Global Tea Hut May 2014 - Golden Vajra

My first shipment from Global Tea Hut, an awesome Autumn red tea from Yunnan.

Socially Speaking: Adagio Tea's Twitter

A case study of a tea brand who I think does Twitter the right way.

Growing Tea in New Jersey?

My foray into growing Camellia Sinensis in New Jersey.

World Tea Expo 2014: Day 2

My first World Tea Expo! I had an amazing time in Long Beach.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Podcast Episode 9: Interview with Misty Peak Teas

I know, I know! I've been behind on filming new podcast episodes. Isn't it the worst when life gets in the way of tea? Earlier this week I sat down with Nicholas from +Misty Peak Teas. His story is fascinating to say the least. I love his passion and commitment to selling puerh that is made just by one family. I hope that you all enjoy it!

P.S. I've been slacking on my email newsletter too but I promise that there will be one going out tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tea People Makaibari Darjoolong

Tea People Makaibari Darjoolong
Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: mottled green and brown
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: ceramic steeper mug
Liquor: reddish amber

I've got to hand it to +Tea People, Darjoolong is simply fun to say. This one hails from Makaibari, one of the oldest tea estates in this region. You might remember that I reviewed their Bai Mu Dan last month. Regular readers will know that I have a silly soft spot for Darjeeling oolongs so this one is right up my alley. The liquor was a very pretty reddish amber. I don't think I've seen that exact shade before, even from other Darjeeling oolongs. Its taste was earthy and sweet with notes of fruit and florals. I wouldn't quite call it muscatel but there was a certain grapiness to it. Oddly enough I found the had the same hint of citrus in the finish that I noted in the white tea. You've got to love terroir! Milk and sugar would not be recommended here as the flavors are too mellow for that. I've still got lots of teas in the works from this vendor but so far I'm impressed.

Maikaibari Darjoolong sample provided by Tea People.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Teavivre Organic Nonpareil She Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: jade green, flat
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: pale greenish gold

This tea is a bit unusual in that it was harvested on March 23rd. This is very early in the Spring, prior to the Qing Ming harvest period. Production is extremely small at that time. The resulting tea was nothing short of amazing. Not only was it intensely aromatic but it had a very complex flavor profile. It was nutty, sweet and crisp with floral notes, a touch of melon and even a bit of creaminess. It lingered in my mouth for so long even after finishing the last sip. While it's a bit expensive compared to this other offerings, this one is worth every penny. This was a truly enjoyable tea and organic to boot. It's tempting to load up on this tea but green teas do not keep as long as other types. It would be a terrible waste if I couldn't drink it all while it is in its prime.

Organic Nonpareil She Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea sample provided by Teavivre.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Handmade Tea Along the River

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark green with lots of lemongrass and huge pieces of fruit
Ingredients: Mao Feng green tea, cantaloupe pieces, lemongrass
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Tea Maker
Liquor: pale greenish yellow

I'm terribly behind on tea reviews which means that I have not been able to indulge in my +Handmade Tea shipments in a timely fashion. This particular blend was sent out in April. Oy vey! Cantaloupe is one of my favorite fruits to eat in this summer so it appealed to me before before tasting. The base was a pre-qingming Mao Feng green teas. I was a bit worried about what the balance would be like because this tea tends to lean very much on the mellow side. The cantaloupe pieces were gigantic. I had to did for some since they didn't quite fit onto my measuring teaspoon. Lemongrass isn't my favorite but Caleb is a flavor combination master so I trusted that he would not lead me astray. The tea was mildly vegetal with a bit of a lemon pepper kick. As it cooled, a sweet melony aftertaste became more and more apparent. It was delicious! My ever skeptical boyfriend even enjoyed it. I can't wait to try it as an iced tea. I have a feel that will help it to really come into its own.

You can find out more about this tea subscription service here.