Tea For Me Please

Kindle Books for Tea Lovers

A list of books on tea that you can read for free!

Teas To Celebrate Fall With

Some of my favorite fall teas that go outside of the ususal pumpkin spice flavors

Podcast Episode 16: Bowl Brewing and Grandpa Style

How to brew tea with nothing but what you already have in your kitchen cabinet

Where to Get Your Matcha Fix in NYC

Some of the best places in the Big Apple to get the green stuff

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard

One of my favorite things about being tea blogger is having friends who do awesome things. +Linda Gaylard of The Tea Stylist fame recently published a truly awesome book. First let me say that I <3 hard cover books! They're infinitely better than paperback books, especially because they're less susceptible to shelf wear. Don't let the number of pages intimidate you. This book reads like a gorgeous coffee table book. The text portions are short, sweet and accompanied by fantastic photography. Linda does a great job of being factual without droning on or getting caught up in the details.

Each page is beautifully laid out and there are tons of illustrations that make my tea-filled heart very happy. I particularly enjoyed the section on Korean Darye as this is an aspect of tea culture that is often ignored. U.S. grown tea also makes an appearance which is always nice to see. Most books on tea contain recipes but Linda put a fresh spin on that by providing recipes to custom blend your own flavored teas. How cool is that? This would be a great book to gift to someone who is just getting into tea. It covers the basics and then some without being intimidating or super nerdy.

You can find out more about this book here. Book provided for review by DK Publishing.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sunday Sundae at T Shop - Round Two

Back in August I attended an awesome ice cream social type event called Sunday Sundae. It was a blast so I was super excited when I found out that there would be a round two. It also just happened to be on my day off. Somehow I was the first one to arrive. I was ok with that since +T Shop is a great place to just relax and hang out. I had a chance to chat a bit with the master ice cream maker himself, Max Falkowitz (formally of Serious Eats, now at Saveur). Although I was excited to dig into the cold stuff, the fall weather had me seriously craving the Royal Milk Tea served on the patio by +Tiny Pinecone Teahouse and Bakeshop. It was rich, creamy and everything that I wanted it to be.

Now that I was sufficiently warmed it was time to move on to the ice cream and cookies. The offerings this time around were Cointreau White, Roasted Oolong, Hong Kong Breakfast and Ripe Puerh. The ripe puerh was the first one that I tried. I couldn't believe how chocolaty it tasted. There were quite a few other guests who stated that they hated puerh but loved this ice cream. The Honk Kong Breakfast would have to be my favorite though. It was made with the High Mountain Black Tea from last time along with lemon. The taste was incredibly bright and refreshing.

Lisa at Tiny Pinecone is an incredibly talented baker. The matcha tuiles and genmaicha white chocolate cookies were to die for. My stomach was a bit overloaded with all of that dairy filled goodness so I indulged in several cups of Theresa's excellent teas. The moonlight white is a favorite that I always turn to but the roasted oolong really hit the spot that day. To make things even better I was able to sit down for a nice long chat with my friend +Jo J. We both had excellent news to share and I was glad to get to see her before her trip to Taiwan.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Round Up: October 4th - October 10th

Let's Talk Taiwanese Oolong: Tie Kuan Yin Oolong
I've really been enjoying +katherine bellman's series on Taiwanese oolongs. This tea is usually associated with China but can also be found being grown in Taiwan.

Penton Acquires World Tea Expo – Need to Know
The tea world was buzzing this week with news of the recent sale of World Tea Expo to Penton. It will be interesting to see what changes this acquisition will bring in the future.

Green Tea and Weight Loss
+Ricardo Caicedo hit the nail on the head this week with his thoughtful discussion on green tea's purported weight loss abilities. I think he summed it up best when he said "Concentrate on diet and exercise, which isn’t easy, but it’s the surest way to succeed. The miracle weight loss pill hasn’t been invented yet, sorry.".

Pumpkin Tea Latte Recipe
It's that time of year. Everyone is rolling out their PSL's. +Lu Ann Pannunzio shared a video for a creative recipe that uses real pumpkin puree. Yum!

A Moment to Fixation on Assam
+Jen Piccotti and I must be on the same wavelength this week. I've also been obsession over +Joseph Wesley Black Tea's Assam. Does that make me a Bong girl? :)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yunnan Sourcing 2014 Autumn Moonlight Pavilion Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun White Tea

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: varied shades of green with lots of downy buds
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold

As my Instagram followers can attest, I've been obsessing over this tea the last few months. You might say to yourself, I thought Bi Luo Chun was a green tea? The term can also refer to the leaf shaping method. I experimented with brewing this tea every which way, from a glass teapot to kyusu, test tube steepers and gaiwans. By far the glass gaiwan produced my favorite result but "grandpa style" is always fun too. The taste was delicate and light with a refreshing cooling affect. Floral notes danced around a hint of honeydew melon. There was a slight vegetal aftertaste but it reminded me more of fresh veggies than grass. I love Yunnan white teas because they have a bit of a different energy and this tea was a great example of that. After brewing the buds unfurled completely and they were beautiful to look at. My boyfriend caught me playing with them on more than one occasion. He thinks my tea obsession is odd but at this point he pretty much accepts it (as if there was any other option). :)

2014 Autumn Moonlight Pavilion Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun White Tea purchased from Yunnan Sourcing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What-Cha Georgia Natela's Gold Standard Black Tea

Country of Origin: Georgia
Leaf Appearance: dark, long and twisted
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 205 degrees
Preparation Method: stainless steel infuser basket and ceramic teacup
Liquor: reddish brown

It's hard to believe but this is the first Georgia (the country, not the state) grown tea that I have ever reviewed here. The taste was malty and slightly sweet without any astringency or bitterness. I was very much reminded of Assam but there were subtle differences. There was an indistinct fruity undertone, not quite peach but something close to it. My second cup was just a hair lighter in body but just as enjoyable as the first. There was just something so comforting about the taste. After a long day at work it made my insides all melty and the stress just slipped away. Sometimes a super simple black tea is all that you need to make things better. It was bold enough to support milk and sugar but it's really not necessary at all. I know that I've said it before but What-Cha really has a knack for affordable yet unusual teas. I have my eye on their China Fujian Anxi 2008 Heavy Roasted Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea in Bitter Melon and I definitely think that I'll be picking up some of this along with it.

Georgia Natela's Gold Standard Black Tea sample provided by What-Cha.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Little Red Cup Tea Company Premium White Peony

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: varied greens and browns with some buds
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: gold

The first time that I tried this tea using a good ol' teapot and the directions provided I was a little underwhelmed. It's not that it was bad but it just didn't jump out at me. Not being one to give up after the first go, I thought that it might perform better in my glass gaiwan. I'm very happy to report that my hunch was right. The taste was light and refreshing with cooling notes of honeydew melon. A honey-like sweetness lingered in the aftertaste. There was no bitterness or astringency to speak of. I was able to get at least six infusions so these leaves definitely had some staying power. Something tells me that this would also make a great cold brew iced tea. If only there were more leaves left to play with! It can be hard to know if your tea is sourced in a way that respects the people who produce it. I was happy to see that this tea is Fair Trade Certified. The premiums are used by the growers in Hunan for equipment purchases and much needed public works and sanitation projects.

Premium White Peony sample provided by Little Red Cup Tea Company.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nepali Tea Traders Nepalese Silver Tips

Country of Origin: Nepal
Leaf Appearance: small, mostly whole downy buds
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: mesh infuser basket and porcelain teacup
Liquor: bright gold

I'd heard a lot of good things from fellow bloggers about Nepali Tea Traders but never had a chance to give them a try myself. I was able to briefly meet them at World Tea Expo last year and they were kind enough to leave me with several samples. I'm a lover of (almost) all silver tips tea so naturally this was the one that I gravitated to first. The leaves were like a miniature version of your typical Chinese silver needle. Smaller and a bit more delicate but still covered in downy hairs. The taste was wonderfully complex, starting out with herbaceous notes of sage and lemon grass. Honeyed peaches popped up in the midpalate while the finish brought hints of vanilla and clove. I couldn't help but be reminded of a really good white wine. The mouth-feel was smooth and buttery without any astringency. My second and third infusions were just as good as the first. Sadly there weren't enough leaves to experiment with brewing methods but I have a hunch that this would do really well in my glass gaiwan.

Nepalese Silver Tips sample provided by Nepali Tea Traders.