Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tea Review 105 - Mighty Leaf Ginger Twist & More

Ginger Twist
Mighty Leaf

I'm kind of fond of all things ginger, so I was excited to try Mighty Leaf's Ginger Twist. As they describe it, "our Ginger Twist herbal tea is a harmonious mix of lemongrass, tropical fruits, and mint fueled with a touch of ginger and ginseng."

This is all well and good, but the ginger seems to be something of an afterthought. This was a bit disappointing, considering that it is ginger tea. Putting aside the relative gingerlessness, however, this was not a bad blend. I'm not enamored of lemongrass, but all the flavors are so subtle and well proportioned that the end result is quite appealing.

Here are some brief notes regarding some other teas Mighty Leaf has sent along. They seem to specialize in flavored blends, which are not necessarily my cup of tea, but some of them are not bad.

White Orchard
White tea, melon and peach. I've always had kind of a thing for peach-flavored tea so this one worked for me.

Orange Dulce
Black tea with orange, vanilla and jasmine. The vanilla spoiled it for me but your mileage may vary.

Green Tea Tropical
Green tea with pineapple and guava. Another nice blend, though, as in most cases with flavored blends, the actual tea is overpowered by the flavored stuff.

RedUmbrella Tea
Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Origami Tea Bags, Tea Bag Curtain & SIP

Whatever your thoughts about tea bags, you'll probably agree that origami tea bags are kind of a nifty notion. Check out an example here.

Yet another clever use for tea bags and a pretty great one at that - a tea bag curtain. Check out the article, which is complete with instructions for making your own. (tip of hat to The Voice of Tea blog)

Are we about to see a new tea magazine? Apparently so. Some time back the people at Pearl Fine Teas announced that the first issue of SIP would debut sometime in Fall 2009. Haven't located any updates at their site or blog, but keep an eye open for this one.

Buy Blooming Tea Gift Sets in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tea Review 104 - Adagio Huang Jin Bolero

Huang Jin Bolero
Adagio Teas

My interests in tea tend mostly toward black and green, for the most part, but I'm not averse to a good oolong now and then. The heavier, smoky oolongs don't do much for me but the lighter more delicate varieties do. Which is where Adagio's Huang Jin Bolero fits in. This one has that subtle, fragrant - almost fruity - aroma that I think of when I think oolong. But your mileage may vary.

Here's Adagio's blurb for Huang Jin Bolero: "Huang Jin Gui is an Anxi oolong whose name means "Golden Flower." A lightly roasted oolong our 'Bolero' reveals an intensity with hints of honey and flowers you will find enticing and seductive."

Works for me.

RedUmbrella Tea
Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tea Conservation, Tea Hangovers & Kuka

I'm all for conservation, recycling and green living in general, but let's admit that it is possible to take this sort of thing too far. As the Telegraph recently reported, a British government agency recommended that "reheating cold cups of tea could save consumers £110 million a year, and help cut back on the 3.5 billion cups thrown down the sink every year." More on the environmental impact of wasting tea here.

Hardcore tea fans have probably experienced the phenomenon of being tea drunk at some point and the inevitable hangover that follows on the heels of any binge - be it tea or something stronger. A while back, Imen at Tea Obsession wrote about a heavy duty tea drinking binge that went on for hours, included 16 different teas and produced a hangover of rather daunting proportions.

It's not really tea-related, but Advertising Age magazine recently looked at What Your Taste in Beer Says About You. Which makes for interesting reading and raises the question - what does your taste in tea say about you? Hmmm.

Last up, a decidedly offbeat beverage. It's called Kuka and it's made with - among other things - the leaves of a plant that often gets a bad rap, for obvious reasons. That would be the coca plant. More here.

Canadian Tea Gifts
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

World’s Largest Cup Of Tea

And you thought you drank a lot of tea. Well, no matter how much you drink it's a mere drop in the teacup compared to what took place at Mercy Health Center, in Fort Scott, Kansas a little while back.

As reported in the local paper, the Morning Sun, "The cup held 700 gallons of tea. The tea alone weighed more than two and a half tons, and served almost 15,000 servings. The teacup, created by J.D. and Ed Webster, is 9.5 feet wide at the rim, has a three foot handle, and stands 5.5 feet tall." No word on what kind of tea was served.

More about this spectacular tea extravaganza (and a photo) here.

Buy Blooming Tea Gift Sets in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tea Master Training Slated for San Diego

Tea Master Training Slated for San Diego
(from a press release)

Aspiring tea aficionados will be gathering in San Diego in January to take part in the 13-Week Tea Mastery Certification Course offered by the American Tea Masters Association. The training includes the initial 3-Day Comprehensive Tea Mastery Course held on-site at the Courtyard by Marriott, Liberty Station, followed by the 12-Week Tea Master TeleCourse involving home study, tasting and evaluating 38 different teas, and weekly group teleconference calls for registrants to share their personal experiences.

The program offers the high level of focus and support needed to gain the competence and confidence to serve as a tea master or tea sommelier at any distinguished restaurant, hotel or tea room in the country, or start or expand one's own enterprise. It contains all the educational requirements an individual needs for achieving the association's prestigious Certified Tea Master designation and lapel pin once the training program, final examination, and blind tea tasting are successfully completed.

The 13-Week Tea Mastery Certification Course is open to a maximum of 12 participants. Tuition for the complete program is currently $2,475, less our Economic Stimuli Discount (worth $500), resulting in a net cost of $1,975. However, the Economic Stimuli Discount expires on December 31st.


RedUmbrella Tea
Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crouching Tea-ger Hidden Dragon

Try to ignore the dreadful play on words. For what it's worth this is currently one of the most watched Calm-A-Sutra entries on YouTube.

Canadian Tea Gifts
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Monday, November 09, 2009

More Tea Gadgets

Time for another round of tea gadgets and gimmicks. Let's start with the tea pill, which has been under development in India for some time now. Here's an article from the Times of India about how the pills are being given to members of the armed forces there. No, thanks.

I haven't figured out what to make of Emergency Tea Unit, a site sponsored by Pembrokeshire Tea Company. Apparently it's a parody, of sorts, on emergency response organizations of yesteryear. The Remain Calm and Drink Tea shirt isn't a bad gimmick, now that you mention it.

If you're in the market for an infuser gadget or tea junk to take on the road, check out what Mellow Monk had to say about Aladdin's Magic Infuser Mug or have a look at this video demo of Eight Cranes' Perfect Steeper. Or check out this great overview of Tea Travel Mugs, at Tea Finely Brewed.

Why does your teapot dribble? Enquiring minds may or may not want to know, but rest assured that we've got people working on the problem. Read all about it in this article from Gizmag.

Last up, some "tea inspired beats" from Dax at the review site, Tea Amigos.

Buy Blooming Tea Gift Sets in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Pricey Puerh

Magazine and newspaper editors seem to have a great weakness for stories about ridiculously expensive tea. Which, most of the time, means puerh. Case in point, a recent article at CNBC with the lurid headline, The $1,000 a Gram Tea. I'd prefer to drink tea, rather than use it as part of my keenly honed investment strategy, but if you're into this sort of thing, take a look.

If you are looking to invest in some pricey tea or if you've just got a spare $888 lying around, check out this Imperial Tribute Harvest Purple-Tip puerh from the Imperial Tea Court. Which is probably a bit rich for most people's blood. Those who seek something decidedly more affordable might investigate this Pu'erh Tea Starter Pack, which includes Bana Tea Company’s own Limited Edition 2008 Vintage raw puerh and a Piao I teapot.

Last up, a plug for our hometown tea shop - Seven Cups of Tucson - who recently released their own puerh cakes. More here.

Buy Loose Leaf Tea in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Offbeat Teahouses

Looking for an unusual place to take tea? You could start with Teas And Toes, located in Glen Elyn, Illinois. They bill themselves as a "teahouse and foot sanctuary." So if you're keen to have your little tootsies soaked and rubbed while pounding down some Sumatra Oolong Barisan or Temple of Heaven, this would be the place.

If you'd like to try something a little more off the beaten path, consider the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, in the Canadian Rockies. It's not exactly what you'd call accessible, but that didn't stop it from recently marking its fiftieth anniversary.

Speaking of remote and not very accessible, have a gander at this posting from the Tea Finely Brewed site. If you're afraid of heights, though, just looking at these pictures of a climb to a frightfully lofty Chinese teahouse might be too much.

It's not clear if you can actually go there for tea, but check out this four million dollar golden teahouse anyway. Too rich for your blood? How about a teahouse made of recycled paper? Afternoon tea at a crocodile farm? Well, sure. Why not?

Adagio Teas triniTea Tea Maker
Zarafina Tea Maker Suite

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Rishi Tea Announces Taste Of Origin Gifts

Rishi Tea Announces Taste Of Origin Gifts From Wild-Harvested Ancient Tea Trees
(from a press release)

Rishi Tea, the 1st Place Award winner at the World Tea Championship for two years in a row, debuts Taste of Origin. This distinctive program will educate tea drinkers about the geographic origin of tea — and why it matters. The first featured Taste of Origin is Mannong Manmai in Yunnan, China, where remarkable teas are harvested from wild, ancient tea trees.

The Taste of Origin program launches with 3 exclusive Organic and Fair Trade Certified Gift Sets. Each set features unique teas from exceptional micro-lots, hand-selected during the peak harvest season for their superior representation of Mannong Manmai.

Adagio Teas triniTea Tea Maker
Zarafina Tea Maker Suite