Socra Tea
Centerpieces were fresh flowers in Fiestaware pitchers from Rebekah's personal collection. They added a vibrant splash of color and a bit of spring to the table decor.

Half of the room filled with dedicated volunteers.
It was a lovely time spent at this hometown library that blends the old with the new: a place that has meant a lot to me over the years.  I grew up in Birmingham and came here frequently as a child with my dad and later in high school I well remember clocking in some long hours working on term papers. When my own children attended Birmingham schools, we were once again a collective fixture at Baldwin.

It was really such an honor to spend an afternoon with such dedicated folks who do so much  to make Baldwin Library the fantastic Birmingham treasure that it is.

And, that was just Saturday! The next day, we were at the Canton Library - another great community treasure - for our Tea from China program. This was part of the "Everyone's Reading" program which featured "Shanghai Girls" by author Lisa See.


Next day, Tea from China at Canton Library
Because this was a tea tasting, we brought in extra staff. Rachel had company with her older brother, Rob.

BTS staff, Rob and Rachel, keeping it all in the family
We had another wonderful treat from Victoria's Tea Salon. Vicky O'Neil, who also catered the Downton Abbey event we were part of at the Southfield Public Library, brought trays of scones and pastries for the guests. They were as beautiful as they were delicious. Many thanks to Vicky for coming out and serving such a fabulous afternoon tea fare.

Vicky O'Neil of Victoria's Tea Salon brought tasty tea treats
Scones and pastries from Victoria's Tea Salon, as beautiful as they are delicious!
Along with the presentation on the history of tea, guests sampled four different Chinese teas.

Some of the guests getting settled before the program.The guests and staff at the Canton Library were wonderful. It was another amazing tea afternoon. A heartfelt thank-you to the library, the guests, Victoria's Tea Salon and BTS' charming staff.


Thanks to Canton Library, Victoria's Tea Salon and BTS' excellent staffAnd, we're not done yet. Another back-to-back weekend of tea events is coming. This Saturday, we will be near Kalamazoo at the Schoolcraft Libary and on Sunday, we will be in Linden at Sweet D's Tea Room with our Downton Abbey-inspired afternoon teas. For more information, see our events page at Barb's Tea Service.

Hope to see you there!

Yuzu Ginger Macaron Cookie White Tea from 52Teas

SororiTEA Sisters - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 16:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

The inspiration for this tea is actually one of our start-up Kickstarter backers that purchased a “create a tea of the week” option when she contributed to that campaign (thank you!) – she wanted a Yuzu Ginger Macaron Cookie Tea and she wasn’t sure if she wanted that with our White Peony base or our green tea blend. She told me that she’d leave that decision to me so I tested out both bases with these flavors and I ultimately decided that the White Peony tea made a better base for these flavors. The Yuzu fruit notes were not as well defined with the green tea – but with the white tea you get a juicy, citrus-y burst of flavor that’s tart and tangy, a wee bit sweet and a wee bit bitter – just like the Yuzu itself. 

The ginger adds a warm dimension of flavor and I’m even getting a slight almond-y meringue note that evoke thoughts of a delicate macaron cookie. I gotta admit that when I was given this cookie tea challenge, I was more than just a little worried because Yuzu is not a flavor that I’m very familiar with and I worried that I wouldn’t do right by the Yuzu fruit. And whether or not I actually have done that – I’ll leave it for you to decide after you’ve tasted it. As for me, I’m quite pleased with how this turned out.

 

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about subscribing to 52Teas Tea of the Week program here.

Taster’s Review:

I will be honest.  I am not a fan of ginger teas. Never have been. I find that the overwhelming flavor of the ginger just hinders the rest of the tea.  But that was until I discovered this tea.

At the beginning, this tea had me at the word “Cookie”. I am not a huge cookie fan either but I love trying any tea that has a dessert or baked good flavor and feel to them. This tea came in my last order with 52Teas and was (I believe) a last minute add in.

While I was combing thru my tea stash tonight, I noticed it and thought, I feel adventure some this eve, let’s go with it! I brewed the tea up per the instructions on the package.  All the while the tea was steeping, I was enjoying this lovely ginger baked good aroma.  This is one of those smells you want to bottle up and put in candle form.

After a few minutes of steeping, I poured myself a really large cuppa and sat down to let the tea cool for a few minutes.  (The package indicated to do this).  I couldn’t wait the full time it said to wait because the aromas were just mouth watering and I needed a sip.

First impression of this tea? This tea is a muted gingersnap cookie where the flavors are subtle and not overwhelming and smack you in the face. More or less a subtle ginger note surrounding by this cookie almost buttery like flavor.  I didn’t pick up any of the Yuzu and to be honest, I had to research the fruit anyway. I guess the fruit is sour so I was glad it was a hidden flavor. I was quite surprised by how I couldn’t pick out the white tea base. Usually with 52Teas, I can always pick up the tea base, but this one I really couldn’t. All I was getting was this lovely light gingersnap cookie tea. I mean this tea made me want to eat a cookie and I can’t tell you the last time I ate a cookie.

Anne from 52Teas has always told me that the second infusion of a white tea is the best so I eagerly prepped my tea kettle up for the second infusion. I let the tea steep for just a minute or two longer before I sat down to enjoy. I instantly starting drinking the tea this time around instead of waiting. Which turned out to be an great decision!

The brew this second go around had a much richer and deeper flavor to it. The ginger was still not overwhelming but the spice wanted your attention. That buttery cookie like undertone was more prominent really giving your taste buds that cookie baked good like flavor. I still didn’t pick up any of the Yuzu or white tea but at this point I really didn’t mind. This tea was amazingly rich and full of flavor. This is one of those teas that wakes up your tastes buds.

I’m eagerly awaiting my third infusion now to see what happens with this round. Can’t believe how much I’m enjoying this tea!

The post Yuzu Ginger Macaron Cookie White Tea from 52Teas appeared first on SororiTea Sisters.

5 Things You Should Know About Matcha

Tea For Me Please - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 16:00

1. Matcha can only be produced in Japan.Matcha can only be made in Japan just as Champagne can only be made in Champagne, France. More specifically, matcha should be made from a shade grown tea known as tencha. In order to meet market demand a ton of "matcha-like" powdered teas are being produced in China and other nearby countries. This is definitely one subject that I get on my soap box about. Would you want to pay Champagne prices for California sparkling wine? Of course not! Inexpensive powdered green tea has its place but it should never be called matcha when it isn't the real thing.
2. Powdered tea originated in China during the Song Dynasty.Matcha is very much associated with Japan but a lot of tea drinkers don't realize that powdered tea has roots in Chinese history.  At that time tea leaves were pressed into cakes, much in the same way that puerh is. Pieces were broken off, ground into a powder and whipped into a froth. This style of making tea was popularized by the Buddhist monk Eisai when he publushed the book Tea drinking cure 喫茶養生記 in 1214. It eventually involved into the matcha that we all know and love today.

3. It can take up to an hour to grind just 40g of finished tea.As you can imagine, it takes quite a lot of leaf in order to make just a small amount of matcha powder. Matcha is ground into a very fine powder using stone mills. Other materials will cause too much friction which would negatively affect the taste of the tea. This is part of why you wouldn't get the same results by throwing your leaves into a food processor or spice grinder. Check out the video below from +Aiya America Organic Matcha green tea to see the entire process:

4. Ceremonial grade doesn't mean anything.Despite what your tea vendor's advertisements might say ceremonial grade is a meaningless term. While it's usually used to imply higher quality, there are no regulations as to the use of the phrase. Ask your supplier if their matcha is endorsed by a tea ceremony school such as Urasenke or Omotesenke. It's also important to learn the differences between high quality and low quality matcha. Color is always a huge indicator. Look for a vibrant, deep green color with a silky smooth feel.

5. Since it's a powder, matcha can easily be added to almost anything!I love cooking and baking with matcha. It's super easy to add to cookies, cupcakes, pudding and more. Just remember that a little bit goes a long way. Using too much tea in your batter can make for a bitter taste. Matcha is also a great addition to smoothies and shakes. I even mix into my orange juice! In Japan they have everything from matcha noodles to green tea Kit Kat's.
Is there something that should be on this list? Let me know in the comments!
Header image - "Matcha" by yakubovich is licensed under Creative Commons BY 2.0

A Tea Enthusiast Quits Tea: Part Two

T Ching - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 12:00

Read Part One here.

Cost of a tea habit

Another different type of negative concern relates to the cost.  Of course, he was prone to excess, and ramping up a tea habit and setting up a gear infrastructure is one of the most expensive parts, but he admitted to spending something like $700 or $800 on tea and gear over the course of three or four months.  In a sense, it’s not that much, compared to how an enthusiasm for wine or other alcohol might go, or other types of habits, but that is a significant expense related to what tea generally costs.  Given that he was visiting cafes in addition to tea shops, and had been experimenting with different forms of gear, including Yixing teapots, maybe that’s still on the low side, or maybe it was only part of it.

There are few references out there about what typical (and atypical) enthusiasts spend on tea, but this Steepster discussion thread is all about that.  It’s impossible to narrow it to a normal range, and self-selection for that kind of input complicates things.  In that thread, some people admit to spending $500 to $1000 per year on tea, so his expenditure does seem on the higher side related to that.

It’s really up to the individual on what is desirable or reasonable, of course, a function of preference and expendable income.  On the broader level better tea making the trip from Eastern Asia (typically) to the rest of the world depends on economic factors, so specialty tea availability depends on people making those sorts of purchase choices.  Based on my own limited knowledge of economics it’s better all around for tea drinkers as well as vendors if a demand base is there; the range available and pricing moderation depend on there being more demand and spending.  Of course, there are some assumptions mixed in with that assessment, and my own judgment, and I’m only drawing on a few college Econ courses as background theory.

It’s interesting to consider that better teas aren’t necessarily inexpensive in places they originate, where they are also sought after.  There the highest income levels afford some people substantial expendable income, and a tradition related to tea makes it a potential priority.  A vendor I bought tea from in the Bangkok Chinatown once claimed that the tea I was buying–a Bei Dou I mentioned here–would sell for more in China.  Even before he’d commented that I was considering the same idea, that based on my experience it might well.  This would at least be true in shops in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, where I had bought teas, and a friend living in Beijing had confirmed that range of pricing based on his own experience.

The Positive Aspects

I was also curious about what drew Paul to tea, and what he had appreciated most.  People new to tea might focus first on any number of different aspects.  For some, it’s about trying new tea types, or from different locations, or for others about gear and brewing process.  There are other potential tangents; cafe experiences, or researching relatively abstract aspects of tea, history, rituals, and so on.  In Paul’s case, the focus was on trying different teas, mostly oolongs and pu’ers, experimenting with brewing process, and on brewing gear, straight to Yixing pots.  He describes his favorite aspect:

“The surprise when you make one that blows your mind.  I think there is a skill to it.  Some people say however you prepare it is just right, but there is something to the rewards of exercising a skill and reaping the benefits.  There’s something about the surprise when you adjust a water temperature and get much better results from the same tea.”

What’s Next for Paul

He’s finished with the conventional forms of tea enthusiasm, selling off his gear, giving away teas, done with the whole cycle.  He does retain some interest in trying decaffeinated tea, and dabbling in tisanes a little, trying out some rooibos.  I’m not sure where it will lead for him since he’s just made the transition.

In my own case the tea interest fills a gap for such an interest, which is a pattern that seems clear in his own exposure, that preferring coffee, then tea, and then onto tisanes represents an interest in the general range of interests.  Before tea I was into tisanes, and wine, and coffee, all at different times, with a more complicated prior history with alcohol.  Other interests took different forms, like reading, or snow sports and mountaineering.  For these activities, an obsessive attention to details and learning might even be required just to participate safely.

Some of Paul’s story seems to relate more to a personality type inclined towards exploring interests aggressively, in this case over a relatively short duration.  But really, what would the difference be if he had taken up and lost interest in tea over a period of three of four years instead of three or four months; he’s only shortened that curve.  The concerns about caffeine consumption and hydration are things anyone consuming a lot of tea probably should consider, but these would seem easy enough to address through moderation.

image

The post A Tea Enthusiast Quits Tea: Part Two appeared first on T Ching.

まつげと黒炭シャンプーについて

It's All About the Leaf - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 02:31

長いまつげに憧れている女性は多く、マスカラやつけまつげなどのアイメイクでまつげを強調させようとしている人もいるでしょう。しかし、そのような方法ではまつげへのダメージが大きくなってしまうため、まつげ美容液やまつげ育毛剤などのアイテムを使用するのがおすすめです。一口にまつげ美容液といってもさまざまな商品が登場しており、それぞれ特徴や使い方なども異なっているため、しっかりと比較して選んでいくと良いでしょう。黒炭シャンプーというものが注目を集めているのですが、さまざまな効果が期待できると言われています。このシャンプーはさっぱりとした使用感が特徴であり、夏でもすっきりと洗い上がりますし、冬にはかゆみなどを抑える効果が期待できます。また、炭にある無数の孔が汚れを吸着してくれるため、毛穴を綺麗にしたいという人にもおすすめです。育毛をしたいという場合、育毛剤だけでなく黒炭シャンプーも一緒に使うと良いでしょう。炭の粒子は殺菌力がありますし、頭皮に溜まった垢や毛穴に詰まった余分な脂分などをしっかりと吸着してくれます。炭にはさまざまな効果があるのですが、髪や頭皮が衛生的で健康的な状態になることにより、薄毛を改善する効果を期待できるでしょう。また、黒炭シャンプーは地肌の健康を整えることができるため、リンスやトリートメントなどを使う必要がなくなります。炭は頭皮の皮脂や汚れを取るだけでなく、臭いを取る効果もあると分かっています。そのため当否の臭いが気になっている人なども黒炭シャンプーを使ってみると良いでしょう。さらに、炭にはさまざまな作用があるため、普通のシャンプーでは落とし切れない地肌の汚れや古い角質、毛穴の奥の皮脂などもしっかりと取り除く効果が期待できます。

投稿まつげと黒炭シャンプーについてまつげ育毛でモテ美人の最初に登場しました。

It’s Finally Tea Time!

Joy's Teaspoon - Sun, 10/04/2015 - 21:19

Whew! I don’t know about you, but I love hot tea. I mean, duh, but wait for it. For me, tea is the ultimate comfort drink. There’s nothing I love more than curling up with a blanket, a book and a hot cuppa. Finally, FINALLY, it’s cool enough to do that (in Seattle – Naomi, you’re on your own in Vegas).

In Seattle, we’ve had a scorcher of a summer and while it’s been wonderful, it’s pretty uncomfortable curling up on a leather sofa in your short shorts and sipping hot tea when it’s 90 and humid. I’m just going to let you sit for a moment with that picture in your mind. 

But there’s always iced tea, you say? Well sure. And I drank a considerable amount of iced tea this summer. It’s wonderful and refreshing. There are so many options for turning tea into summer treats.

However, nothing beats a lazy morning, sipping on a piping hot Earl Grey while reading about ghost stories or endless love. There is nothing cozier than curling up in blanket, staring into the fire and breathing in the smell of a jasmine green.

Finally cool enough for a proper tea time. #100happydays #day7

A photo posted by Audrea Fink (@audrea11) on Sep 30, 2015 at 2:18pm PDT

AND. IT’S. FINALLY. TIME. TEA TIME! The best kind of tea time. The fall leaves, morning fog, crisp air, boots and scarves kind of tea time. The time where your cup warms your cold fingers and the steam warms your cool nose.

The best part of it all is that now, it’s going to be the perfect tea time (in Seattle at least) for the next few months. And I’ve already started gearing up the office to be prepared. A co-worker and I built our own little tea cozy corner.

Life achievement- having a #tea spot at work. #LexBlog #tealife

A photo posted by Audrea Fink (@audrea11) on Sep 18, 2015 at 11:32am PDT

That entire cabinet the basket is sitting on is filled with tea, so you can be sure we’re prepared for the teapocalypse here. So bust out your mugs, scarves, boots and hipster hats because it’s finally time to enjoy a proper cup of tea (without sweating and sticking to your leather seat).

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