Monday, August 29, 2016

Podcast Episode 22: What are Tea Pets?

As I'm sure regular readers will already know, I'm just a LITTLE obsessed with tea pets. My menagerie is always growing, whether it's an impulse buy or the generosity of friends. I've counted twelve all together and I'm sure that won't be the end of it either.

I thought it might be fun to do a podcast episode explaining what tea pets are for those who haven't yet been bitten by the bug. Do you have tea pets? Let me know what kind you have in the comments!

Even if you regularly watch episodes here on the blog, I'd really appreciate it if you could subscribe directly on YouTube! I'm trying to grow my channel there in order to reach more tea lovers. If you watch on iTunes, I'd love it if you could leave an honest review there as well.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Round Up: August 21st and August 27th

Announcing Tea-spiration: My First Book + Pre-order
I'd like to send a big round of applause and congratulations to +Lu Ann Pannunzio. She's releasing her first book. How awesome is that!

Compression and Storage - Why It Matters
Guy with a Gaiwan wrote a great post explaining the importance of compression when it comes to aging puerh tea. This is a subject that often doesn't get much attention but it definitely deserves further exploration.

No-Churn Green Tea Ice Cream
Sometimes I daydream about getting an ice cream maker so that I can make all of the green tea ice cream my heart desires. +Bonnie Eng came up with this dangerously delicious no-churn recipe so I may just get me wish soon.

Tea Processing Chart
+Tony Gebely's tea processing chart is a resource I often refer others to. In this updated version he's changed oolong to wulong and clarified some of the steps. I highly recommend checking it out!

Tasting: Emerald Spring Green Tea from Nepali Tea Traders
+sara shacket discovered a gem of a green tea from one of my favorite Nepalese tea vendors. I love her vivid descriptions of this tea. I can almost taste it myself!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Teavivre 2016 Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: twisted and curled, deep green
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: pale yellow/green

+TeaVivre just might hold the title for most reviewed company on this blog. This is the 38th review! One of my favorite things about them is the consistently good quality tea that won't break the bank. They also carry a huge variety of Chinese teas from several regions. This is the third Mao Feng that I've written about but all three have been from different locations.

Tian Mu is the name of the mountain where this tea is grown and it translates as eyes on heaven. That's a romantic name for a tea if I ever heard one! There are pools on east and west peak of Tian Mu that look like eyes watching the sky. The farm that produced this tea is certified organic. While this aspect isn't a deal breaker for me, it is nice to know that I don't need to worry about pesticides.

The taste was very light and refreshing with a clean, lingering sweetness. There was a fairly thick mouthfeel with just the right amount of astringency. If you'd like a bit less of that mouth-puckering feeling, I would recommend lowering your water temperature to about 175 degrees. The second infusion brought piney notes that were really cooling, especially on a hot summer day. Later brews were a bit more savory and brothy but just as tasty.

Having tried it in both a gaiwan and using western brewing methods, I can safely say that this tea is very versatile. I do think I prefer the more concentrated taste of gongfu style steepings but that is something that really comes down to personal preference. At less than $0.15 per gram, this is very affordable Mao Feng while still being organic and high quality.

2016 Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng sample provided for review by Teavivre.