Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Round Up: March 26th - April 1st

The Art of White2Tea (72 Hours) Made Me Cry
Tea can affect us both physically and psychologically. Cody at The Oolong Drunk reminds us of that as he recounts his experience with a very special puerh.

Exploring the Teas of Sichuan and Fujian with Jeff Kovac 
+Tony Gebely interviewed one of my favorite tea people, Jeff Kovac of Four Seasons Tea Co. In case you missed it, you can check out my interview with him for my YouTube channel.

Nandi Hills Black Tea from JusTea
There are few things that make me smile more than when I see the unexpected return of a fellow tea blogger. +Tea Journeyman, aka Kevin Craig, surprised me this week with an out of the blue tea review.

Women in Tea: Shiuwen Tai
I've been really enjoying the "Women in Tea" series of posts on Steph's Cup of Tea. This week focuses on +Shiuwen Tai of Floating Leaves Tea. We have met to meet in person but I already know that her shop is on my to-do list if I ever visit the pacific northwest.

Simple Home Storage Solutions
Figuring out how to store your puerh collection is a problem that many tea drinkers are faced with. +Tea DB gives some practical tips on how to keep it simple while also keeping those leaves safe and sound.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bitterleaf Teas Hummingbird 2013 Spring Jing Mai Ancient Tree Raw Puer

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: loosely compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 15 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Round Up: March 19th - March 25th

Trek to Brooklyn 2017
I was a bit bummed to miss the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival for the first time in many years. Thankfully I was able to live vicariously through +Jo J's blog post.

Meet my tea pet
Regular readers will know about my obsession with tea pets. +Anna Mariani introduced us to her squirrel tea pet and the adorable story that goes along with it.

Notes from the Tea Underground
I've said it before and I'll say it again, +Geoffrey Norman gets to go to the coolest tea events! Portland definitely has one of the most unique tea communities.

What I Like About Japanese Green Tea
+Ricardo Caicedo answers a question that I've often wondered, what made a guy from Colombia become so interested in Japanese green tea?

Cupping an Assam and an Uva
I've been avidly following the adventures of +Georgia SS as she takes an ITEI tea course. Comparing black teas from different regions can be so interesting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

What is Oolong Tea?


The birthplace of oolong is the Fujian Province of China. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when production first began but it is likely to have been after the Ming Dynasty as this area was known for its compressed teas prior to that time. Oolong is the anglicized version of the Chinese Wulong, meaning black dragon. There are many legends about the origin of that name but it seems to mostly be tied to the dark, twisted appearance of the oolongs produced in the Wuyi Mountain area. Tea plants from Fujian were first brought to Taiwan in the early 1800's.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Golden Leaf Tea Sun Moon Lake

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: long, dark, spindly
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: reddish amber

Monday, March 13, 2017

What is Green Tea?


Humans have been cultivating and drinking tea for thousands of years. Green tea was the only type that existed for the majority of that time. Sichuan Province is generally considered to be the birthplace of the smaller leaved var. Sinensis. Tea cultivation and its use as a medicine soon spread to surrounding areas.

Prior to the Ming Dynasty, it was a bit different than the form that we know today. The leaves were pressed into cakes, then ground into a powder, and whisked into a froth. This preparation method was later adapted by Japan to make matcha. The Tang Dynasty brought tea drinking to a whole new level as it became a cultural art form.

Many people don't realize that the first tea exported from China was green tea. Spring picked "Hyson" and "Singlo" were favored by the well to do of England and America. A significant amount of green tea was even dumped into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party. More oxidized tea varieties eventually became more favored by the western world because they were better able to survive the long sea voyage.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Round Up: March 5th - March 11th

United States of Tea - Mauna Kea Tea, Hawaii
+Georgia SS did an awesome interview with the owners of Mauna Kea Tea, one of my favorite U.S. based tea growing operations. Their passion really comes through in their answers to her thoughtful questions.

Confessions of a Tea Cake Artist
It's official, +Geoffrey Norman has the coolest friends. This week he shared a bit about Kristin Barger. She's a talented baker who just created a line of tea-infused treats.

The Moonlit Tea Garden: A Conversation with the Founders of Jun Chiyabari
Jun Chiyabari is one of my favorite Nepalese tea gardens. +Tony Gebely interviewed the founders and the results were really fascinating. I had no idea that the majority of their tea is exported to Germany.

A Thousand Posts Later...
+Amanda Freeman hit a major milestone, writing over a thousand blog posts. Congrats! I can definitely sympathize with her feelings of burnout and needing to cut back. This is sometimes I've been through before and am struggling a bit currently.

A Taste of Taiwan with High Mountain Tea
+Lu Ann Pannunzio got a taste of taste of Taiwan from a Toronto newcomer. I've heard really great things about their offerings and this blog post confirms it. I'll definitely need to give them a try soon.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday Round Up: February 26th - March 4th

Want It Wednesday: Toronto Tea Festival 2017
Rachel at Tea Nerd put together a list of some of her favorite finds from the Toronto Tea Festival. I need all of the tea things! The matcha deodorant particularly caught my eye.

Hooty Tea Travels - Fridays at Phoenix Tea
It's official. I need to visit Seattle! eattle! +Charissa Gascho visited +Phoenix Tea where she got to hang out with +Crimson Lotus Tea and +Tea DB.

Tea Session - 1970's Fuzhuan Brick (People's Unification Tea)
Varat at The Guide to Puerh Tea indulged in a rare tea from China's past. I'm not sure how adventurous I would be about drinking a brick with such a high concentration of "golden flowers".

A tea speakeasy?
+Anna Mariani got to visit the private tea tasting room run by tea friend Chris Kornblatt, founder of +QuantiTea. Bai Mu Dan? Jin Jun Mei? Yes, please!

The science and nomenclature of tea processing. Part 2: Microbial ripening.
+Eric Scott of +Tea Geek addressed one of the biggest debates in the tea world this week. The microbial processes that occur in puerh are still being studied and the science behind it all is fascinating.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Tea Lover's Travel Diary: Phoenix Single-Tree Oolong Tea Tie Kuan Yin Oolong Tea by Jason C.S. Chen

I read A LOT of books throughout the year. I try to write about the tea related ones that really stand out here but sometimes they get lost in the shuffle, amidst tea reviews and everything else going on. This is one of those books.

It had been on my Amazon wishlist for a while but I finally bit the bullet nearly three years ago. The author is the owner of Bellevue, WA tea establishment Smacha. An introduction by tea industry favorite James Norwood Pratt was also a big selling point.