Thursday, April 23, 2009

Radiance

This week I had the pleasure of stopping in at what I think is the best tea house I have been to yet. Radiance is located in New York City and is relatively easy to get to. I went straight from work so I decided to get dinner before the tea tasting that they would be having later that night. The service was excellent as was the food.

The staff are so enthusiastic about tea, it is infectious. Radiance has tea tastings every Tuesday. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend it. They prepared five different teas, talking about each one and offered to fill our tasting cups multiple times. Not only was it good tea but good conversation as well. The teaware is expensive but of very good quality. All in all, Radiance is my new favorite tea spot. It is timely change since Amai closed its doors this past weekend.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New York Coffee and Tea Festival 2009

This past weekend was the New York Coffee and Tea Festival. It was smaller than I expected but still a very enjoyable experience. There were tables from all different vendors, giving out samples or selling their wares. I bought some interesting products, both good and bad, that I will be reviewing soon. I also picked up a super nice glass electric kettle from Tavalon.

The highlight was a Korean loose leaf tea ceremony by Teamaster Yoon Hee Kim. I've never seen a tea ceremony before. It was incredibly beautiful and audience was noticeably silent during the whole ceremony. I only wish I could be that graceful. It definately made me want to explore tea ceremonies further. Here are some really bad cell phone pictures that I snapped:




Monday, April 6, 2009

Steeped in the World of Tea

I have an entire shelf full of books about tea. They are all written by different authors but they all generally contain the typical information and anecdotes on the history of tea. I recently had the pleasure of reading a very unusual book called Steeped in the World of Tea. It is an anthology of short stories, poems and essays punctuated with Juliana Spears’ photographs of tea and tea ware from around the world. There were stories that made me laugh, poems that made me remember peaceful moments spent with a good cup of tea and even a few that brought tears to my eyes.

The contributors are diverse but they all have tea in common. This is the real story of tea, the sensations and experiences that are the common thread we all share despite cultural or geographical differences. The editors are donating a portion of their proceeds to Food First, a non-profit education-for-action center committed to establishing food as a fundamental human right. If you are lover of tea then this is a must read.

You can find out more about this book here.