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!