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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
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A photo posted by Naomi Rosen (@joysteaspoon) on May 9, 2015 at 6:24am PDT
by Naomi Rosen
World Tea Expo is the highlight of my professional year. It’s an opportunity for me to bask in tea education, share tea tales with my pals, sip and sample my way through hundreds of teas, and discover new tea gadgets and trends. This year, the Expo was held May 6th-8th in Long Beach, CA. I was asked to be a panelist at the Tea Bloggers Roundtable, I was to sit in on the US League of Tea Growers meet-up, I had my schedule for 2 days of tea education, and my notes on growers and blenders that I needed to meet with. My plan was to drive out the afternoon of May 6th and I was ready to leave the bright lights of Las Vegas and make my trek to Long Beach and the tea glory that awaited me.The lively drive from Vegas to…anywhere.
If you’ve never made the drive from Las Vegas to, anywhere really, then let me give you an idea of what it looks like. See that picture to the right? It’s flat and uneventful. It’s the type of drive where you set the cruise control, turn up the iPod, and just coast.
I’m 90 minutes into my drive when the car in front of me hits a scrap piece of blown tire into my lane. I can’t swerve or I’ll hit the car next to me. So, I have no choice but to run over it. It made a lovely sound as it hit the underside of my car, and about 5 seconds after, my car started rattling and making a horrendous noise. A few miles down, I pulled off I-15 to check out the damage. I took the Halloran Summit exit. There is nothing, and I repeat NO THING, on this exit. There is simply an on-ramp back onto the freeway. I take a gander at the under carriage and nothing is dripping. However, my scratch plate is dangling precariously.
To a seasoned mechanic, or car enthusiast, this might seem like nothing. A quick fix. To me, this is equivalent to a cracked head gasket. I know equally as much about both – which means “nada”. I get on the phone with my husband, who thankfully, is a car whiz. I explain what happened, he asks some questions, and it’s determined that I just need to remove the scratch plate. You know, just remove it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I try using my keys, but they are just a smidge too wide. What I really need is a flathead screwdriver, or equivalent. I check my center console and glove box. I have a restaurants worth of napkins, nail polish, car registration and insurance cards, an old GPS, about $.86 in spare change, earbuds, a package of Big Red, and a map of San Diego. Chances of survival = not good. Then I recall that I have a pair of tweezers in my bathroom bag! YES! I grab those and go to work.
You know how sometimes things have to get worse before they get better? Picture me on all fours, balancing carefully on a floor mat I have removed from the car so that I don’t cut my knees on the desert rock and broken glass my car is parked on. I’m hunkered under the car with a pair of tweezers trying to remove these plastic clips holding that plate prisoner, and all of a sudden I hear, “Caw caw. Caw caw.” I glance up and there are 3 buzzards circling me and the car. I know, that they know, that I’m not a car fixing type. Did I mention it was dusk? And that my low battery indicator on my phone was starting to chirp at me? And that I am in the middle of NOWHERE. I was not going to make my husband explain to my children that they were now motherless because some plastic clips and buzzards got the best of her.
Those clips didn’t stand a chance between me and those tweezers. I got the plate removed, all of the pieces loaded into my car, and all with very little damage. My hands were filthy and I had a small scrape, but I did it, dammit! With nothing but a pair of freaking tweezers! I am woman, hear me roar!
I hopped back in the car and made haste to Baker, CA. I won’t even bother describing Baker. I pulled into a fast food place, took pictures of my hands and posted to social media (because I fixed my freaking car with a freaking pair of tweezers), washed my hands, grabbed a bite to eat, and hit the road. I was flying high! Nothing could keep me from the tea that was awaiting me in Long Beach.
About 15 minutes outside of Baker, I hit the biggest dust storm I’ve had to drive in, ever. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I yelled as I shook my fist. Thankfully, the storm was only a few miles wide and I was back to cruising speed in no time. I made it to Long Beach well past my intended arrival time and walked into the House of Tealet where I was greeted with a cup of tea and hugs from my pals who were readying the troops for my desert rescue. So, thank you to my would be rescuers: Elyse, Michael, and Rie, Jason and Timmy, Phil, Rajiv, Nicole, Nicole, Natasha, Chris, Rachel, Katrina, Jo, and Geoff.
My two days at World Tea Expo were informative and tasty and I was sad to leave at the crack of dawn on Saturday to head back to Vegas. But I made sure those tweezers were in the cup holder, right next to George Michael, my new tea plant, and my Smores Frappe. Thank goodness that next years Expo is in Las Vegas!
A photo posted by Naomi Rosen (@joysteaspoon) on May 9, 2015 at 7:29am PDT
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 →
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 →
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 →
Hostmaster Pattern / teacup by New Martinsville Glass Company
Vintage Youngsware China Fantasy Pattern
Noritake China April Cook N Serve Teacup ¿dónde consigo la taza? My Eclectic Heart
Details from Willow / colección Teapot diseño by Richard Brendon
Details from Willow / colección Teacup diseño by Richard Brendon
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
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
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, 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.
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.
Ancient legend of teaseller accused of being witch! She flew from her cell in dead of night tkg her tea urns with! The Tang dynasty capital was chockfull of teahouses, tea pavilions, tea societies. A wonderful era! The Song dynasty saw beautifully decorated tea houses with calligraphy hangings & bonsai plants. Singers & storytellers in Ming teahouses told gripping tales of the 108 heroes from the Water Margin. Some Qing teahouses reserved a table 4 a wise old sage to whom people wd bring grievances & disputes.
Well it's a new year, and that means it's time for change. The TeaAmigos have come up on some CRAZY things in the past couple of months, so expect to see some changes very soon. We want to thank all of our loyal fans for the past year of great tea and comments. You've all been steeping well. Within the next couple of weeks, you will see a revamp of our site, with more tea than ever, even a new partnership??? Stay tuned, yakwii.