Thursday, November 30, 2017

Teabento Jiri Horse - Balhyocha


Country of Origin: South Korea
Leaf Appearance: small, dark, and wiry
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: reddish amber

Teabento names each of the teas they offer after animals and photographs the leaves inside of simple line drawings of their namesake. It's admittedly a bit gimmicky but I love it anyway. Something you might not know about me is that I am a big animal person, especially when it comes to horses. That was definitely why I picked this one first out all of the samples that Teabento generously sent me.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Trouble with Tech Startups and Tea

Last year I wrote a bit of a rant about crowdfunding and the issues that it presents the tea world. Not much has changed since then but the recent demise of tech startup Teforia got me thinking about this subject again. Dan Bolton's article on World Tea News provided some great insights into why this happened but there was one glaring issue that I haven't seen discussed. The trouble with tech startups is that they all try to solve a problem that doesn't actually exist!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Friday Roundup: November 19th - November 26th

Darjeeling Tea Gardens Begin Recovery from 104 Days of Strikes

Bruce Richardson, noted author and owner of Elmood Inn Fine Teas, brings us some good news from the Darjeeling region of India. Hopefully, 2018 will be a more peaceful year full of plenty of good tea.

What "I" Tea in a Day

Lu Ann from The Cup of Life answers a question that I'm often asked, "How much tea do you drink in a day?". My own consumption can vary quite a bit especially now that I'm not working at a tea store full time.

Twelve Year Roasted Oolong & Pretzel Shortbread

Alexis from Teaspoons & Petals has an impeccable palate for tea pairings. This week she paired a delicious '05 oolong from one of my favorite NYC haunts with delicious shortbread pretzels made by a local Philly bakery.

Kyūsu Workshop at macha-macha

I've very much enjoyed following Meigetsu Tea & Translations, a blog written by a Japanese to English translator living in Berlin. This week Lindsey shares her experience at a kyusu workshop held by the Japanese Tea Instructor Association.

IS DOLLAR STORE TEA GROSS? Haul & Taste Test w/Jacob Kahn

Teatime with Mary has quickly become one of my favorite YouTube channels. Mary is a braver tea drinker than I. This week she tasted a selection of teas from the dollar store. The results were less than stellar but fun to watch.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Roundup: November 12th - November 18th

2017 Little BingDao Sheng Puer from Bana Tea Company

Char at Oolong Owl wrote a review of a puerh cake that I've had my eye on. We have many of the same boxes that we look to check off when purchasing tea. It will likely have to wait until after my wedding next year though as that is eating up quite a bit of the tea budget.

The 2017 San Francisco International Tea Festival - The Tea Letter

The San Francisco International Tea Festival 2017 - The Tea Squirrel

It's still tea festival season. This week brings us reports from a couple of my favorite Bay area bloggers. Anna had the pleasure of taking a puerh seminar with Roy Fong while Mike took home an impressive haul.

Teabento Pika Cha

Ricardo at My Japanese Green Tea reviewed a kamairicha from Teabento, a company whose teas I've been enjoying lately as well. This uncommon type of tea is pan-fired rather than steamed during processing.

A Mabian, Sichuan Tea Flight

Geoff at Steep Stories of the Lazy Literatus has a nose for sniffing out unusual teas. Sichuan is known for its green tea and heicha but thanks to West China Tea Company he was able to try a white tea, yellow tea, and black tea.

Afternoon Tea LA Style

Tiffany at #SheBlogsTea wrote about her experience at a very cool sounding tea spot at the W Hotel in Hollywood. I very rarely visit California but this is definitely a place I'd like to see when I do.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Meet the Tea: Dragonwell


Dragonwell, aka, Longjing, is a green tea that hails from the West Lake region of China's Zhejiang Province. It is well known for both the flat shape of the leaves and its distinctive chestnut aroma. The taste is mellow and sweet, making it a perfect starter green tea. Floral notes and a crisp vegetal character are also to be expected but a well made dragonwell will have no bitterness.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Roundup: November 5th - November 11th

Sara, Georgia, and Jee present green teas and mochi cakes

Virginia's Pairteas is a new to me blog that I discovered when she wrote about a pairing that some of my tea friends did together. The science of taste is absolutely fascinating and she does a great job of making it easy to understand.

Puerh Wrapping Paper. The art of manufacturing paper to pack Puerh. Manzhao Village, Yunnan

Gixlovestea is another blog that I just discovered this week. I was drawn in by this post about how the paper for puerh wrappers is made. I've read about the process before but the pictures and video make it so much more clear.

2017 Vancouver Tea Festival: Recap

Michelle at One More Steep wrote a thorough and very enjoyable recap of her experience at the Vancouver Tea Festival. The pictures she included of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden are beautiful as well. This is one Canadian event, among others, that is definitely on my wish list.

Royal Botanical Gardens Tea Festival 2017 Recap and Thoughts

Speaking of Canadian tea festivals, Lu Ann at The Cup of Life posted a recap of her own. The 2nd annual Royal Botanical Gardens Tea Festival sounds like such a great time. I really wish I could have been there to see her presentation.

In Search of Artisan Specialty Tea in Sri Lanka

Tony at World of Tea recently traveled to Sri Lanka so we've been treated to some really great content on Ceylon tea. This week he walks us through some of the more unusual offerings that can be found there. I'm partial to those from Lumbini Estate, especially the rings and flower bud shaped leaves.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Roundup: October 29th - November 4th

A Tea Renaissance is Underway in the San Francisco Bay Area

The lovely Anna at The Tea Squirrel contributed this awesome article to the last issue of my quarterly journal. For those of you that missed it, here's your second chance. Now I want to visit San Francisco even more!

Tea Tin Clock DIY

Bonnie at Thirsty for Tea is one of the craftiest bloggers I know. Seriously, she's like the Martha Stewart of tea. This week she shared a step by step guide to transforming your old tea tins into a clock.

A brief history of Japanese black tea

Japan is definitely not well known for their black tea. Florent at Japanese Tea Sommelier gave us a brief but very thorough history. There was a lot of info here I had not seen before and I'll definitely be digging into the subject further.

2017 Nannuo Mini Mushroom Shou Puer from Crimson Lotus Tea

I've been hearing rave reviews of these adorable little mushrooms from Crimson Lotus Tea. Char at Oolong Owl is always very thorough in documenting her experience. That's something I really enjoy about her reviews. In truth, I don't drink much shou puerh these days but I'm definitely intrigued.

A Series of Single Origin Tea Sonnets

Tea has inspired poets for centuries. This week Geoff from Steep Stories of the Lazy Literatus was inspired to churn out some Shakespearean styled sonnets. Drinking five different teas from Nannuo Mountain will do that to a person. I don't think I could pick a favorite among them though.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Firepot Nomadic Teas 2017 Pre-Qingming Lotus Heart Dragonwell


Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: flat, jade green
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 130 degrees
Preparation Method: glass pitcher
Liquor: pale, greenish

I love Dragonwell. A lot. That's why I was super excited when Sarah of Nomadic Tea Party offered to send me some of the pre-Qingming dragonwell that she sourced for her company Firepot Nomadic Teas. She was able to secure just one pound of it! It is so limited that they are actually selling it at cost so that others can experience it for themselves.