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Is Tea A Diuretic? Or Not?

T Ching - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 12:46

I have written on many occasions about the hydrating effect of green tea.  I had noted conclusions from Carrie Ruxton from Kings College in London who is a public health nutritionist, that tea is in fact hydrating.

“There were no statistical differences between regular tea and water when a wide range of blood and urine markers for hydration were tested among the volunteers. In addition, urine volume was similar after tea or water, confirming that we do not urinate more after drinking tea.”

There were, however, always those who swore that drinking tea caused them to urinate more frequently. A report in Daily Tea finally explains why some have that experience. “We all know people who insist that they urinate more frequently after drinking a cup of tea. This is due to their sensitivity to caffeine. On further investigation, it appears that we quickly build up a tolerance for caffeine. When we drink tea daily, our bodies will adjust to the caffeine and eventually will not excrete it more quickly than water.”

I do love the bottom line.  Drinking tea helps provide the necessary hydration that our bodies need each day. Most physicians recommend 8 glasses of water daily and for me, that always felt like an uncomfortable amount to swallow. If some or most of those glasses can be your favorite green tea, that’s a great option to replace the tasteless, mundane water requirement. In addition, it provides a second bang for your buck by being loaded with antioxidants to protect your body from the scourges of modern living. Remember to go organic as there’s no need to taint the healthiest beverage on the planet with pesticides.


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Blast from the Past: The Art of Reading the Tea Leaf

T Ching - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 12:00

Tasseography or tassology is a fortune-telling method that involves interpreting tea leaves. “Tasse” is from the Arabic root word for “cup” and “graphy” means “map.” The cup serves as a map, and the tea leaves are interpreted based on where they fall on the cup map. Tea-leaf reading is often associated with gypsies, but it actually started in Asia. You need a wide porcelain cup with a handle, small tea leaves, hot water, and a list of symbols. You can read your own tea leaves or go to an expert.

First you think of a question, such as “Will you get the job?” or “Did you make a good decision?” or “Will you be happy?” Focus on this question during the fortune-telling session. The energy you use to focus on the question influences the leaves in your cup. The small leaves will form recognizable shapes. Wet leaves stick best to porcelain cups. A wide cup is great to help spread out the leaves. Using your less dominant hand, scoop a teaspoon of tea into your cup and infuse with water. Hold the cup in your hand as you focus on your question. If you have a lot of bubbles on the surface, you will have a financial windfall. A leaf floating at the top indicates money is flowing toward you. Those are a few predictions. Gently blow the hot liquid and sip your tea. Hold your cup in your less dominant hand.

Drink your tea until there are a few drops left. Keep focusing on your question. Swirl the tea three times counterclockwise with your less dominant hand. You want to make sure the leaves are coating as much of the side of the cup as possible. Give your wrist a full rotation. Gently turn the cup upside down on a saucer. Be careful not to bang the cup on the saucer. You just want the last of the liquid to drain. Wait a few minutes and start to read the map in your cup.

Try to use a cup with a handle. The handle should always be pointed towards the drinker. Think about your question as you look at the leaves. The cup handle represents “home,” or your personal life. The point opposite the handle represents “work,” or professional life. Shapes near the rim represent events in the near future – the next 3 to 6 months. The middle of the cup represents events happening within the next 6 to 12 months. The bottom represents events happening in the next year. Tea-leaf shapes to the right of the handle represent the past, and shapes to the left represent the future. You want to keep all this in mind as you interpret the shapes. Use a symbols guide. You can find many on the Internet.

What do you see in your cup? How does it relate to your question?

This article by Tiffany Williams was originally posted to T Ching in September of 2012.


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Africa’s Jungle Teas – Disease Prevention Has a New Ally

T Ching - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 12:42

Jungle Teas is a North Carolina-based startup hoping to improve the standard of living of impoverished African communities by finding markets for their nutritious wild-harvested herbal teas. I am one of its co-founders. Although scientifically classified as herbal teas, the flavor profiles of these jungle teas are similar to popular black and green teas. The U.S. National Institutes of Health classifies our black tea as Fadogia ancylantha and our green tea as Lippia javanica; their traditional African names are Marange and Zumbani, respectively.

Little-known around the world, lab research data on these teas is published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine for the curative and preventive properties they exhibit against diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, inflammation, respiratory illnesses, and malaria. The CDC projects an estimated 78 million Americans ages 18 years or older to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by 2040 and a whopping 1 in 3 U.S. adults to have diabetes by 2050. The World Health Organization recently reported that just under half a billion people have contracted diabetes and projects that it will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.

With these statistics and others in the public domain, it’s hard for me to understand why people wouldn’t drink more tea; especially teas like Marange and Zumbani, which have extensively verified lab research behind them! I find that, as usual, it probably comes down to tea education. Too many people do not understand the immediate and long-term benefits of including tea in their daily regimen, especially here in the United States. While a scientific correlation cannot be made between countries with more tea consumption and their ‘per capita’ rates of chronic disease, just skimming the numbers and comparing them to U.S. statistics does start to reveal a loose pattern which favors more tea consumption.

For example, Morocco ranks as one of the biggest tea consumers per capita and yet it is ranked 79th in the world for its chronic diabetes rate. While other factors such as healthcare and diet might come into play in this discussion, I think the numbers show a loose correlation between frequent tea consumption and occurrences of these preventable illnesses.

At Jungle Teas, we are focused on not only educating people about our jungle-harvested African teas but all teas in general; the culture and benefits that make them the world’s most popular natural beverage. Anyone can benefit from our teas, whether it’s people looking to manage an ailment, prevent disease and infection or simply enjoy a cup of afternoon tea. We believe tea can change the declining global health trends but above all, it can be a vehicle to uplift economically marginalized communities around the world.

The post Africa’s Jungle Teas – Disease Prevention Has a New Ally appeared first on T Ching.

Tea Friends Meet Up in Chicago

T Ching - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 12:30

The tea drinking community is an incredibly friendly and welcoming one. I have been a member of a tea forum called Steepster since 2011 and recently became a more active participant. I got to know several members and we started chatting nightly about tea, food, and many random subjects. We also video chat each other many Sundays and often pick a tea theme and all drink a similar tea.

The idea of all sharing tea together came up, and what first started as a joke was starting to come together. We started looking at our calendars and found a week in August that we could all get time off of work. Things got really serious when our friend in the Netherlands found a good airfare to Chicago, so we started trying to make this meetup really happen! Because the primary focus of the trip was going to be to drink tea together, we wanted to make sure to pick a comfortable location, so a hotel room didn’t seem very practical. Also, we have a few friends who live in the Midwest who were last minute decisions, so booking a hotel with a concrete number of people would have been difficult.

We found a great house on AirBnB in Chicago that could be used for the weekend. It was only about a half hour from my house, so I was happy to host everyone. The house had 3 beds, 2 air mattresses, and a couch. The owner allowed guests in the house, there was a fully functional kitchen and the house was in a great neighborhood. Six of us were able to commit, and the tea drinking weekend began! When our other tea friends who could not make it heard about the meetup, they started mailing all sorts of teas to me so that we could share them together!

From the moment I picked the first person up from the airport, it was as if we had been friends forever. We got to the AirBnB around 10:30pm and immediately started boiling some water and had a session of shou puerh that lasted well past midnight. During the session, we got on Google Hangouts and video chatted with about 5 other friends and geeked out about tea together.

The next day everyone else came in town. I got to the AirBnB fairly early in the morning, and as soon as I walked in the door I was handed a cup and was told, “drink this.” I was having flashbacks to college life, except now it was tea! I took a sip, and immediately spit everything out! Apparently, they found some old Lipton bags in the kitchen and decided to brew it gongfu style as a prank. I guess it was a good sign that at least I could tell it was bad tea! The rest of the teas that we drank throughout the weekend were excellent. Many of the teas we had been saving for special occasions, and what better way to share special teas than with friends!

We also did the world’s fastest tour of Chicago. We explored a good part of the North Side and finished by taking a boat tour of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. As tea lovers, we had to bring some tea with us, so enjoyed an excellent aged sheng puerh on the boat. We brought hot water, a gaiwan, pitcher, and cups with us and enjoyed tea gongfu on the boat! Several people commented asking us what we were doing, and they were all very intrigued. One lady asked if it tasted like those tea bags you get in the store, I had to bite my tongue, and just told her “you get a much better flavor.”

The tea drinking continued well past midnight most nights, it was quite a shock to my system, as I usually stop caffeine around 5pm. In total, we had well over 40 sessions of tea between Thursday and Monday! By the end, we didn’t want to say goodbye to each other, even though we talk almost daily online. As someone who typically brews tea by himself, it was fun to drink teas brewed by other people. I learned that everyone has a unique style of brewing. One person remarked that I tend to make my tea really strong. It was fun to have teas that I’m very familiar with brewed by others, as well as try new techniques. The ultimate compliment came on Monday morning when someone asked me to brew their Dancong that they nicknamed “Gollum” because it was their precious tea. She said she really liked how I made oolongs. I was so happy to hear this, I was very nervous going into the weekend to brew for other people!

Being a part of the tea community has allowed me to meet some great people. Although these friends are ‘online friends’ I do consider them friends. We are already talking about the possibility of meeting up in 2017, maybe in a different city! Although tea was the common bond that brought us all together, I have made some lasting friendships from it.

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Teas in Peru

T Ching - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 12:30

Tea has always been popular in Asia, Europe, and North America. What about tea culture in other parts of the world? In my recent travel to Cusco and Lima, Peru, I learned that they too drink quite a bit of tea. I saw much more tea being sold than coffee. A lot of the teas have been enjoyed as a beverage since Incan times but more tea is being sold because healthy products are experiencing rapid growth in Peru as well.

Here are some of the popular teas I had the opportunity to try in Peru, coca leaves and muna being the most popular in many restaurants and hotels.


This is an Andean Mint. Its aroma is pretty strong. I would say more strong in aroma and taste than peppermint and spearmint. It is very minty with a subtle sweetness and more herbal taste than peppermint or spearmint.


This is Chamomile in Peru. They taste sweet and are not as potent in taste and aroma as the Chamomile from Egypt. The flavors are well balanced and smooth.


A medicinal herb found in the Andes. It smells amazing and with hints of lemon, it is calming as a tea.

Cacao Husks

It has a smooth taste and the aroma of chocolate without the calories. Great to satisfy that chocolate craving without the guilt that normally goes with it.

Coca Leaves

Coca leaves are very popular and can be found everywhere. It is used to help with altitude sickness in Cusco. The taste is unique. It has hints of dried grass and fresh hay and reminiscent of yerba mate, but something else entirely.

Although these teas are popular in Peru, it was also interesting to find a lot of cafes serving camellia sinensis teas as well. It was a wonderful experience to learn and see what teas are being enjoyed around the globe, especially those we may never have been exposed to before!



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What do Teapots Have in Common with McDonald’s?

T Ching - Mon, 09/12/2016 - 12:43

Tea and McDonald’s? It might sound strange, but follow along with our L-theanine fueled logic.

A customer asked if certain tea pots should be used with different teas. For the purposes of this discussion, we will rule out talking about Yixing tea pots since they are specifically made to take on the flavor of the teas brewed in them. We will also assume that you wash the pots after each use.

We are talking about the other 99% of pots that most people use – ceramic, glass, iron, steel or porcelain.

Not a huge amount of pots are made from stainless steel, mainly because they are costly. Some people say that certain drinks taste better out of a bottle than a can. The craft brew industry uses cans, not to mention the entire beer industry brews in stainless steel. Almost all meals prepared in restaurants are made using stainless steel vessels. This taste difference is a myth.

Porcelain and ceramic are both made from clay. The difference is that porcelain is more refined and purified, making it harder and offering more design flexibility. That is why fancier cups and pots are made of porcelain, allowing them to make thinner and more elaborate designs.

We all know glass, and the teapots made from glass are generally on the thin side. Aside from a level of fragility, they are flavor neutral like everything else we’ve mentioned.

Iron pots are coated with enamel, and thus the metal never comes in contact with the tea.

From a pure taste perspective, none of the aforementioned materials will make any difference with regards to the taste of the tea.

But what about heat? There are some that recommend certain pots from a heat transfer perspective. For example, glass pots are generally thin so they do not insulate and therefore lose heat faster. Some say green tea would be better suited in a glass pot since it is consumed at lower temperatures versus black tea.

Iron has a higher heat transfer rate than ceramic. This is true, although you still can’t pick up either at the bottom with your bare hands. One writer mentions, “Due to their composition these pots transfer heat easily (they very quickly lose the temperature of the tea liquor)”. This is true only if you pour hot water into a cold iron pot. Think of a cast iron radiator. It holds heat for hours right? It takes a while to heat up, but once all that metal is heated – it stays warm. So simply filling up an iron pot ahead of time with hot water will ‘prime’ the pot. Once warmed up, your tea will stay warm for a long time.

Heavy ceramic pots can also be pre-warmed, especially during the winter. Incidentally we tested an insulated ceramic pot (it has a built in tea cozy) and found only a limited improvement. At the end of the experiment I asked myself who takes so long to drink tea anyway? There are other solutions – an insulated tumbler which can hold tea for a few hours or a tea candle.

In practical terms, regardless if you drink green or black tea, and assuming you are not brewing in an ice cold pot, your tea will taste exactly the same when brewed in any of these pots mentioned. Even if you switch tea types, assuming you wash the pots you should not taste remnants  of previous brews.

So how does this compare to McDonald’s?

Back in the mid 80’s McDonalds tried to solve a problem that didn’t exist and came up with a novel concept that ultimately flopped. It was the McDLT.

The goal of this concoction was to keep the meat side and the toppings side in separate chambers so that you would have an extra fresh and crispy burger. The concept never took off, and people found that a big mac in the regular box sufficed versus a cumbersome box that you had to then assemble. They developed this product and spent a lot of time on a non-issue. The customer just wanted a burger, already made in the standard box they were used to. The customer never noticed any change in taste to make it worth the trouble. Although it proved to make entertaining and catchy commercials!

Back to the tea pots. Ultimately, there is no reason to over think this. Do what feels natural. Would you drink a nice vintage of wine in a thick water glass? No. The same applies to tea. Brewing a pot of Gyokuro in a thick and stout ceramic pot will taste exactly the same as glass, but lets be honest – doesn’t green tea look better in glass?

One could brew a chai frothed with milk and sugar in an iron pot,  but it wouldn’t feel natural to serve chai from a heavy iron pot into a fancy porcelain tea cup.

For new tea drinkers, getting something that isn’t too “out there” would be ideal. A standard ceramic pot is just fine. And as your tastes expand, you’ll find yourself compelled and drawn to certain pots for certain types of teas. Use the pot that feels naturally good for the tea you are drinking.


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Blast from the Past: American Chinese Teaware

T Ching - Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:05

The art of gong fu cha, the Chinese tea service, is generally practiced using a specialized tea set.  Collectively called cha ju (or equipage by people who insist on using French), the instruments of gong fu cha encompass a whole spectrum of diminutive, elegant, precisely-crafted little bits and bobs.  Though they may seem arcane to the uninitiated, each serves a purpose and, by virtue of their very particular dimensions and functionality, have to be produced with that purpose in mind.  For example, it is difficult to construct a gong-fu teaset using Western teapots, because Western teapots are generally much larger than a gong-fu teapot.  If you do manage to find a teapot of the appropriate size, it will probably be for a child’s play teaset and not intended for actual use.  Furthermore, it will probably resemble a  cupcake.  Teapots are even among the more familiar of the cha ju; another essential vessel, the gaiwan, is not manufactured in any size outside of China and the Chinese diaspora, and it serves no other purpose than the preparation of loose-leaf tea.

Celadon gaiwan set and satin black cha pan by Mary Cotterman

I say manufactured – not produced – because, while the majority of contemporary Chinese teaware – especially that which makes it to the West – is created in enormous factories and workshops for mass distribution; there are a small but growing number of potters in the US who are hand-crafting teaware for the purpose of using for gong fu cha.  As both an avid tea lover and a pottery enthusiast – mostly as a spectator – I have made the acquaintance, over the years, of many talented ceramicists and tea lovers who have endeavored to replicate the small, even, fine-walled vessels and tools of gong fu cha.

In general, I find that American versions of Chinese gong fu teaware often resemble the genuine article visually, but do not feel – or function – the same.  American pieces tend to be heavier, with thicker walls, and there is no end of confusion about how to make a gaiwan lid fit properly (it should fit inside, not over, the mouth of the bowl).  That’s not to say that these wares can’t be fine pieces in their own right – the great kilns of Delft, in Holland, rose to prominence by mimicking Chinese porcelain wares right down to the ersatz Chinese script.  But they don’t feel, or pour, like genuine cha ju.

Shino-glaze “storm cloud” gaiwan set by Mary Cotterman

Within the past year I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of two Austin-based potters who have begun making beautiful, and more importantly serviceable, teaware.  Mary Cotterman, who is currently an artist-in-residence at the Bascom Center for Visual Arts in North Carolina, had been experimenting with gong fu style teapots and gaiwans when I met her in December.  One day while having tea with her, I showed her my Chinese teaware collection, and several weeks later she had produced no fewer than 4 complete teasets:  gaiwan, gong dao bei/pitcher, and matching cups.  She even produced several ceramic cha pan, or tea trays, both in the Chaozhou style (a round perforated plate over a basin), or an open one based on an original design by my friend Sylvia, a talented potter herself.  Since then, Mary has refined her designs and experimented with different glazes.

Matte Blue gaiwans by Chris Long

Chris Long’s distinctive and playful style can be found at his booth at the HOPE Farmer’s Market every Sunday.  He studied pottery in Taiwan and is no stranger to Chinese pottery.  He has so far produced two prototype gaiwans,  one large and one small, both with a beautiful matte blue glaze.

Both Mary and Chris are interested in producing more gong fu teaware, which I intend to sell – currently the only teaware I carry is cheap, functional, manufactured Chinese wares, because that’s all I can afford to bring over as inventory.  Teaware is heavy and expensive to ship, and some pieces will inevitably be broken during shipping.  It is my intention eventually to have the bulk of my teaware selection be locally produced – we may not be growing much tea in American (yet), but as the gong fu cha community here grows and more talented craftspeople are exposed to cha ju, there’s no reason our homegrown gong fu teaware can’t rival the great kilns of China and help breathe new life into Chinese tea culture.

 Images courtesy of the contributor.

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Facebook Finger….

T Ching - Thu, 09/08/2016 - 12:30
World Tea Expo 2016 in Vegas witnessed a most dangerous disease. After a much-delayed six-flight journey through China, over incessant rain and torrential weather, my right index finger had blood oozing out at the Tealet party. There was a collective sigh of relief when it was discovered to be simply an excessive use of mobile, internet and Facebook. Worrisome? Yes, but the benefits were enormous. It was a GPS guide over the continents when you land like a rudderless Appollo 13 module. This made me luckier than Jason, who took two days to travel 1000 kilometres only compared to my almost 15000. This year’s expo was a hit, and the biggest feature to me was a lecture on the “Future of Tea by 2050” delivered by Nigel. My personal thinking is that 34 years are not enough to wean away a beverage of 5000-years existence in one form to another. Two great Dans had the Tea Journey magazine launch on the evening before the Expo. I was busy with ITCC Cup warming, where we relaunched Rungneet A.K.A. Kanchanview Darjeeling mark in the U.S. One grand personality at the show was Australian Tea Master’s Sharyn, whose son was with me in last November’s Chibi, China ITF for a week and it seems there is so much to do in tea marketing as we have just started the game. The need of the hour is to showcase the teas along with their stories and benefits. We have lagged behind over the years to other beverages. On my way back home, I stopped over in Wenzhou for our Embassy’s China-India Culture Forum and on the 20th of June we showcased the historic ties of our two ancient civilisations and their interactions over tea, which have been continuing for the last 1500 years. Compare that to the 175 known today in western cultures. Prof. Wang Xufeng of the Zhejiang Agriculture & Forestry University presided over the show. The next day I did it in Fuzhou, as the flight rescheduling gave me a bonus day, and what a wonderful medicine bonus days are–they’re especially great at healing the Facebook Finger!

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Tea Power: Help Your Skin Glow with These Amazing Tea Drinks

T Ching - Wed, 09/07/2016 - 12:35

The moment we collectively embraced health as our lifestyle and turned to choices that not only benefit our overall well-being but prolong life as well – we knew drinking tea was going to be the “it” treat.

Tea has been a side-nutrient to regular diets for a long time. However, recently, with dietitians and nutritionists popularized, tea got into the spotlight being celebrated for the multitude of its health benefits, and we’ve all come to adore it.

If you want to have a glowing, healthy and blemish-free skin, here are the teas to drink (or make natural masks of):


We all have it in our pantries, and this is the time to take it out! Chamomile is, by far, the most popular solution for treating the skin issues topically and it’s been known to help relieve patchy and dry skin, as well as acne. A cup of chamomile a day will help you prevent inflammatory skin conditions since it possesses flavonoids that have a powerful inhibitory effect on free radicals. Chamomile face masks are very popular, too!

Green Tea

Ah, where would we be without this powerful drink! Believe it or not, apart from preventing aging, aiding in weight loss and helping with mental clarity, studies have suggested that drinking green tea may help reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Green tea’s become very popular so for those who aren’t really enjoying the taste, you can turn to green tea extracts and natural cosmetics based on it. Whichever option you pick, you can’t go wrong.

Yerba Maté

If you are on a mission to keep your skin looking youthful for as long as possible, you may want to give yerba maté tea a sip! Dried leaves of the yerba maté plant are the basis for this delicious tea, and you’d be surprised how multi-practical it is. According to Kimberly Snyder, a devoted yogini and global adventurer, “yerba maté is a traditional treatment for everything from fatigue to appetite control, to a weakened immune system.” She further explains that this amazing drink contains “a long list of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including vitamin B, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and zinc.”

Just like his sister-teas, yerba maté tea has served as a basis for a multitude of skin-care cosmetic products that deep-clean pores and wash away grime, dirt and makeup, helping reduce the appearance of pores and preventing acne in the process. Even though they may not be strictly tea based, the cosmetics we particularly love are Thalgo skin care products, FIG+YARROW, 100% Pure and Herbivore Botanicals as they base on natural ingredients and work shoulder to shoulder with tea drinks or tea products to help everyone look better, feel healthier and stay gorgeous.


Made from a South African red bush, this tea is caffeine-free, and therefore great for everyone who is looking to limit their caffeine intake, or for women who are expecting. Containing anti-inflammatory properties, it’s amazing for treating skin conditions like rosacea or acne. It’s found in beauty products, too and its popularity is increasing rapidly!


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Japanese Green Tea: The Inside Story

T Ching - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 12:29

Holly and Alex with tea farmers from Oita prefecture

Over the last year and a half, Chiki Tea has become increasingly well-known in local tea-producing circles around Kyushu island–Oita prefecture in particular. Some farmers are keen to get to know us because of our connection to the West.

With a dwindling and aging domestic market for loose-leaf tea, these farmers are optimistic about what we can do for them both online and on the ground here in Japan via the Chiki Tea café in Nakatsu. In some cases, it feels like they are pinning all their hopes on us – a heavy burden to bear!

The market for loose-leaf is tough; demand is low because young people (35 and under) just don’t drink it unless it comes out of a vending machine in a plastic bottle. Mediocre tea is produced in larger volumes now, particularly in Shizuoka, to satisfy the bottled tea market. So if these farmers don’t carve out a niche for themselves by producing very high-end tea, or if they don’t have a strong heritage or established name, they will risk becoming extinct. Some farmers are already designating their fields for other, more profitable crops, by ripping out the tea trees and planting orange trees, for instance, instead.

One of the big lessons we have learned with our first store is that loose-leaf tea in Japan needs to be exceptional in order to warrant a sustainable price point for a business.

Responding to demand

In building our first teashop we wanted to remain as flexible as possible to the sway of the market. Our response has been two-fold:

  • stay committed to sourcing and making available very high-end loose leaf teas (kabusechas and senchas) with only one sencha in our range positioned as a more ordinary beverage (we call it “Daily Cup”); and
  • position Matcha as the key attraction to the Chiki Tea concept…

When we were planning the café pilot, before it was a physical teashop, we thought loose-leaf tea would be the main drink and that Matcha would be a luxury item. After all, Matcha sits atop the Japanese green tea “tree” along with Gyokuro, as a kind of uber tea. The fact that it comes as a powder and has to be stored and prepared in a completely different way to other teas somewhat adds to the intrigue.

But once we got up and running, loose-leaf teas totally took a back seat!

Matcha is what the market here wants, and in many different forms: straight drinks, Matchaccinos (Matcha lattes), smoothies, ice cream, etc.

As we look towards setting up our second store in a larger city in Kyushu, it is apparent that the new café will have to accommodate this demand.

Partially inspired by Howard Shultz’s first trip to Italy when he came across the espresso bar, the next Chiki Tea will showcase a Matcha Bar. This will not just serve as a useful surface for our “Charistas” to whisk up their wonders… it will provide the perfect platform for the theatre to unfold. We also hope to inspire people in a hurry to duck in and grab a quick shot, perhaps consume it while still standing, or perched on a high stool.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and a place for sitting down and relaxing with a quality beverage. But there’s also a time and a place for slamming a much-needed, silky-smooth matcha shot on the run!

Looking forward, it is our strong desire to reignite Japan’s waning interest in loose-leaf tea through our concept, leading with Matcha as the “gateway”. Unfortunately, we don’t hold an outright solution for these dedicated and sincere loose-leaf farmers. But we’re doing our best to spread the word both domestically and internationally!

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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

Avoid Cash Advance Mistakes

Tea Reflections - Fri, 06/05/2015 - 15:17

They produce monthly payments in one month. You could possibly ultimately have to get your first credit card to have through tough times and issues. Are you enthusiastic about receiving some of those zero creditcheck unsecured loans? If so, then you must continue reading below. He who places into a loan as a way to obtain cash when he’s not able to wait until payday, is very conscious of the fact the interest-rate related to this mortgage will probably be sky-high.

Solutions to consolidate paydayloans contain credit from family and friends, bank cards and shortterm loans from banks and credit unions. For saving money on fees, suggestion: Listed Here Is An idea to save as much cash as possible on fees. As regularly as savings balances are described and offered, several individuals would prefer to live the lifestyle they truly are familiar with. Several on line payday lenders will offer you loans of $1,500 that don’t must be compensated in full for 120 days. Let’s encounter it, cash troubles are awkward .

You will get a single monthly payment, that’ll assist you to extremely when it comes to arranging your monthly costs or to budgeting by combining your debt. Once you can not payoff your loans, do not go into hiding. Frequently debt collectors will be used by OnePayday Payday loan Consolidation providers if you do not pay your mortgage in period. Contact the money advance firm, in case you are unable to spend your loan back around the deadline and get for more time to cover the loan back. By advancing the approved or normal period of loans, they could be named cheap long term payday loans, but they cease to be cheap anymore. Here’s some data to help you out.

The credit institution may consult you to your banking account data, an individual will be eligible for a cash advance loan. Your finances can be deposited by him into that consideration. Be sure and ensure with customer care and get all facts you need to know. Generally give the correct income info out of your work to them.

Also on the very time you’re unwilling to spend, it is possible to contact your payday bank and let them know about your programs of suspending the payment time. Because of the simple supply, several people are in a vicious cycle of free payday loan consolidation that never appears to stop. The bottom time-span for application can be an one- day loan, hour pay. This may allow you produce realistic monthly payments, and to pay your free cash advance relief off.

This creates one more stress upon the individuals. Without even considering something consumers sign up for loans. They may not notice that they are being billed particular fees, for example yearly fees. There are numerous cons so hackers may access your cash online today, one-of which can be getting the bankaccount information. That works out to an interest rate of more than 370%.

As another stage that is strong, you wont be expected about your mortgage utility, you are able to spend these income when you desire. Typically , you produce some decisions from there and would wish to look at the bills for every single collector and much the interest it bears . Whenever you take different varieties of debt, this element should come into play too . For instance a person may pay a $20 cost for that loan of $100.00 for two months. These measurements show that you need to spend about 426% RATE over a cash advance.

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  
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