Since teas from Vietnam are spotty as far as purity and quality go, I was excited when TeaHaus was able get the oolong Oriental Beauty. But interestingly, many things come to play with this tea—its potentially problematic name, the role of pests, the source, and of course the quality of the tea itself. Here's a … Continue reading Oriental Beauty Oolong: The Name, the Science, the Tea
Although trying a new tea is always fun, sometimes you discover more when you compare a couple of teas. Today I tried two oolongs kindly provided by Life in Teacup, a company specializing in Chinese teas. Both are Anxi Tieguanyin (or Tie Guan Yin) oolongs, one Modern Green Roast Grade II and the other Traditional … Continue reading Comparing Tieguanyin Green Oolong Teas
A Brief Look at Goldenrod Beautiful plumes of goldenrod now adorn our fields, signaling summer's ebb. Long blamed for allergies, this vibrant flower has been falsely maligned. The concurrently blooming ragweed—with unassuming green flowers—is most likely the actual culprit. Meanwhile, goldenrod's showy flowers provide nectar to butterflies (including monarchs) and both nectar and pollen to bees, … Continue reading Goldenrod Tea
Being frostbitten is generally a negative experience—for you and for many plants. Much research goes into how to best protect tea plants from frost, and in some regions of the world, such as the Caucasus, frost-tolerant genotypes have been developed. These genotypes allow plants to thrive in colder regions, which has two benefits: the plants … Continue reading Nilgiri Frost Tea, and How Tea Leaves Respond to the Cold
If asked to name all the cooking herbs you have in your kitchen, does sencha make the list? Or lapsang souchong? Any tea besides culinary matcha? If your answer is no, then you might be surprised to know that tea—both classic and flavored—is amazingly versatile in cooking and baking alike. This year's World Tea Conference … Continue reading Six Easy Ways to Use Tea in Your Cooking
Have you ever been in a situation where you're doing a wine tasting and you hear: "I love that hint of cassis" and while you're thinking "what's cassis?" you hear: "fruit forward baking spices" and you're like "huh?" At: "I love the hint of torrefaction," you blankly stare. If asked: "does this lean more toward … Continue reading How to Taste and Describe the Tea You Drink
EWW was my reaction when I initially heard of the TeaHaus tea blend Strawberry Mint Lavender. This was well before I joined the TeaHaus staff, at a time when my daughter first started raving about this odd blend. Strawberry and mint, fine, but throw in lavender? Really? But quite astonishingly to me—who's not a fan … Continue reading Strawberry Mint Lavender Tea: Why It Works!
A blank canvas transforms simply with an artist's stroke. So, too, a plucked tea leaf. With expertise and mastery, such leaves may retain their vegetal nature and striking green hue. Or, they may evolve into complex black tea, their molecular changes proven by the reds, coppers, and browns of the cup. And while Japanese teas … Continue reading What Is Benifuki Tea?
One of the best perks of my job? Drinking tea! So today I tried a tea that was new to me, a sample of Jin Jun Mei kindly provided by Life in Teacup. And wow, this is a gorgeous tea! The fluffy leaves, with their long minute hairs, look like delicate golden and charcoal twisted … Continue reading Jin Jun Mei—A Gentle Black Tea
There's a seasonality to the teas we drink—perhaps most pronounced for those of us who annually enjoy four distinct seasons. Whereas a full-bodied, steaming hot tea comforts during winter's cold, we often reach for light and sunny brews on the first precious warm days of spring. Citrus teas fulfill that need nicely, reminding us of … Continue reading Reasons for Citrus in Tea