Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Round Up: July 26th - August 1st

TEA BOOK REVIEW: Linda Gaylard’s The Tea Book
+Drew Bednasek wrote a great review of my current tea read, an exciting new book from fellow tea writer +Linda Gaylard.

July White2tea Club with 2015 Green Shroom Pu’er – Tea Review
+Charissa Gascho made me quiet jealous with her review of this fun 'shroom from +White2Tea. Why does it have to be sold out?!?

White2Tea 2015 Milk, Cream & Alcohol
+Rah Rah also shared a great review of a +White2Tea offering that is on my wish list. I always enjoy the thoroughness of his reviews.

THE MEANING OF TEA: A TEA INSPIRED JOURNEY
I recently stumbled upon yet another new blog called Tea is My Name. In this post she reviews a tea documentary that I really enjoyed.

My Tea Snobbery and the Source of Steampunk Whimsy
+Geoffrey Norman brought up some great points about tea snobbery. Lets all remember to never lose our sense of whimsy, even if I have no idea how to wrap my brain around the trend that is steampunk. :P

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Global Tea Hut: June 2015 - White Cockscomb

Seeing an envelope from +Global Tea Hut sticking out of the mail box always puts a smile on my face. I always enjoy the tea and "gift" immensely but as time has gone by I've come to appreciate Tea & Tao Magazine more and more. So much hard work is put into sharing knowledge in a beautiful full color magazine. The depth of information that I find in its pages each month is invaluable. I really haven't found any other resource that comes close. It reminds me of purchasing several issues of The Art of Tea when I first got into serious tea drinking. I barely understood most of the contents but I was so thirsty for knowledge of more than just the basics. What is even more amazing is that past issues are made available online for free.

June's tea selection is a Wuyi Mountain oolong called Bai Ji Guan, or White Cockscomb. Reading about their recent trip to Wuyi while drinking really made the region and the tea come alive. I brewed it using the gongfu method in my teeny tiny Petr Novák teapot. I love this pot because it brews exactly one very small cup of tea. Initial sips were crisp and somewhat dry with a strong mineral note. A few infusions in this gave way to an almost fruit-like sweetness that lingered in my palate long after each sip. I found myself continuing to drink even after the flavor started to fade because it was still quite pleasant. This month's gift was a handmade bookmark that contained a single tea leaf. The rough texture was quite striking. I'm inspired to try making tea leaf paper so you may see a post about that soon.

You can find our more about Global Tea Hut here.





A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An Introduction to Hagi


Japan is famous for several pottery styles but one of my favorites is known as Hagi Yaki. It is a glazed, high-fired stoneware that is the specialty of the city of Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The glaze can be made in a variety of colors but milky white is the among the most recognizable. This style of pottery originated in Korea and was brought to Japan in the 17th century. No two pieces are ever exactly alike due to their handmade nature. Their perfectly imperfect appearance exemplifies the wabi sabi aesthetic of the Japanese tea culture. The clay has a rough, almost rocky texture and the glazes are typically lumpy or drippy. Most pieces do not feature any designs other than those made by the glaze. Hagi is traditionally used for serving sake and other types of alcohol. It is also a popular medium for flower vases used in a tatami mat tea house. Their earthy feel draws the viewer's attention to the beauty of the blooms rather than detracting from it.


Seigan Blue Glaze Sakazuki Hai

Hagi is different from other teaware like ceramic or porcelain because it is designed to permeable, so much so that new pieces may leak a bit. Small cracks will also develop in the outer glaze with each use. Don’t worry, your beautiful new teacup isn’t breaking! Tea seeps into these cracks and changes the appearance of the vessel over time. This process is referred to as the “seven changes” of hagi. Although I've seen that phrase repeated many times, I actually have not been able to find a list of what those changes actually are. The first time that you use a piece of hagi yaki, I recommend soaking it in water for two to three hours. This helps to remove dust particles and reduce odors from shipping. In the event that your piece leaks too much, regular use will encourage tea to crystallize inside of the pores in the glaze. Filling it with a solution of cornstarch and water can also help.


Close Up of Cracks in Glaze
I fell in love the hagi teaware near the beginning of my tea journey. Group buys through Tea Chat enabled me to acquire some very nice pieces directly from Japan without breaking the bank (although they were still a bit of an investment). I tend to not use them when writing a review because of the affect that they may have on the taste but they are still my favorites when drinking for fun. Seeing each cup change over time makes me love them that much more.

Hagi ware should only be hand washed with warm water. They are so absorbent that soaps or detergents would render them unusable. Avoid leaving tea or alcohol for extended periods of time in the teacups and dishes. These can seep into the cracks and cause stains, odors and unpleasant stickiness. Never microwave your hagi or place it onto a heat source. The bottoms of cups and pots are usually a bit rough so use a coaster of some sort if your table has a delicate finish.

If you're wondering where to find hagi to add to your own collection, I highly recommend MAGOKORODO. Shipping from Japan may take a while but I've been very happy with everything that I've purchased from them.


San-Sai Glaze Chawan
Sea Cucumber Glaze Yunomi
Waste Water Bowl

Shiro Glaze Houjin
Pair of Shiro Glaze Gyokuro Cups
Ice Split Glaze Chawan


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Taiwanese Oolong Issue - Going Out July 31st!

I can't believe that it's already time for the next quarterly journal. My mailing list has grown by leaps and bounds and I have all of you to thank for that. From a small list of under 200, you've grown to over 500 subscribers. That's a lot of tea lovers! This time around I'll be focusing on one of my favorite types of tea, Taiwanese oolongs. There are some great articles lined up from +Tealet+Tea Ave+Dachi Tea Co. and +Eco-Cha Artisan Teas.

For this issue's community page, I'd like to bring the focus to Twitter. Post your tips on brewing Taiwanese oolongs using the hashtag #teaformeplease. The five best responses will be published for everyone to see!

If you've haven't signed up for my quarterly journal already, just use the form below. Each issue is sent as a high quality PDF that is available for download via Google Drive, Issu and Drop Box.



Teatulia Black Tea Loose Leaf

Country of Origin: Bangladesh
Leaf Appearance: small, dark with golden tips
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Tea Maker
Liquor: reddish brown

I first wrote about this tea way back in 2011, in its pyramid tea bag form, so I thought that I should give it another go. For those of you who aren't familiar with +Teatulia Organic Tea, I'm a big fan because of the social good that they do through their garden in Northern Bangladesh. It's always a good feeling to know that your tea is supporting education, health and cattle-lending programs. Now, let's get back to the leaf. The brewed tea was full bodied with some astringency. Malty and fruity notes alternated around a sweet, somewhat woody base. There was an almost red wine-like quality that I really enjoyed. It was bold enough to take milk and sugar if you felt the need but it's really not necessary at all. My second infusion was bit milder but also pleasantly sweeter. Now that I'm revisiting these teas, I definitely feel that the quality has increased over the last few years. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Linda, their CEO, and Chris, their director of marketing, at World Tea Expo earlier this year. They're were perfect examples of one my favorite sayings, tea people are the best kind of people!

Black Tea Loose Leaf sample provided by Teatulia.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wild Tea Qi Moonlight Buds

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: large, jade green
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: very pale

I'm a huge fan of +Wildteaqi's "moonlight" white teas so it surprised me when I found that I hadn't drank this sample yet. Their Ancient Moonlight White and Ancient White Bud Bar are among some of my all time favorites. The large buds of this tea were so beautiful that I just had to brew them in a glass gaiwan. The taste started out extremely light but left an incredibly aromatic after effect. If you aren't used to drinking subtle teas, you might not pick up much at all at first. Hint: If you are having trouble, try taking a few sips of water first. Fruity floral notes combined with an interesting cooling feeling reminded me of sweet summer melons and honeysuckle. All of that wonderful complexity lingered long after each sip. There wasn't quite enough leaves to fill half of the gaiwan so I was worried about missing the full experience. My concerns were unnecessary because this one little batch of leaves lasted through more infusions than I could keep track of. I shared a sip with my boyfriend and got an "it's ok" in response which is pretty impressive considering he usually doesn't like any of my tea. Eventually he'll get tired of me making him try everything but until then I shall persevere.

Moonlight Buds sample provided by Wild Tea Qi.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Round Up: July 19th - July 25th

Something funny happened to last week's round up. A Blogger glitch caused it to revert to an empty template. Thank you to everyone who tweeted, emailed and messaged to let me know about it! In my attempts to fix the issue with my phone on my lunch break, I accidentally deleted the previous week's round up. Gah! I really wish that they had a "trash bin" so that deleted posts could be restored. Let's hope that there won't be any more problems.

Nonpareil Organic Phoenix Dan Cong Feng Huang Oolong
Buying tea on AliExpress is a bit of a gamble but +Kayleigh Jade wrote about an excellent fine this week. Dan Cong is still one of my favorite kinds of oolong.

Iced Matcha Watermelon
+Jee Choe shared this creative iced matcha recipe that sounds incredibly refreshing. The presentation is gorgeous too! I could definitely see myself serving these to friends at a summer BBQ.

Silver Moonlight White from Whispering Pines
I've heard a lot about Whispering Pines from friends on Instagram and Steepster but have yet to try any of their teas myself. Moonlight whites are among my favorite teas. Deep in the Steeps provides some great background information about it.

Summus Tea Cold Brew Bottle with Black and Oolong Teas – Tea Review
+Charissa Gascho (aka Oolong Owl) made some great discoveries at World Tea Expo, including this one that I missed! I love the idea of the color changing cold brew bottle and those teas look awesome too. She's inspired me to do some experiments with cold brewing oolongs soon.

Recipe: Coconut Matcha Popsicles
Heather of Hanamichi shared a summer treat recipe that I will definitely need to try. I love the ingredients are so simple! These sound like they would be a great alternative to my frequent ice cream indulgence.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Le Palais des Thés Dong Ding Jade Oolong Tea

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 195
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: gold

I'm not always a fan of jade style oolongs. They are often too green for me but this Dong Ding from +Palais des Thés had just the right amount of balance. Prominent floral notes gave way to a pleasant vegetal background. There was a sweetness that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Marzipan without the cherry? Toasted coconut? Needless to say, it was delicious! The mouth-feel was fairly thick with an almost buttery texture. It resteeped very well, staying strong through at least six infusions. This tea is a bit lower grown so it didn't quite have the complexity of a high mountain oolong. It was still a very decent cup of tea though. I decided to try preparing this tea in a western fashion according to the directions provided as well as in a gaiwan. Unsurprisingly the gaiwan was my preferred method. The teapot tea tasted just fine but was a bit too thin for my liking. Their Grand Cru line is a bit pricier the teas are very good quality. The Tawarmarine Shincha Ichibana was a definite favorite when I reviewed it earlier this year.

Dong Ding Jade Oolong Tea sample provided by Le Palais des Thés.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Is It Possible to Decaffeinate Tea?

One question I often see debated is whether or not it's possible to decaffeinate your tea at home. For years misinformation has been passed around but I think at last the tea world can come to some sort of a consensus. For starters, all tea naturally contains caffeine. The amount can vary considerably depending on many factors so I'll save that topic for a future blog post. With a few exceptions like Yerba Mate, herbal teas do not contain caffeine because they are not made from the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis).

Caffeine Molecule
It is often repeated that caffeine can be removed by steeping the tea for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, depending on who you ask. The truth is that it is impossible to remove all of the caffeine from your tea. In a 19996 scientific study called Tea preparation and its influence on methylxanthine concentration, it was concluded that the tea would need be steeped for 15 minutes in order to reduce the caffeine by 100%. Would you really want to drink your tea after that? Most teas would have no flavor left at all. You would also be loosing antioxidants and other benefits. That's a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, isn't it?

You may ask yourself, what about the decaffeinated teas that I buy at the store? Most commercial teas are decaffeinated using carbon dioxide under extreme pressure. The leaves are moistened with water and then put into a chamber with the CO2. At the end of the process the caffeine mixture is collected and the leaves are dried. Minute amounts will still remain behind in the leaves. Most of us won't feel the affects because it is such a small amount but that does not mean that it is not there. Taste is affected no matter how well done the process may be. Many companies will add additional tea extract to decaff blends to make up for that loss.

Caffeine often takes on a negative connotation but it will not harm the average person. It is a metabolic stimulant with proven health benefits. I doubt that I'd make it through the work week without it. Every person is affected by caffeine a bit differently. I can drink matcha right before bed without any issues but not everyone has that luxury. Just as with any other psychoactive drug, you need to know and respect your personal limits. If caffeine is a major concern my recommendation would be to stick to herbal teas. I don't write about them here because they're just not my thing. That doesn't mean that they aren't worth exploring though!

Suggested Reading:





Tweet: Is it possible to decaffeinate tea? I found out the answer on @teaformeplease: http://bit.ly/1K509srDid you enjoy this post? Click to tweet so that you can share it with your friends!

Is it possible to decaffeinate tea? I found out the answer on @teaformeplease

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jalam Teas Bada Mountain Raw Sheng Puerh

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

I didn't realize until I had already started to write this review but the most recent review that I've published of +JalamTeas was a 2013 that was also from Bada Mountain. One of the things I enjoy most about their service is that you really get a sense of the terroir of Yunnan. I had an inkling of what to expect because of my past experiences. This tea packed just as much astringency as I remembered but it was subtly sweeter. A peachy note lingered in the aftertaste. This became more and more prevalent with each infusion. The leaves were not very tightly compressed, leaving them wonderfully large and mostly whole. I was able to spot lots of buds as well as bud sets. I must confess that I often only drink each cake once or twice because I have so much tea that I have to get through. For some reason I find myself returning to this one a fifth and sixth time. They usually get shared with friends but I think I might be selfish and keep this one for myself.  I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this gaiwan during my tea session. It was ordered off of AliExpress and the seller shipped me the wrong design. I was originally very disappointed. It's grown on me over the last few months though.

Bada Mountain Raw Sheng Puerh purchased through paid subscription to Jalam Teas.





A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mandala Tea 2014 Autumn Song Raw Pu'er

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: mottled green, loosely compressed
Ingredients: puerh
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: bright gold

This tea came very, very close to beating out Wild Monk as my favorite offering from +Mandala Tea. The leaves were quite beautiful so I was glad that the cake wasn't very tightly compressed. It was powerful with quite a bit of astringency followed by a cooling menthol aftertaste during the first few infusions. Those who aren't used to punchy puerh may want to do a couple of longer rinses for that reason. Once I powered through the initial roughness there were sweet floral notes with hints of green pepper. I even picked up some citrus and a crisp vegetal aspect that reminded me of perfectly cooked asparagus. What really drew me in was the background of creamy vanilla. Where did that come from? This tea is a great example of why I find myself drinking more puerh than anything else these days. Their complex and challenging in a way that most other teas aren't. The tasting notes on Steepster always make me laugh a bit. I really don't get sweat or fish broth from this one at all. I love that Mandala Tea presses 100g cakes. For just $21, this is a great tea to get your feet wet without making a huge investment or committing to an entire tong of tea.

Autumn Song sample provided by Mandala Tea.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Satemwa Estate Zomba Steamed TSFOP

Country of Origin: Malawi
Leaf Appearance: deep green, curled
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 2 minutes
Water Temperature: 170 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: pale gold

+Satemwa Tea & Coffee is one of my favorite sources when it comes to African teas. Not only are they committed to social responsibility but they also have a lot of experimental creations that really set them apart. This is a green tea that has been steamed as well as rolled. The leaves were . There were sweet grassy notes that I had a hard time describing. It wasn't exactly like a Japanese green tea but terroir probably accounts for that subtle difference. A fruity undertone kept things interesting but otherwise it was a fairly mellow brew. The mouth-feel was thick and buttery with a lingering aftertaste. This tea re-steeped well but I would recommend leaving just enough water to cover the leaves in between rounds. This helps to maintain the flavor without weakening it or becoming too bitter. Satemwa does not sell their tea directly to consumers but thankfully there's quite a few places that you can order them, like What-Cha. I really enjoyed this tea but I still think their antlers white tea is my favorite.

Zomba Steamed TSFOP sample provided by Satemwa Estate.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tea Ave Dong Ding

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: bright gold

Dong Ding was one of the first oolongs that I really fell in love with at the start of my tea journey. At the time I was working near Gramercy Park and I would get a cup to go every morning from Amai Tea & Bake House (before they closed). It's with that sensory memory that I dove head first into this sample from +Tea Ave. I was very happy to see that they provided directions for both gaiwan and western style brewing. This tea is a good middle ground in terms of both oxidation and roast. Overly green oolongs tend to upset my stomach but this one was just right. The taste was sweet with wonderfully complex fruity aromas. There was a deep underlying vegetal note that reminded me of baby spinach. The mouth feel was fairly was fairly thick with an almost buttery texture. There was no bitterness or astringency, even when I started extending the brew times in my later infusions.

Dong Ding sample provided by Tea Ave.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Little Red Cup Tea Company Camellia Flowers

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: pale blossoms, somewhat broken
Ingredients: Camellia Sinensis flowers
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: infuser basket and ceramic teacup
Liquor: pale gold

Over the last few years I've pretty much stopped reviewing herbal teas. They simply don't capture my interest very much. This one is a bit of an exception because it is made solely from the flowers of the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis). In many parts of the world, India in particular comes to mind, the flowers are removed and discarded because they are thought to divert nutrients away from the leaves. I've only had them one other time, blended with a Sri Lankan black tea, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The taste was somewhat similar to chrysanthemum but with a sweeter, honey-like lean. I thoroughly enjoyed a cup, or two, after a very long day at work. These blooms tasted just fine on their own but I can definitely see myself experimenting with blending them with loose leaf teas. Sweetener is not necessary at all and would likely cover up the delicate sweet notes that occur naturally. An Instagram follower commented that these blossoms were magical and special. I'd definitely have to agree. For tea lovers, it is yet another connection to the plant we love so much. The flowers do contain some caffeine but it is very little, less than what you'd find in a decaf tea.

Camellia Flowers sample provided by Little Red Cup Tea Company.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What-Cha Nepal 1st Flush 2014 Spring Buds White Tea

Country of Origin: Nepal
Leaf Appearance: varied greens, buds scattered throughout
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: pale gold

Nepal is quickly becoming one of my favorite growing regions. In the last year I've had a number of really high quality teas from there that would stand out even against some of China's best. This tea completes a trifecta of white teas produced by Greenland Organic Farm. Their 2nd flush silver needle and 1st flush white tea were both very enjoyable. The leaves of the spring buds white tea were somewhere in between the other two, not quite as whole as the silver needle but not as broken as the 1st flush white. A peach-filled meadow came to mind as I sipped pot after pot. The fruity aromas were at the forefront with hints of sweet grass and melon in the finish. I imbibed three full pots before throwing in the towel. This tea was simply too delicious to stop drinking. What-Cha provided western style brewing directions but I think that this one would do really well in a gaiwan. If you're brewing it in teapot, I recommend letting the leaves float free rather than using a strainer. Leaving a small amount of water (just enough to cover the leaves) at the bottom in between infusions will help maintain consistent flavor.

Nepal 1st Flush 2014 Spring Buds White Tea sample provided by What-Cha.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Assam 1860 Loose Tea

Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: infuser basket and ceramic teacup
Liquor: deep reddish brown

I have a confession to make. Even though I have access to incredible teas, sometimes I really enjoy a plain cup of strong CTC Assam. The smell of the dry leaves take my right back to my childhood. This particular tea really hit the spot on a chilly and rainy spring night. Orthodox teas are usually higher quality but this isn't always the case. Good leaf makes good tea no matter how you might cut, tear or curl it. +Assam1860 sells only a black Assam tea from the Throwra Estate both in tea bags and in loose leaf. The taste was bold and malty with just the right amount of astringency. This tea would be able to take milk and sugar if desired but I was perfectly fine drinking it straight. I tried brewing it as an iced tea and it was just as tasty, especially with a touch of orange blossom honey. They are based Kolkata so unfortunately for U.S. tea drinkers there is a fairly high minimum for international orders. Hopefully they'll be able to expand their distribution at some point.

Loose Tea sample provided by Assam 1860.

CTC'ing it tonight with some Assam. What are you drinking?

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cha Do Raku Yume - Icho (bihakko fukamushi)

Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: needle-like, deep green
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 1 minute
Water Temperature:185 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Liquor: vibrant green, almost opaque in 2nd and 3rd infusion

Earlier this year I attended a fantastic class taught by the owner of Cha Do Raku about oxidized Japanese green teas. It's a category of tea that I've become very interested in. The leaves are withered prior to steaming, making something akin to what would be called a yellow tea in China. I had a hard time choosing tea to take home that day but finally settled upon this one. They had me at fukamushi! I love the depth of information that is provided about each tea. Very few vendors tell us what variety was used (Yumewakaba in this case). The first thing that caught my attention was the aroma of the leaves. They had a decidedly more floral lean than I would have ever expected from a sencha. This orchid-like note was echoed in the taste along with a cooling, almost minty finish. There was a quite a bit of astringency but it was not bitter or unpleasant. My second and third infusions were so green they were almost opaque. One or two more kyusus of tea probably could have been squeezed out if I extended the steeping time a bit. Cha Do Raku also has some pan fired oxidized green teas that I am hoping to try soon.

Yume - Icho sample purchased from Cha Do Raku.
A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Monday, July 6, 2015

What Countries Grow Tea?


One question I often see asked in online forums is what countries grow tea? China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya make up the largest portion of world production but tea can be found in over 60 different countries. The list is constantly changing and expanding, especially under the pressure of climate change. After doing a bit of digging, I've started a spreadsheet to keep track of them all. It is embedded below and I'll continue to update it as new ones are discovered. Let me know in the comments if I missed anything!




Tweet: How many countries do you think grow tea? Check out this awesome list I found on @teaformeplease!
Did you enjoy this post? Click to tweet so that you can share it with your friends!

How many countries do you think grow tea? Check out this awesome list I found on @teaformeplease!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Round Up: June 28th - July 4th

The T Project Grand Opening
I received an email about the grand opening for a very interesting new place but was disheartened to see that they were located on the west coast. Why do they get all of the cool places? Thankfully I was able to live vicariously through the adventures of +Geoffrey Norman.

Japanese Oriental Beauty
But Tea is the blog of few words but many beautiful pictures. I was totally drawn into this post about a Japanese take on Oriental Beauty.

Drying in Tea Processing
+Tony Gebely from +World of Tea gave us some great insights into the drying step of tea processing. It can often be hard for tea drinkers to visualize how this works, especially with the conflicting information that can be found out there.

A Green Tea Yogurt Treat
+Darlene Meyers-Perry and I must have been on the same wavelength this week. She added matcha to vanilla yogurt and I added it to vanilla pudding. I'll definitely be giving her method a try very soon.

American Sparkling Soda
I always look forward to reading +Bonnie Eng's innovative recipes. This festive sip is perfect for celebrating the 4th of July. I love that she did not use any food coloring to achieve the cool layering affect.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Golden Tips Tea Thurbo Moonlight 2nd Flush Darjeeling 2014

Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: large, varied greens and browns
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Tea Maker
Liquor: amber

The first thing that I noticed when brewing this tea was how pretty the leaves looked as they danced in the water. They were large and mostly whole, especially for a Darjeeling, with lots of visible buds. The amber liquor was equally beautiful. Although it was full bodied this tea was surprisingly smooth. There were sweet fruity and floral notes along with a peachy undertone. My second infusion was just as enjoyable as the first. There was no bitterness to speak of in either cup. I would strongly recommend against using milk or sweetener. This tea is not quite bold enough to take them without loosing its nuances. Darjeeling is often called the Champagne of teas and for some reason I'm tempted to combine the two. A tea cocktail recipe in the making? I'll be sure to post here if anything comes out of it. +Golden Tips Tea Co Pvt Ltd are one of my go tos companies for Darjeeling because of the quality and very reasonable prices. At the time of writing this blog post this is is 25% off, making it an even better deal.

Thurbo Moonlight 2nd Flush Darjeeling 2014 sample provided by Golden Tips Tea.