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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Podcast Episode 14: How to Use Aroma Cups and Giveaway

There's been a ton of buzz in the tea world about the samples that +Tea Ave sent out, including these beautiful aroma cup sets. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to show you all how to use them.

I'm giving away a prize pack that includes:
-Tea Ave tote bag
-3 oolong samples
-Aroma cup set

To enter, just leave a comment letting me know what you'd like to see in future videos!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Teavivre Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep reddish amber

Yunnan black teas are among some of my favorites, especially during the cold winter months. This one wasn't as tippy as most others that I've had. That being said, this is purely a cosmetic observation and not something that is really indicative of the quality of the tea. My tea brewing is usually a bit of a "go hard or go home style" with 30 second infusions throughout but this time I decided to follow Teavivre's suggestions. My gaiwan is a bit larger than their suggested 85ml but that didn't seem to negatively affect the tea at all. After a quick rinse, I started at 15 seconds and gradually worked my way up to 90 seconds. I'm sure that this played a part in extending the life of the leaves. The taste was sweet and malty with a nice bit of fruitiness. There was none of the yam-like grit that I sometimes find with these teas. After the first few infusions, a pleasant floral element popped up and lingered on my palate after each sip. Overall it had the comforting, warming affect that I look for from this type of tea. It's not quite priced as an everyday drinker but they offer other options that are not "nonpareil".

Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea sample provided by Teavivre.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hankook Tea Hwang Cha Gold

Country of Origin: South Korea
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: balhyocha
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: small ceramic teapot
Liquor: amber

This tea walks a line of technicalities. It's partially oxidized so it isn't what you would usually consider to be a green tea. It's also not black tea because it isn't fully oxidized and it's not oolong due to the processing technique. I've chosen to categorize it as balhyocha here. You can see a detailed explanation of this on World of Tea: South Korean Balhyocha and Hwangcha. The brewed tea was a nice amber color. There was no bitterness or astringency, resulting in a very smooth cup. I was a bit surprised at the level of complexity. A sweet and nutty background provided a stage for the more subtle fruity notes. There was even a hint of chocolate in the finish. The leaves were pan fired so there was also an enjoyable toastiness. I'm not sure that I would gaiwan this tea but I think it did really well in a smaller sized teapot. This is definitely a tea that should be drunk on its own without any milk, sweetener or other additives.

Hwang Cha Gold sample provided by Hankook Tea.