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Keeping up with my birthday trend today, I thought it would be fun to share a review one of my Sisters wrote about a newer company to The SororiTea Sisters. . Beach House Teas. Beach House Teas is a company based and founded on the love for sourcing locally and from those locally sourced items-creating amazing artisan small batch teas. To learn more about their story click here or read the review below. The love they have for the teas they create is noticeable in every delicious sip you take. ~CuppaGeek Some teas make you want to Read More
Continuing the Birthday Par-TEA (yep- you can call me a nerd now), I thought I’d share some of my favorite teas that I’m currently obsessing over. Earlier this morning I wrote a post about my favorite vessel for brewing tea- The WALL Tea Infuser from Boreal Wildcraft. So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to chat about the teas I’ve been enjoying with this brilliant mug. (1) Peeps Genmaicha from A Quarter To Tea. . I recently did a review of this tea and am still drinking this tea on a daily basis. I’m a HUGE fan of Read More
The search for the fountain of youth, the magic herbs, the tinctures, tonics, and elixirs with supernatural and unexplained cures has been going on relentlessly for millennia.
It seems many people want to live forever. Many desire immortality, and most people truly want to be healthy. The search goes far and wide and great sums of money are paid for longevity. Most people will try almost anything at least once.
Those of us in the tea industry feel we have solved a bit of that mystery with tea, and with our love and dedication to tea, we “pooh-pooh” many of the herbs that make the news or cause a sensation as merely unsubstantiated hype.
“I am in no way interested in immortality, but only in the taste of tea.”
~ Lu T’ung ~
Quite a few of our tea friends and colleagues have adjusted their thinking and business practices to include several of the popular herbs and now sell them in their tea shops. Customers ask for these herbs, berries, flowers, and seeds by name. Thus, many shop owners have learned to adjust to the trends, while various others will choose to remain loyal to their tea-and-tea-only beliefs. Such is free will, and such is consumerism.
Hibiscus is definitely one of the “herbs” causing a great sensation for sure!
A few years back there were several booths at the World Tea Expo featuring Hibiscus – scores of us walked right by. I say this because I was one of them.
I’d steeped and served many tea blends over the years that contained Hibiscus but I’d never researched the flower, nor paid attention to the health benefits of it because I considered it an herb, not a tea. Yes, I was a pooh-pooher!
Here is a portion of the Wikipedia definition of Hibiscus:
“Hibiscus tea is a herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces (sepals) of the roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flower. It is consumed both hot and cold.
It has a tart, cranberry-like flavour, and sugar is often added to sweeten it. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals, and is used traditionally as a mild medicine.
Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids, including, citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains acidic polysaccharides, and flavonoid glycosides, such as, cyanidin and delphinidin, that give it its characteristic deep-red colour.
The drink is sometimes called Roselle (a name for the flower) or Rosella (Australia); Sorrel, in Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago; Red Sorrel in the wider Caribbean; and Agua or Rosa de Jamaica, or simply Jamaica in the United States, Mexico, and Central America. It is also known as Zobo in African countries like Nigeria.”
Are all Hibiscus products the same? Just as tea varies in quality, so does Hibiscus.
For a better explanation of Hibiscus from someone with years of experience with the plant, I’d like to introduce you to Ralph Kenney.
After receiving an entire pound of organic and truly a superior product from Ralph, owner of IMMORTALITEA, I am thrilled to share my experience.
For over two years, I’d succumbed to the hype of Hibiscus. I purchased it in bulk from a local upscale grocery store, and I’d been preparing and enjoying it in various ways, but avoiding the last two sips in my cup.
I learned the hard way that the last two sips contained grit. I can only describe it as such – I’m not entirely sure what it was but it felt like dirt or sand – whatever it was – it was NOT pleasant. The cup was brilliant and tasty until you got to the last two sips. It certainly leads one to wonder about the growing, cutting, and drying processes of whomever, from wherever this product was obtained. I continued to buy it because it was labeled as organic. Silly me!
Here is a video from Ralph Kenney of IMMORTALITEA which perhaps explains why other products are, or could be, inferior.
Is it truly a prolonged life sought,
or is it a longing for life that keeps one searching?
Stay tuned for part two of my IMMORTALITEA Hibiscus tasting experience, along with all the health benefits of this amazing flower!
Today is my birthday so I am taking over SororiTea Sisters with all things I love. And I have recently fallen in love with the most amazing tea infuser that I can’t get enough of. . . . . The WALL Tea Infuser from Boreal Wildcraft. The WALL Tea Infuser is a simple yet creative idea. So picture this. . .a high quality glass mug with a tea strainer infused into the opening of the mug, an inch or so from the opening of the mug. Quite a description. This mug is just something to behold. . . The Read More
The older I get the more I crave lemon flavored teas it seems. Recently we were sent the Lemon Black Tea from Simpson & Vail and I couldn’t wait to try it! As many of us already know the fruit from the Lemon evergreen tree has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Simpson & Vail noted on their website that while fresh lemons and zest are most often used for culinary recipes, the dried peel is an important make-up of tea blends. Its lemony taste helps add flavor to teas and herbal blends, as well Read More
My cousin, a sailor in the Navy, and I have one big thing in common. I can guarantee you it’s not our skill at feats of endurance and strength (hi, he’s a sailor and I’m a therapist), nor the nuclear-science minded brain (I have a master’s degree, but not THAT kind of master’s degree) or even our physical location (can you tell from my pale, pale Midwestern skin that I’ve never even stepped foot in his current state of residence, Hawaii?). Nope, my friends– it’s our love of tea. We only see each other once, maybe twice a year, but Read More
I don’t usually gravitate towards banana flavored anything. I do, however, like banana nut bread and I also like chocolate covered frozen bananas. Banana flavor, though? Not so much. Alas, I was perusing DAVID’s website and decided to give it a try. I hoped that the banana wouldn’t be too sweet or artificial tasting and that the “nut” part would shine through because I absolutely adore anything and everything that is “nutty” (including people haha). Upon opening my tin I swear this was trail mix! If I put this in a baggie and handed it to you, you would most Read More
I’ve not written about non-standard tea sourcing before. A blog post citation from Cwyn’s Death by Tea identifies the background:
“More and more tea heads on vacation trips are dragging home kilos of tea they tested and bought for friends back home […] The forums are full of people now offering to do group buys from numerous sources, employing their own sets of connections […]”
So, a new wrench for vendors to contend with is non-professionals selling to peers, directing their tea budgets away from current vendors. Furthermore, the line between professional and re-sale is blurry. If honesty and truth are really what buyers want, the non-pros might have an advantage. And who knows when the day will come when tea farmers decide to get into the action themselves, and sell online to the highest bidder.”
A friend of mine was a part of blurring that line, buying kilos of hard to get Nepalese tea both to drink and sell. Now there are now more tea suppliers from that origin. My favorite tea farmer, Cindy Chen, in Wuyishan, is part of the last trend mentioned, opening a sales website very recently, selling directly from the grower and processor, her family.
Group buys are another interesting part of the story. Andrew Richardson is part of that, owner of Liquid Proust teas , who is quite active on Steepster. One of his endeavors has been to create and sell very novel blends, like French Toast Dian Hong, or Rummy Pu [alcohol infused pu’er], which is really a separate story. He also conducts a non-commercial group buy for sheng pu’er, the Sheng Olympiad (see more on both in this blog site).
More about that project follows in this interview with Andrew.
Can you say a little about the Sheng Olympiad?
The Sheng Olympiad is a yearly event that I put together for the online community to have an enriched experience and access to rare/exclusive raw puerh. I do this as someone who is passionate about community and I see a huge potential for people to come together over something as complex as puerh. The Sheng Olympiad isn’t just about shared bulk purchase of good teas. For example: During February 2016, I was talking to White2Tea and Crimson Lotus Tea to produce the exclusive material to be ready for that December. At the same time, I was working with Bitterleaf Teas to help provide some awareness as they were quite new to being an online puerh vendor. Lastly, to provide that rare aspect, I secured the last of Tea Urchin’s 2012 spring Bang Dong cakes so it could be enjoyed by many before disappearing. There will always be a theme focus because The Sheng Olympiad is to be as educational as enjoyable, and while it may be curated by me the discussions that revolve around the tea are the end goal.
Sheng is known as one of the least approachable teas due to adjusting expectations and preferences to the style, finding good versions, and also being touchier about brewing. At the same time it is commonly experienced as an endpoint tea type preference. How does this work out related to participants experiencing a learning curve?
Actually, it’s quite beautiful how this handled. Since this project has a lot of support from those participating, I end up answering almost no questions because people are connecting with one another as they share tips, give suggestions, and ask questions of one another. With that being said, I myself am constantly learning as I read the conversations happen and that brings joy.
Sheng pu’er is actually a diverse version of tea related to styles, regions, aspects, and types, isn’t it? How do you address that in the buy?
Each year I have an educational goal in mind. For 2016, I decided I wanted a solid production of a specific region spanning over years for participates to taste the differences. What ended up being used was a 2005, 2009, and 2015 spring material from YouLe; the 2005 and 2010 are both from Hai Lang Hao and 2015 was the first time in 10 years that they pressed a YouLe cake. For 2017 I chose the Bang Dong and in 2018 it will be Jingmai. Eventually I would like to do some ‘storage wars’, but for now focusing on harvest time and region seems to be working wonderfully.
Is there a core message you would like to pass on to a non-tea drinker?
There’s no better time than now. First thing I always tell someone is to join the community. There’s no requirements for how long someone has been drinking tea or how much tea knowledge they have. Tea is like any other passion or hobby; it’s a journey.
In a recent Steepster forum post Andrew explained why he will stop selling teas (the Liquid Proust blends brand) but would continue ventures like this one:
“I recently got a promotion at work […] This alone will eat up my time […] so I decided that when I do tea it’ll be pure community, pleasure, or education, and never business. I will continue to host the Sheng Olympiad […] Group buys will continue with the main purpose to provide education or experiences […]”
So due to becoming busier in the future he will only be a tea evangelist, instead of a vendor; cool enough.
The post Tea group buying & the Sheng Olympiad: an interview with Andrew Richardson of Liquid Proust Teas appeared first on T Ching.
This was the third tea I tried from A Quarter to Tea. I got a small sample because I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I do like a glass of eggnog during the holidays, but when it comes to the tea I was concerned it may be over spiced. I have had really good experiences with other flavored blends from A Quarter to Tea, though. However, I don’t usually go for white tea so this is different for me. I am more so into green, black, and occasionally oolong. I was really excited to try this one. It Read More
I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to ‘female’ problems if you know what I mean. I don’t usually suffer from many ‘issues’ once a month like many other females I know. I’m grateful for that. However, not-too-long ago I wasn’t quite myself for about a week. I chalked it up as one of those times. You know…one of THOSE times. That’s when I grabbed Get Out Of My Way from Oh You Tea’se. Get Out Of My Way flavored black tea from Oh You Tea’se is for the times you want to scream “Get Out of My Way” at Read More
Hidden Meadow from BlendBee caught my eye as I starred at my stash of tea under my work desk recently. I opened the bag and mentally transported into that Hidden Meadow this tea speaks of. This is a flavored green tea folks! And a great one at that! It contains China Green Tea, sweet Marshmallow Root, creamy Vanilla, and fresh spearmint! This flavor combo makes for a creamy, dreamy, minty-fresh, sweet treat! It’s creamy upfront followed by a welcomed sweet-mint flavor combo and the mint lingers nicely well after the sip is complete. This is a fantastic flavored green! I Read More
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
Jing Mai is one of my favorite puerh growing regions but this is the first tea from there that I've written about in almost a year. So much tea, such little time! The 2016 Year of the Monkey, also from +Bitterleaf Teas, was one of my favorite shengs in recent memory so I was really looking forward to diving into this one.
Life has been a bit crazy lately so I don't have time to gongfu tea as often as I might like to. The one upside is that I tend to enjoy what I drink a lot more. This tea exactly what I needed in that moment. All I could say is "Wow, that's good!" and pour myself another cup. This also led me to use up my entire sample over the course of a weekend. Several late night sessions even led to continued steeps in the morning.
I was struck by how sweet this tea was from the very first sip. Heady floral notes danced around a pleasant vegetal crispness. Although the taste was on the mellow side I think that the aromatics more than made up for it. The mouth feel was so thick and viscous that it almost made the tea seem creamy. There was very little bitterness or astringency, making this a perfect option for those that have trouble handling finicky young puerh. The leaves have had time to mellow out and it shows.
I love that there are so many options for purchasing this tea. I'm unlikely to ever commit to a full 357g cake but a "mini-tong" of 10g mini cakes is definitely up my alley. How handy would those be for traveling? A sample size is also available of just 30g for less than $10.
Hummingbird 2013 Spring Jing Mai Ancient Tree Raw Puer sample provided for review by Bitterleaf Teas.
I've been enjoying this tea since yesterday. So tasty! Hummingbird from @bitterleafteas. What are you drinking today?A post shared by Nicole - Tea for Me Please (@teaformeplease) on Mar 9, 2017 at 10:59am PST
My daughter asked me what tea we were drinking tonight. When I told her the name of this one, I got quite a stare, followed by “All righty then.” What a delight this was to make and to drink. The tea is gorgeous before you even steep it – tight, hard twists and knots of deep army green and the most delicious aroma. And then you steep it and those hard knots become giant green leaves packing the infuser basket and promising many more steeps to come. The tea is pale in color, but a buttery fragrance wafts from the cup. The taste is Read More
My association with drinking tea goes back several years. I have a collection of some favorite memories of tea that I find myself going back to often, and it helps to instantly refresh my mind. Surprisingly, each of these recollections now seems to convey a unique emotion depending on the people or the place surrounding them.
For instance, during my days as a student in a business school, drinking tea at a street side tea shop with a group of friends added a permanent charm to the camaraderie and fun of those carefree times. The image I have in mind of gorging on tea and banana fritters as a teenager while chatting with my cousins and immersing ourselves in the beauty of the rains is a picture that still retains the timeless quality of innocence.
The tea that is served in glazed clay cups is an unforgettable part of the train journeys that I used take during my years growing up in India. The custom of making guests feel at home with refreshing milk tea and nibbles always set the conversation flowing freely whilst lending warmth to the home as friends and neighbors drop by for a friendly chat.
Dwelling on our visit to the tea gardens of Darjeeling and the memory of the green carpet formed by the tea plantations always has an instantly soothing effect on the mind.
It is not just the taste and ritual of making tea. Even such sweet recollections of the brew help to refresh and rejuvenate the mind. What are some of your favorite memories associated with tea?
A few years back, my sister and I went on vacation. A Disney vacation. We went on the Disney Fantasy cruise for a week and then spent a week at Disney World. However, since we were already in Orlando, I insisted that we hit up the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios. In fact, I told my sister I would not go on the trip at all unless she promised me that a visit to Hogwarts was in my future. I had many plans for our day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, one of which was to Read More
This rooibos “taste of Canada” tastes so much like maple syrup you could probably dunk waffles in it. And if I hadn’t given up processed carbs for Lent, I would absolutely do this and get back to you with how it went. Because I think this would work. It’s a super-rich, super-realistic flavor with lots of rooibos sweetness layered with it. There are also hilarious maple leaf sprinkles. They’re like Canadian fruity pebbles of overbearing Great White North patriotism. You’d drink this tea in a giant flannel before going out to construct log cabins by hand. You’d shave in the Read More
Growing up my stepfather would often have a nightcap. A hard drink on ice to relax just before bed. Sometimes it was Rye, sometimes it was Whiskey, sometimes it was Scotch, and on the odd occasion it was Bourbon. On one such occasion, he poured his drink and left it on his nightstand while he went to make a quick nighttime snack. That is when my 10-year-old me wandered into the bedroom where my mom sat on the bed. I went to my stepdad’s side and climbed in. Then, I looked at the drink then at my mom, back to Read More
Gentle, warm, and soothing are 3 words I would use to describe Buttered Spiced Rum Green Tea from 52 Teas. Oddly…these are the same 3 words that 52 Teas used to describe this tea, too! Organic ingredients include green tea, oranges, cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, nutmeg and natural flavors. 52 Teas doesn’t mess around! At least they don’t mess around with top quality ingredients. They might just have a little TOO much fun when it comes to blending the flavors but there’s NOTHING wrong with that, is there? No. I didn’t think so. As much as I hate the phrase Read More
“CACHE-CACHE” means “hide-and-seek” in French. I’m horrible at French so I’m grateful that I could find more about this on the Lupicia Site. Cache Cache from Lupicia is a tea where various flavors are hidden and found. Ingredients include Black tea, Sugar, Orange flower, Pink pepper, Artificial color, Gum arabic, Flavors. I remember back in 2014 – having tea envy – because LiberTeas sampled and reviewed this one back then. I’m excited it was available once again this past holiday season and I was able to get my hands on it, too! There seemed to be so many different flavor Read More