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

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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stone Leaf Tea Organic Lapsang Souchong

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: smoked black tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: mesh infuser and ceramic teacup
Liquor: dark reddish amber

This is the tea that I was most excited to try in my sample box from Steepist so I saved it for last. Lapsang is one of those teas that I really enjoy but I have to be in the mood for it. On a very cold winter night, my boyfriend and I sat down to relax and watch Guardians of the Galaxy. In that moment this tea was everything that I wanted it to be. The smoke was there of course but the base was a wonderfully sweet and full bodied Fujian black tea. There was even a hint of fruitiness shining through in the background. I think it's safe to say that +Stone Leaf Tea House nailed it. This kind of tea is very easy to overdo and there are a lot of bad ones out there for sale. I wasn't left with that gross creosote aftertaste but it wasn't whimpy either. The fact that it's organic and reasonably priced are added bonuses to an already pretty awesome tea. If you're ever in Vermont, be sure to look them up.

Organic Lapsang Souchong sample provided by Steepist.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crimson Lotus Tea Xiaguan T8653 2014 Sheng Puerh

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark green, tightly compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold

You all know how much I love my sweet and mellow Yiwu but sometimes I need a puerh that packs a punch. +Crimson Lotus Tea describes this as an "iron cake" and the name seems apt as even my sample size was hard to break apart. One of the things I love about puerh is that I'm still discovering it. This is the first tea that I've tried from the Xiaguan Tea Factory, one of the oldest in China. My first infusion was on the lighter side but that was a bit deceptive because the leaves were still very tightly packed, even after a couple of rinses. I missed their warning to handle this tea gently so I went with my usual 30 second infusion. Holy cow is this stuff strong! I shortened my infusions a bit and it settled back down. The taste was vegetal and earthy with plenty of astringency. In the later brews I was surprised by an interesting floral note that popped up mid-palate. Tightly compressed cakes like this one take longer to age and mellow. If I had a whole bing, I'd probably let it chill out for a while.

Xiaguan T8653 Sheng Puerh sample purchased from Crimson Lotus Tea.
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