Tea For Me Please

What is Terroir?

The factors that make up where your cup of tea comes from

Teacrafting with Boston Teawrights

A look at how I made my own tea

Classic Chinese Black No.3

This unusual tea is made from the same cultivars that are used to produce Long Jing

A New Way of Displaying Teacups

A nifty tool that made it easier to display my teacups

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Teavivre Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, wiry
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: reddish amber

I was excited to dive into this one because it is one of the few types of tea that I had yet to try from +TeaVivre's extensive catalog. The first thing that I noticed when I poured the leaves into my gaiwan was the aroma. When I think of the smell of tea, this smell is exactly what comes to mind. Although they were somewhat broken, probably from shipping, there were plenty of whole leaves. Quite a few golden tips were visible as well. The taste was earthy, malty, fruity and smoky all at once. It was very smooth with no bitterness to speak of. A hint of astringency added a refreshing lightness to the finish. One of my favorite things about Keemun is the color of the liquor. This one brewed up a deep coppery red that my cell phone camera was completely incapable of doing any justice. Given its complexity, I strongly suggest drinking this tea straight up. Milk and sweeteners would undoubtedly drown most of that out.

Teavivre was kind enough to give me a few $5 gift cards for my readers. They're good for any time during the month of November, perfect for Black Friday! Just shoot me an email at nicole@teaformeplease.com if you'd like to receive one!

Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea sample provided by Teavivre.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yezi Tea Tie Guan Yin High Grade

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 45 seconds
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: greenish gold

It's been a while since I reviewed something from +Yezi Tea and this Tie Guan Yin was calling my name. I previously reviewed and very much enjoyed the Master Grade Tie Guan Yin from this company. This version was different but still made for an excellent cup of tea. The taste was more on the greener side of things. Vegetal notes dominated the flavor profile of my first brew. Lots of floral aroma and a hint of nuttiness kicked in on the second round. I wouldn't quite call it orchid as wasn't as heavy or lingering but in any case, it was a very nice quality. Rolled teas like this usually take a bit to open up so it's common to rinse them. I just can't bring myself to not drink it though. Why waste perfectly good tea? I tend to prefer my TGY a bit more roasty but I still found this one very refreshing. After six consecutive steepings I was sufficiently tea logged but another gaiwan or two could probably have been eked out if I had been inclined to do so.

Tie Guan Yin High Grade sample provided by Yezi Tea.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Adopt of a Tea Plant and Support U.S. Grown Tea!

My friends at +The Great Mississippi Tea Company have launched an exciting new "adopt a tea plant" program. For as little as $12.95 you'll receive a personalized certificate, one lifetime pass to the farm, 1oz of tea once it is available and a coupon for 25% off at +Boston Teawrights. Higher level donations will receive even more tea and more passes to the farm. I definitely hope to visit them some day. I've been following their progress avidly on their Facebook page. They now have over 10,000 plants in the ground and still have more yet to be planted. I've got my own little tea farm on my windowsill so it's been great to learn from their example. Hopefully my plants will be able to move outside once the spring arrives. Otherwise, we'll have to see how they do with a drafty winter.

Click here to adopt your plant!

Disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated with The Great Mississippi Tea Company and this post was not sponsored in any way. I simply love the work that they do and want to help spread the word.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Round Up: November 16th to November 22nd

Quality of Matcha
+Oca Ocani shared some tips on choosing a quality matcha. The pictures showing different grades are especially helpful.

How To: Store Loose Leaf Tea
I recently discovered an excellent blog called Steep Inclined. Holly shared a helpful post on how to properly store tea, complete with a video.

A Hong Kong love story: Chinese Tea meets European Chocolate
Pairing tea and chocolate has been very popular in recent years. It was very interesting to hear about the traditional Chinese teas that Charles will be tasting.

2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Tea Nerds
+Tony Gebely of World of Tea shared his list of nerdy tea gifts on Tumblr. The Vietnam tea box is sitting right next to me so I can vouch for its awesomeness.

A Japanese tea ceremony (Omotesenke school)
Stephane of the Tea Masters blog posted some beautiful pictures of a Japanese tea ceremony he experienced in an apartment in New York City.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tea Journeyman Amba Estate Hand-Rolled GF OP1 Ceylon Black Tea

Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Leaf Appearance: long and wiry, dark brown
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Steeper
Liquor: reddish amber

Amba Estate has become one of my favorite sources for Ceylon tea. You might remember that I previously reviewed and enjoyed their OP1 with Tea Flowers from Tealet. The leaves were absolutely gorgeous after brewing. I have never seen a Ceylon tea that was this whole or with this many buds. All of the extra work of hand rolling definitely payed off. The taste was exactly what I was hoping for. It was clean and brisk with complex notes of honey, fruit and chocolate. This is a tea to inhale deeply and take your time with. I did three consecutive infusions and the flavor held up very well throughout each of them. As always, I really appreciate the depth of the information provided by +Tea Journeyman Shop. +Kevin Craig's tasting notes come from a tea blogger's perspective so it's almost like he reads my mind. In case you haven't already, make sure that you check out the blog that inspired the business, Tea Journeyman.

Amba Estate Hand-Rolled GF OP1 Ceylon Black Tea sample provided by Tea Journeyman.

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