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Simple Steeper Brewpot, Loose Leaf Teamaker

Introducing the Simple Steeper Brewpot

loose leaf teamaker

The Simple Steeper Brewpot, loose-leaf teamaker, is created for ultimate convenience. You can watch your tea unfurl and steep in this high quality glass vessel. The unique design of this teapot is made with ease-of-use in mind. All you need to do is add your loose-leaf tea and hot water, before you seal it with the infuser lid. When the tea has steeped to your liking, simply pour into your favorite cup. The built-in mesh filter stays in place, keeping your tea leaves contained and your beverage perfectly filtered.

Using the Simple Steeper glass brewpot allows you complete control over every aspect of the tea brewing experience. It is ideal for making multiple steeps of tea, and is great for preparing other filtered single-serve beverages (such as fruit-infused water, ginger drinks, and other unique recipes).

Loose Leaf teapot

Benefits
The main benefit of the Simple Steeper Brewpot is convenience. It’s a product you can use wherever you are, at home or work. The infuser makes cleanup very easy, and its dishwasher safe. The brewpot has a stainless steel lid that snaps right in place with ease and the kettle has a handle for easy grip and handling. The drip-free spout makes for easy pouring. Brewing loose leaf tea has been made much easier with Simple Steeper Brewpot.

loose leaf teapot and strainer

High Quality
The teapot is made of heat resistant glass and high-grade stainless steel infuser, which will not only enhance the quality of your tea, but will also last you for a very long time. The teapot is also equipped with a handle so you can easily avoid the hot surface.

Environmentally Safe
The product does not contain any materials, such as plastic, that could be environmentally unsafe.

loose leaf teapot

Design
The glass of the brewpot is made with borosilicate, which is heat resistant and the infuser is made up of high grade stainless steel infuser. Together it gives the brewpot an elegant and innovative look, and not to mention the drip-free sprout for easy pouring.

Affordability
The Simple Steeper Brewpot for Loose Leaf Tea is affordable. Consider the time you will save in cleaning and brewing with this highly convenient brewpot. Not only will you make tea brewing an easy task but you will also get to enjoy the amazing aromas and flavors of loose leaf teas and other infused beverages.

Loose Leaf Teapot

If you are a tea enthusiast or simply want an easier way to brew tea, then the Simple Steeper Brewpot is the solution.

buy loose leaf tea pot on Amazon

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A Guide to Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea is often quoted as the “queen of teas” and for good reason. It’s grown on the high hills of the Himalayas and when prepared the tea takes a shimmery gold color with a delicate taste.

About Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea belongs to the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. You can find it in varieties of black, green, white and oolong. After proper brewing, the tea it takes a light color infused with a floral aroma. The flavor of the tea is often described as musky and spicy with an aftertaste of astringent tannin.

darjeeling tea
Photo credit: Partha Sarathi Sahana

Darjeeling tea is unlike other Indian teas because it is commonly made from the small-leaved Chinese variety of Camellia Sinensis, while many other Indian teas are made from the large-leaved Assam variety. Darjeeling tea is mostly found in black, but the oolong and green variety are becoming increasingly popular. Green and oolong Darjeeling teas are now commonly produced and much easier to find. An increasing number of estates are also producing white Darjeeling tea as well.

History and Origin

Tea planting started in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district in 1841 and Arthur Campbell initiated it. Campbell was a civil surgeon of the Indian Medical Service and he was transferred from Kathmandu, in Nepal, to the Darjeeling district in 1839. Two years later, in 1841, he brought the seeds of the small-leaved Chinese plant, Camellia Sinensis, from Kumaun. He started to experiment with the seeds for the purposes of tea planting in Darjeeling. During the same period, specifically around 1847, the British government also established tea nurseries. Then in the 1850s, the tea was being developed commercially. Finally, in 1856, the Kurseong and Darjeeling Tea company opened the Alubari tea garden, and soon enough others followed it.

Continue reading A Guide to Darjeeling Tea

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Gift Ideas for Tea Lovers

There has been a recent boom in the tea industry as people are becoming aware of the many beneficial properties of good quality loose leaf teas. It has significantly stirred the consumer goods market and now you can find anything from tea accessories to unique services such as tea subscriptions. So, if you are looking for gift ideas for tea lovers, here are some of our favorites to consider (click the photos, or links, to learn more).

1. Tea Forté Loose Leaf Tea Chest

People who are devoted to tea, or even new to tea, can enjoy the great tastes of Tea Forte loose leaf tea. The Tea Forte Single Steeps loose leaf tea chest is super easy to use, and the pouches of the teas are already portioned for a single serving. It has never been easier or more convenient to make your perfect cup of loose-leaf tea.

The set is equipped with a tasting menu that highlights the different types of black, green, white and herbal teas. There is no compromise on the quality of these teas, and the collection is diverse.  Tea Forte works directly with the growers of these teas, which shows their dedication and determination to provide only the best.

The Tea Chest contains 20 packets of tea of the following blends: African Solstice, Apricot Ameretto, Blood Orange, Bluberry Merlot, Bombay Chai, Caramel Nougat, Chamomile Citron, Cherry Marzipan, Coconut Chocolate Truffle, Coconut Mango Colada, Cucumber Mint, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Ginger Lemongrass, Green Mango Peach, Honey Yuzu, Jasmine Green, Lychee Coconut, Mojito Marmalade, Peach Brûlée, Peach Rhubarb Preserve, Sencha, Swiss Apple, Tangerine Rosemary, Tupelo Honey Fig, White Ginger Pear, White Cinnamon Sage, Wild Apple Ginger.

2. UEndure Tea Infuser Travel Mug, Glass Tumbler with Loose Leaf tea Strainer

 

This premium product takes luxurious tea drinking to another level. This mug not only allows you to enjoy tea on the go but also is made from natural and eco-friendly materials. The UEndure Tea Infuser is made of a high quality borosilicate quartz compound. To maintain the temperature of your beverage, the bottle is insulated with double walled glass. However, do not worry about the bottle being too big because this unique design fits snugly in your hand.
Continue reading Gift Ideas for Tea Lovers

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Q&A with Rosanne Muncy of TeaPrints.com

TeaPrints Gaiwan Tshirt

TeaPrints

I’m really excited to have recently discovered TEAPRINTS.  I mean, how can you not possibly not love a t-shirts design that proudly displays: “KEEP CALM and GAIWAN ON” – brilliant!  And, a great way to strike up a “tea-conversation” when out in the wild.

TeaPrints Gaiwan Tshirt

Rosanne Muncy, CEO and Founder of TeaPrints, took notice of my love for this particular t-shirt and was kind enough to send me one. I really like the simplicity of the design, and the high quality of the t-shirt is definitely noticeable.  My TeaPrints shirt arrived pre-shrunk, which I prefer, and has a comfortable classic fit (note: the women’s t-shirts are more form-fitting).  TeaPrints also has a 7-day return policy, and a great FAQ page on their website to help you determine the best size and other details and answers to frequently asked questions.

TeaPrints currently offers a collection of T-Shirts, Hoodies, Totes, Posters and Gift Cards. TeaPrints also has a blog with frequent posts on useful information for tea folk, along with active social media channels (see links at the end of this post).

I’m really impressed with Rosanne, along with the origin story of TeaPrints and where she is taking the brand.  To learn more, check out my Q&A with Rosanne below.

 

Interview with Rosanne Muncy of TeaPrints

Q. Tell us a little more about yourself (especially about your time living in Morocco). And, how did you come up with the idea to build and launch TeaPrints.com?

A. I am a tea lover, organic gardener, and a nature lover. I became a tea lover at the age of eight when my family lived in Morocco for many years. I was a tomboy and spent a lot of time with my dad. My dad was friends with the Berber tribe leader and local hero, so I was able to experience Morocco in a unique and in-depth way.

I distinctly remember the first time I experienced Moroccan Mint tea. I can even smell it every time I close my eyes and reminisce. We were in a large tent, lots of people were milling around, there was an exhibition of horsemanship and shooting, but all I could focus on was the delightful aroma of the tea. It was fascinating to watch them prepare the tea and then pour it from many feet high into the beautiful tea glasses. The taste was just as exquisite as the aroma and as beautiful as the teaware. I fell in love!

In 2014 I opened an online tea shop, Tealated, and quickly realized that I enjoyed promoting tea much more than selling it. Tea is so diverse and can transcend obstacles between different people and cultures. It is an excellent way to make new friends, it helps to maintain health (especially if you use tea to replace toxic habits like soda addition, cigarette smoking, etc.), and it is delicious! I decided to close my online tea shop and focus solely on promoting tea and tea culture. TeaPrints is all about having fun while enjoying tea and starting a conversation about tea with others.
Continue reading Q&A with Rosanne Muncy of TeaPrints.com

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“Talking Tea” with Jen Piccotti of An International Tea Moment

Talking tea JenPiccotti

“Talking Tea” is a weekly feature where I check-in with some of my favorite tea people online.

This week we feature Jen Piccotti from An International Tea Moment:

Q. Jen, can you tell us a bit about why you started An International Tea Moment, and what you like most about running the blog?

A. I first started my tea blog when my oldest daughter was born. It was a creative outlet for me, something that I could control, when the rest of my world felt so chaotic and unpredictable. I wrote simply for my own enjoyment and sanity, and it was mostly memories of tea moments I had experienced around the world with different friends and family.

I was surprised when I realized people were actually reading it. Then tea companies started reaching out and asking if they could send me tea to try. I felt like I had won the lottery! I think now the thing I enjoy most is connecting with such a variety of interesting people who enjoy the simple pleasure of tea… and also receiving samples of some of the most amazing teas in the world!

Q. What is one of your favorite “tea moments?”

A. One of my favorites is the first time my oldest daughter suggested having a tea party with me. She was 4 years old at the time. It was so sweet to experience that with her and imagine future “moments” as she grows up. A Persian Princess Moment.

Q. What general advice or tips would you have for someone that is new to tea?

A. Try different things and then enjoy what you like. If you like fruity teas, explore those. If you enjoy teas that smell flowery, try some floral blends. There’s no way to do it ‘wrong.’  Drink what you like and don’t be afraid to try something new when you have the opportunity.

Continue reading “Talking Tea” with Jen Piccotti of An International Tea Moment

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The World Tea Expo – Will You Be There?

Last year was my first year attending the World Tea Expo, and the experience was amazing on on so many levels. One of the best parts of the show was being able to meet face-to-face with  many of those from the tea industry that I’ve gotten to know “virtually” over the years (but had never met in-person).

World Tea Expo

I’m especially excited that the Expo will be returning this year to the Long Beach Convention Center, May 6-8. The annual event brings together hundreds of tea companies from around the globe.  The World Tea Expo is more than just a place to taste tea and enjoy the company of other tea lovers. It’s a place of community, education, networking, ideation, and more. The annual event is attended by more than 5,000 people, coming from all corners of the world. With 250+ exhibitors from more than 50 countries, the World Tea Expo is the world’s largest tea event.

James Norwood Pratt World Tea Expo
Meeting with James Norwood Pratt was a personal highlight of attending last year’s World Tea Expo

One of my favorite parts of the event is the Bloggers Roundtable (May 7, 2:30 – 3:30 pm PST). This year’s panelists will include Nicole Martin, Jen Piccotti, Naomi Rosen, Chris Giddings, Jo Johnson, Geoff Norman and Rachel Carter.

World Tea Expo Bloggers Rountable
A “Don’t Miss” Event!

One of The Fastest Growing Industries 

The tea industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In the US alone, the tea market is worth more than $8 billion and is expected to grow by another $7 billion by the end of 2015. The World Tea Expo is attended by distributors, tea room owners, retailers, other business professionals (and many tea bloggers and writers as well!). We all get the chance to visit with more than 200 different high quality tea suppliers and vendors in a casual, one-on-one setting. According to event organizers, almost 75 of these tea suppliers chose the World Tea Expo as the only tradeshow they attend to exclusively share and display their products.

The event is organized by The Beverage Group, an integrated media company that has been providing the beverage industry all over the world with business solutions. It’s a division of the F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company. The World Tea Expo is the largest event organized by the Beverage Group. Other than this, the Beverage Group also holds the professionally judged premium tea competition, called the North American Tea Championship.

Event Programs, Subjects and Topics

Attended by more than 5,000 people, The World Tea Expo is an event that is more than just about learning (and tasting) various types of teas and tea-related products. It’s a conference where tea experts from all over the world come together to discuss everything that is tea, from production to health benefits, and much more. There are a wide variety of educational topics that are covered, such as:

  • How to Source and Select Teas
  • The Science Behind Health Claims on Tea Beverages
  • Current Trends and the Future Outlook for Tea
  • Cultivating the Next Generation of Tea Connoisseurs
  • Building Your Own Successful Tea Business
  • Current and Emerging Regulatory Issues in the Tea & Infusion Products Industry
  • Why Ignoring Herbs Could be Costing Your Business

These are just the few of the main topics that are featured.

World Tea Expo speakers

Continue reading The World Tea Expo – Will You Be There?

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Joseph Wesley Keemun Congfu No. 5 – Review

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

Brand: Joseph Wesley Black Tea
Type: Keemun Congfu No. 05 
Origin: China
Preparation: Porcelain Gaiwan
Temperature: 185 F

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

Joseph Wesley Black Tea has been on my radar for awhile now, and I decided the No. 05 Keemun would be make for a great introduction. Turns out, I was right! The Joseph Wesley line of teas are all high quality, directly sourced from personally selected growers (which highlights the value and importance of trusted relationships among tea brands and growers).

Before getting into the tasting notes, the story behind the brand is worth highlighting. I may be a bit biased (originally being from the Detroit-area), but the origin story of the man-behind-the brand is inspiring. Hailing from Detroit, Joe Uhl decided to leave the city in 1992 to study in Malaysia. He traveled around the world, nourishing his passion for “tea’s craft and culture.” Upon returning home, Joe earned a law degree and practiced at a Detroit law firm. Eight years later he resigned and founded Joseph Wesley Black Tea. Thank you Joe for making that decision!

Now…onto the Keemun Congfu.

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

The dry leaves are tightly rolled/small, dark and have a very strong (and pleasant) aroma. Beyond the expected Keemun aroma, I detected hints of cocoa, and perhaps a bit of malt with the No. 05. This tea definitely has a very distinctive nose, especially in comparison to other Keemun I’ve tasted.

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

Once brewed, the liquor is deep auburn in color.  Interestingly, it’s challenging to pinpoint specific tasting notes with this Keemun, as it’s very complex. I quite liked this characteristic! One thing is very clear though…the wonderful sweetness delivered a variety of notes across steepings. I pulled out molasses, honey…and perhaps a hint of angel food cake. Also a malt, and touches of burnt sugar along the way. The complexity made for a very enjoyable tasting experience. And the sweetness described was very well-balanced.

Joseph Wesley Keemun 05

I can confidently say that this is one of the best Keemun black teas I’ve tasted. In addition to a great morning brew, I’ve added this one to my afternoon rotation of teas (as it brings a feeling of “indulgence,” which is a perfect mid-to-late afternoon reward).

I try to get back to the Detroit area at least once a year, and it’s been great to see the results of what many are describing as a “renaissance” taking place. Businesses and entrepreneurs dedicated to craftsmanship, community and creativity are establishing roots in Detroit and helping to re-build the city and it’s reputation. It’s especially great to see a tea brand like Joseph Wesley leading the way.

 

Disclaimer: I paid full retail price for the tea reviewed above. 

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Tea: A History of the Drink that Changed the World

Tea is undoubtedly a drink loved all over the world, sovaldi and because of this it has been appreciated in many different cultures. Tea is served in many different fashions, is enjoyed either hot or cold, has travelled all over the world and has charmed the hearts of many people. In Laura Martin’s book Tea: The Drink that Changed the World, she enlightens readers with the fascinating journey of tea, and how it has helped achieve positive effects in the world as we know it today.

This book offers a comprehensive study of tea, with a focus on how it has evolved and its immeasurable value across civilizations.

This is a great book for those seeking a bit of a “thriller” behind the story of tea — as it touches on exploration, espionage, diplomacy, and competition…all revolving around tea. The author also gets very specific about the nuances of tea manufacturing.

Some specific examples from the book include details about why ancient tea caddies required locks, what Confucian contemporaries thought about tea, and the different points of view among various cultures with regards to tea drinking and tea ceremonies.

This is a great book for those interested in learning more about the history of tea, as well as for those more seasoned tea aficionados that want to expand their collection of books about tea.

(This review includes affiliate links)

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Tea Cliffsnotes — Pu-erh

The People’s Republic of China is known for its fine assortment of teas, but perhaps none is more coveted than pu-erh. The one-of-a-kind, large leaves hail from the Yunnan Province’s famed tea region, which is located just beyond the Yunling Mountain. It has everything high quality, wild teas could every hope for — including a temperate climate, nurturing soil and clean water. Once the leaves reach their peak flavor, they’re normally harvested by the bud and put through a rigorous fermentation process.

puerh tea cake

The process starts with an elaborate drying method that includes pan-frying, bruising and rolling. It’s designed to stop oxidation. Afterward, the leaves are traditionally fermented with the aid of microorganisms and pressed into a wide variety of shapes before being tucked away to age in climate controlled areas. For many tea enthusiasts, only the oldest cakes or bricks of pu-erh tea will do (and come at a premium price). Other connoisseurs are willing to buy bundles that are much younger and continue aging them at home solely for the pure joy of it. However, those that do give it a go must take great pains when storing their little treasured bundles. Otherwise, the tea won’t taste nearly as good.

In future editions of “Tea Cliffnotes” we’ll get into more detail about the nuances and differences among sheng and ripe pu-erh.

Regardless of whether a tea drinker is willing to hold out for 75-year old leaves or not doesn’t matter when it comes to the brewing process. The majority of all vintages are prepared with gong fu sets and steeping rituals to help bring out their inherent flavors. The sets are readily available online and tend to sell at various price points. As we indicated previously, pu-erh tea prices will also vary. Therefore, there’s a good chance that many tea lovers will be able to pick up loose pu-erh tea and a gong fu set that fits well within their budgetary constraints.

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Tea Review – Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong (by Eco-Cha)

Eco Cha Ollong Tea

Brand: Eco-Cha
Type: Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine Oolong 
Origin: Zhu Shan, Nantou, Taiwan (1500m elevation, Summer2014)
Preparation: 6 steeps, gongfu style (gaiwan). Rinse / 20 seconds / 30 seconds / 45 seconds / 55 seconds / 60 seconds / 90 seconds
Temperature: 185 F

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

I’m very pleased to now have Eco-Cha on my radar, and am especially appreciative of their story and mission (representing the “artisan tea industry in Taiwan.”)  Before sampling Eco-Cha’s wide variety of Oolong teas, I spent a great deal of time on their website, getting to know more about the team, where they source their teas from, and many other interesting details and stories about Eco-Cha (what I would best describe as their “origin-story”).

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

I chose the Shan Lin Xi, High Mountain Concubine for this first review.  I really enjoy “oriental beauty” (bug bitten) oolongs, and this particular Eco-Cha tea/harvest was described on their website as being particularly affected by the Green Leaf Hopper.  Additionally, this oolong is quite different from traditional Oriental Beauty — this Oolong having tightly rolled Concubine leaves and also being a different varietal.

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

Aroma – Dry and Wet Leaf

The dry leaf had a very satisfying aroma…strong hints of honey, and even a bit of candied pecans.  Very pronounced.  The wet leaf was equally pleasant, with the introduction of winter vegetables (particularly a brown sugar, butternut squash aroma).  From the aroma alone, I knew I was in for a treat.

Steeps

After a rinse, I steeped in the gaiwan for 20 seconds.  This first steep produced very subtle hints of almond mixed with a bit of woody-ness (not much floral…yet).  This was a satisfying steep, but also quite mild with the leaves not yet fully awake.

The second steep, at 30 seconds, introduced very distinctive notes of honey and the introduction of winter vegetables (mostly a butternut squash taste)…I even detected hints of sweet fig.  My daughter joined me in this steep, and she immediately noticed pine-nuts in the flavor profile.  I agree.  The moth feel was now also much more pronounced, and very pleasing.

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

My tasting notes for the remaining steeps include nutty flavors, along with a mild sweet corn.  The floral notes also became more noticeable.  I definitely also detected the almond and honey flavors, which are often included with descriptions of this particular tea.

Eco Cha Oolong Tea

Overall, I really enjoy this tea.  It brings some unexpected and satisfying flavor profiles, and also has a wonderful aroma (something I really took notice of).  I’m now excited to dig-in and review additional Eco-Cha Taiwan Oolongs.

Here are some additional Eco-Cha links:

 (complementary samples were provided by Eco-Cha)