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Happy Earth Tea Himalayan Autumn Bouquet #153. Jun Chiyabari, Nepal. Organic Autumn 2014

Tea For Me Please - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 16:00
Country of Origin: Nepal Leaf Appearance: mottled greens and browns Ingredients: black tea Steep time: 5 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: mesh infuser basket and ceramic teacup Liquor: amber Jun Chiyabari is one of my favorite tea estates. Their commitment to quality tea and organic cultivation is always appreciated. The leaves of this tea were nothing short of Nicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0

Let your voice be heard

T Ching - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:03

It’s that time of year again. The World Tea Expo is holding its nominations for the BEST in 10 distinct categories:

Best Tea Publication

Best Tea Social Media  Reach

Best Tea Industry Website

Best Tea Business

Best Tea Blog

Best Tea Educator

Best Tea Health Advocate

Best Tea Marketing

Best Tea Industry Innovator

Best Tea Personality

Don’t feel pressured to nominate someone in each category.  Vote in the area or areas that you feel knowledgable.  Do a little research if that appeals to you.  I ask that you vote your heart: that will surely be the right nomination for you.

TChing was delighted to be selected as a finalist last year.  It was an honor to be recognized by the international tea community as a blog that achieved wide recognition.  I think it’s wonderful that The World Tea Expo has allowed the general public to participate in providing these initial nominations.  The winners will be voted on by those in the tea industry who attend the World Tea Expo.

The first two links above will take you to the survey, or you can click here.

Remember, your voice is important.  Happy voting one and all.  We’ll share the list of the finalists on the 30th.

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The post Let your voice be heard appeared first on T Ching.

A tea barista is born!

39 Steeps - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 13:57
{ A typical tea barista,
hopped up on caffeine and English literature }  This term, I've become my English students' tea barista. I've shared with them puerh, introduced glorious oolong, and let them get to know beautiful red teas (by which I mean, black teas, but I wanted to avoid the alliteration). I get the kids jazzed up on caffeine and L-theanine, talk poetry and literature, then send them on their merrier way. I'm told their gym classes are livelier with less-lethargic students.

It all started with a student whom I'll call, "Nadia," because that's her first name. She was not feeling well, and she begged for a bit of tea to soothe her aching throat. And, being the accommodating sort, I wanted to help. My schedule was inconvenient, and I couldn't stay away from my classroom to make her tea, so I walked my tea table over and plopped it on the edge of my big teacher's desk at the head of the room.

I made Nadia some flowery stuff I hadn't drunk and didn't want to drink, but which I thought she might enjoy. And enjoy it she did. Then I saw how some other students had procured teacups from somewhere, and they were sharing the rest of her pot. Hm, something I hadn't expected.

Now, the students had heretofore watched me drinking my good tea, and they were interested, but I hadn't really shared the stuff before. It had always been made already in my office, and then I would bring it to class in a pot for serving to myself during class. But now: Tea was right there, in front of them, on a cool bamboo tea tray with a lot of funky accoutrements. And I had a beeng of puerh, which I wanted to try out.

That fateful day, I cracked open the puerh, and a bunch of tea appreciators were born. My friends at Jas-eTea (pronounced, \ˈja-zē ˈtē\, if I'm not mistaken) and at Yunnan Sourcing had recently sent me a pirate's treasure trove, an embarrassment of riches, a veritable Smaug's horde. Puerh in several varieties, and dan cong oolongs, and blacks, and reds, and I don't know what all. I started with a nice, ripe puerh.

"Oh, you won't like this," I shared in an aside to some of the boys, who seemed interested, "because it's manly man tea, and you don't have enough testosterone to drink it." The trap was set.

"What?!"
{ A Burmese tiger trap also serves to catch teens' attention }"No, really. I mean, you obviously like the flowery tea, but you wouldn't want to drink this puerh, which often reminds people of tobacco, and rubber tires, and smoke, and leather, that kind of thing. It's like nothing you've ever had, and you can't enjoy it."

"No, we can drink it! Please, let us try some." Much sniffing of tea. "It smells great. I'll drink it." Deep basso rumbles from the cool kid in class. "I'm sure I'll like it."

"Fine, you can try it, but if your idea of tea is foofy chocolate-strawberry-souffle tea-like beverage, you're going to be disappointed."
The snare thus set, I pulled a yixing pot from its box, set out the Taiwanese sniffing cup sets, and started heating up the water. With intense focus, the guys—at this point, the girls were still uninterested—watched as I opened up the beeng of puerh, carefully stabbed into it to divide out the leaves without breaking them, and plopped them into the tiny warmed pot. Sniff, sniff. The kids got a whiff of tobacco, of subtle smoky vanilla, and that interesting hay barn aroma that makes you feel like you're in the healthful outdoors.

Pour, pour. I show the guys the whole crazy rigamarole of the sniffing cup inside the drinking cup, the flipping of the cups, catching the aroma of the tea. All the while, I explain where puerh comes from (Yunnan, of course), the way it's double-fermented, the idea of its aging, the puerh boom of the '90s, what gongfu is, and so on. The tea is served.

Flip, flip; Sniff, sniff; drink, drink. Sharp interest. They like it. I give more information. "Did you know . . . " that young men at university are the fastest-growing group of tea drinkers, and they and bond traders like it because it helps them focus without getting jittery? It's a productivity hack, you know. And though lots of people tout puerh for its health and weight benefits, I just drink it for the feeling of elevation, relaxation, and the enjoyment of my senses opening up. And being a tea appreciator involves being observant, which this class is all about. And you might just be the only high school students in Illinois drinking puerh tea with their instructor this afternoon. Interesting, huh? "Did you know . . ."

And that was about four months or so ago. Tea every day. The girls are now equally interested, and the students are collectively the worst bunch of tea beggars I've ever encountered. I should put out a tip jar. They write the "Tea of the Day" on the board when I have something interesting to share. The girls like the greens and the dan cong oolongs, and my original set of puerh drinkers remain fiercely loyal to that compressed tea. And when my students begged me to teach them about tea (in an attempt to get me off track), I gave them a whole lecture on the story of Keemun tea and English Breakfast, a list of the Ten Great Teas of China, and had them take a test on it, for credit.

So what's all this about then? Tea is a metaphor, a means to teach the art of observation and enjoyment. Reading Dostoyevsky, or Wallace, or Faulkner, or cummings, or the Word of God; or listening to piano works by Ravel; or drinking tea. Observing, enjoying, processing, organizing, writing. It all comes together, and I hope my students learn something about how to really enjoy life in the quiet, small things. I know that, through the experience, I certainly have. Being an English teacher–barista and sharing from my tea hoard has become one of my great joys.Please click over to visit my blog to get to know me better. And if you would be so kind, join the site with Google Friend Connect and share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you for your patronage!

Friday Round Up: March 8th - March 14th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 22:01
5 Common Misconceptions about Puerh Tea I loved this post from +White2Tea that breaks down some of the most common misconceptions about puerh. There are lots of companies out there who still repeat these so be on the lookout! Irish Oat Flapjacks When I hear the world flapjack, I usually think of pancakes. Little did I know that in the UK they are a yummy sounding granola bar type confection. +Nicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0

Death of a Universe

The Devotea - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 21:18

“As the message drained away Vimes stared at the opposite wall, in which the door now opened, after a cursory knock, to reveal the steward bearing that which is guaranteed to frighten away all nightmares, to wit, a cup of hot tea.* * The sound of the gentle rattle of china cup on china saucer […]

The post Death of a Universe appeared first on Lord Devotea's Tea Spouts.

Tea in the desert

Gongfu Girl - Fri, 01/02/2015 - 00:18

After encountering an article on the band Tinariwen, I went searching for some additional information on them. Their music is a distinctive blend of multiple traditions, including those of the members’ own Tuareg culture from Mali.

As I browsed the names of the songs for which there were videos, one title caught my eye: “Iswegh Attay,” which I suspected meant something to do with “tea” since I knew that the Moroccan Arabic word for tea is “Atay” (اتاي).  As I began to watch, I was pleased to discover a beautiful film of a man brewing and serving tea in the traditional manner of the Tuareg nomads. This way of tea is similar among many of the desert cultures of Western and Northern Africa. It differs from the Moroccan tradition in its absence of fresh mint and use of much plainer, rustic tea wares.

From the band’s website:

TINARIWEN’S OWN STORY BURGEONS WITH MYTH AND MYTHOS IN THEIR HOME COUNTRY AND BEYOND. THEIR TALE IS THE STUFF OF LEGENDS. FOUNDING MEMBER IBRAHIM AG ALHABIB, GREW UP IN DESOLATION IN MALI, WHERE HE WITNESSED HIS OWN FATHER’S DEATH AT THE AGE OF FOUR. LATER, AFTER SEEING A WESTERN FILM, HE BUILT HIS FIRST GUITAR FROM A BICYCLE WIRE, A STICK AND A TIN CAN. THE BAND WAS FOUNDED IN THE 1980’S IN TUREG CAMPS IN LIBYA, WHERE THE NOMADIC PEOPLES HAD RELOCATED TO FIND WORK AND A NEW LIFE AWAY FROM THEIR HOMELAND OF THE SAHARA. DISILLUSIONED BY THE PROMISES OF QUADDAFI AT THE TIME, THE TUAREG BECAME RESTLESS AGAIN AND LONGED FOR HOME. BUT THE INTERACTION WITH CITY LIFE YIELDED UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES, THE BECAME EXPOSED TO WESTERN MUSIC — MOST NOTABLY THE GUITAR-DRIVEN ANTHEMS OF JIMI HENDRIX AND THE AMERICAN BLUES — WHICH THEY MIXED WITH THEIR OWN SOULFUL DIRGES WHICH THEY’D PERFORM IN THE CAMPS BY THE FIRE WITH BATTERY-OPERATED AMPS.

One translated line of the song: “I drank a glass of tea that scorched my heart.

Read more about the method of brewing and serving tea shown in the video on the Cultural Website of the Sahara. The photo of the Tuareg man pouring tea accompanying this article is used under Creative Commons license, and was taken by Garrondo.

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Tea Review 551: Tea ‘n’ Teas’ Nilgiri Frost Tea

Walker Tea Review - Sat, 12/27/2014 - 13:30
  Origin: Parkside Estate, Ghats, Nilgiri Hills, India Score: 90 Price (as of post): contact for price   Sample provided by Tea’n'Teas. Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings. Want to see a tea reviewed? Contact me: jason@walkerteareview.com

Tea Review 550: Teavivre’s Bi Luo Chun

Walker Tea Review - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:30
  Origin: Dong Ting Mtn, Jiangsu Province, China Harvest: 15 April 2014 Score: 92 Price (as of post): 14 g sample = $3.50   Sample provided by Teavivre. Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings. Want to see a tea reviewed? Contact me: jason@walkerteareview.com

Tea Review 549: Tea Journeyman Thea Kuam Imm Thai Oolong

Walker Tea Review - Thu, 12/25/2014 - 22:27
  Origin: Thai Tea Suwirun Gardens Mueang, Chai Rai, Thailand Score: 89 Price (as of post): 1 oz = $8.25   Sample provided by Tea Journeyman. Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings. Want to see a tea reviewed? Contact me: jason@walkerteareview.com

Da Hong Pao – Art of Tea

Walker Tea Review - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 13:00
The Art of Tea is one of the resources that devoted disciples of tea should have in their library. The magazine is one of the most in-depth sources of information about the origins and development of teas and teaware printed in English. In its pages, one can learn the differences in the authentic tickets placed […]

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
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