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Lochan Tea Doke Silver Needle 2014

Tea For Me Please - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 16:00
Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: large, silvery needles covered in downy hair
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: gold

I have been itching to try this tea for the longest time. +Lochan Tea Limited has a reputation for making some really amazing teas at their Doke Farm in Bihar, India. Their Rolling Thunder is one of my favorites so I was really excited to dig in. The dry leaves were quite large and super fuzzy. I didn't quite become Lenny from Of Mice and Men but they were unbelievably soft to the touch. I was expecting the taste to be similar to a typical Bai Hao Yin Zhen but this was a whole other animal. It was creamy and nutty with a really pleasant fruitiness. There was also just a hint of floral lingering in the finish. I was having a very bad day at this point and this tea completely made me forget about everything. My day turned around shortly after that. It definitely must have been the tea :)

Doke Silver Needle sample provided by Lochan Tea.

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Magnum opus: part 2

T Ching - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:03

Sometimes quantity must make up for quality, and sometimes you lack either.That was a meaningless sentence, but it summarizes the hopeless viewpoint I had at the beginning of the year as Grand Emperor of the Tea Club. My regular membership had dwindled to five, none of whom held elected positions. The President, Vice-President, and Treasure-Bearer had drifted away from their stations. Two members professed to not drinking tea, which was confusing, considering their membership. We had some serious challenges ahead of us.

We did not despair. Our elected officials were no-shows, but the remaining members were willing to assume their responsibiliteas. (Puns were important to morale.) Our initially non-drinker members warmed up to the second-most popular beverage in the world; and by the end of the year, every one would bring a mug. Mid-year, we had to leave the tiny room where we held our meetings, but the move brought us to a much nicer, more well-lit room.

We had many successes, including the Tea Trolley: a mobile cart from which I sold cups of good black tea. We shared many new teas among the group, from Red Robe Oolong to an off-brand pregnancy tea (sweet, with fruity notes!). New members started attending meetings, and although they occasionally did not return for a second week, the club picked up momentum.

Our greatest achievement was the talk given by the illustrious Dr. Sandy Bushberg. He gave a very entertaining talk on the various health benefits and different types of tea that exist. We planned and executed lots of publicity, and received significant attendance. The talk was the climax of the year – and of the club’s existence thus far. It was well-attended, well-delivered, and just well-done.

I see good things for the future of the tea club. I am off to pursue my own college adventure at the end of next month.  I have designated a new Grand Emperor – a member of the club who has proven herself responsible, interested in tea, and willing to put out the effort. Our club has funds saved from the sales gathered on the Tea Trolley, which will be placed into projects, or into a tea-related charity. I see bright things on the horizon, which I will only be able to see from afar. If any current members are reading this, I praise you. Truly, your dedication is the greatest reward I could have ever asked for. Brew on.

MAIN:            IMAGE 1:

Part One of this series can be found here.

The post Magnum opus: part 2 appeared first on T Ching.

Mango Sherbet Flavored Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 03:59

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Learn more about Southern Boy Teas here.

Check out Southern Boy Teas’ Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to attend the ASD Trade Show in Las Vegas.

Taster’s Review:

I was excited when I saw this flavor added to the Southern Boy Teas line, because I remembered the yummy Mango Ice Cream flavor that 52Teas had as their tea of the week some time ago, and I was hoping that this would be similar to that.  That tea was seriously yummy!

And so is this Iced Tea flavor from SBT!  The mango is a strong flavor and it’s sweet and fruity.  There is a creamy element to the flavor as well, and I like the way this melds with the black tea notes to create a malty, creamy, refreshing black tea flavor.

This iced tea is so delicious!  It tastes like someone melted a scoop of mango sherbet in my glass of iced tea!  It’s sweet and mango-ish, with just the right notes of creaminess, but these flavors don’t overpower the brisk flavor of the black tea.  The creaminess does soften the “edge” of the tea just slightly without overwhelming the ‘black tea’ flavor that I’m looking for when I pour myself a glass of iced tea.

This iced tea flavor from SBT is a real winner!

Frank (the chief Zoomdweebie at 52Teas and Southern Boy Teas) is trying to raise enough money to set up a display at the ASD Trade Show in Las Vegas, which is to take place very soon.  This kind of exposure will really help his company take off.  Please consider helping this small business become a big success by donating to their Kickstarter campaign.  Thank you!

Guide to buying tea in China: Part III – tasting tricks

A Tea Addict's Journal - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 09:58

Note: A friend noted that what I’ve been saying here can be mostly applied even for web-shopping online from Chinese or Western vendors alike. I suppose that’s sort of true.

Let’s say you’ve gone through the hassle of finding a shop, sitting down, finding a tea you want to try, and didn’t get jasmine pushed on you in the process. Now what?

Well, presumably, they will now brew you the tea. So far, so good. There are a number of things to be aware of, at least. I’ll list them

1) The brewing vessel – while I only use pots for my own consumption, when trying a tea I will usually ask them to use a gaiwan, because a gaiwan is more neutral, it makes it easier to compare different teas, and is basically a “fairer” way to taste tea than using a pot. With pots, there are simply too many variables involved. This is especially true if you’re going to a shop you’ve never been to before and know nothing about. Get them to use a gaiwan.

2) Water – what kind of water are they using, and how hot is the water they’re brewing with? All vendors in China use some kind of bottled/delivered water. What they use can make a big difference. This isn’t usually something you can do anything about, but it’s a good thing to be aware of. Check out the bottle they’re using if you can see it. If not and if you can speak, ask. Some places use cheap Nestle purified water, which is pretty bad for tea. Others use things like Nongfu shanquan, which may or may not be ok, depending on which source it’s from. Water in China is a big issue – and will change how you perceive the tea.

Another thing about water is the temperature at which they’re brewing with. These days, especially with a lot of puerh vendors, they will often brew teas for you at less than boiling temperature. This produces a much thinner, but sometimes more fragrant and certainly less offensive tea (bitterness etc). I personally find that to be rather bad for tasting when trying to evaluate whether or not to buy a tea – I want to know what’s in it, not what the person making it for me produced. So in some ways, the standard 5 minute competition steep is the best way, but most vendors are not equipped for that and you’ll have a hard time getting them to set it up right. Normal gaiwan brewing using boiling water is usually the best you can hope for.

3) The ABA trick – if you’re in a non-puerh shop, and you’re trying the teas, be careful of what they’re serving you. A trick I’ve heard some stores have used is the ABA trick – they only really have two (or three) versions of the same tea. They will show you A, then B, then you’re back to A, but you aren’t aware of it because they changed the parameters slightly, and besides, the last time you tried A was over half an hour ago and it was the 10th infusion. You forgot what it’s like already, especially since they’re now telling you it’s 300 RMB more than the A you tried earlier (taken out of a different canister, of course). For some teas, like yancha, this can be hard to spot, especially if you’ve been involved in a tasting marathon.

4) Similarly, an easy way to upsell you on a tea is to serve you something bad first. All of a sudden, what you’re having now is so much better – it’s a great tea! Except, it isn’t. It’s just something mediocre, but in comparison, it’s really much better than that first thing you had. So, you buy it, thinking it’s a top grade whatever. Buyer beware – you can only avoid falling into this trap if you’re really familiar with the entire style and also the different possibilities that exist. If you’re a tourist who doesn’t frequent the markets too often, it’s very easy to overpay for mediocre tea this way. I’ve had stuff from Western vendors that were clearly bought on premises like this – they think they got something top notch, when in fact it’s not.

So what do you actually look for? Well, for one, it really helps if you’re intimately familiar with the type of tea you’re trying to buy. This is sort of like people’s advice for buying stereo speakers – you want to bring music of your own that you know really well to give the speakers a test run, so you can see how the speakers are performing. Likewise, if you have a few teas in your current collection that you can refer to, mentally, while tasting, then you will be in a much better position to judge what’s being offered in front of you. If you’re trying to buy a type of tea that you’re not familiar with – don’t. Your chances of buying a dud is infinitely higher, unless you don’t mind overpaying.

In general, any marketing-speak from the vendor can be ignored. Almost all pieces of information they provide you are designed to get you to buy the tea, so listen but don’t pay too much attention. If someone tells you this tea is something rare, it’s gushu, it’s 2003 vintage, it’s from this special area in this remote mountain – ok, sure, brew me and we’ll see. In a country with fake table salt (and every other food item you can name), too much caution is not a bad thing.

There are a few etiquette things worth mentioning – in general, if other guests are present at the store (whom you don’t know) refrain from commenting on the tea, especially negative comments. You can hate it and think it’s trash, but there’s no need to do it in front of other people who are not running the shop, especially when you don’t know their relationship. It’s safer to do that when the person brewing the tea for you is alone – one reason I suggested not to bother going into stores with people already in them. Smoking might be ok, depending on the shop, but it’s best to ask. Taking phone calls are rarely a problem. Walking away is ok too if you decide you don’t like the shop or the teas, but be nice about it – there’s sometimes some pressure to buy, but if you’re at a tea market, they also know that you’re surrounded by hundreds of shops. Even if you think they’re trying to scam you – thank them, and go away.

The Hub

The Devotea - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 08:59
I was going to start by saying “regular readers will know”, but as I have published only three short, simple pieces in five weeks, I probably don’t have any left. The last four months have been the most demanding of our lives, and this Thursday, the catalyst behind it all will come into being. I’d […]

Beat the heat with iced tea punches and cocktails.

The Hour For Tea - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 06:34
With the beginning of summer comes the perfect weather for a refreshing glass of iced tea.  Although there is no reason to become bored with good old iced tea – because of the wide range of flavored teas commercially available … Continue reading →

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.

Journalists Suck At Science, and Tea Won’t Help You Live Longer

Tea Geek Blogs - Tue, 05/06/2014 - 14:07

To start off, I recognize I’m painting with a broad brush with the title. But I’m going to use a high-profile journalist on a high-profile news show to illustrate that you just can’t take science reporting at face value from news outlets. There are some people who don’t suck at reporting science, like Carl Zimmer or Jennifer Ouellette, but the ones that are really good at it seem to call themselves science writers more often than journalists. I’m not talking about them here. I’m talking about the people who specialize in reporting the news, not in the science.

Earlier this week, Lesley Stahl of the CBS news show 60 Minutes reported on a University of California, Irvine, study called “The 90+ Study” that looked at a cohort of 14,000 residents of a retirement community who filled out an extensive health questionnaire in 1981. Those people are now over 90 years old and they’ve tracked down as many as they can to learn about longevity and health in the “oldest old.”

All that is fascinating, and they’ve found out some really interesting stuff, particularly about dementia. But I want to focus on two items that stuck out at me between what the interviewed researcher, Claudia Kawas, said and the terminology used in the news story. The first is about alcohol, the second about caffeine.

With alcohol, the study published in 2007 pointed out that those who drank alcohol in moderation lived longer than those who did not, but:

We found no difference in the effects of wine, beer or hard liquor on mortality. Whereas several studies have not observed any differences between wine, beer and spirits in their association to all-cause mortality, others have shown more benefit for wine, and/or beer, and/or spirits. In many cases, the strongest inverse relation has been observed for the beverage type most often consumed in the population under study.

In other words, type didn’t matter in their study, but other studies where there’s a most common type of alcohol, in which case that might show up as being “better” for longevity. But here is where the reporting of the study becomes slightly skewed. Not misleading exactly, but a viewer not paying full attention might go away with a different impression than what the science found.

In the report, Leslie Stahl did indeed say, “And any kind of alcohol seemed to do the trick.” This was followed by Kawas being quoted to say, “A lot of people like to say it’s only red wine. In our hands it didn’t seem to matter.” Replying, Stahl said, “Martinis just as good.” And that was the only time an alcoholic beverage other than wine was mentioned. The word “wine” was used 5 times in the story. “Beer” was not mentioned at all, nor was any representative of hard liquor other than the reference to a martini. So although they actually said the type of alcohol didn’t matter, the story only really talked about wine. This is what might give the casual listener an inaccurate sense of the study’s findings.

(An interesting, but unrelated wrinkle in the research for those of us who don’t drink alcohol: although alcohol seemed to have a protective effect, so does grape juice. This raises two questions: if alcohol is what makes the difference, why does grape juice work? And if it’s something from the grapes, why does beer and spirits come out even with wine? My guess is what I say in most of my tea classes: It’s more complicated than that.)

Now, to bring it back to tea: caffeine.

For this one we refer to a study the research team published in 2008 looking at, among other things, caffeine consumption. The 60 Minutes story says, “And there’s good news for coffee drinkers. Caffeine intake equivalent to 1-3 cups of coffee a day was better than more, or none.” Okay, so they don’t mention tea because coffee is more common. I’ll give them that. The study itself said that 90% of the people drank coffee and only 50% drank tea. But then they say that it’s caffeine, and it’s the equivalent to 1-3 cups of coffee a day that makes a difference.

But it isn’t.

Looking at the published study, they found that tea drinking only made a small amount of difference and mostly in those with cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, they found that people who drank decaffeinated coffee had reduced risk. They talk about lots of complexities in the analysis and problems with measuring and so forth—like that answers about “tea” might have included decaffeinated, and I might add herbal, tea—but what comes through clearly is that it’s really coffee that makes the difference. So the most scientific-sounding bit about this issue in the news story turns out to be the least accurate. It’s the common reference to coffee as a caffeine source that’s really the bit that had the most evidence behind it. But the study did specify that “Individuals drinking 100–399 mg/day had the lowest risk.” Of course, if you have talked with me about caffeine, you’ll know it’s very difficult to know how much caffeine you’re getting in a cup of tea.

(By the way, for those of you that are still on the “tea is great for your health” bandwagon, they not only found “Neither milk nor tea had a significant effect on mortality after multivariable adjustment,” but they also found that the antioxidant activity of vitamin E had no significant impact on reduced risk. So if you’re drinking tea because of the antioxidants, the fact that you’re consuming more may not mean you’ll get any benefit).

I wind up, then, coming back to the two assertions in the title (with no disrespect intended for Leslie Stahl or 60 Minutes, despite using them as an example): News journalists suck at science—or at least don’t have the time or an audience who cares enough to actually get accurate with their description of findings. And tea won’t help you live longer—unless maybe you have cardiovascular disease, and it could be that tea’s antioxidants don’t do much for you.

But in the end it boils down to this: Do your research. Don’t believe what the news or salespeople tell you about science. Instead, do a little research yourself because they probably didn’t quite explain it correctly.

Transcript and video of the news story, which really is rather interesting despite the oversimplification of the findings: Living to 90 and Beyond

The post Journalists Suck At Science, and Tea Won’t Help You Live Longer appeared first on Tea Geek Blogs.

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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