A House with the Aroma of Pu-erh Tea

Wouldn't it be quite heavenly to live in a house that smells like tea? And by this I mean the fabric of the house itself. Tea offers an aroma that is generally delicate, often complex—perhaps faintly sweet or fruity or spicy or earthy or malty or a mingling of attributes. The fragrance alone seems to transfer … Continue reading A House with the Aroma of Pu-erh Tea

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

How to Brew Oolong Teas

Early in China's Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), Fujian tea producers began a new tea process, resulting in wulong—or oolong—teas. For these, three to four tea leaves are plucked along with the buds. These more mature leaves are able to stand up to the extensive processing steps that they undergo (see previous post).During this processing, the leaves are … Continue reading How to Brew Oolong Teas

What Is Oolong Tea?

Oolong Teas Black tea, white tea, green tea—they're all pretty straightforward. But then there are the oolongs. Where do they fall in the tea spectrum? And just what are they? Black Dragon Although the exact origin of oolong tea—with its time-consuming production process—is rather a mystery, we do know that it originated somewhere in China quite a few centuries … Continue reading What Is Oolong Tea?

China Royal Jasmine Curls Green Tea: What It Is and How to Brew It

   China Royal Jasmine Curls—the name alone suggests that this is an exquisite tea! This specialty green tea, unique to China, is made with time-honored traditions. In Fujian Province (located on mainland China's southeast coast), bud sets are plucked in the spring and lightly processed. Then, when jasmine blossoms are available in the summer, the blossoms and … Continue reading China Royal Jasmine Curls Green Tea: What It Is and How to Brew It

Hyson Green Tea and the American Colonists

In a recent visit to Boston, my daughter bought this fun tea for me: As the tin says, early Americans drank Hyson and Young Hyson teas along with the gunpowder teas that my last posts examined. The English deliberated about which teas to ship to the colonies, evaluating flavor, price, storability, profit—and what they could convince … Continue reading Hyson Green Tea and the American Colonists

What is Black Gunpowder or Black Pearl Tea?

Black gunpowder tea is also called Black Pearls—and these small pellets do have a passing resemblance to pearls, especially those that are beautifully rolled into compact balls. Long Enjoyed in America Gunpowder tea has been made for centuries in China, and it was ideal for trade with the West. Because the leaves are tightly rolled, they are … Continue reading What is Black Gunpowder or Black Pearl Tea?

What Is Gunpowder Temple of Heaven Green Tea?

First off, its NAME! The colorful name of gunpowder tea may well come from the resemblance of its pellets to actual gunpowder, stemming from the days when ships sailed this tea around the globe. And certainly, many of the leaves are rolled into tight pellets. Here are examples of green gunpowder tea, though there is also … Continue reading What Is Gunpowder Temple of Heaven Green Tea?

What Is Palace or Ocean Needle Green Tea?

   Palace Needle, or Ocean Green Needle, is a beautiful variety of green tea! Pour out a handful and admire the shimmering greens and yellow-greens—quite truly an "ocean" of greens. And notice how the leaves have been meticulously rolled into needle shape. When brewed, the needles slowly unfurl, revealing large pieces of intact leaves.   … Continue reading What Is Palace or Ocean Needle Green Tea?