• Learn About Tea

    Meet the Tea: Silver Needle

    Silver Needle is one of my favorite kinds of teas. It is produced in the Fujian Province of China. Also known as Baihao Yinzhen, this tea is made only from hand picked buds. Each leaf is covered in downy white hairs. I typically steep it in a glass teapot so that I can watch the leaves dance. You can also use a gaiwan, any standard teapot or even a big mug. I do not recommend using yixing or other kinds of clay pots because these retain too much heat and can scald your tea. Following your tea retailer’s directions is a good place to start but your water should be between 165 and…


  • Learn About Tea

    Meet the Tea: Darjeeling

    I haven’t done an installment of Meet the Tea in a while so I thought I’d pick it back up again with one of my favorite types of tea. Darjeeling is tea that is grown in the Darjeeling region of India. It’s a fascinating region due to its history and the socioeconomic issues that affect the tea industry there. Tea was first planted in 1841 and continued through a bit of agricultural espionage done by Robert Fortune on behalf of the East India Company. For those interested, I highly recommend reading the following books on the subject: The Darjeeling Distinction by Sarah Besky For All The Tea in China by Sarah Rose While…

  • Learn About Tea,  Matcha

    Meet the Tea: Matcha

    A Google+ follower asked what matcha is, which inspired me to start a series that spotlights the different types of tea. Matcha is a finely ground green tea that is produced in Japan. Tea bushes are covered about 20 days before harvesting. This slows growth and increases the production of amino acids. The leaves are laid flat to dry until they become somewhat crumbly. This is called tencha. The veins and stems are removed from the tencha and stone ground into matcha. It has a consistency similar to talc baby powder. Matcha is traditionally prepared using a bamboo whisk (chasen), wooden spoon (chashaku) and a bowl (chawan). It is served as part of…