Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Jade Leaf Shan Cha Summer 2016

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: dark, long and twisted
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: dark reddish amber

Taiwanese black teas have become something of an obsession for me over the last few months. They were always something I enjoyed but for some reason, they just seem to hit that sweet spot. I really enjoyed the Red Jade #18 from this company so that set the stage for high hopes for their Shan Cha.

The Jade Leaf's website explains that it was made exclusively from Taiwan's indigenous tea variety. They went on to explain that this variety has been crossed to produce hybrids such as Ruby #18. After reading that I was really intrigued! For a bit more on native tea varieties in Taiwan, check out this guest post that Eco-Cha contributed a few years ago: Taiwan Mountain Tea - The Indigenous Plant.

The taste of this tea was malty and sweet with notes of maple syrup. There was also a really interesting fruitiness that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Maybe lychee? It was relatively low in tannins, leaving a very smooth finish with little astringency. Later infusions brought hints of dark chocolate and a comforting biscuity quality.

If you're a fan of Taiwanese hong cha, I highly recommend giving Shan Cha a try. This tea's mellow nature makes it a great candidate for bowl brewing or enjoying grandpa style. Don't be afraid of hotter water or longer infusions. These leaves can really take a beating, though you might want to use a bit more grams per ml of water if brewing with a gaiwan.

Did you miss my podcast interview with Emilio of The Jade Leaf? Check it out here! 

Shan Cha Summer 2016 sample provided for review by The Jade Leaf.

A photo posted by Nicole - Tea for Me Please (@teaformeplease) on

Monday, January 16, 2017

Video - Episode 24: Interview with Lauren Purvis of Mizuba Tea Co.

I've gotten a bit off schedule when it comes to videos over the last few months. 2017 is a new year so let's start off on the right foot! I'm going to change the format a bit going forward. For starters, I'll only be publishing episodes here (and on YouTube, of course). I discovered that the majority of viewers were watching there anyway.

This will help me to avoid having to pay podcast hosting fees and I won't have to render two different versions of every episode. For that reason, I won't be calling it a podcast anymore but the content will remain largely the same. You can still expect tea industry interviews, how to's, and more.

I first met Lauren on Mizuba Tea Co. at World Tea Expo a few years ago. It turned out that we had been following each other on Instagram for years! Her effervescent personality and passion for matcha made us fast friends. In this episode, we talk about how Lauren discovered tea and the happy accident that led her to start her own matcha company.

Read more about Lauren and Mizuba Tea Co. here:

A Mizuba Matcha Moment with Friends
Guest Post: The Chasen by Lauren Danson

Is there something (or someone) that you'd like to see in a future video? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Round Up: January 8th - January 14th

5 Things I Know About Tea, That I Didn't Know Last Week
Elizabeth is the author of a new to me blog called The Tea Journals. She's just starting to go down the rabbit hole and I've really been enjoying following her journey.

Causes for Sour Flavors in Puerh Tea
+Cwyn N's posts are always insightful and full of knowledge. This week she sheds some light on some of the reasons why sour flavors might occur in tea.

How to Make Matcha Green Tea
+Lu Ann Pannunzio wrote a fantastic post (with an even more fantastic video) on making a perfect bowl of matcha. This is definitely great post to check out if you're not sure where to start.

Spotting Old Arbor Bullshit
Cody at The Oolong Drunk pulls no punches with this week's entry. He did an awesome job of tackling some of the controversies that are popping up in the tea world when it comes to the age of the trees use to produce puerh.

Art of Tea - Silver Needle, Fukamushi Sencha, and Crimson Oolong
+Georgia SS at Notes on Tea is always very thorough in her tea reviews. I really enjoyed this week's post because she compared three very different different teas from the same vendor.