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Golden Tips Tea, Mankota Exotic Assam 2014: "Oh, that's good. Shut up."

39 Steeps - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 15:22
{ "Celtic Gold," by Gea Austen, via DeviantArt }  

"Oh, that's good. Shut up."

When I steeped the Golden Tips "Mankota Exotic Assam," which is from the Mankota tea estate in Assam, India, I was not expecting terribly much. That is to say, I don't typically get excited by Assam teas, because I'm more of a light-and-bright Darjeeling drinker.

The aroma came to me in my office, wafted by my desk fan. Meaty, like beef soup, deep and dark to match the color of the transparent brown liquor. Float a sauteed onion and some carrots in there, and you could serve it for dinner.

Until you hit the taste. Bright yet rich, and as I said, beefy, a touch of a nutty quality, with a pleasing sharpness you wouldn't ordinarily expect with that flavor palette. Fairly simple in its overall manner, yet entirely pleasant.

I followed the packaging directions, 1 tsp, boiling water, 3.5 minutes. Typically I'd try a gongfu presentation, but when I haven't met the tea before, I prefer to follow the instructions of those who know something about it. And if it ain't Baroque, don't fix it. I increased the time to 4.5 minutes for the second steeping, allowing it more time to develop. As always, I try to allow the tea to sit a couple moments before drinking so it can "bloom," to borrow a term from the coffee types. Those first few moments make a big difference to me, causing more complexity to develop in the cup before a tasting.

For my taste, even though I am inclined to ignore Assam teas as a general rule because of the heaviness in the taste coloration, this Mankota by Golden Tips has a light brightness that offsets it and makes it more of a self-drinker. It's not asking for any additional milk or sugar, which is a bit unusual for these heavier-styled teas. It's enjoyable and well worth the time for a couple steepings.

GOLDEN TIPS, a company I've just discovered, has quite an impressive array of India teas from Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, Sikkim, Kangra, and Nepal, each fastidiously marked to establish flush, exact date of picking, and so on. Really nice to see such a variety of high-end teas available for anyone to buy, curated by a company in business since the early parts of the last century. Thank you, GT, for your gift of tea!


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Tea & Food Pairings

Walker Tea Review - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 14:30
Ambivalence is the pull of multiple forces tugging you in different directions. Good tea deserves to be appreciated for its own sake. On the other hand, is there a meal that could not be enhanced with a fine tea? In the spirit of Louis Jordan reconciling beans and cornbread, I guess tea and good food can […]

Tea of the Pacific Northwest

T Ching - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:01

I embarked on my first journey into the Pacific Northwest with my Tealet family Mike and Rie. We drove from our home in Las Vegas with the hopes of learning about the history of tea growing in Oregon and Washington and to connect with tea lovers all along the way. Our travels took us through every major city along the way including San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle as well as quaint towns hidden in the forest. What we learned is that tea culture is rich in the area and it is a heavenly destination for tea lovers of all types from around the world.

We visited two tea farms on the trip, one near Salem, Oregon, and one about an hour north of Seattle, Washington (we also visited a garden in California, but I’ll save that story for another post). Minto Island Growers and Sakuma Brothers planted their tea trees around the same time and from the same plant stock. Both gardens are beautiful and proudly show their love for the environment of the Pacific Northwest, but tea production is handled differently by the farms. Minto Island Growers has allowed local tea enthusiasts (including Eugene’s J-Tea’s Josh Chamberlain) to pluck and process the leaves from their garden while Richard Sakuma of Sakuma Brothers, prefers to do his own processing. We were extremely excited to see the progress of tea quality from both gardens and see that with a little more research and experimentation tea lovers will soon enjoy fine tea from this area on a regular basis. You can sample Josh’s batch at his shop in Eugene and purchase teas directly from the gardens at their respective farm stands.

In between our visit with the tea gardens, we were excited to connect with a network of tea lovers we have built through social media. In both Portland and Seattle, we co-hosted tea meet-ups with friends Marilyn Flaming Miller of Portland and Nik Nikolayev  from Seattle, where we connected with many types of tea lovers and had conversations about things such as growing tea on the Moon. We connected with another network of tea lovers at the arts and music festival Beloved in Tidewater, Oregon where we sponsored and poured tea from the Jasmine Dragon Tea Truck with our friends Omar Riverstone, Olde Po, (Paul Rosenberg), and RonJon Terlane. Hundreds of people sat down to enjoy a spiritual connection with tea, showing us a side to tea that we seldom get to see. For many tea lovers in the Pacific Northwest, tea is a spiritual and healing experience wherein the quality of tea is determined from its Chi.

Finally, I would like to give a shout out to all the tea shops and tea educators in the Pacific Northwest who have inspired this rich tea culture. Overall, we encountered the most educated tea market with discerning taste and it is because of your hard work and dedication. We visited over 20 tea retailers, all of whom have something very special to offer. From Taiwanese Oolongs to Aged Puerhs to US grown tea, the Pacific Northwest is definitely a tea lover’s paradise.

MAIN:    Image 1: courtesy of Contributor                           Image 2:

The post Tea of the Pacific Northwest appeared first on T Ching.

Tuesday tea TV: 'My Proper Tea'

Tea Squared - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 11:00

This is the best thing I've seen in a while. The performance-sync is spot-on, the rap is righteous, and I totally agree: nothing fires me to hip-hop-angry levels quite like improper tea prep. Enjoy Brit comic Doc Brown rhyming about, yegods, milk-first madness ...

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Hello, David

The Devotea - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 05:32
Whoever the hell David is, David’s Tea, or DAVIDs TEA, to use the clearly incorrect and rather silly mix of upper and lower case they seem to prefer*, has been on my radar for years. My friend Nicole Martin works for them now, or is about to, or there was something about a fire or […]

Short Circuit

The Devotea - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 04:39
Before I surprise all of my readers, let me just say I am quite surprised myself. Barely three months ago, Lady Devotea & I announced an exciting new adventure: moving our headquarters to the UK and in that time, Lady D has been at the helm of a new tea shop that has presented our […]

Relax Ayurvedic Rooibos Tisane from TeaVeda

SororiTEA Sisters - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 03:59

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  The Veda Company

Tea Description:

Sweet, romantic and warming flavors of vanilla, cinnamon, rooibos and spices entice and entitle you to “Relax.” 

Learn more about the teas from TeaVeda here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I’ve said it more than once here on this blog, but I’m a sucker for packaging.  I’m also really into presentation.  And I have to say that I really like the presentation – and the packaging! – from this new-to-me company, The Veda Company, and their line of teas called TeaVeda.

The Veda Company sells not just an intriguing line of teas, but also candles, body care and home décor.  And I love the presentation of their TeaVeda line.  The tins are GORGEOUS and isn’t the teapot and teacup (in the photo above) absolutely beautiful?  The teacup is also called “Relax” and each of the teacups in the TeaVeda line has an inspiring message printed on the inside of the cup.  For the Relax cup, the message is:

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”  ~George Bernard Shaw

I love it all:  the teapot, the teacup, and the gorgeous tins that the teas are packaged in.  Beautifully ornate with a very tight fitting, double lid system to help keep your tea protected from the elements.

But wait, there’s more!  There’s TEA!

Tonight, I’m in need of a soothing, relaxing cup of tea so I’m sipping on “Relax” from TeaVeda, which is a chai-like blend of spices, vanilla and rooibos.  This chai has the “usual” chai ingredients:  ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.  Plus it also has some black pepper to spice it up even more and some vanilla to sweeten it.

This blend is a lovely spicy-sweet blend that teases my taste buds!  At first I think that the cloves are the most prominent flavor of the cup, but then the pepper and ginger come through strongly.  Then the cinnamon and cardamom come shining through.

The vanilla is a subtle flavor to this cup, adding a creamy flavor to the drink without softening the spices.  There is a warm, nutty flavor from the rooibos that complements the spices well.  And, even though the spices are vibrant, the beverage has a calming overall effect.

A nice, soothing cup of “Relax”!

When I first encountered The Veda Company, I found that their website is not an e-commerce/shopping cart type of site.  Instead, to place your order, you need to utilize their inquiry page and place the order via this system.  Not quite as convenient as the shopping cart, I realize, and they realize it too, so until they do get the shopping cart up and running, they are offering a 20% discount on retail orders made through the inquiry page!  I love saving money!

Afternoon Tea: New Museum

Notes on Tea - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 21:19

Tea and art. Why not? The Hester Street Cafe at the New Museum offers afternoon tea. A nice idea on its own or after seeing an exhibit.

Jee and I ordered tea for two. I chose the keemun and Jee the pan-fired green. Milk was not served with my tea and I did not ask. The keemun tasted as it should and I enjoyed it without milk.

I don't have a good photograph of the scones and pastries (shortbread cookie, cakes, macarons). The scones were a bit dry. I was disappointed with the macarons. Now, let's talk about the delicious cucumber sandwiches! (There were only two sandwiches available on the day we went - cucumber and chicken salad. I don't eat chicken so I cannot speak for that sandwich.) What did I like about the cucumber sandwich? Fresh, flavorful bread, thin slices of cucumber, and a judicious amount of cream cheese.

The tea is priced at $20 for one person and $35 for two. Download the tea menu.

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

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
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