Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Roundup: September 24th - September 30th

Chai Tea Pumpkin Macarons

Fall has arrived (even though it's still quite warm here in New Jersey) and that means pumpkin flavored everything! Sara at Beginning at Bergamot wrote a great recipe and tutorial for making your own tea-infused sweets.

Podcast 034: Oscar Brekell

Ricardo of My Japanese Green Tea posted the latest episode of his extremely focused podcast. His guest, Oscar Brekell, is a Japanese tea expert who has just released his first book. It was fascinating to hear how he got his start and what made him so famous in Japan.

Material Matcha Uji MMU03 Blend & Kickstarter

Char over at Oolong Owl has probably tasted more matcha than any human outside of Japan. For that reason, I always pay attention when she reviews one. I have some of this tea in my "to review" pile so I was very happy to read that she enjoyed it so much.

Anatomy of the Ideal Loose Leaf Tea Storage

Wondering if you store your tea properly? Check out this week's post from Anna at The Tea Squirrel! I can definitely sympathize with the organization struggles that she describes. I haven't found the perfect solution for my own collection yet either.

Jasmine tea's many secrets

I rarely write about anything but pure teas here on the blog but I do occasionally indulge in a traditionally scented tea like jasmine. Stéphane at Tea Master's Blog wrote a very interesting post this week detailing the history of jasmine tea in Taiwan and how it is made. I've never seen pictures of the scenting processing before.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Yatra Tea Company Goomtee Estate Darjeeling - 1st Flush 2017


Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: mostly dark with scattered greens, buds throughout
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: stainless steel infuser basket
Liquor: amber

My mind has been on Darjeeling a lot over the last few months. After a tumultuous summer where the tea industry came to a grinding halt, things are slowly beginning to move forward again. Thankfully we do still have some 1st flush to carry us through until 2018. Vikram Mathur of Somerville, Massachusetts based Yatra Tea company must have read my mind when he reached out to see if I was up for reviewing some of their teas.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tea Nerd Dictionary: Mao Cha


Tea Nerd Dictionary is a series on the blog where I try to define tea world jargon. The main goal is to help those that are just diving into tea to deepen their understanding and to hopefully make it less intimidating for them as a result. Each installment will be indexed on my Learn About Tea page.

Mao Cha is a word that I often read when I first started drinking tea but it took me a while to understand what it actually means. For starters, let's begin by tackling the second part of this term. Cha (茶) is the word for tea in Cantonese as well as many other languages spoken around the world. I really have no idea where the below graphic originated as I've seen it used in many places over the years. It's still a nice breakdown of the meaning of the kanji logographic for tea.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Roundup: September 17th - September 23rd

Botanical Tea Fragrances | Ravenscourt Apothecary

I have a thing for tea infused beauty products. When I see them for sale at Sephora or other stores, I just have to have them. This week's post from Chelsea at Taste the Tea caught my attention because tea perfumes are still a bit hard to come by.

Why This Tea Will Sell Out First: 2017 White2Tea (Yiwu) "Pussy"

I'm so glad that we have MattCha's Blog back. A pragmatic voice is needed among the fervent puerh fanatics. He placed his first order with popular vendor White2Tea and his findings were really quite interesting.

The Spirit of Tea Tour by Spirit Tea & Marco

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the west coast gets the best tea festivals. The latest post on World of Tea is a must read if you live anywhere near Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, or Seattle. There will be matcha latte throwdowns and workshops on tea brewing. I so wish I could be there!

In Pursuit of Tea Tasting Session, Countryside Edition

Georgia at Notes on Tea previously posted about a fabulous tasting that she did with the folks from In Pursuit of Tea. In this new installment, she shares the latest tasting with the backdrop of the New England Countryside. Sounds like heaven to me!

Matcha Paloma Recipe

Alexis at Teaspoons & Petals concocted a delicious matcha mocktail twist on the traditional Paloma recipe. She worked with American Tea Room to develop this recipe and you can try it yourself at their cafes in California.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Arbor Teas Organic Silver Needle White Tea


Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: whole buds, covered in downy hair
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold

Time flies really flies when you're having fun but it's still hard to believe that it has been six years since I have written about anything from my friends at Arbor Teas. This blog and my own journey with tea have changed so much in that time. The last batch of samples included teas like masala chai and earl gray. There's nothing wrong with flavored teas but my tastes have changed quite a bit since then. The focus of the blog has shifted to the unflavored and unblended end of the spectrum. I'm looking forward to sharing some of Arbor Teas' current offerings with you all here.

Monday, September 18, 2017

5 Things Tea Companies Need to Stop Doing on Instagram


Instagram is probably the social media platform that I use the most. There's an awesome sense of community there and I love being able to connect with other tea fanatics around the world. It's also a great way to discover new tea companies. That being said, there are some things that tea companies do on Instagram that drive me crazy. I'm writing about it here in the hopes that I can get through to at least a few of the perpetrators.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Friday Roundup: September 10th - September 16th

Understanding Gyokuro

I was really fascinated by this post from Florent of Japanese Tea Sommelier because it calls attention to a common misconception I see. Gyokuro is often favored by tea lovers because it is believed to be the "highest grade". Of course, nothing in tea is so cut and dry but he does a really great job of clearing it up.

Momo Tea Matcha Green Tea Mug Cake

I have a major sweet tooth. As much as I love baking, I avoid making big batches so that I don't wind up munching everything myself. This recipe from Katherine at Tea Journey sounds like the perfect solution!

Review: everydayteas 2016 Nan Nuo Shan

I am perpetually jealous of the weekly office tea club that Sara at Tea Happiness hosts. In this post, she shares their experience with an excellent daily drinker along with an epic shot of the tea being poured with NYC as a backdrop.

My tasting notes: Oriental Beauty oolong

Anna at The Tea Squirrel also wrote a beautifully photographed post, this time about one of my favorite Taiwanese oolongs. I'll definitely have to check out the one that she tasted from American Tea Room.

Kiss Me Organics Ceremonial Matcha

Ricardo at My Japanese Green Tea reviewed a matcha that I've often seen advertised online. Like him, I was a bit skeptical of the health claims they use in their marketing but it's nice to know that the tea in the tin delivers.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tillerman Tea Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) Summer 2017


Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: dark, twisted with scattered white tips
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: dark amber

It's been a little over a year since I've written about an oriental beauty here on the blog. Funnily enough, I consider it one of my favorite oolongs but only a few have ever been sent to me for review. I think a large part of that has to do with the fact that there is actually very little authentic O.B. produced every year.

Monday, September 11, 2017

3 Easy Ways to Keep Your Teaware Clean


Tea stains are a fact of life when you drink as much as I do. While they aren't bad for us per se, stains on teaware definitely aren't attractive to look at. A good old sponge and dish detergent work fine for utilitarian mugs and stainless steel filters but I really don't like using chemicals at all when it comes to gongfu gear. Over the years I've come up with a few tricks to keep my stuff in tip top shape.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday Roundup: September 3rd - September 9th

Homemade Matcha Sprinkles

Nazanin of Tea Thoughts posted a tasty looking recipe for homemade matcha sprinkles. FYI, she's currently running a Kickstarter campaign as a pre-order for the super adorbz succulent teacup pin that she designed. I can't wait to get mine. ☺

Ten Days without Tea

Tea bud Geoff of Steep Stories has been struggling a bit with health issues that required him to quit caffeine cold turkey. The horror! He breaks his fast with an accidentally aged silver needle.

Zushan Spring Oolong -Totealy

I always get excited when I see a new post in my feed from Jordan at Tea-Tography. Her photos are really amazing! Her review style is short and sweet but they somehow always seem to answer everything I want to know about a particular tea.

Fall Tasting: An Evening of Cheese, Tea, Honey, Bread & Linens

Tea lovers in the Philadelphia area are in for a real treat. Alexis of Teaspoons & Petals will be hosting an event. The title alone contains all of my favorite things! I am super sad that I won't be able to make it myself.

2016 Space Girls Sheng Puer from Crimson Lotus Tea

This week Char at Oolong Owl wrote about one of my tea regrets of 2016. I adore the artwork that Crimson Lotus did on their Space Girls wrapper and really wish that I had gotten around to ordering it before it was sold out. At least I can live vicariously through her descriptions!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tea Dealers Dong Ding Amber


Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance:
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold

A few months ago I wrote about my visit to Tea Dealers, a must visit tea spot located in NYC's Canal Street Market. I couldn't help but bring some home after spending time tasting some of their well-curated collection. My tea budget is fairly low these days, especially with the wedding coming next year, but a girl has to splurge every once in a while. The "amber" part of the name really drew me in because my tastes lean towards the more traditionally roasted side.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Tea Nerd Dictionary: Hui Gan



There are a lot of tea terms that are hard to understand at first, in part because they might be ideas or feelings that are foreign to us. This post is the start of a new series that I hope will be a useful resource for all of you. Hui Gan is a term that you'll most often see used in association with puerh. It is sometimes confused with the concept of qi but they do mean different things. Look for another installment on that in the future!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Roundup: August 27th - September 2nd

Tea Pairing 101: Green Tea and Mochi

My favorite trio of impeccable palates is at it again, this time pairing different kinds of green tea with mochi. Their posts are even more enjoyable giving the setting in a super chic art gallery.

Sara at Tea Happiness
Georgia at Notes on Tea
Jee at Oh, How Civilized

Podcast 032: The State of the Matcha Market in the US

Ricardo at My Japanese Green Tea hosts a podcast that I always look forward to listening to. In this episode he speaks with Noli of Sugimoto America on the trends in matcha.

Sip a Cuppa with Me at the Plentea Tea Bar

Ingrid at The Steap visited a tea bar in Toronto that I found really intriguing. Their specialty is lattes and I love that they actually boil the ingredients in milk rather than just steaming it with a concentrate like most places do.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Me
Last week I shared 5 things you might not know about me and challenge my fellow bloggers to share a bit about themselves. I was beginning to think that no one would but I was elated to see a post from Anna at The Tea Squirrel. Did you know that she can speak 3 languages?

2007 Liming Golden Peacock Qi Zi
I get a bit overwhelmed combing through a large selection of puerh like the one Yunnan Sourcing has. I rely heavily on reviews from blogs like Cwyn's Death by Tea to narrow things down a bit. It definitely sounds like this one I need to stock up on.