lundi 13 août 2012


Okay, I'm getting a little too excited about Tealet.
Just kidding, I don't think it is possible to get "too" excited about Tealet!
Tealet works to connect smaller tea growers with the larger international market of individual tea drinkers. Their business model reduces the cost of fine teas to the consumer AND gives farmers larger profits. Read more about their business here.

I met Elyse Petersen, founder of Tealet at the Boulder Tea Festival a few weekends ago and we talked a lot about the company and how she got it started. As soon as I got home, I jumped on her IndieGoGo page and became a member. That's right, for $60, I get a three bi-monthly shipments of tea, direct from the growers. (You've missed out on signing up for now, but you can still buy tea from their website, or wait and sign up for the membership in October) Tealet connects with growers (mostly organic, although uncertified) from around the world.

I still get giddy when I think of receiving my first shipment of tea!

There it is!!

Two 37.5oz (a $30 value- and trust me, that's a bargain) re-sealable foil packes of THE most heavenly smelling DragonWell (LongWu) tea.

Seriously, this stuff is good. Sometimes I just go to my tea cupboard and take a wiff of the leaves, because they are that delicious. (I have to admit, I eat them after I make tea with them too. So. Good.)
A very pungent, earthy, almost nutty-smelling leaf produces a very delicate liquor. Can be infused three times. Perhaps my 5 gram estimating skill is a little off, as I find I like to leave it in a little longer than 2-3 minutes to get the taste to match the strength of the scent. Notice how the leaves are so nice and big! And look where it comes from:
A ten-acre tea farm that's been in the family for over 100 years!

I couldn't be happier with my $60 investment, and I will definitely subscribe again when it runs out!

Brooklyn, NY: IntoTea (cafe)

This cute little place just opened in March 2012. I've been in NYC for a little over a week now, and I've already been there twice! A personal pot of tea is around $4, which isn't bad at all, and you can enjoy it in the very pleasant atmosphere of this cafe. With its white and pale blue interior with light pine tables, potted plants and teal-colored asian ceramics, IntoTea is light and airy, with a clean, new feel that New York sorely lacks, in my opinion ;) If you don't mind the pop music playing, it's a nice place to read or relax with a friend.

My boyfriend called this place a tea shop for "tea people" in contrast to places like ArgoTea, which though tasty, serve mostly fruity teas* and don't stock the "legit" (in his words) varieties of puerh, oolongs, and greens that you might be looking for. Good news is, IntoTea has over 100 varieties of very nice tea!

    *They do have some fruity teas. We took a good walk before coming here, so I was thirsty and couldn't resist the Pear Pomegranate White. The fruit was nice and not overpowering.
A certain cutie pouring Jasmine Pearl. This smelled amazing!

I'm definitely getting the Iron Goddess of Mercy (Ti Kuan Yin) oolong next time.
And there will surely be many "next times," as this place is in my boyfriend's neighborhood. And they have all sorts of delicious looking goodies (vegan and gluten-free options too), like the most delicious looking nut pie. The first time we went for breakfast and had very tasty toasted bagels with cream cheese. I had a ginger ginseng green that time (not very strong on the ginger, fyi), but I think the Bard's Tempest would be delicious with a bagel, or with one of their desserts.


Montréal: Maple Icewine Tea

SO. After graduation, my sister and I took Amtrak to Montréal! I fell in love with Montréal in 2009 when I went there with my college's French department, so I was excited to go back, and I came home with a big stash of tea. I bought a pretty tasty box of maple tea last time I was there, but I wanted to try something new. I've heard icewine is really sweet and tasty, but at 459043950834CAD a glass, I had to pass on that one, so I was excited when I found this tea!

Now, since I have never tasted real icewine, I can't really tell you how this compares, but I can assure you that it is quite delicious! The scent and taste have yummy hints of sweet maple with a light, crisp, ever-sooo-slighty-sour fruity taste (I'm guessing the teeny note of sourness I'm detecting is to imitate the qualities of wine). Without anything added, this tea has a pleasant maple-sugary aftertaste that makes it very pleasant in the summer. If it lasts 'til winter, I'm sure it will be nice and warming then.

At less than 5CAD a box, I strongly recommend you pick up this tea if you're ever in the area!
*Another note, lots of the maple teas you'll find don't actually have real maple in them as a flavoring. This one does!

lundi 23 juillet 2012

catching up

A lot of things have been happening lately, such as graduating college and having a busy summer with lots of sewing and grad school reading when I get a spare moment between internships. And my family home has finally entered the 21st century by getting wifi! So now I can blog from somewhere other than the cold basement! hooray!
Here's just a teaser of some of the teas about which I'll be catching up:
Montréal tea haul!

vendredi 11 mai 2012

Clinton, NY: Tradition -Jasmine Green Tea

Found this one in the Language Office this past Thursday and helped myself to a pretty little packet. Let's see how it is!
     Nice sachet, large and spacious for leaves to expand. Sweet smell when foil pack opened. The liquor has a very floral aroma, and more full-bodied than I am used to in my jasmine tea (I usually drink Sunflower jasmine tea -the one that comes in the orange tin). A little stronger too. Looking at the opened leaves in the bag, I can see that this a little more than the amount I usually use per cup-- wait a second???!
trans fat -in my tea?! Some one explain.

   Even without the suspicious trans fat, I wouldn't get this tea again. Just not as good as other jasmines to make it worth it. I've mentioned before how I'm not a fan of green tea in teabags and although, as you can see, the leaves are still a decent size, it just seems a little off.

lundi 9 avril 2012

ebay: glutinous rice puerh

The cake is very pungent. In the most delicious sense of the word. The astringency of the tea is tempered by a hard-to-describe sort of almost sourness. I haven't eaten sticky rice in a few years, so I don't remember the smell, but I am assured by the internet that this indeed the smell I am struggling to describe.

This aroma is apparently imparted by an herb

"There exists an herb in China’s Yunnan Province who’s aroma closely resembles that of sticky glutinous rice. “Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye” translates to “Sweet Rice Tender Leaves.” This tea in maocha form, is left for months in close contact with Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye leaves until the tea leaves take on the scent of the herb. [...] Once steeped, the tea emits a sweet aroma identical to that of fresh sticky rice. The liquor is very brothy and resembles genmaicha in color and taste." -thanks to

I'm blogging "live" this time, instead of after as I usually do. As the tea is steeping, I'm getting a beautiful scent from the liquor that really does smell just like rice. I've heard it said that glutinous rice puerh is a good subsitute/alternative for gen mai cha, but so far, the aroma is really not that similar. There's no distinctive roasted smell and it seems like it will be much sweeter. Let's try it. Here goes:

Delicious! Very smooth. A slight ricey flavor lingers on the back of the tongue.

A mouthful of later infusions have more of the astringent taste of ...wu-yi tea, but still with that delightful ricey taste at the end. I love the cute little tin too -I will definitely be buying this again!

lundi 20 février 2012

Washington D.C.: Liberty Tea Bags

I got this one when visiting D.C. for the first time this past summer and have been saving it for just this occasion! Happy Presidents' Day!

The back of the package tells an interesting story about tea subsitutes durin the American Revolution, including "New Jersey red root, sage, and raspberry leaves." This caffeine-free herbal tisane does look like green tea and is a pretty interesting blend. None of the ingredients stands out in particular, overpowering the others. Instead, you can taste each of them at different times as you swallow. You'll be left with a refresion, slightly minty aftertaste.
The package advises a steeping time of 5 minutes, but I left the bag in as I was drinking. The first few sips were a little too watery for me, but I drank it slowly and it got to be actually quite delicious the longer the bag steeped. A peach slice is a suggested garnish, which I think would be quite delicious with this tea poured over ice, during the summer. A little honey could a nice treat in this tea as well, though I found it to be crisp and refreshing, without being too floral or too minty, on its own.

So if you're ever in D.C., I'd recommend picking this up! It's $8 at the Smithsonian gift shop for $20 bags, but if you're going to buy souvenirs, it's better than a magnet that falls off your refrigerator and breaks...

jeudi 16 février 2012

National Hot Tea Month -where was I?

So, January was National Hot Tea Month. Who knew?
Certainly not I! Whoops!

I've been two-timing Tea again, with a hot new date. Thesis.
...Actually, Tea, Thesis, and I have some pretty nice threesomes.
But sometimes Thesis gets a little out of hand and he and I have to take a short break from each other.

Like tonight, with our friend Donut who came over to visit Twinings (Naturally Decaffeinated) English Breakfast Tea. Not the most exciting black tea (far from it- please look forward to a post about a very wonderful black tea, coming soon!), but at least there's no bite. Plus the slight bitterness canceled out the slightly-too-sweetness of the donut. I don't usually eat donuts, but this one was so small and cute...I could not resist the temptation to dunk it, Clark Gable style!