Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Free Kindle Books for Tea Lovers


I'm a voracious reader, especially when it comes to tea, but all of those books can get expensive. Luckily there are several older books that are now public domain so they're available for free on Kindle. While some of the facts may have changed a bit since their publication, these books serve as windows to the past of our beloved beverage. Did I miss a book? Let me know about it in the comments!

The Little Book of Tea by Arthur Grey
A fun little book that was published in 1903. I found it hilariously old fashioned but was surprised to see teas like puerh mentioned.

The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura
While this book is bit more about philosophy than tea itself, many consider it a classic of Japanese tea culture. I purchased a hardcover copy when I first got into tea and have reread it many times since.

Tea-Cup Reading and Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves, by a Highland Seer
This one is a bit of light-hearted fun. I've never been one for fortune telling but it was interesting to read about anyway.

A Treatise on Foreign Teas by Hugh Smith
There's nothing quite like a quirky 1700's diatribe on the evils of "foreign teas". This reads like a book but it's actually one very long winded advertorial for Dr. Solander's Sanative English Tea.

Tea Leaves by Francis Legget
This book is for the history buffs. Although it's not exactly about tea it is a really detailed historical account of the Boston Tea Party. I found all of the first person accounts fascinating.

All About Tea Volume 1 and All About Tea Volume 2
William Uker's tomes on tea are very hard to come by in print and they are usually extremely pricey. I was super excited to discover them on Archive.org for free.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tea Ave Lishan Oolong

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: bright gold

I'm a bit sad because this is the last of my samples from +Tea Ave. The Dong Ding and Oriental Beauty were definitely enjoyable but this one just might be my favorite. It started out vegetal and slightly creamy but soon my senses were overwhelmed with aromas of orchid. There were also really pleasant fruity notes in the finish that reminded me a bit of apricot. The mouth-feel was somewhat thin with a smooth texture. I was only a few infusions in when my mother called to ask if I wanted to meet her and my sister to grab the ice cream truck (she's only one block away). As I eagerly awaited the familiar chimes of Mr. Softee I couldn't help but be amazed that the fragrance of this tea was still lingering in my palate. Thankfully the leaves were still waiting for me when I got home. Eight more infusions later and I was ready to float away. After my session I couldn't resist snapping a shot of those gorgeous leaves for Instagram. They were huge and absolutely gorgeous to look at. This tea is on the pricier side but sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Lishan Oolong sample provided by Tea Ave.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Monday, September 28, 2015

Teagora Tieguanyin Oolong - Premium

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

Tie Guan Yin is one of those few teas that you can reliably find a drinkable version for a reasonable amount. When I need a tea  to use as an every day drinker or for making iced tea, this is something I definitely look for. This sample that I received from +Teagora Teas is a great example of that. It was smooth and buttery with a lingering orchid aroma. I really liked that this tea had some roast to it since I'm not a fan of the neon green oolongs that have become popular in the market. Later infusions brought the sourness that TGY is known for. I know that sounds like a bad thing but its not necessarily so. There was no bitterness or astringency. Teagora offers two higher grades but I have to say that this one was still pretty tasty. Brewing this tea seemed apropos given a thread I had been reading on Reddit. I added my two cents there but to make a long story short, there is no right or wrong way to make tea. We all have our own preferences and methods. Each individual tea is also slightly different. At the end of the day all that matters is that you enjoy what you drink.

Tieguanyin Oolong - Premium sample provided by Teagora.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Round Up: September 20th - September 26th

On Tea and Kickstarters
Marizpan at TeaLover.net posted a truly epic post that spoke to my own frustrations with crowd funding. She cited some great real life examples.

Mountain Tea's Light Roast Sumatra Oolong
New to me blog Drunk on Tea wrote a great review this week. The thorough tasting notes make me feel like I'm drinking this tea too!

Tea Review: Grey Dragon (Chariteas)
Heather of Hanamichi shared a short and sweet post of an unusual white tea. I was lucky enough to taste some at World Tea Expo and it was truly phenomenal.

Earl Grey Tea Latte Popsicles
It may officially be fan but the weather doesn't quite feel like it just yet. These popsicles from +Alexis Siemons sound like just the thing while I hold on to the last of the warm weather.

Pumpkin Chai Spice Oatmeal
Tea with Kayla posted a delicious and hearty oatmeal recipe. As much as I'm not much of a flavored tea person, I must confess to enjoying her base of David's Tea's Pumpkin Chai.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dachi Tea Co. Scarlet Honey Oolong

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

My first introduction to +Dachi Tea Co. was the awesome article that they contributed to the last issue of my quarterly journal. Part of their mission statement caught my eye while poking around their website: "Dachi Tea Co. is a new lifestyle brand that uses tea culture as an entry point to explore what it means to live a life that's as human as possible.". Tea really does make us more human, doesn't it? Out of the batch of samples that I received from them this one really stood out. Bug bitten and deeply oxidized are two of my favorite things when it comes to oolong tea. It started out woody with mellow hints of peach but opened up dramatically after a few brews. There came a point when I commented to my boyfriend that this tea tasted exactly like cherry pie. Seriously! Later infusions were full of lingering spice. I quite honestly lost track of how many times I brewed this tea but I definitely got some great mileage out of a single 5g batch. There was a lot of information provided on the package and even more on their website. That kind of transparency is something that I always look for when purchasing tea.

Scarlet Honey Oolong sample provided by Dachi Tea Co.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Teas to Celebrate Fall With

It seems like everything this time of year is filled with pumpkin spice and all that jazz. When I first started drinking tea I always looked forward to fall because all of the tea companies release their festive ciders and other flavored teas. However, over the years my own tea tastes have moved more towards the unflavored side. I thought it might be fun to put together a little list of teas that are perfect for this time of year.

Rou Gui
Rou Gui is an oolong from the Wuyi Mountains of China. It has the dark, roasty taste that is typical of this region along a subtle cinnamon spice aroma. The name even means cassia bark. If you've never tried it before, check out my reviews of Tribute Tea Company Cassia Bark Oolong and White2Tea Rougui Oolong.

Autumn Flush Darjeeling
Most tea drinkers are familiar with 1st and 2nd flush Darjeeling but did you know that there is almost an autumn flush? While it isn't as highly touted as the others, I really enjoy the bolder character that this time of year brings. It's been a few years since I've written a review of one but I highly recommend +Happy Earth Tea+Golden Tips Tea Co Pvt Ltd and +Udyan Tea.

Tie Guan Yin
You might also know this tea as Iron Goddess or Monkey Picked Oolong. Autumn harvests are often highly prized because they are more aromatic than spring teas. While they're still floral, they've always felt perfect for this time of year when I drink them. Two of my favorites are Zhen Tea Tie Guan Yin - Classic and Teavivre Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea.

Dian Hong
Dian Hong refers to black teas that are produced in China's Yunnan Province. They have an earthy, malty quality than I start craving once the weather gets chilly. Some examples worth checking out at Seven Cups Dian Hong Gong Fu, Wild Tea Qi Artisan Yunnan Black Needle and Teavivre Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea.

Houjicha
I drink much more green tea in Spring and Summer but the one exception to that is probably Houjicha. Green tea leaves and stems are highly roasted giving it a taste that is sweet, toasty and oh, so comforting. I would definitely recommend giving Yunomi Takeo Autumn Houjicha and Tealet Houjicha a try.

What are your favorite teas to drink in the fall? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cha Do Raku Okuno Gyokuro

Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: small, dark green
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 2 minutes
Water Temperature: 100 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Liquor: pale green

Gyokuro is something I rarely treat myself to but I couldn't help myself when I visited +Cha Do Raku's booth at a local tea festival. The description of this tea on their site really grabbed me.

"Dainty yet beautiful leaves, described by tea professionals as "bijin", a beautiful woman." 

I usually use my Breville to heat water for tea but the lowest setting is 160 degrees. I had to watch it like a hawk so that I could turn it off just at the right time. The taste was incredibly delicate so I strongly recommend not drinking this after eating or drinking anything. My first infusion was sweet and subtle with more umami and astringency coming out in the next two rounds. It was vegetal but in much different way that I've experience with other gyokuro. There was a freshness to it that I really had a hard time describing. The leaves were so incredibly tender that I couldn't resist eating them after I was finished drinking. There wasn't any salad dressing on hand so I threw them into an omelet. The result was very delicious. I still have a bit of this tea left so I definitely think I'll be trying out my favorite brewing method for gyokuro, ice brewing. All you have to do is put ice cubes on top of leaves and let them very slowly melt.

Okuno Gyokuro sample purchased from Cha Do Raku.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Global Tea Hut: August 2015 - Elevation

Seeing that big brown envelope from +Global Tea Hut sticking out of my mailbox puts a smile on my face every month. Even if I'm having a bad day, my mood lifts immediately and I rush inside to dive into the contents. This month is particular was one I was looking forward to because it the one and only tea that they repeat every year. Last year's Elevation was phenomenal so my expectations were set a bit high. Global Tea Hut has this tea especially made by Mr. Su with less withering than usual. Weather has a huge effect on the finished tea during processing and this tea was a great lesson in that. Due to a lack of rainfall, last year's offering was more oxidized than this year's. That was definitely visible in the leaves, especially after brewing.

Bowl brewing is absolutely the way to go with this one. The leaves were beautiful to watch unfurl and they were absolutely huge. It made me wish that there was some way to preserve them. The accompanying issue of Tea & Tao Magazine focused on fire, the teacher of tea. I have no way of safely burning charcoal to make tea but the articles were still very interesting. The gift this month was postcards with the beautiful artwork of Stephanie Ayres. The art cards in her Etsy shop are definitely on my wishlist.

It's hard to believe but this is my 16th shipment from Global Tea Hut. It's been an incredible journey, teaching me so much about both tea and myself. I don't know if you guys get tired of hearing me talk about it but I really can't recommend their subscription service enough.






Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Round Up: September 13th - September 19th

合成樹脂茶筅 - Chasen made of synthetic resin
Did you know that chasens can be made out of resin instead of bamboo? Neither did I until I read this post from +Oca Ocani. Talk about a modern take on a classic!

Eisai: The Monk that Propagated Tea Culture in Japan
I always look forward to +Ricardo Caicedo dropping the knowledge on his very specialized blog, My Japanese Green Tea. This week brings us some great info about a man who played a very important role in tea.

White2Tea’s Clover Patch Oolong [Episode 123]
The boys at +Tea DB did a video this week where they tasted an oolong that is near the top of my "to try" list. It's hard to get any better than an aromatic Wuyi.

A Glimpse of Afternoon Tea in London- Pt. 2: Sketch
+sara shacket recently took a trip to London and I've really enjoyed reading about the tea places that she discovered there. I've never heard of Sketch but it sounds like such a fun place. I'd go just for the bathrooms!

Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea by Teavivre
Veronica at SororiTea Sisters wrote a great review of one of my favorite types of green tea. Her description of the texture of this tea is spot on.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What-Cha Darjeeling 2nd Flush Jungpana Yellow Tea

Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: twisted, mottled greens and browns
Ingredients: yellow tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: deep gold

What-Cha is definitely one of my go to sources for unusual teas and selections from hard to find growing regions. Yellow tea from Darjeeling is definitely not something that you see every day. The leaves looked much like what you'd expect from a typical 2nd flush. There was a subtly greener tint to them and a few scattered downy buds. The taste was quite unlike anything that I had experience from Darjeeling or yellow tea before. There were floral notes with just a hint of muscatel, ending in a sweet and lingering finish. There was some astringency, giving it an almost dry affect but it never crossed the line into unpleasantly bitter. If I didn't know better, I'd almost think it was white wine. My non-tea drinking boyfriend even took a liking to it! After steeping I couldn't resist playing with the leaves. They were large and mostly whole with lots of beautiful bud sets. I was even able to spot bug bites and tiny bits of oxidation. My second cup was just as enjoyable as the first. If you enjoy Darjeeling and are looking for something a bit outside of the box, I'd definitely recommend giving this tea a try.

Darjeeling 2nd Flush Jungpana Yellow Tea sample provided by What-Cha.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Adagio Teas Anhui Emerald Seed

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: jade green, curled
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: pale gold

Emerald Seed, also known as Gua Pian, is usually found on most lists of the famous teas of China. The processing is a bit different than what you might expect. It is one of the only green teas where secondary leaves are used rather buds. Gua Pian gets a more aggressive firing step and the leaves are rolled in a strip style. The dry leaves of this offering from +Adagio Teas had a wonderfully toasty aroma. Their description likens it to pumpkin seed. In the cup it was vegetal and sweet with a lingering nutty finish. There was hardly any astringency and the mouth-feel was buttery smooth. Emerald Seed is a bit fuller bodied so I was able to get three full pots from one batch of leaves. I have a feeling that this would make an excellent iced tea as well. Gua Pian can be very pricey. While this one isn't the best one that I've had, it was tasty as well as relatively affordable. As always, Adagio offers very decent entry level options that are a great way to get your feet wet.

Anhui Emerald Seed sample purchased from Adagio Teas.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chinese Tea Color Terms

One thing that new tea drinkers often struggle with is understanding all of the terms that are used to describe tea at origin. I thought it might be fun to make a simple infographic. Most of these terms are pretty straight forward with a few exceptions.

-Wulong and oolong are used interchangeably for the most part. The supposed origin is a translation of the Chinese words for black dragon. In China these also might be called Qing Cha, or semi-green. I rarely see that term used though.
-In China what the western world calls black tea is referred to as red tea. It got that name because when you brew it the liquor has a reddish appearance. That causes a heck of a lot of confusion in the tea world because rooibos, an herbal tea from South Africa, is often sold as red tea.
-Puerh and other types of fermented tea are referred to as hei cha, or black tea. Shu puerh is really dark so that makes some sense. However, sheng puerh is also hei cha even though it's very green in appearance

I don't speak Chinese but over the years I've become quite familiar with the words that are used for tea. I'm planning to put a few more of these together soon. There might even be some Japanese ones in the future. If there's anything you'd like to see, feel free to let me know in the comments!
a simple infographic of some of the common Chinese terms used to describe the colors of tea.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Yunnan Sourcing Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Black Tea of Spring 2015

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark, long and twisted
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep reddish brown

I placed an order with +Yunnan Sourcing recently and was happily surprised to find a sample of this tea in the box. The words "wild arbor" immediately caught my attention. I was further intrigued when I read that this tea is made is from a naturally hybridized assamica varietal that is smaller than pure assamica. Cacao was the dominant element of the flavor profile right from the get go. The finish took more of a floral lean but there was still a lot of sweetness. This is one of the least malty Yunnan blacks that I've tried so it would be a good choice for folks who don't like that aspect of them. The mouth-feel was smooth with very little astringency. The caffeine buzz that I got from gongfuing it was pretty strong so I wouldn't recommend drinking it on an empty stomach. If I didn't have more tea than I know what to do with, I'd actually consider getting a kilo of this stuff. There's no way I can do that but I may just pick up a bit more the next time that I need to order.

Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Black Tea of Spring 2015 sample received with paid order from Yunnan Sourcing.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Round Up: September 6th - September 12th

ICHO - withering
Japanese Tea Story wrote about one of my favorite new discoveries, oxidized Japanese green teas. I hadn't thought about mechanization removing this aspect from tea but it definitely makes sense.

Yes Chef: Dressing my salad with tea!
Chai Bella posted a fun and creative recipe for matcha salad dressing. I'm not a fan of vinegar so I don't like most salad dressings. This one sounds right up my alley though.

BST! - Thin Tea & Thick Tea
+Tea Talk put together some very helpful cheat sheets on usucha and koicha. Thick tea is something that I've always struggled with so I'll definitely have to give these techniques a try.

Grilling with Tea
The Lovely Tea Cup posted some excellent tips on incorporating tea into your BBQ. Summer is almost over but I think we might still have a few weeks of experimentation ahead of us. I like the idea of using tea for a dry rub.

What-Cha - Fujian Anxi 2008 Heavy Roasted Tie Guan Yin in Bitter Melon
At WTE last year a bunch of us tea bloggers went gaga for an aged TGY that had been packed into a bitter melon. Little did we know that it would soon be within reach. New blogger Microshrimp wrote about this unusual offering.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Zhen Tea Shui Jin Gui

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark, twisted
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: amber

I must confess to neglecting my Wuyi oolongs lately. I really do love them so but I don't get as much opportunity to drink them. The kind folks at +ZhenTea gifted me a bit of this tea when I saw them at the New York Coffee and Tea Festival. Shui Jin Gui is often translated as Golden Water Turtle. There's a few different legends on how this tea got it's name so I'll be writing a Legends of the Leaf post on it soon. The first thing that I noticed when drinking this tea was the texture. It was smooth and thick, somewhere between butter and maple syrup. Wuyi oolongs are known for their roastiness but it was not heavy here. A cacao-like sweetness lingered deliciously long after each sip. In my later infusions (I ended at around ten) it transitioned into a plummy fruitiness. This was the kind of tea that just sort of melts my insides, like a rush of relaxation. There was just the slightest hint of astringency but it never came close to bitterness. The heartbreak of Wuyi oolongs is that they are pricey but the good ones are worth every penny. I have some of their Rou Gui, my favorite cliff tea, that I'm really looking forward to sharing with you all soon.

Shui Jin Gui sample provided by Zhen Tea.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Satemwa Estate White Bvumbwe Peony

Country of Origin: Malawai
Leaf Appearance: large, mixed greens and browns
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: deep gold

How is it that I grabbed the Broken Special Pekoe version of this tea first? I didn't realize that I had these big, beautiful leaves waiting for me. I couldn't resist snapping a picture for Instagram before preparing it. They bore an uncanny resemblance to a pile of fall leaves that's ready to be jumped into. They practically came back to life as the tea steeped. They were large and mostly whole with plenty of visible buds. In the cup there were sweet notes of honey. Hints of peach popped up in the mid-palate and became more pronounced as the tea cooled. The mouth-feel was smooth and buttery without any astringency. I had three full pots of this tea but probably could have squeezed out a few more. +Satemwa Tea & Coffee's white teas almost always impress me with their staying power. I like to leave just enough water to cover the leaves in between infusions. This helps to maintain the flavor over the course of a few pots.

White Bvumbwe Peony sample provided by Satemwa Estate.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Podcast Episode 16: Grandpa Style & Bowl Brewing

I hear from so many people that they don't want to get into tea because it requires specialized equipment. The truth is that all you need is a glass or a bowl that you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet. Do you have a favorite tea that you like to drink this way? Let me know about it in the comments!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Global Tea Hut to Translate the Cha Jing

By now you all know how much I enjoy my +Global Tea Hut subscription. The envelope that I receive every month is more than just a magazine and tea. It's an experience that never fails to expand my relationship with tea. They recently made a very exciting announcement. The September issue will feature a translation of the Cha Jing, Lu Yu's Classic of Tea. It is widely considered to be one of the first books on tea and finding a translation for an affordable price is next to impossible. In addition to this special extended issue, the tea for this month is a powdered green so that we can all replicate Tang Dynasty brewing methods. How geeky, tea nerdy cool is that? Anyone who signs up before September 21st will receive this issue. Check out the video of Wu De below to learn more!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Round Up: August 30th - September 5th

August Round Up: The Most Interesting Blogs this Month
Is tea-ception to feature a round up on my round up? +Lu Ann Pannunzio has been curating a great collection of links every month. I love how she breaks them into thematic categories.

The Singphou, Chief of Bissa Gamm
I've been avidly reading a new site called The Tea Afficionados Project. This interview the modern-day chief of the tribe that is often credited with discovering wild tea in Assam (depending on who you ask).

Tomotcha Subscription
I thought that I had heard of all of the tea subscription services out there but Marzipan at TeaLover.net introduced me to a new one that focuses solely on Japanese teas. How fun is that gyokyro breathing dragon picture?

TEA REVIEW: Global Tea Hut – Summer 2015, “Elevation”: Big-leaf Red Tea, Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan
+Drew Bednasek had an opportunity to give +Global Tea Hut thanks to +Cardiff in a Tea Cup. I have yet to drive into my Elevation but his post tells me that it will be just as amazing as last year's. The work that they do is so important!

Women in Tea: She Works Hard for the Money
Tea is My Name penned a thought provoking post on human rights issues that are associated with tea. She provides lots of food for thought as well as links for future reading.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Teatulia Oolong

Country of Origin: Bangladesh
Leaf Appearance: dark, somewhat broken with scattered buds
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: ceramic teacup
Liquor: amber

Over the years the blog has transitioned a bit to coincide with my personal journey and tastes. Tea bags very rarely make an appearance these days. I made an exception in this case because it is only available in tea bag form. Thankfully it's a silky pyramid style bag which is usually a lesser evil. The taste was surprisingly complex and enjoyable. Although the dry leaves were dark enough to pass for black tea, the aroma was definitely all oolong. Floral notes and a bit of stone fruit stood out against an earthy, malty background. It was a bit hard to peg down but it had an almost biscuity quality that reminded me somewhat of 2nd flush Darjeeling. There was quite a lot of natural sweetness in the cup with very little astringency so I strongly recommend drinking this tea straight up. I had some of these babies tucked away in my tea wallet and they came in handy at a family function when I found myself in serious need of some caffeine.

Oolong sample provided by Teatulia.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Erborian 3-in-1 Mask Matcha Green Tea Blast Mask

It's not often that I write about beauty products here but I recently won a Twitter contest run by +Palais des Thés. I received a box of 8 packets of this mask as well as a box of their Sencha Ariake. I was definitely intrigued because one of the ingredients of the mask is powdered green tea from the Korean Boseong botanic garden. The packet contained a clay-like powder. It was fairly simple to use. Just add water, lather and apply.

I have fairly sensitive combination skin so using new products can be dicey. It did have an exfoliating affect it was not irritating or overly abrasive. I was skeptical but I have to say that my skin felt amazing the next day. There was definitely a visible difference in the visibility of pores. I tried it out in the midst of a summer heat wave. Long, sweaty days at work had not been doing my skin any favors but after applying this before bed, I woke up feeling really refreshed. This product is a little pricey but as a once in a while treat I'd definitely consider picking up some in the future.

3-in-1 Mask Matcha Green Tea Mask received as prize in Twitter contest run by Le Palais des Thés.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Global Tea Hut: July 2015 - Mountain Wind

Wow, I'm really behind on sharing my +Global Tea Hut experiences with you all! Good tea takes time I suppose. The puerhs that they have sent in the past have been some of my favorites so I was excited to see Mountain Wind in this envelope. The leaves were incredibly beautiful, especially as they slowly unfurled in my bowl. One of the most valuable lessons that this subscription has taught me is bringing things back to basics. Fancy equipment is nice but it's easy to get caught up in having "stuff" and the technical mechanics of brewing. At the end of the day all you really need is a bowl, hot water and a handful of leaves.

The taste was vegetal with wonderfully sweet peach notes. There was very little bitterness which was surprising considering how young the tea is the way that it was prepared. This is truly one of those teas that I was that I could purchase more of. The July issue of Tea & Tao Magazine focused on water. Water as the mother of tea was a recurring theme that tied together the many articles inside. Their stories of gathering water from mountain streams really made me wish that I lived near such a source.

It's tempting to hoard these leaves for a special occasion but I know better than that. I'll be planning a session to finish them soon, perhaps outdoors. I've been meaning to have some tea by the water so this is a good incentive to finally do it.

You can find out more about Global Tea Hut here.