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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.
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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.
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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 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)

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T CHING – Nurturing a Community of Tea Lovers

T Ching tea blog

One of my favorite tea websites to visit on a daily basis is T Ching. There’s new content posted nearly every day (sometimes numerous posts per day) and always a wide variety of tea-related topics. “Bringing people together with tea” is one our main goals here at the TeaMinded blog, and this includes introducing people to great resources that contribute to the tea Community — and T Ching delivers on that front, in many ways.

What follows is our overview of T Ching – a website worth visiting and bookmarking!

T Ching tea blog

Introduction to T Ching — How It All Started & What’s It All About

Michelle Rabin and Sandy Bushberg started T Ching to fulfill their vision and passion for tea lovers all over the world. They wanted to create a tea community where every tea lover could visit and share their thoughts on everything that has to do with tea making, the health benefits of tea, tea brewing and living a healthy life.

In reading about the formation of T Ching, it’s evident that one of the main reasons the site came into existence was due to concern for the declining state of health in not only the US but all over the world. The founders of the site knew that something as simple as drinking tea can be an effective way to reverse the unhealthy trend that is damaging the lives of millions.

Michelle and Sandy spent more than 25 years working in the healthcare industry, helping people overcome their bad living habits and changing them into healthy ones. Among these poor lifestyle choices, one of the unhealthiest is the increased consumption of high-sugar beverages. This is what the T Ching founders wanted to change as they sought to bring awareness to the masses of how damaging these drinks can be and show them the benefits of having a healthy substitute in the form of tea.

T Ching is for all tea lovers, from the hardcore traditional tea brewers to the casual/occasional ones.

It’s clear the aim is to be more than just a blog that informs its readers about tea — it’s about inviting readers to the all encompassing “journey” of tea, the benefits of drinking tea, the people who grow it, their tradition of tea brewing and the many ways of classical tea drinking, the tea rituals of many countries, and the peace that comes with enjoying a cup of tea.

The Various Content & Features of T Ching

With an amazing team and community, T Ching is one of the most informative and entertaining tea blogs. When visiting the T Ching website, you’ll be greeted with a clean and easy-to-navigate site design. You can easily see what the T Ching community is all about  — including core areas of TEA, DESIGN and LIFE.

The different categories on the website’s homepage direct readers to topics which are discussed on posts written by the contributors. Some of the latest posts on T Ching are aligned at the center of the website. From news related to the world of tea to new recipes that provide readers with an inside look into the health benefits of the many varieties of tea.

The different categories of the website (at the time of this review) include:

T Ching tea blog categories

The Most Popular T Ching Posts

Let’s have a look at some of the more popular and sections of the T Ching website.

News

The news archive is where you can read everything that is related to tea. From newly researched health benefits to the many different ways you can use tea in different aspects of your life. This section is full of interesting articles, such as how leftover teabags can be used to better your skin, how tea is increasing in popularity across the globe, or some of the latest news and trends related to organic tea farming. You can even read about how herbal teas can help reduce chances of colon cancer.

The fascinating stories coming in from all over the globe are a must-read for any and all tea lovers. This category is updated on a regular basis, so you can expect to find new and interesting stories and facts related to the world of tea frequently.

Recipes

The recipe posts on T Ching are an archive of different recipes of not only simple tea brewing, but different dishes that go with tea, ways of making different blends of teas, iced teas and so much more. By going through the many recipes, you’ll realize how much the folks at T Ching are committed to providing useful content.

These recipes are all very accessible, and the teaware and ingredients are easy to find. An example of the diversity of posts in this section include numerous Matcha tea recipes, how to make tea ice-cream and where you can watch Japanese cooking programs.

Health and Wellbeing

You may have come across numerous articles outlining the health benefits of drinking tea. Even though most all teas are beneficial for your health, you can easily get confused about which tea to drink to remedy a particular ailment. The posts in this section cover such things as how different teas can be helpful in cleansing your blood, reinvigorating your brain cells, soothing your sore throat and losing weight with the help of tea. The posts are very specific, which separates T Ching from other tea blogs that are more broad.

There is nothing more natural than treating health issues with the help of tea. Tea has been associated with helping people deal with hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol and even cancer and Alzheimer’s. This is a must-read section of archives to increase your knowledge about the many health benefits of tea.

What I also really like about this category on T Ching, is that the content delves into the well-being of tea, covering the more “mindful” and meditative benefits of enjoying tea. A personal favorite topic of mine..and T Ching really delivers on this front!

Tea Education

This section is all about tea and its various nuances. With so many tea varieties, T Ching does a great job of keeping readers posted on how they are grown, picked, packaged, and most importantly brewed. T Ching is full of people who love tea, which is evident as their writers are continually testing and trying new offerings, and sharing their experiences with readers around the globe.

You can learn some of the best ways to brew a particular type of tea, ways of growing your own tea and how you can use tea to power through the day. Whether you are new to tea, or a seasoned enthusiast, you will likely find something interesting to learn, share and talk about with family, friends and others in the tea community.

History & Spirituality

Here you learn more about how tea can help soothe the mind, body and soul. This section gives you a glimpse into how vast the world of tea really is.

You will find articles covering many cultures, and how tea has been (and still is) a part of traditional and spiritual heritages. Every culture brings its own unique ways of brewing tea, different designs and styles of teaware and other cultural nuances.  For example, you can learn about the role of dragons and other mystical creatures among the Chinese culture — and why these figures often grace teapots and teacups (or learn more about the Japanese culture in relation to the natural aspects of mountains and tree spirits).

Travel

The travel section, as the name suggests, is all about the people travelling the world in search of the perfect cup of tea. Many go to countries like Japan, China, India and Taiwan in search of tea. Some travel to find new teas and different blends. The contributors share their stories and tales about their many adventures around the world. Most of the people who travel to these regions also sometimes end up establishing businesses with the local tea farmers.

The demand for good organic tea (and fair trade) is growing around the world as well, and it has become imperative for tea merchants to understand this market and how to acquire tea from sources that are pure and organic. If you are a fellow traveler yourself going on an adventure to find something new in the world of tea, you can read up about the different teashops in the places you are going to.

T Ching Social Channels

T Ching can also be found on popular social channels.

T Ching on Facebook and twitter

In order to stay in touch with their readers and to also spread the word of tea, T Ching is active and engaging on popular social networks. This allows for more people to give their thoughts on the blog posts which have been published, and also for the readers to share their views on everything related to tea.  For the visitors, there is also detailed info on how to get in touch with someone from the T Ching team.

Regular updates, and any site news or new blog posts, will be easier to follow if you subscribe or add the RSS feed to your favorite blog reader.

T Ching’s Support for the Tea Community

The tea community is made up of so many caring and interesting people — and T Ching plays a key role in this community.  So many of us are looking for inspiration, encouragement and peace of mind. This is where tea comes in…and where T Ching delivers.

Additionally, it’s evident that T Ching supports practices which ensure the sustainability and wellbeing of the planet.  They believe in a core set of values – as the T Ching community shows a sense of personal responsibility towards the environment. This demonstarted with their blog posts that encourage the practices which contribute to the sustainability. T Ching is also committed to covering topics related to organically grown, high quality tea — and teas directly from the farmers, and of the highest quality.

T Ching encourages everyone to be responsible human beings and reduce the individual and industrial impact on the world’s ecosystem by reducing the carbon footprint and to take be a part of the mission for a healthy and sustainable future.

T Ching tea blog website

Conclusion

I really enjoy staying in touch with the tea community around the world, and T Ching plays an important role. There is always something new to learn and share, and contributors are continually posting interesting and engaging content (both with blog posts and discussions/feedback in the comments section).

If you want to be a part of a tea community that is vibrant, friendly, knowledgeable and inspiring — I definitely encourage you to follow along with T Ching (and subscribe and/or add the RSS feed to your daily blog reader).

(photos copyright of T Ching)

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Review: Teavivre Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong

Teavivre Taiwan Li Shan Oolong dry leaf

Brand: Teavivre
Type: Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong 
Origin: Fushoushan Farm on Lishan (梨山) Mountain in Taichung, Taiwan
Preparation: 8 steeps, gongfu style (gaiwan). Rinse / 20 seconds / 25 seconds / 30 seconds / 40 seconds / 60 seconds / 90 seconds / 120 seconds / 180 seconds
Temperature: 195 F

I’ve been catching-up on a variety of Teavivre teas in my queue to taste and review…and I have been especially looking forward to this Taiwan Li Shan Oolong.  Many of the reviews of this oolong on Steepster, and on Teavivre’s site, have noted the mild sweetness, and subtle honey notes.  I definitely agree.  In fact I picked-up some of those honey tones on the nose the minute I opened the packaging (with a very pleasant aroma of the dry leaf).  I knew from the beginning I was in for a treat.

Teavivre Taiwan Li Shan Oolong dry leaf

Teavivre Taiwan Li Shan Oolong Tea Dry leaf

The Li Shan tea trees are at high altitudes (i.e., high mountain oolong) and grow in cooler conditions/temperatures, which make “the tea leaf soft, thick with high content of pectin substances.” (one of the things I like best about Teavivre is all the details they include on their website for every tea offered).  The dry leaf is a vibrant green (just like the liquor itself once brewed).  In addition to the hints of honey or honeydew, I also detected a mild floral-ness in the aroma of the dry leaf.

The first couple of infusions were pleasantly mellow.  Slight, but detectable, floral notes combined with a touch of sweetness.  By the 3rd and 4th infusions the flavor became much more complex and very enjoyable.  The liquor was also a very vibrant green.  The complexity relates to the addition of such sweet undertones as stone fruit, and maybe even a slight carmel-ness at the back of the tongue. The floral notes were very balanced (not over-powering).

Teavivre Taiwan Li Shan Oolong brewing in a gaiwan

Teavivre Li Shan Oolong in a taiwan with tasting cups

Taiwan Li Shan Oolong vibrant green brew

The word I would use to best describe this Li Shan Oolong would be smooooooth (yes, deliberately with a lot of “o”s).  Many have used the “buttery” descriptor, and I agree.  This Oolong will now be added to my regular rotation.  It delivers all the flavor profiles,  mouthfeel and “drinkability” that I like best with high quality, high-mountain Taiwan Li Shan Oolong.

Visit Teavivre online to learn more.

Photos copyright: Teaminded.com

(note: complimentary sample provided by Teavivre)

 

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For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History

For all the tea in china

For all the tea in chinaReleased in March of 2010, For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History was written by Sarah Rose. In this book, the author delves into one of the most controversial topics and a turning point in the history of economics. What I like most about this book is how it takes the reader right along on the adventure of how the British East India Company sent one of its men, Scottish Botanist Robert Fortune, to secretly take a tea crop from China and have it planted back at the company’s plantation in India.

This book brings us the history of a beverage that some may think of as ordinary, but is actually not ordinary at all. In fact, it highlights a sometimes forgotten, yet crucial part of this plant’s history.

It was hard for me to put this book down. The details and descriptive style of the writing made me feel like I was right there traveling with Fortune as he covertly navigated into the Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, and later into the more distant Wuyi Mountains and Fujian province.

For tea enthusiasts, I highly recommend this book. It’s like a true espionage book, but with the topic of tea at the core (a win-win in my opinion). Another benefit is all the history and tea education that is provided throughout.

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Review: TeaVivre Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing)

Dragon Well Green Tea Teavivre

Brand: TeaVivre
Type: Dragon Well Green Tea, Long Jing
Origin: Xihu near Hangzhou in province Zhejiang
Preparation: 4 steeps, gongfu style (gaiwan). Rinse / 20 seconds / 35 seconds / 70 seconds / 120 seconds
Temperature: 175 F

I have really been enjoying TeaVivre’s selection of Oolong teas, and have been wanting to review one of their green teas for some time now. I figured the Dragon Well, Long Jing would be a good place to start.

Dragon Well Green Tea Teavivre

Dragon Well Green Tea Teavivre

The dry leaf aroma is pleasantly sweet…sort of like a subtle nectar. What first came to mind was a very subtle kiwi aroma, combined with a light (but noticeable) grassy-ness. Also present is a very distinct freshness.

After the rinse, the first steep produced a crisp taste, with very little astringency. I did notice that the first steep was a bit thin, but still a very nice vegatal flavor with a distant sweetness.

Dragon Well Green Tea Teavivre

The second steep brought a more pronounced vegetal taste, combined with a very pleasant, and subtle, sweetness. I’d best describe this (again) as a kiwi or maybe honeydew flavor, combined with the vegetal undertones. Interestingly, I didn’t detect any of the nutty flavors that I have experienced with other Dragon Wells. Additionally, I’ve read previous reviews indicating a green bean taste, and I’d agree (although it took me a while to detect).

Dragon Well Green Tea Teavivre

On the 3rd and 4th steeps I detected the introduction of a pear taste, and a thicker vegetal taste as well. I poured a sample for my daughter (age 9) from these steeps and she said it tasted like “honey flavored grass” — I also always enjoy her point-of-view, and young palate!

Dragon Well Green Tea Teavivre

You can see the beautiful leafs in the image above – dry on the left, wet on the right.

Overall, this is a wonderful Chinese Dragon Well from TeaVivre (easily one of my new favorites). It’s very smooth and enjoyable to drink, not bitter or stringent at all. It offers a perfect combination of gentle sweetness, with a nice vegatal and slight floral aftertaste.

Photos copyright: Teaminded.com

(note: complimentary sample provided by Teavivre, affiliate links included)