Oriental Beauty Oolong: The Name, the Science, the Tea

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

Comparing Tieguanyin Green Oolong Teas

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

Finding the Best Teapot for the Tea: Ya Shi Xiang Oolong

I recently purchased some Ya Shi Xiang oolong from Zerama Tea, figuring I should try some Dan Cong as I haven't had any. I really love the oolongs that I typically drink and haven't strayed much past them, but it was time to sample something new. Even a characteristically dry scientific article noted that Phoenix … Continue reading Finding the Best Teapot for the Tea: Ya Shi Xiang Oolong

New to Tea? Start Here (Part 3: Oolong and Black Tea)

Continuing my informal guide to selecting tea, we've come to black tea, the most oxidized of the tea types, and oolong, which falls between green and black tea in oxidation. If you've decided that the vegetal nature of green teas just is not for you, head for an oolong or black tea. Black Tea. Everyone … Continue reading New to Tea? Start Here (Part 3: Oolong and Black Tea)

New to Tea? Start Here

Step into any tea store, in person or online, and the choices are staggering. If you're new to loose tea, the range of options can even be paralyzing. Where do you possibly begin? Added to the confusion is that although tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) are rightfully called "tea," other leaves, flowers, and even spice blends … Continue reading New to Tea? Start Here

Chinese Oolong Tea—Compressed into a Cube!

A new teapot deserves a new tea so when my daughter brought over her latest thrift store find, an engaging porcelain teapot and cup set, we went through my stash to find a suitable tea.We settled on an unopened sample of Chinese Zhang Ping Shui Xian Oolong Tea Fragrant Orchid Grade One, produced in Fujian Province, … Continue reading Chinese Oolong Tea—Compressed into a Cube!

The Quality of Tea Both Shapes and Reflects Social Standing

In this season of gift-giving, gift-giving itself can be filled with landmines. Will they like it? Will it demonstrate that I know what they like? Will it demonstrate that I have good taste? Because a gift can say as much or more about the giver than the recipient. Indeed, most, if not all, of what … Continue reading The Quality of Tea Both Shapes and Reflects Social Standing

Nepali Teas Come into Their Own

Although few knew it at the time, a seismic shift took place when botanist Robert Fortune spirited high-quality tea plants out of China in the mid-1800s. Transplanting them into Himalayan soil, he opined that “a boon will have been conferred upon the people of India” if that country’s poor could be provided with an affordable tea, … Continue reading Nepali Teas Come into Their Own

Unexpected Free Tea Sample Fun!

This came quite unexpectedly in the mail last night! I had totally forgotten that I had signed up for some free tea samples from the April Tea Industry Company, or AprTea. Their name refers to the first plucking in the spring because, as their website puts it: Tea in April means “the best tea.” This Chinese … Continue reading Unexpected Free Tea Sample Fun!

Milk Oolong Tea, Deliciously Creamy

Continuing the oolong theme here for a bit, let's take a look at a tea that is both an oolong and a specialty tea. Unique to China, it is also unique among teas. Milk Oolong: How It's Made This exquisite tea is produced in mountainous Fujian Province—the birthplace of oolong tea—located on mainland China's southeast … Continue reading Milk Oolong Tea, Deliciously Creamy