Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Roundup: June 25th - July 1st

Steep Thoughts: Ravi Kroesen
Sara at Tea Happiness and I both attended a tea and cheese pairing hosted by Royal Tea New York. This week she shared an in-depth interview with Ravi, their Director of Tea Operations.

A Wild Darjeeling
Only Geoff from Steep Stories could manage to procure a batch of special "wild" Darjeeling from the Rungeet Estate. I love the story behind this tea and how it came to be. It was also really interesting to see it compared to other Darjeeling teas.

How to Make the Very Best Iced Tea (Cold-Brew It!)
Jee at Oh, How Civilized put together a short and sweet tutorial on cold brewing iced tea. If you haven't given this method yet, you definitely need to!

How can I afford this hobby? Puerh teas on a budget.
Tea can be an expensive hobby, especially as your tastes progress. Cwyn's Death By Tea offers some practical, actionable tips to drinking the good stuff without breaking the bank.

My visit to Wuyishan and Cindy Chen (Wuyi Origin GIVEAWAY!)
I've been avidly following the travels of Jelmer from Tea Leafster. This week he tells us all about his adventure in the Wuyi region visiting with well-known tea producer Cindy Chen. Make sure that you enter his Instagram giveaway!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ikkyu Ayumi High-Grade Sencha

Country of Origin: Yame, Japan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, needle-like
Steep time: 1 minute
Water Temperature: 140 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Liquor: bright green, slightly cloudy

A few months ago I received a message through Tumblr from Joelle, one of the people behind Ikkyu, a new-to-me tea vendor. The fact that they specialize in teas from Kyushu really caught my attention. Not only was their website full of information, but they also listed an adorable cat named Marcello as one of their team members. What's not to love? Japanese green teas are a bit underrepresented here on the blog. It's not that I don't enjoy them, I just don't receive as many samples from there.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Legends of the Leaf: 3 Chinese Green Teas

One of my favorite things about Chinese tea is the rich cultural history that can be traced back thousands of years. Many teas have legends associated with them that have been passed down through the centuries. These are a few of my favorites.

Bi Luo Chun

Bi Luo Chun's original name XiaSha RenXiang translates to scary fragrance. Legend has it that tea pickers ran out of room in their baskets so they placed tea leaves between their breasts. Body heat caused a surprising aroma to be released from the leaves. I don't really find this tea scary at all but it is definitely delicious. It was later renamed green snail spring by the Kangxi Emperor.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Roundup: June 18th - 24th

Last week felt a bit weird as World Tea Expo was happening in Las Vegas but I wasn't there. This is the first expo that I've missed since 2014 so I avidly followed social media and blog posts to stay up to date. This roundup is dedicated to posts reporting on this special event. I'll be sure to add in any WTE centric posts if more pop up in my feed later.

The Tea and Hat Lady
Wrap-Up of  2017 World Tea Expo

My Japanese Green Tea
World Tea Expo 2017
World Tea Expo 2017 Part 2
World Tea Expo 2017 Part 3
World Tea Expo 2017 Part 4
World Tea Expo 2017 Part 5

Cwyn's Death by Tea
Mojun Fucha Fu Zhuan
2004 CNNP Yiwu Arbor Brick Royal Tea New York

Oolong Owl
2017 World Tea Expo Day 1 – Oolong Owl Hooty Tea Travels
2017 World Tea Expo Day 2 – Oolong Owl Hooty Tea Travels
2017 World Tea Expo Day 3 – Oolong Owl Hooty Tea Travels
2017 World Tea Expo Haul – Oolong Owl Hooty Tea Travels
2017 World Tea Expo Trends and Thoughts – Oolong Owl Hooty Tea Travels

Adventures in Tealand
World Tea Expo 2017 SURVIVOR - Part 1
World Tes Expo 2017 SURVIVOR - Part 2 (Canadians at the World Tea Awards)


World Tea Expo 2017 Day 1
World Tea Expo 2017 Day 2
World Tea Expo 2017 Day 3

Did you go to World Tea Expo this year? Let me know about your impressions in the comments!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Teavivre Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea 2017

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: downy buds with one or two larger leaves
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: pale, greenish gold

I thought the first day of summer was a perfect time to write about a fresh-as-can-be green tea. This one was only just picked on April 10th. It's not quite a pre-qing ming pluck but pretty darned close. The name of this tea is quite a mouthful so let's break things down a bit. Hangzhou is usually known for Dragonwell but many other teas produced there, including Qing Ding. The name means "green summit" which describes both the color of the leaf as well as the quality. Tian Mu is the mountain where it was grown. The name means "eyes on heaven" and refers to the pools on its eastern and western peaks.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Even More Awesome Tea Creators of YouTube

Almost three years ago I wrote a blog post called Awesome Tea Creators of YouTube. Things have changed a bit since then. Some of the channels on the original list aren't active anymore and several new channels have come onto the scene as well. It was high time that I put together another list.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Roundup: June 11th - June 17th

NYC tea friends Jee, Sara, and Georgia have been dropping delicious hints about a collaboration that they had been working on. This week we finally got to read all about it!

Oh, How Civilized - Tea Pairing 101: White Tea
Tea Happiness - Tea Pairing 101: White Tea and Cheese
Notes on Tea - Tea Pairing 101: White Teas and French Cheeses

Harney & Son's English Breakfast
Sometimes you just need a good ol' cup of black tea with milk and sugar. If you haven't checked out Tea-tography's beautiful pictures out yet, you're really missing out!

Understanding White2Tea - Leading the Puer Revolution
Cody at The Oolong Drunk gives us a thoughtful breakdown of the story behind eponymous puerh brand White2Tea. I particularly enjoyed the points he made about wrapper design.

Nepali Tea Traders: Nepalese Silver Tips White Tea and Himalayan Golden Black Tea
Another blog whose photography I enjoy is Tea in Spoons. There's something to be said for the beauty of simplicity. This week Connie reviews two of my favorites from Nepali Tea Traders.

Spread Joy to your Tea Stash with Konmari
Katherine at Tea Journey gave some pointers on applying the Konmari method of organization to our tea stash. It's definitely a great reminder to keep what we love and dump what we don't (or at least find a way to repurpose them).

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

JusTea Purple Leaf Tea

Country of Origin: Kenya
Leaf Appearance: dark, twisted
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: stainless steel infuser basket
Liquor: pale plum

It's been several years since the last time I shared something from JusTea here on the blog. For those of you that aren't familiar, they are a Vancouver-based company that has sought to bring about much-needed change to the tea industry in Kenya. Farmers make very little per day, largely because the leaves are sold to corporate processing plants. JusTea works to build cooperative processing centers, allowing smallholders to process specialty teas themselves.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Confessions of a Teaware Hoarder

When starting any hobby I find that we all tend to indiscriminately collect anything and everything related to our new passion. I've been through this phase in the past with other hobbies (such as collecting Breyer model horses when I was young) but nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming miasma of stuff that the tea world has to offer. Teapots, teacups, gaiwans, books, and gadgets; if it was related to tea I just had to have it.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Roundup: June 4th - June 10th

The Jade Leaf's Teaware
James from +Tea DB talked with tea friend +emilio delpozo about him fantastic teaware creations. Those side handled teapots are something that I've had my eye on for a while.

2016 EoT Wuliang Single Tree
I really enjoy Late Steep's style of reviewing. Not only do we get a picture of each steep but we also get a play by play of how the taste evolves. This sheng puerh sounds like it's right up my alley too.

Norwood Pratt and Bruce Richardson Revive the Romance of Tea
I was so happy when I saw an update from +Bruce Richardson this week. A group of tea biz greats are teaming up to revive William Ukers out of print classic, The Romance of Tea. It will be making its debut at World Tea Expo next week.

Tasting: Korean Mt. Jiri Joongjak Hwang Cha by Teas Unique
Korean teas are still pretty hard to find, particularly in the U.S. market. +sara shacket reviewed a delicious black tea from a company that I've seen making the rounds on a lot of blogs. Those chocolate notes are really intriguing!

Tea-infused Negroni, two ways
+Anna Mariani crafted two different versions of the Italian classic negroni that features tea-infused gin. I'm generally more of a whiskey person but these recipes look too good to not try.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Meet the Tea: Da Hong Pao

Da Hong Pao, aka Big Red Robe, is a type of oolong produced only in the Wuyi Mountains. Teas from this region are often called yancha, or rock tea, due to the rocky soil on the cliffs where the tea is grown. According to legend, the mother of a Ming Dynasty emperor was cured of an illness after drinking this tea. To show how special these tea trees were, he had the bushes that this incredible tea was made from draped with red cloth. Yet another version tells of a scholar who passed his exams thanks to this tea. He draped the bushes with the scarlet robes that he was awarded.

Even more incredible than these legends, six of the original mother trees are still believed to be alive today. They are estimated to be about 300 years old but no one really knows for sure. The Chinese government now protects these plants and no harvest has taken place since 2005. Although, I came across a blog post from Essence of Tea that indicates the government may still be doing non-commercial harvesting for research purposes.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday Roundup: May 28th - June 3rd

Pairing Tea and Savories
+Jee Choe from Oh, How Civilized is definitely one of my go to people when it comes to pairing tea with food. In this week's post she shares a beautiful, five hour long tea party for three.

Puerh Tea Vendors
+Cwyn N gave us a great list of excellent puerh vendors, a particular good place to start for those who are just getting into all of this tea-head business.

The Bigger Picture: Microlocations
Tea friend Dylan at Sweetest Dew wrote about an important takeaway from his recent trip to China. The same mountain and the same year, does not mean the same tea.

A Masterclass ~ Taiwanese Teas with Tillerman
It always makes my day when I see a blog post pop up from a blogger who hasn't posted as frequently lately. This week that post came from +Rita Fong as she shared a tasting she attended a Tea Guild of Canada event with Tillerman Tea.

Two blogs that I love wrote about what they love about tea and I just couldn't bring myself to choose between them. Their names are even similar. Go check out both of these great posts!

What I Love Most About Tea - The Cup of Life
How I fell in love with tea - Life's a cup of tea

Did I miss any great blog posts this week? Let me know about it in the comments!