Feed aggregator

No Sugar Coating

The Devotea - Sun, 10/01/2017 - 21:49

Every week or so when I blather on in this blog about all manner of things, I get well-meaning advice that I should really be writing about our business and our teas, but generally I don’t unless forced to. This is such an occasion. We are announcing the closing of our associated business The Devotea […]

The post No Sugar Coating appeared first on Lord Devotea's Tea Spouts.

Drinking up teas

A Tea Addict's Journal - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 16:17

There are a few reasons I haven’t been updating much on my blog recently. The most basic one is I moved recently, so a lot of stuff got moved and many of my teas got moved offsite, because it’s easier to manage that way. The more important one is because of the big Photobucket blackmail issue. I have been slowly converting all my old Photobucket links to instead hosting the photos on my own blog, which is a slow process unfortunately.

However, the biggest reason is because I just don’t have a lot of very interesting things to say these days about tea. I mean, what haven’t I already covered in the 10+ years that this blog has been alive? Sure, I can update on some topics, and there are new things that happen all the time, but really, most of them are quite similar to what have come before. There are very few genuinely new things that I encounter these days with regards to tea (there’s one new black tea that I got a hold of recently that I will talk about at some point).

I also haven’t been drinking much new tea. After all, there’s only so much tea one can drink, and there’s plenty of older teas now that I have bought years back that are now at least drinkable. I’ve reached the point where I’m not really in the market for much new tea anymore – there’s really just no need. Why should I sample a whole bunch of new tea when I’m not interesting in buying almost any of them? It’s always interesting, of course, to do so, but that interest is tempered by the fact that many of them are usually terrible, or at least not great. When I can drink something that is great now, versus the high chance of having something that really isn’t very good (and often overpriced) …. the choice is obvious.

So I suppose that’s a pretty unsatisfactory explanation. I know if I were living in a city with a more interesting tea scene, I may be out drinking tea more, but then, having two kids will always crimp your style that way. The way the current market is though with tea, I just don’t see myself being that interested in buying anything much – and the few things I do buy, you can’t get easily online, making it a bit of a difficult thing to talk about where I’m basically talking about a pie in the sky.

In case you’re worried though, I do intend to keep this blog around, even if it costs me in hosting fees and what not. A lot of discussion of tea related things have moved from things like personal blogs to social media of various sorts, with some facebook groups being particularly active, and at least a few slack groups that I know of. There’s a problem with all those conversations though – they’re fleeting. Once done, trying to find it again is next to impossible, even if you yourself participated in it. Quite often people would tell me that they recently discovered my blog and have gone through a lot of my older posts, and have found them useful. You can’t do that with social media posts, not really anyway, and there’s almost no way to actually save any of those conversations unless you do some serious work to keep an archive of them, which is very unsatisfactory. This blog is by no means an authority on anything, but I do think some 10 years of tea writing is worth something. That’s the reason why I will bother to go through all my old posts to migrate the photos over, even though many of them are of tea reviews years ago for teas that nobody can find anymore, and for which my opinion is probably largely outdated if not completely invalid at this point. I guess that’s me being a historian, but I will at least try to keep the record straight.

I do, however, need to continue documenting my teapots, and have been lazy about it after the move even though it did give me a pretty good idea of exactly how many I have. So, in the absence of more interesting posts about tea, you can probably expect to see more teaware in the near future.

Review: Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte

The Hour For Tea - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 04:51
Now that it’s the time of year for “pumpkin spice everything”, how do the seasonal flavored teas hold up under the promise of autumnal tea-time goodness?  Today’s beverage: Pumpkin Spice Latte by Tazo Chai, which can be found at selected … Continue reading →

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).

Go With Passion

The Sip Tip - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 20:08
It was a fall evening in 2008 that I decided to start a tea blog.  In retrospect I knew very little (still do in fact.) However I did have one thing, passion, passion to learn, passion to know, and passion to try. Honestly I had no clue then what the next 7 years would entail, and what I would learn, but knowledge about tea aside, the thing I have learned is what passion can do for life, and

5′ con Debbie Han

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
by tea alberti 1. How did you start your story with tea? - I’m not quite sure if I understand your question properly. Do you mean how I first started drinking tea? I actually talked about it in the Wall … Continue reading →

El placer del té, renovado

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Placeres una nueva propuesta de TARAGÜI para disfrutar del momento del té sabores más acentuados aromas delicados + nuevo diseño. Se incorporan a la renovada línea de té combinaciones innovadoras de aromas y sabores deliciosos Para disfrutar del té en … Continue reading →

¡Mozo, un mate!

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Zona Taragüi Y el mate llegó a los bares La nueva propuesta de Establecimiento Las Marías para disfrutar del mate en más de 100 bares. Llegás al bar y además de un café o un té podés disfrutar de otra … Continue reading →

taza #1158

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Hostmaster Pattern / teacup by New Martinsville Glass Company

taza #1157

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01

taza #1156

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01

taza #1155

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Vintage Youngsware China Fantasy Pattern  

taza #1154

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Noritake China April Cook N Serve Teacup ¿dónde consigo la taza? My Eclectic Heart  

teapot #149

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Details from Willow / colección Teapot diseño by Richard Brendon

taza #1153

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Details from Willow / colección Teacup diseño by Richard Brendon

Pre-Qing Ming White Peony, a rare treat

Red Circle Tea - Sun, 06/10/2012 - 02:01

When you consider the perfect balance of taste, tea liquid color, and processing it’s undeniable: White Peony is one of the simplest, most elegant teas around. White Peony comes from the “Large White” varietal from Fujian.

This tea is picked with the downy bud and first leaf attached. Occasionally, you’ll see the bud with two leaves.

This tea is very delicate and is handled very gently during all stages of processing to preserve bud and leaf shape, and to avoid the bruising that would create undesired changes in taste.

White Peony has a high fragrance and top dry notes of muscat. This tea is sublime in the morning to wake up to, refreshing in the afternoon, or after any meal.

With sweet middle notes of tangerine and base notes of fresh hay, this tea has a clean taste and soothing qualities. White teas have the least oxidized leaves and buds and therefore offer the most anti-oxidants of all teas. This tea is from an unusually early picking and was picked before the Qing Ming festival. This is the first time I’ve seen Pre-Qing Ming White Peony on the US market.  Because of this, it’s on the rare tea page, and is extremely reasonably priced. Check it out, along with Red Circle’s other rare teas here:  http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/black_rare/redcircleteas_black_rare.html

Tze Lan Heung, the Purple Orchid

Red Circle Tea - Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:03

Purple Orchid is one of the most famous of Dan Chong teas. To me it stood out this year as heads and shoulders above the dozens of Dan Chong Teas I tried, and that has a lot to do with its provinance and when it was picked. This Purple Orchid DC was picked before April 4th, before the Qing Ming festival honoring ancestors who have passed. The date is marked on every farmer’s almanac as the beginning of the picking season. But, in rare years, under special circumstances tea buds earlier, and if the weather is just right, and the picking and processing are just right, you wind up with an exceptional tea. This is such a tea. The dry leaves have notes of lichee and purple grapes. But this tea has great character.

 

Wet and warm the leaves, and a surprise is waiting. Notes of dry sweet almond are evoked, nutty and slightly spicy.

The aroma of the steeping tea fills the room.

The resulting cup is creamy, caramely and nutty, and reminds me of sitting in a restaurant and a waiter passes by with another guests desert of freshly caramelized flan.

This is a sumptuous tea, indulgent and relaxing.  Check out all the Dan Chong Oolongs here: http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/oolong/redcircleteas_oolong.html

 

Spring Crop Long Jing

Red Circle Tea - Wed, 05/30/2012 - 01:19

Long Jing – or Dragon’s Well. There really is a well at the top of Shi Feng peak in Long Jing Village outside of Hangzhou, China. Shi Feng (Lion’s Peak) is where the best Dragonwell comes from. The soil is sandier, it slows the uptake of minerals and results in a delicate taste and high fragrance indicative of the best teas this area has to offer.

So how do you judge good tea – how do you know what you’re looking at?  Well, when you evaluate Long Jing tea, first look at the dry leaves: They should be uniform, straight (not splayed) and the best are slightly yellow.

 

 

Have a look at a first steeping of these leaves.

And the liquid is a perfect light yellow green color and the consistency is like silk.

The classic flavor profile of this tea is sweet chestnuts and a gentle green bean taste with high notes of sweet grass and springtime on a mountain (I’m not sure that’s a flavor, or aroma, but I’ve smelled it standing in a tea field, so I’m going to go with it). Think chlorophyll. Green, a life-force taste of freshness. The flavor lingers gently for at least an hour in your mouth, and this tea gives more steepings than a normal green tea, it will steep 6 – 7 times in a gong fu clay pot and 5 – 6 times in a Gaiwan.

This year’s Pre-Qing Ming harvest festival tea is rock solid. This is the kind quality of Long Jing tea you have come to expect from Red Circle Tea – absolutely the best on the US market. Period. If by some horrible coincidence, you haven’t had the Long Jing I buy, may I humbly suggest you make this investment in the following: your tea drawer will thank you, your palate will thank you, your friends will thank you- should you be magnanimous enough to share – which you should be: great tea is meant to be shared.  But you will get the deepest thanks and return on investment from your tea education.  There is only one way to learn tea, through drinking it. Sure, you can talk to educators to learn about tea, ceremonies, specifics like soil content and elevation, but really learning to take tea into your culinary repertoire requires that you drink it.  And on occasion you must make an investment in that learning process.  You must drink good tea at some point to really appreciate tea.  If you drink tea, if you want to know tea, if you appreciate tea; you can understand this tea by tasting it. And I cordially invite you to do just that!

Pre-Qing Ming Dragonwell (Long Jing) is available for sale right now at:  http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/green/redcircleteas_green.html

Joe Clare on Tea Packaging

Cha-Cha-Cha Adventures With Tea - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:49

Joe Clare, owner of Edmonton’s Massage Therapy Supply Outlet, doesn’t approve of the new tea stir stick single packaging. Here he is telling all about it.

tea: a living expression of eastern philosophy

Teanamu - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 10:30
Chachan Yiwei 茶禅一味 (tea zen one flavour) is the motto of teahouses like teanamu Chaya, now open Sat/Sun 12-6. At our new Chaya teahouse, we're using the Gongfu Cha ritual - it lends a Zen quality to our tea drinking. Fill the tea cup, empty the mind and getting out of your own way. Restoring the natural function of mindfulness, imagining swaying bamboo in a gentle breeze, tea-drinking for the soul! 'Let our tea cup be an extension of our hand': a touch of Zen mindfulness.
Syndicate content