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Garden Therapy from The Tea Can Company. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 15:06
This tea is a stroll through your garden. It’s a sunny, quiet morning at the farmer’s market, stashing bundles of herbs in your reusable bag. It’s floating through a sun-soaked kitchen, plucking green leaves from your window-box and muddling them in steamy water for a fresh, herby cup. “Garden Therapy” is the perfect name for this particular brew. Packaged in a pyramid bag, the herbs are visible and present, and I get that familiar golden-brown brew from my beloved tulsi and lemon myrtle, accented with a slight sweetness from the rose and berry, balanced beautifully by the bright, fresh spearmint. Read More

The Good, The Sad and The Figly

The Devotea - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 15:04

With lots to do in Vancouver, our approach to tea shops has mostly been to just find them while walking past and drop in. On a recent walk we came across two that were totally different and loved them both. We were vaguely searching for Neverland Tea Salon when we stumbled across Bayswater Tea Co just […]

The post The Good, The Sad and The Figly appeared first on Lord Devotea's Tea Spouts.

Orange Creamsicle from BlendBee. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 01:53
Often, I’ll find myself looking lovingly at my tea cabinet (not unusual) and envision myself as a tea blender. In this very particular fantasy of mine, I’m set up in a perfectly crisp, clean and home-y bright white kitchen, sunlight flooding through the windows, a gentle breeze pushing in the open windows, and I’m hand-blending delicious teas while the birds outside chirp backup as I trill, Snow-White-ing-ly. I’m pretty sure this isn’t how actual tea blending happens. But this is my fantasy, so we’re gonna pretend it is. Luckily, there exist some incredible companies who offer this service to fulfill Read More

Friday Roundup: August 13th - August 19th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 16:00
Favorite Teaware - Philip Aba of ZeroZen Artlab

Georgia at Notes on Tea interviewed ZeroZen Artlab for the latest installment of her Favorite Teaware. I was super excited to check out this one because I have been admiring his amazing Instagram pictures for some time.

Tennessee Oolong from Steven Smith Teamaker

I've said it before and I'll say it again, west coast tea folks get the coolest stuff! Char from Oolong Owl wrote an awesome review of a whiskey scented Jin Xuan. Although pricey, it sounds like it was definitely worth the try.

7 Best Online Puer Shops of 2017
Looking for a good place to get your puerh fix? Look no further than The Oolong Drunk's latest post. The big players are there along with a few smaller companies. Funnily enough, my list would look just about the same.

Matcha Victoria Sponge Cake

I love to combine my passion for tea with my love for baking (much to my fiance's chagrin). This matcha twist on an afternoon tea classic sounds like a definite must try. If Anna at The Tea Squirrel came up with it, it's got to be good!

Brothers in tea

One of my favorite things about tea is that it brings together people from across the globe. Stéphane from Tea Masters Blog shared a little tea event he had in Taiwan with tea lovers from Spain and Finland. There are always nuances to making tea on this blog that I don't see written about anywhere else.

New Ice Tea offering Without Sugar…..but…..

T Ching - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 12:00

I was happy to learn about a new offering of iced tea blends from Glucose Health. I do however have some concerns.

Although you can see what they’ve added to the mix, it fails to show the actual ingredient label so that one can’t see if there are any additives not mentioned. Also, although they note that stevia is used, again, I’d like to see the ingredient label required by all manufacturers. When it isn’t available for review, it makes me suspicious. The dietary fiber and soluble corn fiber could easily be from GMO crops. The other concern is that the ingredients are not organic. This brings unfortunate pesticides into the mix which can very well eliminate any of the otherwise healthy ingredients.

Is it a move in the right direction by eliminating sugar? Absolutely, but it might not really be a “healthy” beverage until we have more information. I have called the 800 number in the hopes of getting more information but at this point, no additional information is available. If I learn anything else, I’ll be sure to add it to the comments section. To be continued.

The post New Ice Tea offering Without Sugar…..but….. appeared first on T Ching.

Teance Burnt Sugar Red

Tea For Me Please - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 17:17

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: long, dark, slightly twisted
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: dark amber

I have a funny habit of saving the tea that I think I would like the most for last. I previously reviewed and really enjoyed Teance's Tiegunyin Dark Stone Fruit but something about the name Burnt Sugar Red told me that it would be a special one. The red part of the name might seem confusing but what we call black tea in the west is usually called red tea (or hong cha) in countries like China and Taiwan. Not to mention the fact that rooibos is often labeled as red tea.

The taste was malty and sweet with absolutely zero bitterness or astringency. Since this is a Taiwanese black tea I was expecting it to be something a bit like Ruby #18. There were a few things that really set it apart for me though. Rather than notes of cinnamon and dark fruits, I was getting deeply caramelized sugar, gingerbread, and black strap molasses. It was the creme brulee of black tea!

Gongfu is definitely the way to go with this tea, especially when you consider the higher price point. It performed well in a gaiwan and I found myself continuing to drink past its prime because of the residual sweetness. I'd be hesitant to use it with clay unless the vessel is very well seasoned. My .5 oz sample was just enough for two good sized gongfu sessions.

This tea was made by Miss Lin, one of the most decorated tea makers in Maioli. I always enjoy reading about Teance co-founder Winnie Wu's sourcing blogs, particularly the ones about Miss Lin. While it is certainly possible to have a good tea where the source is not known, I very much prefer to have transparency when buying my tea.

This is a limited batch tea so it might not be available for much longer. If you're intrigued, I definitely recommend picking some up before it is gone. You won't regret it.

Burnt Sugar Red sample provided for review by Teance.




Fruit Punch from The NecessiTeas. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 17:00
Often, when I’m about to review a tea, I ask myself: what does this tea make me think of? What memory is associated with these flavors? But you guys– I couldn’t even do it with this one. The flavors of “fruit punch” are apparently so ingrained in my childhood that even with thoughts long and hard, I couldn’t pinpoint one specific memory, just a flood of tasting this exact fruity mix over and over again throughout the years. (And ending up with a cherry-red-stained mouth every time!) This oolong blend from The Necessiteas is impressive– even just by scent alone, Read More

United States of Tea - Minto Island Tea Company

Notes on Tea - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 15:01
Minto Island Tea Company tea plot in flush (all images courtesy of MITC)My story of Minto Island Tea Company begins with my husband. His best friend is from Salem, Oregon. His best friend’s parents still live there. His best friend’s mother knows of my love of tea. She purchased two teas from Minto Island Tea Company, based in Salem, and mailed them to me when I lived in Virginia last year. The Steamed Green Tea and the Black Tea were harvested in August 2016. I first drank them in November 2016. I finished the black tea first. I drank the last portion of the green tea earlier this year. The black tea was very good; I drank all of it very quickly. The green tea was also very good but I’m a fan of teas with a chocolate and dark fruit profile. The green tea always started out mildly sweet and vegetal, but later infusions, especially when the leaf proportion was higher, yielded a more robust cup. I checked Minto Island Tea Company’s website while writing this post and new teas have not been added to the inventory, yet. In February of this year, I reached out to the company for an interview as part of this emerging series on U.S. based tea growers. My thanks to Elizabeth Miller for speaking with me about her family’s tea business.

Camellia sinensis propagation in the shadehouseOrigin of Minto Island Tea Company

Minto Island Tea Company is part of Minto Island Growers (MIG), a direct-to- market vegetable business formed about 10 years ago by Elizabeth Miller and her husband, Chris Jenkins. The produce company has several components including a farm stand and community supported agriculture (CSA). MIG grew out of land farmed by Elizabeth’s family since the 1970s. (In addition to the farmland in Salem, her family, going back to her grandfather, owned land in Willamette Valley and Eastern Oregon. The tea company began as a half-acre tea plot planted in the late 1980s by her father, Rob Miller, and his partner, John Vendeland. The tea plot was a research venture; John had the plant materials and he and Rob experimented with various cultivars to determine which ones had flavors that would be worthwhile planting out in bigger blocks. Elizabeth became familiar with the tea plot as a child so when she Chris became interested in tea farming she already knew that these cultivars had thrived in Oregon for over 20 years. She and Chris had been harvesting and processing tea on a small scale when people began to reach out to them in significant numbers with requests to purchase their tea and to visit the farm. This enthusiastic response spurred them to apply for a Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) from the USDA to expand their operations. With funding from the VAPG program, the small tea plot became Minto Island Tea Company. Elizabeth and Chris scaled up their tea production to sell at a public farmer’s market in Portland, a farm stand, and on the web. The farm team planted 12 acres in 2016. The original half-acre plot is the only field that is currently producing tea. In addition, it functions as a propagation site. Also, it hosts a mix of cultivars so teas made from this plot are blends. Elizabeth and Chris would like to propagate individual cultivars of Camellia sinensis on the new 12 acres. When I spoke to Elizabeth earlier this year, she said their goal for the end of 2017 was to plant a total of 20 acres but have recently decided "10 acres is a more reasonable goal."

The Cultivars

What’s growing on Minto Island? Yabukita, Yamatomidori and Okumidori originally from Japan. Some cultivars from South Carolina as well as from Hawaii. C. s. var. assamica as well as unnamed cultivars of C. s. var. sinensis. Elizabeth and Chris would like to focus on green tea cultivars from Japan and/or on cultivars from regions with a similar climate to Japan. They both love Japanese green teas. Although they are interested in “honor[ing] and respect[ing]” Japanese green tea methods, the cultivars growing in Salem are “becoming an Oregon tea.” Over the past 20 years, they, along with Rob Miller and John Vendeland, have planted and replicated blocks of seeds from over 200 varietals across microclimate, soil, drainage, and other variables.

Farm Team Roles

Both Elizabeth and Chris are plant lovers. Chris brings professional plant expertise — he worked for Rana Creek, an ecological design firm — but Elizabeth has an active interest in plants, too. Chris and her father (Rob) and Rob’s coworker, Jill, primarily focus on propagation and field culture while Elizabeth co-wrote the VAP Grant as well oversees marketing, administration, and communications. The tea company is a “family affair”. Elizabeth grew up on and participated in this family farm; she “can drive all the tractors”. Their daughter smells teas during cupping sessions and Elizabeth hopes her daughter will have a passion for tea. She said, there is “really nothing better than working with plants, if that’s what you love.”

Withering tea leavesConsumer Tastes

One of the goals for their 10 acres is to produce more tea to meet demand for a customer base interested in lower price point niche products likes kombucha. They have also identified black and green teas as the two most popular tea types. As a result, they would like to cultivate more Assamica but have not found the appropriate plant materials. They are also interested in making senchas. Coincidentally, several Japanese tea farmers on a tour of the Northwest as well as a young farmer form Uni visited Minto Island Tea. They hope to visit the young farmer who offered to show them how to process and steam sencha.

Good, Early Advice

She has been inspired by her father to be innovative and to not be “paralyzed by history and traditions of tea.” Her father has always said, more or less, “don’t be afraid of what you don’t know.” Also, early consumers of their tea encouraged them to take the next steps to expand their company. They abandoned the illusion of “a perfect tea” for a goal to make unique teas from 20-year-old tea plants growing in certified organic conditions in Oregon.

Last summer's teasPredictions for Tea Culture in the U.S.

The economics of tea production in the U.S. is challenging. It it difficult to compete with India, China, Taiwan in terms of scale and a large workforce skilled in picking and handcrafting techniques. However, there are opportunities in terms of incorporating tea into kombucha or beer. They want to pursue handcrafted teas but have found it difficult for black teas in particular. Elizabeth noted that it is “hard to get to the level of oxidation for black [tea] by hand.” Elizabeth predicts tea will remain a niche industry with potential and pointed to the evolution of Pinot Noir in Oregon. Elizabeth has an evocative way of describing the relationship between people and plants, something of deep personal and professional interest to me. She spoke passionately about humans “deep craving to interact with plants, to know the story of the plants they are consuming”. Minto Island Tea Company can fulfill this need. She is dreaming of a beautiful teahouse to host tea drinkers and to strengthen their connection to the farm.

5 Surprising Ways Matcha Boosts the Immune System

T Ching - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:12

Matcha green tea powder is one of the healthiest beverages in the world- it’s rich with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Matcha green tea powder helps boost your immune system in five surprising ways, from helping you ward off the flu this Winter to reducing inflammation!

Immune System Boost 1: Matcha Green Tea Powder Fights the Flu

Matcha green tea powder’s high antioxidant content, particularly Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) assists your body’s production of T-Cells which reduce inflammation and fight pathogens. This makes matcha green tea powder a great immune system booster during the Winter flu season!

Immune System Boost 2: Matcha Naturally Detoxifies

Matcha is a powerhouse of chlorophyll (where the vibrant green comes from!) due to the unique shading process the tea plants undergo. As a result, matcha helps detoxify the body of harmful chemicals, toxins and heavy metals.

Immune System Boost 3: Matcha Kills Bacteria

Matcha contains a high level of both flavonoids and antioxidants which form a powerful anti-bacterial defense force! The flavonoids will eliminate bad breath, kill off bacteria from viruses/infections while the flavonoids are perfect for soothing a sore throat!

Immune System Boost 4: Matcha Reduces Inflammation  

Matcha green tea powder can help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain because of its active ingredient EGCG, which is a powerful antioxidant that works to stop the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body. Matcha contains a much higher level of EGCG compared to standard green tea bags making it the perfect immune system boosting drink.

So where can you find matcha green tea powder? It’s critical that you buy high quality matcha green tea in order to gain the full health benefits. Zen Green Tea is my own company which sources premium quality Japanese matcha green tea powder with the full health benefits.

Starting to feel the flu? Try making this Matcha, Ginger Immunity Tea Recipe

Ingredients – Makes 4 cups

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan bring 6 cups of water and all ingredients excluding the matcha green tea powder to the boil.
  2. Cover with a lid and boil the tea for 15 minutes
  3. Strain the tea into a pot.
  4. Dissolve the matcha green tea powder into one tablespoon of hot water- ensuring you dissolve any lumps.
  5. Add the matcha green tea powder to the pot of tea, and stir.
  6. Serve immediately. You can keep any left over in the fridge to drink cold or heat up again.

The post 5 Surprising Ways Matcha Boosts the Immune System appeared first on T Ching.

Blissful Buds from Mellow Monk . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:00
Tea has become more of a mindfulness exercise for me lately, rather than simply a means to caffeination. I reverently begin this tasting by getting on the level with the loose, green grinds. Dry leaves are sweet-smelling like a japanese tea.  They tease me with something that almost smells of raspberry, though I know there is none in this blend. After brewing the tea leaves got much lighter in color and presented a cloudy olive-green infusion with lots of tiny stowaways from the gravity brewer into my cup. I cannot stress enough, as with all green and white teas, watch Read More

Organic Earl Grey Black Tea from Waterfalls Tea Company. . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 17:00
Waterfall Tea Company (AKA Waterfall Teas) is one of the companies I haven’t been able to dive into much thus far and I’m not really sure why!? I guess I just haven’t seen it around much and haven’t ordered it online yet. About a month or two ago I re-visited Tea Leafs in Williamsville, NY, and came across a few of their teas that were available for sale and individually wrapped. I decided to buy a single bag just to try it out. The one I grabbed first was the one I decided to buy and that was their Organic Read More

My Morning with Blooming Teas from Flower Pot Tea Company. . . . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:31
Lately I’ve noticed that my tea loving heart has been craving more lush green and vibrant white teas than anything else.  With having a more stressful job right now, I’ve found that these particular teas have a way of calming me in the afternoon, letting me know everything will be okay. Recently, The SororiTea Sisters received a gracious sample box from Flower Pot Teas, a company that mainly focuses on floral teas and blooming teas. I have to say, blooming teas and I haven’t always gotten along. I love the flavor but can never get them to bloom correctly. I Read More

April Siesta from 52Teas. . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:00
Okay April Siesta, I see you, okay. Now I want to start off this review saying that my love of this tea was 110% unexpected. The ingredients are not my usual (aside from chamomile- because unlike a lot of people, I actually am a fan of chamomile). However, the ingredients of lemon, orange, and licorice definitely scared me. Licorice, not as much as lemon and orange. I am not usually the kind of girl that wants tart tea or citrus flavors. When I smelled the dry leaf, I could smell citrus and it definitely made me second guess trying it Read More

Tea Places: Floating Mountain

Tea For Me Please - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 16:00

I don't get to NYC as much as I used to these days so I try to take full advantage of the time that I am there. After I attended the Pret-A-Matcha Kickstarter Launch Party and visited Tea Dealers, I still had one more tea place on my to-do list. Floating Mountain first hit my radar when I started seeing posts about it on Instagram. From what I could gather on their website, this was definitely my kind of place.

Floating Mountain is tea house and art gallery located in a rather anonymous looking building on the Upper West Side. You'll need to ring the buzzer to get in and be prepared for some stairs. There is also a spa and yoga studio on the same floor. It's a relaxation one stop shop! It's also very important to note that they ask guests to remove their shoes. I was unprepared for that but was generally pretty ok with hanging out barefoot on such a hot day. It helped that I mostly had the place to myself.

The moment I crossed their threshold, I left the hectic city behind me and almost forgot where I was. Big, bright sunny windows and light colored wood added warmth to otherwise minimalistic space. There were several low tables with cushioned tatami mat seats that looked very cozy but I opted to sit at the tea bar since I had on a long dress.

The menu was still being developed during my visit but I was already impressed with what I saw. They had a fairly large selection of pure Chinese teas, all directly sourced. You won't find any Earl Grey here. The prices are a little steep but it is important to take into account that the tea is meant to be shared. If you are by yourself, I recommend opting for a single bowl of tea instead. I needed something cooling so I opted for the Anji Bai Cha. It was vegetal and sweet, exactly what I needed after a very hot day if trekking through the city.

My tea was expertly prepared in a glass gaiwan, all the better to show off the gorgeous leaves. I was provided some bits of dark chocolate. I was grateful for this because green tea seems to really affect my blood sugar levels in comparison with other teas. While I sipped my tea we chatted about many things, all circling back to tea. I was enthralled with tales of the views of Wuyishan and other sourcing adventures.

If I didn't have to be up early the next day I would have stayed longer and probably enjoyed another tea after this one. Elina, Anna, Roza, and Zoya were all wonderful hosts and I'm looking forward to visiting again soon. I used to work just a few blocks away and it's very good for my tea budget that I no longer do. Otherwise, I would be here all of the time!













Premium bottled tea versus home brew

T Ching - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:52

For years, bottled teas meant one thing – bad tea in a bottle. Traditionally, the lowest grades of tea were used for bottled or canned tea. These cheaper teas are mainly from low lying regions, which also have higher rates of contamination than their higher elevation counterparts. For years these were the only teas you could get on the go.  Eventually we saw the emergence of smaller boutique tea bottlers that upped the level of quality. Seeing the move to these brands, some companies followed the lead of craft beer. With beer, large breweries would acquire smaller companies. Another option was to create a new company with a new name that didn’t make its large company roots apparent.

 This tactic is also being used by the big tea companies. An example of this is PURE LEAF.

 To the unknowing customer, the name invokes a small specialty tea company. That is until you look at the back of the bottle and notice the little symbol:

 Unilever is the world’s largest consumer goods company measured by 2012 revenue. It owns over 400 brands, including Lipton. Many tea drinkers avoid Lipton because of its low quality. So it was no mistake that Unilever decided not to use the Lipton name when going for the higher end tea customer. They partnered with Pepsi to create the Pure Leaf brand.

True Leaf tea is advertised in high end magazines. Sexy bottles, lots of ‘tea leaves’ in the advertising…the words “tea house”, organic…the advertising and packaging are impressive.

 To give credit where credit is due – this is a better bottled tea than the previous generations. Pure Leaf follows in Honest Tea’s footsteps by upping the quality of the base tea and creating a drink that actually tastes like tea, not chemicals. Put it this way, if you had to choose between this and fountain iced tea, there is no debate: this tea is much better.

 BETTER UNTIL….

 You decide you like the tea and drink it regularly. While this tea doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup,  “organic cane sugar” is listed as the 2nd ingredient. This adds up to 20 grams of sugar per 14 ounce bottle. This is roughly the same as a 12 oz can of coca cola (23g).  There are much worse beverages out there, but the American Heart Association lists 36 grams as the ideal daily limit for a man, 25 grams for a woman. So if you are a woman, (which the magazine we were reading is clearly aimed at) you are taking in almost all your daily sugar intake in one bottle of this tea. It isn’t better with brands like Honest tea, with their larger bottles clocking in around 25 grams of sugar.

 ALTERNATIVES

 There are some brands that do not sweeten their teas. If you are going to drink bottled tea on a regular basis, we would recommend these types. For example, Wegmans had a very nice Jasmine Green tea with no added sweeteners.

 WHAT ABOUT THE COST?

 We looked around and found that a typical bottle is going to cost somewhere in the $2 range.  We were able to find it on amazon for 20 cents an ounce.

 What is the difference if you brewed this tea at home? An easy direct comparison is to use a black berry sage loose tea as a direct comparison.  In our example cold brewer, which is 50 ounces, we used about 4 tablespoons of tea – maybe an ounce. Using a conservative calculation, we are probably looking at $2.25 of tea. When we put into the brewer, we probably net about 48 ounces of drinkable liquid. That’s about 5 cents an ounce, which is about 70 cents. Not bad eh? 

 So at the very basic level – you are paying 4 times the amount for bottled tea. If you are drinking this on a regular basis, you’ll quickly make back the cost of the brewer. 

 A TRICK TO SQUEEZE MORE OUT WITH COLD BREW

 Now for a little trick….when you cold brew there are always going to be extra leaves. You can stretch your tea by adding more water when you have 1/2 or 1/3 of the tea left. We tried this trick and were able to get even more tea out of the brew while still maintaining a good flavor profile. So your real costs may go down to .03 cents an ounce when you finally exhaust the flavor.

 HOW LONG DOES COLD BREW TAKE?

 In our tests, most teas were drinkable within 30 minutes. A couple of hours were sufficient to get a nice dark color, as shown in our example above. By agitating the tea periodically, you also maximize the release of all the flavors and anti-oxidants. Of course, if you want tea instantly, you can use the traditional hot brew method – steep and then add ice. 

 WHAT ABOUT SUGAR CONTENT IN ICED TEA?

 The great thing about brewing tea yourself is you can adjust the sugar content. If you prefer sweetness, you’ll find not much sugar is required. For example, with our 50 ounce brew you can add 2 tablespoons of sugar, which comes out to about 24 grams of sugar total. If we were to convert to PURE TEA bottle size, that would be about 6 grams of sugar per serving. Another idea is to use lemonade. Lemonade is super sugary, with about 25 grams per EIGHT ounce serving. You could add the entire 8 ounces to the brew, but in our experiments, a 16 ounce tea glass just needs a splash of lemonade. So even adding 8 ounces of lemonade to a big batch will keep the added sugars within reasonable levels.

 Either way, sugar added to tea, especially in large saturated quantities, negates all the health benefits tea has to offer. Once you get the taste for good tea, there is no reason to cover it up with lots of sugar. Many good quality loose teas are fine on their own. There are many flavored teas that exhibit a naturally sweet flavor profile. The benefit with cold steeping is that you have no bitterness. 

 OUR CONCLUSION….

 Sometimes there aren’t a lot of choices if you are on the go or traveling. Teas like Pure Leaf are a better choice than any soda or mass market tea such as Lipton. If you are suffering from weight issues, then added sugars should be avoided entirely. (flavored water is a better choice on the go). However, if you find yourself drinking bottled teas on a daily basis then it’s worth investing in making the brew yourself. Not only are you getting a better product, you also are also reducing waste AND saving money.

 Cold brewing requires no hot water and is very easy to make either at work or at home. You just need a fridge!

 

The post Premium bottled tea versus home brew appeared first on T Ching.

Green Caramel from Fava Tea. . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 11:11
Although this tea may sound simple, green tea and caramel flavor, it is actually quite complex! Not only does this blend include sencha green tea, but it also includes genmaicha, which is green tea and toasted/popped rice! Along with the green tea there is rooibos, cocoa pieces, caramel pieces, pineapple cubes, almond pieces, and marigold blossoms! Isn’t that quite a medley? Names can be deceiving and I am glad that I read the ingredient list because honestly it sounds delicious. And it is delicious! The green teas are toasty, nutty, smooth and vegetal. The rooibos adds a little bit of Read More

Strawberry Shortcake from The NecessiTeas. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 11:00
I have had my eye on trying teas from this company for a while. I am a fanatic when it comes to dessert teas and The NecessiTeas have tons of options on that front so I am all in. CuppaGeek was kind enough to send me Strawberry Shortcake to try and I am so happy that she did since it is amazing! I knew it would be good as soon as I opened the package. The creamy strawberry smell that came out of the bag was mouthwatering. I loved the nice big pieces of strawberry I could see in the blend. Read More

Women in Tea: Not Just a Gentlemen’s Business?

World of Tea - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 16:13

In China, the crafting and trading of tea is historically the domain of men. In contrast to the western stereotype of aristocratic ladies sipping afternoon tea from ornate cups, the...

The post Women in Tea: Not Just a Gentlemen’s Business? appeared first on World of Tea.

Friday Roundup: August 6th - August 12th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 16:00
Portlandish

I've been eagerly awaiting the report of Lord Devotea's recent visit to Portland and at long last, it is here. He couldn't have had a better tea tour guide than fellow blogger Geoff Norman.

Tea Teaching: Big Red Robe - Da Hong Pao

Chelsea at Taste the Tea gives us a short and sweet introduction to one of my favorite Wuyi oolongs. I love the tasting note visual and accompanying review of Adagio Tea's Da Hong Pao.

Bad Marketing Part 2

On this new-to-me blog, Tristan examines some of the outlandish claims made by tea vendors when it comes to how many times the tea can be infused. This is a sore subject for me as well and I am glad that someone is questioning these "bad marketing" practices.

Matcha (Green Tea) Latte Ice Cubes

Jee from Oh, How Civilized must be a mind reader. I've been on a big matcha kick lately but lattes are difficult to enjoy in the heat because they quickly become watered down. I love the decadent idea of condensed milk instead of my usual 2%.

Interview: Tyas Huybrechts of The Tea Crane

Sara at Tea Happiness did a very interesting interview with Tyas Huybrechts, a Belgian ex-pat living in Japan. Not only is he a Nihoncha instructor but also sells teas in order to further his vision of spreading Japanese culture.

Blast from the past: 3 steps to introducing tea to non-tea drinkers

T Ching - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:55

This article was originally posted to T Ching in August of 2015.

When we encounter something new that we want to add to our lives, it is only normal that we also want to share it with others. It starts almost as an obsession sometimes, as if we are “spreading the gospel.”

Tea has that effect on us as well, especially good tea.

We tea drinkers have a way of getting so passionate about tea and have all the fancy utensils and methods that now we are just looking for some doors to start knocking on.

Before you become a Teahovah’s Witness, let’s go over some basics that make it more likely that they will listen, and hopefully start trying tea themselves as well.

Step 1: Find a great tea that is really worth sharing.

If you want to convince someone that traveling is great, don’t take them to Arizona in August. Giving tea a fair chance is important too. Arizona is great, but one may not think so when it is 115 degrees out. Pu’er Tea is great, but one may not think so when it is a poorly processed ripe version that tastes like Grandma’s basement.

For your own sake and the sake of your friends, buy great tea and drink great tea. Give yourself a little cooling off period when you sit with each tea. If you are still crazy about it after a few days, then it’s a good tea to present to a friend. And try to present a tea that they may like as well. If you know they love sweet drinks but have never tried tea, maybe its best to offer them a sweeter tea from the beginning. If they like the tea, give them a baggy to take home and enjoy and maybe study on their own.

Step 2: Educate without intimidating.

So you know the exact altitude of the mountain and the annual rainfall of the region? Great. When sitting with anything new, however, we want it to be accessible and not overwhelming. Sure, let them know that the world of tea is so much bigger than this cup or this variety, but also bring it to a level that they can relate to. Show them what tea can do for them. Pour them a great raw Pu’er tea and ask them how they feel now versus a few minutes ago. Calmer? Stir up a matcha tea and ask them if they feel like they have more energy.

Once we see tea as more than just a beverage, it starts to sink in. “Wow, this whole tea thing is more than I thought it was.” That’s a great place to start. Plant the seed and be there to water it along the way. They will definitely have questions, and it will be fun when they start making tea purchases on their own to share with you later too.

Step 3: Enhance the moment with tea.

Tea is so much more than a beverage, it is truly a lifestyle. It is a moment of calmness in the afternoon. It is a breath before a big meeting or a wind-down after a long day.

Tea has been poured billions of times for strangers meeting strangers or fathers meeting sons. Showing your friend that tea is actually an event is huge.

They will find a new beverage that is so much more honest than any other. It’s more exciting than water, more humble than coffee, and more honest than liquor. Sharing tea with someone is unlike any experience. Share this moment with your friend and watch what comes out, and maybe point it out to them so that they see the beauty in conversation and the clarity of mind that came from this moment.

Remember, the key is to find great tea first and make sure it is clean and worth sharing. In sharing tea, you will have a beautiful new connection with someone who you may not have otherwise. All this and you are paying it forward for whomever first introduced you to tea.

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