Tea For Me Please

Holiday Gift Guide

Everything your favorite tea lover needs this Christmas

Pairing Marshmallows with Tea

Sweet treats from Three Tarts paired with my favorite teas

How to Pour with a Gaiwan

Learn how to pour without burning yourself!

Tea Lover's Guide to Reddit

Everything you need to know about this social network

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My First Petr Novak Teacup

I've obsessed over the work of Czech potter Petr Novak for quite some time but I only just recently made the jump to purchase something. Czech based tea retailer Klasek Tea lists some of his pieces from time to time and when I saw this cup, I just had to have it. The size is just right, not too big and not too small. An important factor for teaware for me is how it feels in the hand and when you take a sip. In both cases this cup is perfection for me. It's a very tactile piece and I love the smooth but rough texture. It reminds me a bit of some of my hagi yaki pieces in some ways. My thumb has a habit of resting on the unglazed white patches. I haven't seen much work like this but apparently it was inspired by Korean Bun-cheong. There's a very interesting blog post on Klasek Tea's website that explains the history of this production method.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Modern Tea by Lisa Boalt Richardson

There are A LOT of books on tea but sometimes it seems that most of them repeat the same facts over and over again, even those that aren't quite accurate. +Lisa Boalt Richardson is a well respected author and tea specialist though so I had high hopes going in. I ordered the hardcover edition and I thought it was beautiful before I even opened it. The matte texture and striking cover imagery immediately drew me in. What impressed me even more than the cover was the contents of its pages. There are lots of pretty books out there but this one manages to be wonderfully factually and informative as well.

Lisa's tone throughout the book is approachable and casual, drawing the reader in and making them want to know more. One of the things that I enjoyed most was how she draws from her own travels. These experiences really help to bring the facts on the page to life. One of my favorite sections was The Art of Tasting Tea. Her descriptions of the steps involved in tasting teas is not something I often see in books. It helps that they also echo many of my own approaches.

I was glad to see that Lisa took a different approach to the stereotypical cooking with tea section. Rather than just filling it with recipes that the reader might never attempt, she gives practical advice on infusing tea into just about everything. Quotes from some of the best in the biz and specific examples provide a lot of guidance for the reader without being too restricting. There's enough there to spark a ton of ideas without overwhelming them.

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was my companion just before bed for several weeks and I found myself looking forward to picking it back up each night.

P.S. If you plan to pick up a copy, please use this Amazon affiliate link. I'm saving up my commissions for a much needed camera upgrade :)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Podcast Episode 13: Commonly Mispronounced Chinese Tea Words

Pronouncing Chinese tea words can be nerve wracking for many tea drinkers. Pu'er? Dan Cong? Yixing? Some of these sounds don't even exist in the English language! +Michael J. Coffey  and +Eric Scott lend their expertise as we discuss some of the most commonly mispronounced Chinese tea words. Is there a word that we missed? Let us know about it in the comments!

Friday Round Up: February 22nd - February 28th

Misty Peaks Tea: Yi Wu Shan Da Ye Sheng Bing Stone-Pressed (Yiwu Mountain Green Puer Cake) 2014, A Tea Review
+Amanda Wilson reviewed one of my absolute favorite puerh teas. Can you spot her cute little frog tea pets?

Matcha Cafe Wabi
+Jee Choe wrote about her experience at one of NYC's newest matcha bars. I missed that yummy looking rice krispy treat on my last visit so I'll have to go back soon.

How to Take Better Photos of Your Tea
It's not often that someone makes the round up twice but +Jee Choe contributed a great guest post to +sara shacket's blog. Taking pictures of tea can be tough but these tips will help a lot.

Yunnan Sourcing Premium Plan Club – February 2015
I always enjoy +Kayleigh Jade's thorough tea reviews. She got some great shots that really showed off the teas from +Yunnan Sourcing.

A High Mountain Happy Accident
Only +Geoffrey Norman could find a way to relate Bob Ross and his happy trees to a high mountain black tea from +Eco-Cha Artisan Teas. That made my day :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Tea Pet Addiction Continues

I always liked the idea of tea pets and lately I find I'm even more enamored with them than ever. Ribbit has been my faithful companion for many years and then along came Zhu. Two new friends have graced my tea table lately. Their names are still undecided. I've got to get to know them a bit more.

I fell in love with a collection of tiny monkey tea pets at +T Shop. At the time, I told myself, "If he's still here the next time I visit, then I'll buy him.". It's a little game I play to keep myself from doing too much impulse shopping. Two weeks later I had some time to kill between meetings so I stopped in to have some tea. He was still there waiting so how could I not take him home?

While placing an order with +Yunnan Sourcing, I couldn't help but take a peek at their assortment of tea pets. Since he was only $3.50, I used the shipping charges to justify adding him on. He is ordinarily a brassy color but turns bright gold when hot water is poured on him.

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