Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Round Up: January 25th - January 31st

Japanese Green Tea in Flux
+Ricardo Caicedo hosted an interesting guest post on his blog about the state of the tea industry in Japan. While U.S. tea drinkers have become more interested in higher quality Japanese teas, it seems that they are experiencing the opposite affect locally.

Fujian Face-Off! Lapsang Souchong vs Jin Jun Mei
+Geoffrey Norman is a bit of a regular in the Friday Round Up lately. I can't help it, I just love his mix of humor or tea knowledge.

She and He and Tea
+Robert Godden penned a very thought provoking post on gender issues in tea. It was uncharacteristically on topic and not quite as ranty as I had hoped :)

Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court
I love reading multiple perspectives, especially when it's tea friends like +Jee Choe and +Georgia Silvera Seamans. Notes On Tea and Oh, How Civilized is how you might usually know them. Believe it or not, I have never been tea at the Plaza even though I technically work there.

Shoes & Tea
+Darlene Meyers-Perry always has a wonderful sense of aesthetic and she's a girl after my own heart when it comes to certain things, like shoes! In this short but sweet post she pairs shoes with teaware.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Announcing the New Tea for Me Please Newsletter!

I've dropped a few hints but I'm finally ready to announce some big changes to my email newsletter. For the past few years I've sent out monthly emails with curated links and blog recommendations. I've gotten great feedback from many of you on those but the Friday Round Up seems to have mostly taken its place. After racking my brain on what to do, I finally came up with an answer. My newsletter is transitioning to a quarterly journal.

Every January, April, July and October subscribers will receive access to a high quality PDF chock full of articles on tea. Each issue will have a different theme and I'll be kicking everything off with puerh. There are articles from my friends at +Misty Peak Teas+JalamTeas+Crimson Lotus Tea and even some things from yours truly.

For those that are already subscribed, it will delivered to your inbox on January 31st. If you haven't signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Just use the form below to sign up.

Subscribe Now!

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Podcast Episode 12: How to Make a Stovetop Chai Latte

I'm determined to stay on top of the podcast in 2015 so I'm publishing January's episode just in the nick of time. A few of you have asked me about how to make a chai latte. In my newest podcast episode, I show a method that I've been using for years. It's relatively foolproof so don't like the stovetop part scare you! In case you'd like to get your hands on the chai that I used in the video, check out my review of Yogic Chai Original Masala Chai.

Don't forget to subscribe in iTunes! I'd love it if you could take the time to leave a review of the podcast there :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Global Tea Hut - December 2014: Old Man Camphor

I so look forward to my Global Tea Hut every month. It often seems like I'm always drinking teas for reviews but this is the one tea that I set aside just for me to enjoy. I usually do a write up with pictures here but its nice to take a break from the usual formalities. December's shipment included a very nice Christmas card and a group photo of +Wu De and the gang.

I've become quite a puerh obsessive the last few years but I'm definitely much more of a sheng person. That being said, I really enjoyed this seasonally appropriate selection. Old Man Camphor certainly lived up to its name. It was dark and earthy with a lot of natural sweetness. The mouth-feel was surprisingly smooth and silky. The magazine was packed with useful information as always. I particularly enjoyed the article on puerh leaf grading. Several articles focused on tea gatherings and it really got me thinking. I'd love to have similar gatherings here in New Jersey or NYC. I think I might make that part of my tea related resolutions for 2015.


A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Golden Tips Tea Halmari Gold Assam Black Tea Second Flush 2014

Golden Tips Tea Halmari Gold Assam Black Tea Second Flush 2014
Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: small, twisted with lots of golden tips
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time:  5 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Teamaker
Liquor: amber

This tea has got to be the prettiest Assam that I've ever seen. If I didn't know any better, I'd think that it was from Fujian. The taste was full bodied and complex with a bright, refreshing astringency. It had the maltiness that Assam black teas are known for along with notes of fruit and dark chocolate. It's on the pricey side but definitely worth the try if you are a fan of teas from this region. It could probably take milk and sugar if you wanted to but I highly recommend trying this tea unadulterated first. As always, I love the depth of information provided by +Golden Tips Tea Co Pvt Ltd. The estate name, date of harvest, harvest season and grade were provided for every tea that they've sent me a sample of. I appreciate this so much! There are so many in the tea industry who mark their tea simply as Assam. This shows that they do not know where the tea that they sell comes from. It's also deceptive because the consumer has no idea how old the tea is.

Halmari Gold Assam Black Tea Second Flush 2014 sample provided by Golden Tips Tea.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tea Places: Tiny Pinecone Teahouse and Bakeshop

Just when I thought that I had run out of new tea places to visit, I found out about a pop up tea shop called +Tiny Pinecone Teahouse and Bakeshop. The location is just as adorable as their name. The seating area is small but inviting. One of the first things I noticed when walking in was a display of gaiwans and other teaware. My kind of place! The tea list was not very big but there was a wide range of options offered. My first choice of an oolong was temporarily unavailable so I opted for the Huo Shang Huang Ya, a  yellow tea, instead.

There were quite a few baked goods and they all looked delicious. In the end, the olive oil brownie called my name. The only seat open was at the small bar facing the window. This worked out just fine for me since I got to sit right next to a space heater. I'm one of those people who are always cold so that was appreciated. It's always interesting to see what each tea places uses to make their tea. Tiny Pinecone used the funky Hario brewers that I affectionately refer to as fishbowl brewers. In truth, I really want one but can't justify adding another brewing gadget to my collection.

The tea was served in a gorgeous mug accompanied by a large glass pitcher. It was so aromatic, I couldn't help but stick my nose into the pitcher. The brownie was incredibly moist and it was devoured much too quickly. This place had a great ambiance and I felt a little sad knowing that this spot is only a pop up. The good news is that there is still time. They'll be open until February 21st.

You can find out more about Tiny Pinecone here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Round Up: January 18th - January 24th

Best Bay Area Tea Shops
+Tony Gebely posted this very handy guide to all things tea in San Francisco. This is one destination that is definitely on my to-do list.

Kombucha: Everybody's Friend
Revoluzzion published a very informative post on kombucha. While not exactly tea, my favorite beverage is the main ingredient so I do drink it from time to time.

Both of Teavivre's Milk Oolongs Side-by-Side, Grandpa Style!
Just Another Tea Blog is back in action with an interesting comparative tasting. I love a good milk oolong too but I've never tried them grandpa style.

Golden Tips, Jungpana Darjeeling Tea, A Review
Another blog that came back into action this week was Humble Tea Leaf. I love the beautiful pictures and how she explains some of the nerdy tea terms that might be confusing for a newbie.

The Latest Buzz on Tea and Caffeine
Tea's relationship with caffeine can be confusing because of all of the conflicting info out there. Bruce Richardson cleared things up a bit on his blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What-Cha Nepal 2nd 2014 Flush Silver Needle White Tea

Country of Origin: Nepal
Leaf Appearance: jade green, covered in silver hair
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: very pale

I've been diving into Nepalese teas lately thanks to What-Cha. I really flipped for the Monsoon Flush Pearl Oolong that they shared with me so I was eager to try this silver needle. Like most white teas, it started off incredibly delicate. It was vegetal and sweet with delicate notes of hay, florals and cucumber. I was surprised with some delicious fruitiness as I got towards the bottom of my cup. When I brew white tea, I prefer to use a glass teapot. I also leave a bit of water in with the leaves in between infusions. This gives my second round a bit more oomph. White tea (at least a good one) will never go bitter when treated this way. Holy cow was the next pot fruity! Ripe peaches came to mind. Even for those that don't usually enjoy white tea, this one will be a real treat. What-Cha is a fairly new company but they are quickly becoming known for their Discover Tea Collections. I love that they are exposing to drinkers to a world of tea outside of what is expected. Tea friend +Geoffrey Norman did a story about their Azerbaijan not long ago.

Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Silver Needle White Tea sample provided by What-Cha.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

White2Tea 2014 Manzhuan

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: varied greens and browns, compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: gold

This tea is kind of like the fruity cocktail that doesn't taste like it has as much alcohol as it actually does. It was very soft and mellow but still left me feeling quite tea drunk. Fruity, floral and honey notes dominated the flavor profile. There was hardly any astringency and it never crossed the line into unpleasant bitterness. I've only had a few young shengs that were quite this understated. A vegetal element came to the forefront towards the end but it stayed fairly constant throughout my many infusions. +White2Tea is one of the few vendors where I'll actually believe that a puerh is truly from ancient arbor trees. The quality of the material shows in every tea that I have tried. I only wish that this one was not sold out :)

2014 Manzhuan sample provided by White2Tea.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pekoe Sip House Royal Golden Yunnan

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: tippy, mottled black and brown
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Tea Maker
Liquor: deep reddish amber

I love a good tippy Yunnan black tea and this one really hit the spot. The dry leaves were quite beautiful to look at. The taste was smooth and sweet with notes of cacao and sweet potato. There was no bitterness or astringency (even when I accidentally left my second infusion brewing for too long). It wasn't overly complex but there's nothing wrong with that. There are days when a simpler tea is just want the doctor ordered. I had a lazy moment so I prepared this in a western fashion but I think it would also perform well if made using gongfu methods. +Pekoe Sip House operates three Boulder cafes as well as an internet shop. As a certified B-Corp, their business practices really caught my attention. Every year they donate to social and education programs for positive change locally, nationally and globally. Their commitment to ethical sourcing is also appreciated. I love being able to connect with and support companies like this through my blog.

A special offer just for +Tea for Me Please readers:
Enter the code "teajoy" when ordering from Pekoe Sip House and you'll receive a 25% discount!

Royal Golden Yunnan sample provided by Pekoe Sip House.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mandala Tea Wild Monk Raw Puerh 2014

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: varied shades of green, tightly compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold

Some of you might remember how wild I was about +Mandala Tea's Wild Monk last year. The newest rendition of this tea was less smoky but was most definitely just as enjoyable. As soon as I lifted the lid of my gaiwan, I thought "Ah, now that's what tea should smell like.". There were complex notes of camphor, honey and stone fruit. Full bodied and woodsy with a thinner mouth-feel, I just couldn't get enough of it. The bright astringency was refreshing but never bordered into unpleasant bitterness. After more than a few rounds I was left with a heady, warm tea drunk feeling. I stopped at around ten infusions but these leaves definitely had more to give. This is one of those rare teas where I really wish that I could buy a whole tong. But then I'd probably hoard it and never get to enjoy it as much. If you're looking to get into puerh without breaking your budget, I cannot recommend this tea enough. Either year is fantastic and for under $30, you get enough tea to play around with and explore.

Wild Monk Raw Puerh 2014 sample provided by Mandala Tea.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Round Up: January 11th - January 17th

David's Tea Glitter and Gold tea, Sparkling!
+Charissa Gascho posted and a review and awesome video of one of my favorite teas from David's Tea. What can I say, I can't resist the glitter!

Favorite Tea Ware: Alexis Siemons of teaspoons & petals
I've really enjoyed +Georgia Silvera Seamans series of posts about our fellow tea blogger's favorite tea ware. In the latest installment, she showcases some lovely pieces from +Alexis Siemons' collection.

Down in Yunnan
+Kathy YL Chan posted some truly breathtaking pictures from her trip to Yunnan. If there was only one tea region that I could visit, this one would be it. Someday I'll get there.

A Day in the Life of an Old Tea Whore
This week brought another post from Cwyn's Death by Tea that is pure comedy gold. Only serious tea drinkers will "get" the majority of it but that makes it all the funnier for me. Don't let them take my sheng!

Bug Bites, Tea Huts, and Sipping Wisdom
Tea friend +Geoffrey Norman discovered the joys of Global Tea Hut. I am quoted as calling them my favorite tea hippie commune, which pretty much sums it up. The teas he wrote about were ones that I very much enjoyed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sense Asia Shan Snow Old Tea

Country of Origin: Vietnam
Leaf Appearance: small, dark green
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 15 seconds
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: pale, greenish

I received this tea as part of a variety pack offered by +Sense Asia called All of Vietnam in One Box. I was drawn to this one first in part because of the name and also because I wanted a green tea to test drive my new glass gaiwan with. I really liked that the packaging and website give such detailed information about where this tea is from. Vietnamese teas do not carry as much clout in the industry at the moment so many retailers would simply have left it at Vietnam green tea. They even give the elevation it was grown at. I thought it was interesting that the Dutch/British grading system was used. This tea is a SFTGFOP and it showed. There were hardly any broken leaves despite being vacuum packed and shipped. The taste was vegetal and sweet with a bright astringency. Brewing the tea in a gaiwan gives it bit of an edge but I don't consider that a bad thing. I was able to get a good five consecutive infusions before the flavor started to fade out. I didn't use a large amount of leaves so that was pretty impressive.

Shan Snow Old Tea sample provided by Sense Asia.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wild Tea Qi Artisan Golden Tips

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: wiry, covered in golden hair
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: amber

What can I say, I'm a sucker for tippy golden teas from Yunnan. They're so fluffy! This particular tea was comprised completely of golden fleecy buds. The taste was mellow yet complex with sweet notes of cacao, honey and a hint of fruitiness. This is definitely a tea that deserves to be gongfu'd. It yielded at least six consecutive brews and probably could have gone on further. The taste was slightly different but I was reminded very much Verdant Tea's Golden Fleece. The two teas are comparably priced (this one is slightly less at times), making Artisan Golden Tips a great alternative for all of you fleece addicts out there. I start craving red teas like this when the snow comes so I might have to stock up soon. One of my favorite things about +Wildteaqi is that they share the name, face and story of the farmers that they source from. It gives the customer peace of mind and shows that they really care about where their teas from.

Artisan Golden Tips sample provided by Wild Tea Qi.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tribute Tea Company Frozen Summit Oolong

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 190 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold

I adore a good Dong Ding, particular when they are on the roasty side. This one isn't heavily oxidized but it still really hit the spot. Rolled oolongs like this tend to do well with a quick rinse. I also think they open up better in a gaiwan than they would in an infuser basket. The taste was wonderfully complex with notes of stone fruit and a hit of nuttiness with a lingering floral aroma. I did eight or ten consecutive infusions and each one had its own lovely nuance. There was no astringency or bitterness to speak of but each sip remained lively and light. The leaves unfurled to become quite large in size. Usually Taiwanese oolongs bring spring to mind but this tea was perfect for cold, wintry night. I drank it after a very long day at work and well into the night since I did not have to get up the next day. The stress melted away with each infusion. I was reminded of a Douglas Adams quote from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "A cup of tea would restore my normality.".

Frozen Summit Oolong sample provided by Tribute Tea Company.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Monday, January 12, 2015

Golden Tips Teas Arya Ruby Darjeeling 2nd Flush

Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: small, dark with some golden tips
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: ceramic teacup and mesh infuser
Liquor: amber

I receive a lot of tea samples but I think +Golden Tips Tea Co Pvt Ltd may have won the prize for most unusual package. The usual cardboard box was covered in fabric with red wax seals on all of the corners. The addresses had been handwritten on the fabric with marker. My mother couldn't believe that the post office even delivered it but I thought it was pretty neat. In hindsight, I really should have snapped a picture to share with you all. Arya is one of my favorite Darjeeling estates so it really surprised me when I realized that I have not reviewed any of their 2nd flush teas until now. The leaves were your typical 2nd flush, somewhat darker with a few golden tips. The taste was full bodied with fruity and floral notes. It was sweet and woody with just enough astringency. Some people like to add milk and sugar to their 2nd flush teas but I would advise against that with this one. It was a very smooth cup of tea with no bitterness. Additives would likely water down all of those wonderful flavors.

Arya Ruby Darjeeling 2nd Flush sample provided by Golden Tips Tea.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Round Up: January 4th - January 10th

How to Host a Tea Tasting Party at Home
+Ricardo Caicedo shared some great tips on hosting an at home tea tasting. Serving groups definitely presents challenges but I'll be sure to keep these in mind.

Lemon English Breakfast Martini
I'm more of a whiskey girl but +Rachana Rachel Carter's recipe for an english breakfast martini sounds delish! As she says, this is a great way to use up unwanted teabags.

Honey Orchid Oolong
+Kathy YL Chan gives a great introduction to Mi Lan Xiang. Accompanied by her beautiful photography, this is definitely a post to check out. I love the idea of mixing this oolong with Champagne.

Celebrate a Month of Tea
I've been avidly following +Babette Donaldson's latest project. She's celebrating national hot tea month by releasing fun, informative videos every day in January. This link will take you to day 1 so that you can catch up.

January Hot Tea Month - Day 4
My friend +Jo J and I had a jam packed tea adventure last week. I so enjoyed her write up about all of the places that we visited.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tea Places: Matcha Cafe Wabi

When +Jo J  let me know that a new matcha bar had opened in Manhattan, we immediately decided to check it out. Neither of us are very good navigators but we didn't have much trouble finding it. The staff behind the counter greeted us warmly as soon as we entered. The space was small but welcoming. There was no seating so it definitely felt like more of a "to go" spot. The menu featured matcha shots and lattes as well as espresso. Contrary to expectations, there was no food served other than a matcha Rice Crispy confection.We both opted for a shot of usucha, which was fairly well priced at $2.50.

I expected to be served a "shot" as they do at MatchaBar but was pleasantly surprised to be served in a very traditional style. They even used chasens to whisk! I loved how they matched the coasters to our matcha bowls. Mine was a cheery purple that really showed off the deep green color of the matcha. The taste was vegetal and sweet with plenty of umami. It wasn't overly strong, making them friendlier for beginners. These bowls were a mid-point in a day full of tea adventuring and a much needed boost of energy. I will definitely be back to give their lattes a try.

You can find out more about Matcha Cafe Wabi here.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

7 Tools for Blogging That I Can't Live Without

It's hard to believe it but +Tea for Me Please turned six this year. Blogging can be a lot of work but it's also very rewarding. These are a few of the tools that I find absolutely indispensable to keeping the blog running while maintaining my sanity (most of the time). I know a lot of my readers are also bloggers, tea or otherwise. Is there a great tool that I missed? Let me know about it in the comments!

Hootsuite
Keeping up with social media is always a challenge. Hootsuite enables me to view Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all in one easy to navigate screen. I can schedule posts, run Twitter searches and keep tabs on whatever is important at the moment. There are some really big names who use this service. Check out their blog post on how David's Tea uses it to achieve a high customer service satisfaction rate. When I'm doing social media freelancing, I rely on the pro version but the free version will work just fine for most bloggers.

Canva
I have zero artistic abilities so making graphics for the blog has always been a bit of a struggle for me. Canva is a free and simply tool that makes it way too easy to do everything that I need to do. They have templates and graphics galore. You can pay to use their stock images or use your own for free. I use it to do everything from my social media headers to my podcast episode thumbnails.

IFTT
If This Then That is a service that makes social sharing a breeze. Users can create recipes where the selected triggers will cause a selected action. For instance, whenever I publish a new post to Blogger it is automatically shared on my Facebook page, Twitter and Tumblr. It's also helpful for backing up information. I have all of my Instagram pictures sent to my Flickr account so that they will be saved there.

ThingLink
ThingLink is a nifty tool that enables to me to create interactive image maps. First, I make the image in Canva. Then all I have to do is upload it, insert my links and embed it into a blog post. Personal accounts are free. A ThingLink logo is included in your image but there are no view limits.

FreshBooks
I do some freelance consulting work from time to time. FreshBooks makes it easy to invoice clients, accept payments and keep track of records. I use a free account for now which limits you to 3 clients.

Google Keep
You never know when inspiration for the next blog post will strike. I use Google Keep to take notes, make lists and stay organized. I love that I'm able to use it both on the web and on my phone. You can also set reminders and snap pictures to save for later.


PodBean
Last year I wanted to start a podcast but had no idea how to deal with the technical aspects of it. Putting episodes on YouTube isn't difficult but in order to get my videos into the iTunes store I needed to use a hosting service. PodBean is inexpensive and easy to use.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Persimmon Tree Bao Zhong

Country of Origin: not listed
Leaf Appearance: small, deep green
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Steeper
Liquor: pale green

Bao Zhong is usually produced in Taiwan but +The Persimmon Tree doesn't specifically say where this tea is from. The leaves were small and somewhat broken, typical of this style of tea. From time to time you'll see debate in the tea world as to whether Bao Zhong is a green tea or an oolong. There is some oxidation so it's an oolong in my book. The taste if this one was grassy and vegetal yet mellow at first. After a few sips a comeback floral aroma popped up and lingered in my palate for a long time. Fruity notes in the background kept it from becoming cloyingly sweet. There was no bitterness or astringency to speak of. My go to brewing method for most oolongs is the gaiwan but I find that I tend not to enjoy Bao Zhong as much when the flavor is concentrated. Feel free to gongfu the heck out of this is you want to :)

Bao Zhong sample provided by The Persimmon Tree.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ippodo Tea Co. Hosen Sencha

Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: small, deep green
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 1 minute
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Liquor: bright green

Back in October I reviewed Ippodo Tea Co.'s Unro Sencha (for the second time). I was eager to compare it to this one. It always amazes me just how different two teas of the same type can be. The taste was surprisingly mellow. There was a ton of natural sweetness and very little astringency. It still had the distinctive vegetal taste of a sencha but in a very gentle way. A wonderfully savory umami element snuck up on me in the aftertaste. I've just started reading Game of Thrones and I couldn't help but think of the Stark sisters. Unro is brash and headstrong like Arya while Hosen is prim and proper like Sansa. I do believe that is the first tea analogy that I've made using fictional characters yet somehow it fits (or perhaps I should stop writing tea reviews very late at night). +Danielle Pigeon from Sage and Spice recently shared her review of this tea and some beautiful photos to boot. If you are ever in the NYC area, I highly recommend checking out Ippodo's shop. It's not very big but there aren't many places when you can get expertly made koicha to go.

Hosen Sencha sample provided by Ippodo Tea Co.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Round Up: December 28th - January 3rd

Dobra Tea Pittsburgh:"Memories of Prague", Chai and Mochi
Bethany over at All tea. No crumpets. visited a tea place that has been on my to do list for some time. Someday I'll have a car and I'll be able to visit all of these far off places.

Why do you choose your teaware?
I was pleasantly surprised to see a new post from +Adam Yusko in my feed. We share an affinity for Hagi Yaki and Wabi Sabi :)

Tea in the desert
+Cinnabar Wright found an interesting tie between tea and the band Tinariwen. I love the line translated from a song:"I drank a glass of tea that scorched my heart."

The year 2014 in 12 pictures
Stephane of Tea Masters Blog ended the year in the best possible way, reviewing it all in beautiful pictures. I only wish that my own tea settings were as beautifully composed!

Matcha Chocolate Kit Kat
+Ricardo Caicedo and I share a similar weakness for all things matcha.  I recently scored a bag of these sweet treats at a local Asian market. If you ever have the opportunity to give them a try I definitely recommend it.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Year In Tea: 2014

What a year it has been! 2014 was filled with lots of ups and downs. I finally made the jump to doing what I love, working with tea. My first attempt didn't end well but I met some great people and learned a lot. Afterwards, I took a position as Assistant Manager at David's Tea. It wasn't necessarily the best move for me but bills needed to be paid. Just when I thought that I had things figured out, a fire put me out of work for several weeks. I wound up leaving for Kusmi Tea and the two companies couldn't be more different. Since then I've had some great experiences that will definitely help steer where I go in the future. I'm still struggling to find where I want to be in the industry but all of this has taught me a lot about myself. I have been incredibly blessed with supportive friends like +Jo J+Geoffrey Norman+Nicole Schwartz+lisa kunizaki and +Elyse Petersen. I'm not sure that I'd still have such a positive outlook if it had not been for their support and encouragement.

There's been some definite highlights this year though too. After many years of missing out on the fun, I finally made it to my first World Tea Expo. It was everything I was hoping for and more. I started writing for The Daily Tea and became a member of their Content Advisory Board. I also published my first print article in The Daily Tea 2015. I've been writing for years but somehow it felt more real to see my work in a magazine. My boyfriend and I moved in together in September. He knew about my tea obsession but I don't think he was really prepared for what it would be like. Our running joke is that whenever we come home, there's a bill waiting for him and a package of tea for me.

I'm not sure what 2015 will bring but I think that things can only get better from here. My biggest email newsletter will be transitioning into a quarterly journal and the inaugural issue goes out at the end of January. The theme will be puerh and I've got some great articles to share from some of my favorite tea companies. Make sure that you sign up so that you don't miss out!
goal is to attend World Tea Expo. I'll be on two different panels and also hope to attend some hands on workshops. I've also got some exciting things in the works for the blog. My

Tea for Me Please turned six in October and in many ways it feels like I'm still just getting started. As always, I want to take the time to thank all of you for reading throughout the year. I receive so many kind emails and tweets from readers and it means the world. I also want to thank all of the generous vendors who keep this blog running. I am grateful for everything that you share.