Tea For Me Please

Podcast Episode 13

Ever wonder what is the correct way to pronounce Yixing?

Modern Tea

A review of a great new book on my favorite subject.

Meet Me at World Tea Expo 2015!

I'm excited to be speaking on two panels this year.

How I Keep My House Smelling Like Tea

There is nothing like the smell of tea and I love filling my home with it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Round Up: March 19th - March 25th

2011 Braided Sheng Pu'er  Tea Review
+Charissa Gascho has a knack for finding the most unsual teas on Aliexpress. That site is a bit of a crapshoot but this cake was pretty unique. I've never seen leaves that are braided like that. Anyone know how that would affect aging?

Wymm Tea's Menghai Wangshuji Shou Seventh Grade 2008
I really enjoy +Rah Rah's thorough reviews, especially the detailed breakdowns of each infusion. It seems that samples from Wymm Teas have been making their rounds in the tea blogging world. I know that I've been enjoying the batch that was sent to me.

Tea Shop - Seven Cups
I'm incredibly jealous because Maggie at Sonoran Tea Sprite got to visit a tea place that has always been on my wish list. Seven Cups in Tuscon, Arizona was a huge part of my discovery of tea. I'll get there some day but I'll live vicariously through her pictures for now.

A Tea Tasting with Silver Needle Tea Co.
I don't about you guys but it makes me so happy to see to friends getting together. Whether it's a few tweets or beautiful blog post (like +Jee Choe's). She met up with my friend Lucy of +Silver Needle Tea Co. to taste some of her delicious teas.

Qualifying as a Tea Ceremony Instructor
Tyas at +Tea Talk shared a very interesting post about the process of becoming an instructor with the Enshu Sado School of Tea. Congrats on the accomplishment! I'd love pursue a certification like this some day. I find them so much more appealing than the various "tea master" programs.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Everlasting Teas Mr. Su's Experimental Black

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: reddish amber

I couldn't resist picking up some of this tea at the New York Coffee and Tea Festival. It turns out that it's experimental because a farmer who usually makes oolong tried his hand at making a black tea.The result was so unusual that they decided to carry it. Sammy's tasting notes caught my eye right away: morning mist, yellow cake and peaches. They might sound like a strange combination but they perfectly sum up this tea.The top note is a really refreshing vegetal note that I’ve never experienced in a black tea. Jo J found it to be a bit mossy (in a good way!). It reminded me of what the grass, wet with dew, smelled like when I went camping as a kid. In the middle there is a sweetness that really does taste a bit like yellow cake batter. Yum! Each sip ends with a peachy note.

Mr. Su's Experimental Black Tea purchased from Everlasting Teas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wymm Tea Mangnuo Tengtiao "Cane Tea" 2014

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: formerly compressed, sample arrived loose
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 5 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold

My personal puerh collection mostly consists of young, dry stored, fairly easy going cakes. What that means is that I can do anything to them and they'll still be drinkable for the most part. I've learned that I can't treat all puerhs with the same heavy hand that I am used to so I followed Wymm Tea's recommended method for steeping. After a quick rinse I started with a 5 second infusion and then increased that by a few seconds for each subsequent brew. Initially it was vegetal with quite a lot of astringency. Gradually the bitterness gave way to a very pleasant honey-like sweetness. This aspect came even more to the forefront as I continued drinking, causing me to drink an ungodly amount of puerh. Thank god I didn't have work the next day! The mouth feel was fairly thick for such a young tea. Although the "cane tea" in the name might suggest sugar cane, their website explains that it actually refers to the shape of the trees. They are shaped using a technique that removes all excess branches and larger leaves, leaving just two buds on each branch. I can only imagine how much work it must take just to harvest enough for a single cake.

Mangnuo Tengtiao "Cane Tea" 2014 sample provided by Wymm Tea.