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Li Shan High Mountain Oolong from Green Terrace Teas

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 16:00

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Green Terrace Teas

Tea Description:

Li Shan, or “Pear Mountain”, is named after the abundant pear orchards that originally occupied the region. In addition to its rich soil, Li Shan’s high altitude maintains a cool and moist climate that is ideal for creating superior quality tea. Our spring harvest was grown at an elevation of about 2,000 meters, or over 6,500 ft! Tea from Li Shan has a very high demand due to its limited supply and superior quality. Floral and fruity in character, this tea also has a very clean, soft mouth feel and evokes exotic flavors such as mango and tropical fruit. Can be steeped multiple times without losing flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yes!  I love Li Shan Oolong Tea!  And this Li Shan from Green Terrace Teas is OUTSTANDING!

Since this is a Li Shan, I grabbed my Yi Xing Mug and I combined the first five infusions (I steeped the tea in my gaiwan) following a 15 second rinse into the first mug full of deliciousness.

I measured out one of my bamboo scoops full of the tightly wound, deep forest green pellets and placed them in the bottom of my “easy” gaiwan - so called because it has a “straining” lid, a spout, and little “stump” handles to make it easy to handle when there’s hot liquid inside.

I poured in the hot water (I usually go with 180°F for Oolong teas, and I saw no reason to not go with that temperature today), and after 15 seconds, I strained the liquid (this was the rinse).  Then I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds and added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.

And mmm!  When you have a Li Shan, you can expect a creamy texture and  a sweet, floral taste.  But there are always little nuances that make one Li Shan Oolong offered by one tea purveyor different than another Li Shan Oolong.  I’m not sure exactly why that is, but, as the description above suggests, this has a fruity note to it that’s almost like tropical fruit.  And I’m getting those tropical fruit notes.

The flavor is sweet and smooth.  It’s not screaming out “mango” to me, but it has that luscious sweetness of a mango with notes that are reminiscent of the tropical fruit.  I can taste subtle vanilla tones and this adds a pleasing creaminess to the cup and it softens the floral tones.

I like that the vegetal notes here are really quite subdued.  It doesn’t have a really strong “green” taste to it, but in the distance, I pick up on those gentle vegetative flavors.

And like many Oolong teas, this one offers quite a few infusions.  I got ten infusions out of this tea (five infusions in my first cup and five in the second).  The second cup was not quite as creamy as the first, and I noticed more of the floral notes and subtle vegetal notes emerging in the second cup.  But this cup wasn’t sharp or bitter the way that floral and/or vegetal notes can sometimes be.  It still tasted wonderfully smooth.

It’s still sweet and fruit-like with notes of tropical fruit.  Again, I’m not tasting anything distinctly mango but it has notes that sometimes evoke thoughts of sweet mango, and in this second cup, I am also tasting gentle tangy fruit notes too.  Nothing that makes me ready to pucker, but, it does add an interesting contrast to the sweeter notes in the cup.

A REALLY good Li Shan!  I have tried a few teas from Green Terrace thus far and I’ve been a fan of what I’ve tasted from them.  This is a company that I can stand behind and recommend to my readers with confidence.

The Daily Tea: Getting the Most out of Your Expensive Oolong Tea

Tea For Me Please - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 16:00
As promised, I'll be contributing content to +The Daily Tea twice a month. Even thought the articles will be over there, I'll be sure to post about them here so that you don't miss them. Oolongs can be one of the most expensive types of tea. Beginners often struggle with how to get the most out of their leaves so we thought this was a perfect opportunity to share some pointers. Check it out on The Daily Tea here:

Getting the Most out of Your Expensive Oolong Tea
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The Four Pillars

T Ching - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:01

The Way of Tea as we rediscover and recreate it (or it us) must firstly pay homage to Nature, Heaven and Earth from whose unspoken center people and tea trees grow. Then through a vast and ancient mountain chain of tea wisdom, we also travel down the trails blazed by all the great known and unknown sages of tea: those who cloudwalked early Chinese peaks, retreated to forest hermitages, or practiced Zen tea in Japan and Korea, as well as the gongfu skills of Southern Chinese tea traditions. More specifically, we bow to modern teachers of tea throughout the world, less for preserving tradition and form than for keeping and sharing the spirit of the Leaf then and now. Like such ancient tea sages, we promote, cultivate and express an awakening of harmony through tea, at a time when it is so very needed in the world; and like those before us we do so simply and without asking anything in return.

There are four pillars which support the building on which any modern practice of tea must begin, and upon which our particular tradition is founded. Understanding them is very important if one is to make progress in Cha Dao. It would be impossible for us to transmit any of the tea wisdom we have without these forces flowing through us. After all, none of our wisdom is new. It has been around for millennia. And none of it is our creation; we are merely the vessels in which it is steeped just before it is poured for you. Without our ancestors and teachers we would all be lost. Any intelligent person can learn algebra in a year or two with a competent teacher, but how many could invent it growing up isolated on an island? Even with a hundred lifetimes spent only brewing tea, some of the insights passing through us like minerals through these four great roots would be missing.

The First Pillar: Great Nature

For a million years, tea trees grew in ancient forests untouched by man. They sat in the silence of Nature—the same ocean of spirit out of which this sun grew, and eventually this earth, rivers then mountains, cells then plants, then animals… And so a thousand page book on Cha Dao would have to include 999 pages written in the language of Nature: bird chirps, wind-rustled leaves and shafts of sun slanting through ancient tea trees. We mustn’t forget to pay homage to this aspect of tea, for it is in connection to this Great Spirit of Nature that tea becomes a Dao, and of all the four pillars, this one is the strongest—the oldest and the deepest rooted. In fact, it resembles a tree—twisted and turned, plunging into the darkest part of the earth. It is also the least understood pillar, and it cannot be discussed in any detail in such a manual as this. Its voice is old, cracked and whispers indecipherables to the intellect. You must become spirit if you are to understand its spirit. You must learn its language, written in the runes of the leaf-veins themselves.

The Second Pillar: Shamans and Daoist hermits

The second pillar of this great and ancient tea temple, covered in vines and runes, spells and magic and filled with fragrances and spirits wise and quiet, is the essence of the ancient shamans and Daoist mendicants who retreated to forest hermitages and mountain peaks in ancient times. Many tea books are written by historians, and such scholars must necessarily begin when tea is first mentioned in writing, which is for all practical purposes the Tang Dynasty (618–907). But mankind’s relationship with this sacred herb dates back thousands of years before that. And so the buying and selling, the warring and pleasuring of tea are also the very end of a long story as tea relates to humanity. These forest sages didn’t farm tea, but sought it out wild. Some such trees were even famous, as were some of the sages that distilled its liquor. At first, it was aboriginal shamans, medicine men and witches of the forest that drank tea, utilizing it to transmute their own spirits, as healing for others—healing of body, mind and spirit—as well as to transmit wisdom to students. Later, Daoist mendicants would also develop a love for tea. It is important for us to bow to this old forest tradition, and to learn from it by listening to the spirit of these ancient sages as they come alive again in this tradition, however out of time and place it seems.

The Third Pillar: Dhyana

The third pillar of tea is an iron one, straight and smooth—black and radiant to the point of perfect reflection. Like all things tea, the domestication of tea was also sacred. The first farmers were Zen monks. When the early Japanese monks traveled to China to learn Zen, which was called “Chan” there, they also came back with tea seeds, saplings, teaware and preparation methodology. They wrote treatises on the magic of this plant to satisfy the looks of askance on the faces of those who had sent them. After all, they had been sent to copy Buddhist scriptures and bring back Zen, not to study plants. Why this particular plant? Obviously the masters of China, sage indeed, knew that if Zen were to be planted in Japan, tea would also have to be, as the two share “the same flavor.” There are countless Zen stories that involve tea, and every famous tea mountain in China is also home to a Zen monastery. They either built it there because of wild tea trees, or later brought the trees with them—choosing a place where the tea, not necessarily they themselves, would be happy. For the most part, China lost this tradition of Zen tea. It was fortunately preserved, cultivated and even enhanced in Japan and Korea. And no temple of tea would stand without a pillar founded in Zen tea. We were very fortunate to receive this wisdom in Japan, passed on in spirit and form.

The Fourth Pillar: Gongfu tea

The final pillar is a crooked one, shaped like a graceful crane: perched on one leg, the other rooted beneath the floor; and the roof balanced magically on the smallest tip of one feather of one extended wing. This traditionis the gong fu tea of Southern China, which was developed for the most part by practitioners of martial arts. This tradition is looser and freer. It is an artless art, without any rules, other than those that produce the finest cup of tea. Gong fu tea is about mastery, inner and outer. It is about learning to brew tea the way it wants to be brewed, until the subtlest and most refined aspects of the process become clear as day. Like in martial arts, there is no halfway—you hit or miss based on your skill. The proof is in the cup. We are very fortunate to have come into contact with a very pure tradition of gong fu tea, as it was preserved and enhanced in Malaysia. Many modern traditions have lost the inner aspects of gong fu tea. Without a deep understanding of the inner reasons behind each aspect of tea preparation, many of the outer, more practical aspects of tea have been replaced with quicker and more convenient methods in these modern times.

This post was first published by Global Tea Hut in February of 2012.

Loading and post image courtesy of the contributor.

Editor’s Note:  Global Tea Hut has generously granted permission to T Ching to publish past articles from their publication each week.  These will appear on Wednesdays.

The post The Four Pillars appeared first on T Ching.

First Date (Genmaicha Green Tea) from Tease

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 03:59

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Tease

Tea Description:  

Antioxidant rich green tea blended with roasted rice simulating the first date snack staple – popcorn on movie night!

Learn more about July’s Postal Teas shipment here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

This “First Date” is the second tea that I’m trying from my July box from Postal Teas.  It’s a genmaicha green tea – Japanese green tea blended with roasted rice.  Not a tea that’s new to me, I’ve had a lot of genmaicha teas in my years as a tea reviewer.

It’s a sweet Japanese green tea blended with sweet, roasty-toasty rice.  Pleasant.  Agreeable.  And I’m enjoying my pot of tea that was made possible by my new subscription to Postal Teas and by Tease.

It’s a nice tea to have after a meal, because I find it to be sweet and almost dessert-like without tasting over-indulgent.  A good tea to choose to unwind with later in the afternoon, when you’re not quite ready to go “caffeine-free” but you don’t want something too stimulating.

It’s a good tea, but, as I’ve said, I’ve had a lot of genmaicha teas, and this isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

I guess I’m still feeling a little underwhelmed by the teas selected for the July Postal Teas box.  After perusing the Tease website, I felt like there were several intriguing teas to choose from … this isn’t one I would have selected, so I’m hopeful that they’ll impress me with next month’s box.

I certainly enjoyed receiving the package with the notebook and the handwritten note (a really nice touch) … and I really like the size of the packages of tea from Postal Teas – it’s just the right amount for a pot of tea.  However, I am hopeful that for August, the box from Postal Teas will prove to be more inspired.

Butiki Teas Oriental Beauty

Tea For Me Please - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 18:13
Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: mottled mix of greens, browns
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 4 minutes
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain teacup and mesh infuser
Liquor: amber

I purchased some Taiwanese black teas a while ago and a sample of this tea was included with my order. We usually think of Oriental Beauty as a Taiwanese tea but this one hails from the Anhui province of China. The leaves were very pretty to look at, a hodgepodge of cool earthy tones. Its taste was wonderfully complex with notes of stone fruit, honey and florals. Oddly enough it had a biscuity quality that reminded me of second flush Darjeeling. There was very little astringency, making for a very smooth cup. Milk and sweeteners would be travesty here. I sometimes worry that it comes of snobbish when I make a strong recommendation like that but I hope that it encourages people to try the tea all its own before trying to add anything. At just $10.99 per ounce, this tea is quite a steal. I love that it is organic and that +Stacy Lim gives the name of the cultivar as well as the tea master who crafted it.

Oriental Beauty sample received with order from Butiki Teas.
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Eight Minutes To Normalise

The Devotea - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 06:24
Eight Minutes. I just set the timer beside me for eight minutes. In eight minutes, the cake I have carefully made to Lady Devotea’s exacting recipe will be ready to come out of the oven. It’s strawberry and white chocolate. There is no flavouring except actual strawberries and actual white chocolate. But I digress. I […]

Days that make us Remember

The Sip Tip - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 18:36
I am not going to lie, for a little while there I had started to forget what it is I actually like about tea, and why I spent so much time drinking it, and learning how to best prepare it.  I think if people spend enough time on anything eventually they will need to step back and reevaluate their situation.  I've found myself several times in the past week being completely able to have tea on

Tearoom Review – Sugar N’ Spice in Brisbane, Australia

maykingtea's blog - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 22:39

I first came across Sugar N’ Spice in 2010 when I moved to Brisbane and spent an afternoon scouting for tearooms. I wasn’t disappointed. Mark, the proprietor is passionate about tea, coffee, chocolate, places great importance on great products, and excellent customer service, which is something that has been lost for many years in the UK and what I have been experiencing in Australia, too.

It doesn’t matter whether you are buying a tea, hot chocolate or coffee on the go, or whether you prefer to sit inside the café, Mark and his TEAm go out of their way to service you with a smile. I was very impressed that many of the customers were greeted by their name.  Now THAT’s customer service.

Let’s get back to the tea though.  For me, the tea that is available, the way it is presented to you and how it’s been presented to you is really important.  It all starts with the tea menu.

Read more here:

Numi Organic Honeybush Review

Lainie Sips - Thu, 05/15/2014 - 18:44
Numi Organic Honeybush Information Availability: Available Through Amazon, in stores (check the natural/organic section in standard grocery stores, specialty markets will usually have it in the tea...

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Congratulations! Gourmet Tea Leaders

Over The Teacups - Thu, 05/08/2014 - 22:22

Gourmet Tea and Fancy Food
The Specialty Food Association announced the winners of its second annual Leadership Awards honoring influential and innovative entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the $86 billion specialty food industry does business.

The winners by category are: Citizenship: Tyler Gage, co-founder and co-CEO, Runa Tea, Brooklyn, N.Y. (shown here); Business Leadership: Ron Rubin, [...]

The post Congratulations! Gourmet Tea Leaders appeared first on Over the Teacups.

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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