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Teavivre Silver Needle White Tea 2014

Tea For Me Please - 7 hours 6 min ago
Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: pale green, covered in silver hairs Ingredients: white tea Steep time: 3 minutes Water Temperature: 165 degrees Preparation Method: glass teapot Liquor: pale gold Many tea drinkers struggle with silver needle because until your taste buds have been trained for tea a bit, it might just taste like nothing at all. The flavor is extremely delicate but onceNicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0

K2K:Kolkata to Kunming

T Ching - 11 hours 52 sec ago

On 25th November 2014, I attended the 10th edition of K2K Forum – Kolkata to Kunming – took place in Kunming, in the Yunnan province of China.  The twin sister cities host the forum alternately, and this was the fourth time for me since 2010.

The Forum has been growing ever since its inception: this year, the Hindi language was included, in addition to English and Chinese as the medium of communication – albeit little other than Indian songs and dances performed by Chinese artists and students during a cultural program. There are growing job opportunities for Indian nationals in China for increasing business for Chinese enterprise in India.

Since the forum focuses more on cultural and educational activities, our business interests were met by showcasing our Tea Blossom MOU with China Tea Blossom Technology Ltd., Beijing. We were represented there by Carol or Lin Zhi Min. These efforts were keenly studied by Mr. Nagraj Naidu, Consul General from Indian Consulate in Guangzhou and Mr. Zhou Maoyi, Deputy Consul General from Chinese Consulate in Kolkata.

A hitherto mostly waste product of tea processing will be converted into industrial use in food processing and health & skin care products. This opportunity encouraged almost every intelligent mind associated with society and business – especially Indian delegation leader Mr. Krishnan Srinivasan, former Foreign Secretary of India.

We high lighted this point: tea is an integral part of the economies of both Yunnan and Bengal. The 2500 kilometre land route connecting this 1500 kilometre aerial distance has nothing but tea as the major annual agricultural produce -1 billion kilos.  This area is connecting the whole world through their famous Darjeeling, Assam and Pu’er teas.

Rajiv Lochan is a tea researcher, grower, and ambassador.  Learn more at Lochan Tea. Images courtesy of Rajiv Lochan. 

The post K2K:Kolkata to Kunming appeared first on T Ching.

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 22 from Teanzo 1856

SororiTEA Sisters - 13 hours 6 min ago

The big day is almost here.  Just two days left to shop for it!

Today’s artistic inspiration comes from another 12 Days of Christmas swap.  This ornament was created by Autumn.  (Sorry, Autumn, I didn’t take note of your last name!)  This is really a cool ornament.  It’s difficult to tell from the photo (and the photo isn’t the greatest anyway!) but the base of the ornament is a juice concentrate lid.  You know, the stuff you get in the freezer section of the grocery store in the cardboard cylinders with metal ends?  Autumn took the metal ends and made ornaments!  Really cool!

It’s not only a beautiful ornament that adds a lot of sparkle to my tree, but I love that it was made out of something upcycled – something that was otherwise destined for the landfill!  

Here is an up close view of the ornament…

Like I said, very cool.

I love doing the 12 days of Christmas mail art swaps for things like this – I find it very inspiring to see what other artists are doing with everyday “throwaway” items like juice can lids!  Pieces like this really get the creative juices flowing!

Today’s teas is one of my favorites thus far.  This is one tea I’m likely to buy again from Teanzo, because I suspect I’ll be wanting more of it soon!

Earl Grey Green Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

If you love Earl Grey Tea, then try our Earl Grey Green Tea.  You get all the health benefits of green tea, with that familiar Earl Grey flavor that you already love.  A perfect gift for Earl Grey lovers!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve reviewed quite a few Earl Grey black teas (an understatement!) but significantly less Earl Grey green teas.  There are a couple of reasons for this:  the first is that there are far fewer Earl Grey green teas available out there.  With just about any tea company out there, you’re likely to find an Earl Grey black.  Most tea companies has at least one black variety of Earl Grey.  But, only a fraction of those actually carry an Earl Grey green tea.

The second reason is that as much as I love an Earl Grey black tea, I’ve not found a lot of Earl Grey green teas that I’ve enjoyed as much.  I’ve enjoyed a few, but if it came down to a choice between an Earl Grey black and an Earl Grey green, I’d choose the black version every time.  Bergamot just seems to meld better with the flavor of black tea better than the green tea.

BUT!

I think I may have found an Earl Grey green tea that I enjoy as much as I enjoy some of my favorite Earl Grey blacks.  Maybe not as much as those Earl Grey black teas that are at the very top of my list, but, this Earl Grey green even when placed among the black teas would be somewhere in the top ten.  Yep.  I said it.  This is a GOOD Earl Grey green.  Really good!

I’m not sure what makes this one so much better than the other Earl Grey green teas that I’ve tried.  The bergamot?  Perhaps.  This is a flavorful bergamot, tangy with just a little contrasting sweetness, it’s bright and invigorating.  A nice, sunny citrus note that isn’t overly floral or perfume-y, but still very distinctly bergamot.

Perhaps it’s the tea itself?  The green tea here looks like large gunpowder pellets and it has a pleasantly sweet flavor.  It’s not overly vegetative.  It’s a little earthy, it has hints of buttery notes.  It’s a mild tasting green tea and it blends in a very agreeable way with the notes of bergamot.  It has a slight creaminess to it that softens some of the sharper notes of the bergamot.

Together, this is a delightful match.  The tea resteeps nicely too, I find that the bergamot notes soften somewhat in the second infusion but the softer notes are quite pleasant too.

This tea was one of the most pleasant of surprises discovered in this Advent Calender from Teanzo!

Tea Taste Test: British Breakfast

The Tea Horse Road - 16 hours 6 min ago


Scent: Mildly sweet and mid-range astringency
Color: Deep mahogany red

Taste: Mild bitterness with a high astringency coating
Body:  Thick

Stay: Long stay
Leaf: Teabag

Conclusion: Astringency with a lingering bitter taste and a thick coating, no dust 

Pumpkin Apple Banana Bread Black Tea from 52Teas

SororiTEA Sisters - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 23:00

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

I don’t know about you, but that just makes my mouth water just reading the name of this tea. This tea has premium black teas, freeze-dried apples and bananas, marigold petals and organic flavors. I think this one is going to be a big hit, so don’t miss out.

Learn more about this blend here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

So this is the second or third tea that I’ve had since 52Teas changed the size of their tea.  They used to offer their unique blends in 2 ounce sizes unless it was a white tea or a specialty tea base, and in those cases, it was closer to 1 to 1 1/2 ounce.  Now the teas are sold in 1/2 ounce pouches, and I’ve got to tell you that I like it a lot better this way.

As I’ve said on more than one occasion, I’m a “taster.”  I like to taste new-to-me teas.  (She who tastes the most tea wins!)  And I fall in love with a lot of teas, but if I’m going to limit myself to just those teas, then I don’t taste as many new-to-me teas and to be honest, I enjoy falling in love more than I enjoy staying in love.  I’m a romantic like that.  So, smaller sizes for teas enables me to fall in love with more teas with less commitment.  That’s my kind of tea relationship.  It’s kind of like having a harem, only with tea.  Does that make me a tea slut?  A tea-izer?

Anyway, that was probably more than you wanted to know about my relationships with tea.  Let’s get on with this review, shall we?

Pumpkin Apple Banana Bread flavored Black Tea.  Not your average tea blend.  Then again, that’s what I’ve come to love about 52Teas – they often color outside the lines and create blends that are intriguingly different.  Something that piques my interest because it’s just so wacky and unusual.

So my interest was definitely piqued with this blend.  My first sip or two, though, was a little less than spectacular.  To be honest, it tasted like plain black tea.  I worried that maybe I was coming down with something and my taste buds are out of whack.  So I waited for a few minutes to give the tea time to cool, hoping that the flavors would pop.

Yep!  This is a tea that benefits greatly with some cooling time so that the flavors have time to develop.  Those first few sips, when this tea was still piping hot, I found the flavors to be somewhat muddied.  But after about five minutes cool time, the flavors started to come into focus!  Bam!

And Yay!  My taste buds appear to be in working order.

There is a lot going on in this cup:  there’s a lot of different flavors to experience.  The sip starts out with a hint of apple-y sweetness.  A moment later, I taste notes of banana.  By mid-sip, I pick up on notes of pumpkin.  This is a true medley of these three flavors.

I don’t taste a lot of “bread” or the cake-y quick bread flavor that I’d taste if I were biting into a piece of banana bread.  This is more about the fruits and pumpkin than it is about the “bread.”  But I do taste hints of a cinnamon-y type note that accents the pumpkin (and the apple and banana, for that matter!) quite nicely.  And as I continue to sip, I start to taste flavors that might be “bread-like” or at least “buttery” that make my palate believe that maybe, just maybe the cake-y/bread-y flavors are actually there.

And I’m also enjoying the black tea base.  The description doesn’t tell me what types of black teas 52Teas is using now (I know that they were thinking of changing their base at one point), but I like the smoothness of this base.  It’s a flavorful tea and I’m not getting any astringency or bitterness from it.  Nice!

To brew this tea, I used my Breville One-Touch.  I measured out 2 bamboo scoops of tea into the basket and added 500ml of water to the jug and set the parameters as follows:  205°F for 2 1/2 minutes.  Allow the tea to cool at least 5 minutes before you start sipping – your taste buds will thank you for it!

Overall, a tasty blend.  I’d like a little more of that cakey-bready-buttery flavor that I’ve enjoyed with other “bread/cake” type of blends from 52Teas, but I do like that I’m tasting the pumpkin, apple and banana flavors clearly.

The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura

Tea Guy Speaks - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 21:06
The Book of Tea
by Kakuzo Okakura

The increased interest in tea in recent years has resulted in many great books on the subject, with many more sure to follow. After all, tea is a vast topic and hardly one that can be dispensed with in the space of a few volumes.

If you'd like to look back to what some authors of yesteryear had to say about tea, you'd do well to start with The Classic Of Tea, by Lu Yu, a Chinese scholar of ancient times. Although, the last time I checked, this pioneering volume wasn't all that easy to get your hands on.

A work by another Asian scholar, The Book Of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura, is also worth taking a look at and is not nearly so hard to locate. The book has been in print continuously since it was first published in 1906 and is still available in a variety of printed and electronic editions, including this one, at Project Gutenberg.

This is not the time or place to debate whether The Book Of Tea is one of the most influential books ever written on the topic, but most observers will probably agree that it ranks high on the list. Okakura's work is a slim volume that introduces readers to his opinionated notions and his concept of Teaism and takes a look at how tea became such an indispensable part of Japanese life, both as a beverage and as aid to spiritual contemplation.

Not surprisingly, given the role of tea in Japanese culture and the Japanese tea ceremony, much of what Okakura discusses in this modest work has to do with this link between spirituality and tea. Among the topics covered, great schools of tea, prominent tea masters of yesteryear and the link between tea and Taoism and Zen (which the author refers to as Zennism).

Adagio Teas - Best Tea Online

teaBOT - Robotic Tea Maker

Tea Guy Speaks - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 18:19
We're always up for a new tea gadget and so here's the teaBOT, which its makers describe as a gadget that makes "personalized loose-leaf tea through robotics."

Cuisinart TEA-100 PerfecTemp Programmable Tea Steeper

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 21 from Teanzo 1856

SororiTEA Sisters - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 11:00

We’re getting there!  This 24 days has gone by so quickly – it’s already day 21!  Can you believe it?  This year is almost gone – a new one about to begin!

For today’s artistic inspiration, I sorted through some of my old photos online and I came across some altered dominoes that I created.  I altered a bunch of dominoes (the back of the domino is a really neat surface to use as a canvas for artwork) and I turned them into little ornaments and sold them one year at the Christmas Bazaar in Ridgefield, WA.  That was more years than I care to count at this point!  Wow!  I can’t believe how long ago that was.

Anyway, here is one of the dominoes that I altered.  I drilled a hole in the domino to be able to add a jump ring and a loop to the domino, then I added the star and swirl design, painted it, and then I added some rhinestones to the piece for some extra sparkle.  Then I protected the surface with a resin that adds a glass-like surface to it.  The final piece was bright, sparkly and shiny – just the kind of thing you want for your holiday tree!

I sold a bunch of these things – back then, I was also selling tea and that was my primary purpose at the bazaar, I wanted to sell my teas but I decided that since I was paying for the booth, that I’d take full advantage of it and sell some other stuff too.  I did pretty well, I managed to sell enough to pay for the cost of the booth plus buy a few holiday gifts for some of the more expensive people on my list.  It was a day well spent.

Tranquil Spa Blend

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos (Green)

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

Tranquil Spa Blend is a relaxing ginger mint orange herbal blend.  Rejuvenation at its tastiest.  We wanted to take you away to a spa with our teas, so we put together a brand new Spa Trio:  Dream Spa Blend, Tranquil Spa Blend, and Bliss Spa Blend.  Each of these is caffeine free and blended to perfection to give you a spa feeling and taste.  Each of our spa blends comes in a green latch tin with 2 oz of tea.  You can also purchase them as a Spa Trio.  Add a little spa to your day!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Having already tried the Dream Spa Blend and the Bliss Spa Blend from the “Spa Trio” and really enjoying them, I was hopeful that I’d have a similar experience with this Tranquil Spa Blend.  Then I read the ingredients and saw that eucalyptus was in the blend and I’m hopeful that the eucalyptus wouldn’t ruin this blend for me.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed and go into it with an open mind!

To steep this tisane, I used my Kati tumbler.  12 ounces of water heated to 195°F, I poured the contents of the sampler pouch into the basket of the tumbler and then added the water.  I steeped this for 6 minutes.  Usually I would steep a tisane for a little longer but I was a little cautious this time with the eucalyptus.

Now it’s time for a sip!

OK, this isn’t bad!  It’s actually quite tasty.  Yes, I taste the eucalyptus, but, I am getting stronger notes of orange and ginger and the eucalyptus seems to enhance the ginger notes a little bit here.  Rather than causing the whole cup to turn to a bitter, medicinal mess, it is actually enhancing the blend.  That certainly is an unexpected turn of events!

The eucalyptus seems to soften the ginger a little bit.  Ginger usually has a lot of peppery bite to it, but the eucalyptus has soften the blow of the ginger bite here.  It’s still warm and ginger-y pleasant, but the ginger has a smoother flavor now.

I don’t taste a lot from the mint, but there is a background minty taste.  I like the way that peeks through.  The green rooibos is the perfect base because it adds a light, fruity sweetness to the cup.

Everything is balanced here.  The orange is bright and juicy.  The ginger is warm without being too spicy.  The eucalyptus isn’t overpowering (yay!) and the mint is a soft, subtle flavor.  It’s soothing without tasting medicinal.  It all works with the ‘tranquil’ vibe that the name of this tea suggests.

A SURPRISINGLY good tisane.  I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I am.

Tea Taste Test: Peppermint Bark

The Tea Horse Road - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 08:00

Scent: High, sweet
Color: Dark amber
  
















Taste: Mild mint and sweet after taste
Body:  viscous, Thick

Stay: thick and sweet
Leaf: Tea Bags

Conclusion: The brew was mild even though it had a viscous thickness that coated the mouth. Had a mid-range sweetness. When brewed – slight mint aroma. Light dust at the bottom of the cup.

Barb's TEA Shop Wishlist 2014: A countdown to Downton

Barb's Tea Shop - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 04:27
Share your weekend (whatever that is) with Lady Violet teddyAlthough our BTS wishlist is a little late this year, even with late shipping, no tea enthusiast/Downton Abbey fanatic will complain if any of these items arrive post-Christmas. Be creative and say these DA-inspired gifts are planned to arrive to coincide with the airing of the fifth season on January 4th (see there, plenty of time!)
Let your DA devote start their weekend, whatever that is, with a good book, a fuzzy blanket, a cup of tea and a good Dowager to snuggle with. Order this delightful Lady Violet  for $75.00 to keep you in line and in good company from Signals.
Lord Grantham teddy


Lord Gulley  of Glencoe













And for the Lord in your life, how about a teddy-likeness with Lord Grantham, attired, of course, in his Donegal tweed suit and also for $75.00 at Signals.
Downton Abbey Christmas tea gift setOf course, the holidays and Downton Abbey are always more enjoyable with a hot cup of tea. The Republic of Tea has combined both beautifully with this Downton Abbey Christmas gift set for $24,95.

Are we having tea or not?
To accompany your Lady Violet teddy or to play the Dowager's drinking game (every time she utters a quip, you take a sip of tea), no DA fan could be without the Dowager Darjeeling from Bingley's Tea. We have sampled this tasty tea and give it a Lady's gloved-two-thumbs up to this blend which demands, "Are we having tea or not?"


Beautiful Edwardian tea gown
And, why not have afternoon tea as the Crawley's do in a fashionable Edwardian tea dress from Victorian Trading Company for a mere $179.95.  Perhaps someone you know who is a size medium would enjoy this beautiful frock.

Another great Downton Abbey book from Jessica Fellowes Another must-have for DA-philes is any one - or even better the collection - of Downton Abbey books written by Jessica Fellowes, niece of DA creator, Julian Fellowes. We met Jessica Fellowes last month in Delaware where she was the guest speaker at Wilmington's Antique and Garden Show. I received her first book as birthday present two years ago and Jessica Fellowes had me at page one. I purchased the third and most recent book in the series, "A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey".  It's wonderful to follow the series throughout the year and there are several great recipes included (scones are my favorite!).
Rachel, Barb and Jessica FellowesAnd,  the piece de resistance for any Downton Abbey fan, what could be more exciting than a visit to Highclere Castle and a stay on the grounds at London Lodge? Nothing! Opening dates start February 13 and include various dates throughout the new year. There's even a tea tray set near the Lodge's fireplace. 
Having tea and a stay at Highclere, not exactly pricelessAccommodations start around  $550.00 a night. Even if this comes after the holiday season, no recipient would complain.
Keep in mind, Barb's TEA Shop will be presenting several Downton Abbey-inspired teas in 2015. Stay connected to barbsteashop.com for future event dates!
Whether a Downton Abbey themed tea or a trip across the pond to the grounds of Highclere Castle, there is something on BTS' wishlist to fill anyone's stocking.
But, most of all, we wish all our dear friends the great delights the holiday season brings!

Winterwolf Tea Blend from M&K’s Tea Company

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 23:00

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos (Green)

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

Winterwolf Tea is here! A limited holiday tea, we take juicy wolfberries and roast them in our local honey with a bit of butterscotch flavor, mix in some spiced green rooibos with cinnamon, and, well, you have some Winterwolf Tea. It tastes like an apple met a cinnamon stick and got caught in a magical honey ocean. But they lived.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I was brewing this, I was thinking to myself, what are wolfberries?  After the tea brewed, I looked at the infused berry and it looked a lot like a goji berry, so I googled it and it turns out that yes, goji berries are also known as wolfberries.  I didn’t know that.  You learn something new every day.

To brew this tisane, I emptied the sampler pouch into the basket of my Kati tumbler and added 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F and let it steep for 10 minutes.  The result is something that’s a lot like the description above suggests.  It does taste “like an apple met a cinnamon stick and got caught in a magical honey ocean.”  In other words:  YUM!

Because the rooibos used here is a green rooibos, the flavor doesn’t come off as nutty or woodsy, instead, it’s light and fresh and fruit-like.  Apparently when green rooibos mixed with goji berries, honey, and butterscotch flavor, the end result is an apple-y flavor.

I don’t taste a strong ‘goji berry’ flavor here.  I don’t get the tartness that I often get from goji berry.  I taste honey, I taste notes of butterscotch, but mostly, what I taste is an apple-y, cinnamon-y flavor that is quite lovely.  I’m not quite sure where the apple notes are coming from, but they’re there, and I’m loving what I’m drinking, even if I don’t quite understand it!

I’m really pleased with this holiday blend from M&K’s.  If all rooibos blends tasted this good, I’d not be so apprehensive to try them, because this tisane is delicious!

Last chance this weekend for tea at the Dickens Fair!

The Hour For Tea - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 21:16
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in Daly City closes this weekend, and tea at Dickens is still as popular as ever!  The Dickens Fair runs weekends only, between the Friday after Thanksgiving and the Sunday before … Continue reading →

Nerd? Geek? Or Maybe Just Better Than You?

The Devotea - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 21:02
When was it that ‘nerd’ became a pejorative term for someone who does things properly? If you take the time to use punctuation correctly, all of a sudden you’re a “grammar nerd”. Yet it isn’t applied universally. Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t called a “soccer nerd”. Win a chess tournament, you’re a chess nerd, but bowl a […]

Da Hong Pao – Art of Tea

Walker Tea Review - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 13:00
The Art of Tea is one of the resources that devoted disciples of tea should have in their library. The magazine is one of the most in-depth sources of information about the origins and development of teas and teaware printed in English. In its pages, one can learn the differences in the authentic tickets placed […]

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 20 from Teanzo 1856

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 11:00

Wow – it’s Day 20.  I can’t believe it.  You know what that means, don’t you?  There are only 5 days until the day we’ve all been waiting for gets here, and there are only 4 days left to actually shop to prepare for that day!

Today’s artistic inspiration comes from Regina Zyry.  It’s one of the coolest paper ornaments for the tree that I have!  The backing is crafted out of “fan folded” paper.  It’s really lovely and I love the way it looks on the tree.  The sparkly glitter in the center of the ornament shimmers when the lights on the tree blink.  And the buttons dangle and keep the eye interested.  This is another of those ornaments that I get a burst of “joy” when I unwrap it to decorate the tree.

Today’s tea gave me a “burst of joy” too!  It’s been one of my favorites that I’ve tried from this Advent Calendar – it’s a good thing that Teanzo offers this tea year round.

Orange Crème Dessert Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

Orange crème dessert tea is a smooth loose leaf orange black tea with a hint of vanilla. A real treat.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh yum!  When I knew that I’d be featuring the Advent Calendar from Teanzo 1856 this year, I took a few minutes to peruse the Teanzo website to see what different types of teas they offer.  As I was “window shopping” with Teanzo, I came across this tea and this was one I was hoping would be in the Advent Calendar this year.  It sounded so yummy!

So, I was happy to grab the pouch for day 20 and turn it over to see that Orange Crème would be today’s tea!

The dry leaf smells amazing – bright notes of orange with sweet, creamy notes and a background of black tea.  Very aromatic!  The brewed tea keeps that fragrance – this smells a bit like someone may have melted an orange cream ice pop in my black tea!  It smells sweet and delicious and it’s got my mouth watering!

After allowing it to cool for a few minutes, I took my first sip!  Yum!

The black tea base isn’t an overly aggressive tea.  It adds a nice “black tea” flavor to the background but it doesn’t attempt to interfere with the flavors of orange and vanilla which are playing in the foreground.  It’s a strong, solid backdrop of flavor.  It’s pleasant and flavorful, smooth and not overly astringent.

The orange flavor is sweet and juicy with just enough tangy flavor to add some interest to the cup.  It’s a sunny, energetic flavor that melds beautifully with the sweet, indulgent notes of vanilla.

It’s a really pleasant, dessert-y type of tea that still tastes like tea.  It’s not overly flavored so that the tea notes are overwhelmed.  It’s not quite as strong as I’d like a morning tea to be, but this would make a really nice afternoon pick-me-up.  It would also be an excellent choice to serve to your guests – they’ll really enjoy this one!

Tea Taste Test: Pumpkin Spice

The Tea Horse Road - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 08:00

Scent: Spicy and sweet, mild ginger
Color: Dark amber

Taste: Mildly spicy with a black tea flavor
Body:  Moderately thick

Stay: mild astringency coat
Leaf: Tea bag

Conclusion: Has a black tea flavor with a mild aftertaste of spice, brew was somewhat cloudy but with no dust. Spice notes are subdued not very pungent or aromatically overpowering. Note of the scents are far more heightened before brewing.


Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal DiviniTEA from 52Teas

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 23:00

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:  

This is a VERY special blend of white-tipped formosa oolong, Darjeeling Wonder Tea (a special oolong from the Darjeeling region), cinnamon, rolled oats, freeze-dried apple bits and organic flavors.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh yum.  Frank does it again.

He delivers exactly what he promised.  This tastes just like Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal … actually, as I sip this, I’m not really thinking of a bowl of oatmeal, but more of an apple crisp with an oatmeal crumble topping.  Mmm!

When I scooped out a bamboo scoop of the leaves to put into the basket of my Kati tumbler, I saw a HUGE dried apple chunk.  This is not your average little dried apple diced chunk that you’ll find in other tea blends.  This is about the size of a single square on the “regular” sized Rubik’s Cube.  As in, this was bigger than the average dried apple bit.

And because this apple chunk took up half of the bamboo scoop, I decided I needed more tea in the basket.  So I measured out another 1/2 a scoop of the tea and put that into the basket.  Then I poured heated water (180°F) over the tea.  I gave it a quick 15 second rinse, discarded the liquid, and then steeped the leaves for 3 minutes.

And as I said at the start – yum.  Like serious yum.

The apple and Oolong are a perfect pairing, I think.  Having tried (and enjoyed) a couple of other apple flavored teas this season from Zoomdweebies, I think that this may be their best apple tea yet.  Like I said, the apple and the Oolong seem to just work together.  The Oolong allows the more delicate flavors of the apple to really shine through while the apple doesn’t obscure the Oolong notes.  I love that Frank used a Darjeeling Oolong in this.  I love the crispness of the Oolong base here – it seems to accentuate the crisp, apple-y flavors.

And I like that I taste the other flavors too.  The cinnamon is strong without being overly assertive.  It enhances the apple and gives the cup a hint of spice to go with the sweet.  I can taste the oatmeal notes.  I even taste a hint of brown sugar (and this would be really tasty if you sweetened it with a pinch of brown sugar to highlight those brown sugar-y notes).

This tea should really make you happy that autumn is here.  That is assuming, of course, that you weren’t already just as pleased as apple oatmeal that it’s here.

A really tasty blend that resteeps really well.  The second infusion tasted very much like the first!  I’m betting this is really good iced too.  I like it warm though, it seems to add to the cozy, comforting thoughts that a bowl of apple oatmeal inspires.

Favorite Tea Ware: Nicole Martin of Tea for Me Please

Notes on Tea - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 18:16
As a tea drinker, and I am sure this is true for you, I adore teaware, from bombillas to matcha whisks. Everyone has their favorites! This series showcases the favorite teaware of folks in the tea blogging community. Today's faves are from Nicole Martin of Tea for Me Please.


Yixing Teapot: This was my first yixing teapot. I fell in love with its unique sunrise design. It's dedicated to my favorite tea, Huang Zhi Xiang from Seven Cups Fine Chinese Teas.


Gaiwan: Gaiwans are my go to brewing method these days. This is the first one I ever purchased. It's still trucking, even though there's a small crack in the lid now.


Glass Teapot: I love my glass teapot because I can see the leaves open up and admire the color of my tea. It works great for white and green teas.


Hagi Chawan: I went through a phase where I collected a lot of Hagi teaware and this is my favorite piece. It was glazed twice so bits of blue peek through the top white glaze.


Vintage Teacup: Most of my teaware is Asian inspired but I'm a sucker for a vintage teacup. This one was produced by Paragon in the 1930's.

All photos courtesy of Nicole Martin. Thank you for sharing your favorite teaware with us, Nicole.

Friday Round Up: December 14th to December 20th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 17:00
Magnetic Tea Chalkboard +Bonnie Eng's creativity strikes again! I LOVE her latest DIY project. It would make a great gift for your favorite tea lover (or even for yourself) If only my tea collection was that small... :) Obscurantism: What Tea are you Really Buying? +Tea Guardian posed a very interesting question that has been a subject of debate for some time. Can any partially oxidized tea Nicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0
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