Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Seasonal Musings

Hello again, I am sipping a cup of Meizong China Black and musing about this season in retail.
This is one of my favorite times of the year. The shop is filled to capacity with pots, mugs, books, cozies and much more tea than most of the rest of the year. I love the decoration in the windows and the tree in the tea department. Then, there are the customers, some with lists, some with questions, all of them looking for the perfect gift. How fun!

I like to recommend the hand carved Japanese mugs to brighten up a winter morning table. Then there are the "Fiesta" style tea sets for children 5 and up! Great for girls and boys who enjoy tea parties. For the office tea lover there are infuser mugs in multiple colors to add cheer without taking up desk space. For stocking stuffers I recommend "ten packs" of tea bags Earl Grey, Green Tea, Chamomile, there are lots to pick from. This year We also have a China tea Immortal's Oolong. A 10gm "bud" of tea which will make a 4 cup pot and can be re-steeped several times.

For the really "steeped" tea lover we have bird house teapots and other whimsical dragonfly pots had made by local artist Marissa Motto. Drip-less, stainless steel teapots are terrific.
As you can see, I am overflowing with tea-ish ideas for this holiday season. I invite you all to come in to see our "teapot fountain", another amazing event.

I'm going to finish my cuppa and get some work done here before the fun begins.
Talk to you later,



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Re-entry Thoughts and musings

Hello Again: Welcome to Tea Talk Tuesday! Sorry for the missed episodes, last week was a bit overwhelming after being away for a week! Anyway, I think I am on top of it all now and have time to sit, stare at the screen and sip my Buddhist Tea. I wish you could all join me, this is one of the nicest green teas I have tried. The leaves are delicate and aromatic with just a bit of dustiness in the jar. It brews up light, with a touch of spiciness (enough to taste, not enough to identify) and leaves my mouth wanting another cup. It's a good thing I can get 2-3 cups from one measure of dry leaves! If you are a fan of green teas, I invite you to stop by an get some for your holidays!

Now that Thanksgiving is past, the shop is looking like a winter wonderland! I love this time of year! Our supply of Yi-Xing pots has expanded to the most it will be all year and they are creating lots of interest. If there is one you or a loved one wants, now is the time. We also have Children's tea sets (functional one and all), Welsh Tea, Cozies, Mince Tarts, Eccles Cakes, Typhoo Tea and PG Tips 240's for a REAL tea lover!

Well, enough for now, enjoy your tea on this frosty afternoon, stay warm and dry and come by the shop soon and say "Hi".

See you Friday,


Friday, November 11, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Revolutionary Tea Parties

Hello again! Happy Veteran's Day! In keeping with the celebration of veterans, I am going to talk about the Revolutionary Tea Parties that were over-shadowed by the one in Boston.
patriots disguised themselves as Indians on one occasion when tea meant for Philadelphia was secretly unloaded in Greenwich, New Jersey. The secret was discovered and the cargo burned.

Charleston consignors chose not to pay tax or accept delivery on a shipment which was stored in a damp cellar to rot. A year later when another ship arrived with seven tea chests, the chests were chopped open and the tea thrown overboard. On December 26, 1773 Captain Ayres of the "Polly" was taken to a protest meeting in Philadelphia where it was made clear to him that he would not be allowed to land his cargo and he sailed back to England the next day. Similar scenes were repeated in New York in April, 1774 followed by one in Annapolis, Maryland where the ship's owner, a Scottish merchant, was given the choice of burning the ship and cargo or being hanged.

Shortly thereafter in Edenton, North Carolina a group of society ladies, led by Penelope Barker, bound themselves not "to conform to the pernicious custom of drinking tea, until such time as all Acts which tend to enslave our Native Country shall be repealed."

It is amazing that we drink tea at all!
Thanks to Norwood Pratt's Ultimate Tea Lover's Treasury, his latest and greatest and available at the Perennial Tea Room! Published by Devan Shah and Ravi Sutodia for Tea Society, San Francisco and Calcutta.

I will be out of town next week so no Tea Talk Tuesday, or Tea Fact Friday. I will see you the week of Thanksgiving!!! With more trivial


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday - Fair Trade

Good Morning: Welcome to Tea Talk Tuesday, on Tuesday this week.
Today I am going to talk about Fair Trade, a good idea with a controversial side to it.

Fair Trade is an international system intended to guarantee fair wages and decent working conditions for farm workers and promote the use of sustainable farming methods. So far so good. To be certified fair trade, tea estates first have to meet specific standards concerning wages, child labor, working conditions and labor organization. FAIR TRADE teas rebate a portion of the purchase price directly to the workers of that tea estate.

It sounds great, but it is a bit like using a sledge hammer to crack peanuts. Which is not to say I don't believe in fair trade. I certainly support the goals of fair trade. I also know that many small tea farmers cannot afford the certification process and are working already to support their employees in ways that meet the goal, if not the standard. These farmers need a place at the table too.

Thanks to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary for the basic information. Published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA 2010, printed in India.

See you Friday!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Georgan Tea

Hello again welcome to Tea Fact Friday. Today I want to talk about tea from the Republic of Georgia in the Caucasus. These plantations are in a unique location between the Caucasus mountains and the sub tropical Black Sea creating a lovely spot to grow our favorite Camellia.
In one of the villages in this area lives a woman named Natela Guzabechi (spelling is my creation!) who as a young woman was sent by the Soviet Government to China to learn the art of making tea. She learned and returned and made a career out of making tea for the government and possibly others. When the Soviet Union imploded, she retired to her village but saw acres of tea falling into ruin. She began tending some tea plants, making tea in her kitchen and teaching other people in her village to do the same. Then, along came Nigel Melican of Tea Craft with his years of experience in tea and he helped make this "kitchen industry" available to a wider audience. Today there are five or six different teas manufactured in or around the village. We are delighted to tell you we have just received a shipment of the 2011 "GOLD STANDARD" by Natela. Look for a picture on our Face book page and website within the next few days!

Thanks to Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary, published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA, printed in India 2010 for the general information about the Georgia Tea Region. The information about Natela and her village is my own version of what Nigel Melican told me.

See you Tuesday (finally) for Tea Talk Tuesday.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday - Ancient Tea and Horse Trail

Good Morning and welcome to another beautiful fall day in Seattle.
The ancient tea and horse caravan routes date to around 700 CE under the Tang Dynasty.
The trade consisted mainly of tea from Sichuan and Yunnan and horses from Central Asia. The Tibetan diet, mainly meat, needed tea as a source of C and other vitamins and as a digestive aid, while Imperial armies found Asian horses indispensable. Until trade in horses stopped in the mid 1700's, China's government intermittently regulated trans-border trade in tea and horses. At one point under the Ming Dynasty, a high-quality horse could bring 120 pounds of tea. The trail "starts" at the market town Pu-Erh and has two main branches, one to the Sichuan province and on to Mongolia and the other through Yunnan to Tibet. There are endless offshoots, some leading as far as Myanmar, Nepal and India.

Remind me to talk about Norwood Pratt some Friday! This is another of his selections from the Tea Dictionary, published by Tea Society Press in San Francisco, Calif. Printed in India 2010.
Thanks again Norwood! See you all Friday.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Tea Talk Friday - Pu-Er

Good Morning! Welcome to Tea Talk Friday. I need to start with a correction. I reversed the process on my arithmetic Wednesday and 11kilos would be closer to 22 pounds than 5. It is still a VERY pricey tea.

Anyway, on to Pu-Er (pu-erh) A category of it's own, like green, black or oolong. It has been produced in Yunnan from ancient times and shipped from the market town of Pu-Er until the tea acquired this name outside Yunnan. Pu-Er is a "made" tea, either green, black or white, which is sprayed with an unknown bacterium and allowed to undergo a sort of secondary fermentation. It may be compressed into many shapes or left loose and unique among teas, it improves with age.

In celebration of fall, and no other reason, we have a few (5) premium Pu-Er bricks. If you are interested in having one please let us know.

Thanks, as always, to the Tea Dictionary of James Norwood Pratt for the information on this unique tea. Published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, 2010, printed in India.

See you Wednesday for Tea Talk Tuesday!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday - You won't believe this!

Hello - Tea Talk Tuesday is on Wednesday this week due to schedule changes at the tea shop.
This will happen again next week, then be back to regular blogging schedules. Thanks for your understanding.

So, I was speaking this morning with one of my tea vendors in England, ordering some of this year's Natela's Gold Standard, YUM!!! It will be here by next week! Watch for it!

Anyway, we were talking tea (of course) and he said that Harrods of London purchased the entire crop of Hawaiian tea for this year! It was not a large amount, only 11 kilos (which is about 5 pounds), but they did some fancy advertising and sold the entire amount in one day for $90,000.00 (approx). That comes out to $18,000.00 per pound, more or less! Pretty amazing!
It makes some of our more high priced teas seem pretty reasonable in contrast. I wonder what the difference is between this type of pricey tea and any other tea we could try?

See you Friday, for Tea Facts


Friday, October 21, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Orthodox Manufacture

Good Morning - Happy Friday and welcome to Tea Fact Friday. Today I am going to discuss the facts of orthodox manufacture of tea. Orthodox Manufacture is the traditional method of tea manufacture by machines which mimic by-hand methods employed in old China. Each batch of leaf is withered and then put into rollers, which bruise and shape the tea prior to oxidation. Following oxidation "fermentation", the leaf is fired to arrest further chemical change and preserve it free of moisture. The tea is then graded by leaf size (op, bpoe,bopfp,etc). All of the world's great black teas are produced by orthodox manufacture, which preserves the integrity and full flavour of the leaf. It is expensive and time-consuming compared to CTC manufacture, but the taste and visual difference is apparent.

Remember our Da Hong Pao! Have a great weekend! See you on Tea Talk Tuesday!

Thanks to the Tea Dictionary by James Norwood Pratt for the information presented. Tea Society Press, San Francisco, Calif. 2010 Printed in India.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday - Da Hong Pao

Hello, Happy Tuesday! Another week to explore and develop! Today I am going to be very specific and talk about Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) oolong tea unique to Wu Yi Shan China and perhaps it's most celebrated and expensive Yancha (rock Tea). Clinging to Jiulongke Cliff in the Tianxinyan area of the Wuyi Mountains, the original three or four Da Hong Pao tea bushes still survive, with leaves slightly thicker than others' and slightly pinkish buds. In a canyon called Nine Dragons' Nest the sun shines directly only a few hours per day and a small stream from a nearby spring seeps through a slit in the rock into the sandy soil, creating an ideal place for tea growing. The ancient plants are centuries old and their offspring grow here and there in the canyon, though almost nowhere else. Commercial production of Da Hong Pao cultivars only began in the 1960s. What made this tea famous and inspired its name was a Ming Dynasty mandarin who attributed his recovery of illness to its curative powers and in thanks, draped his official's scarlet robe of high office over the bushes and repectfully kowtowed before them.

So, what a story! What a tea! I am talking about it specifically because I have received 11 ounces of it from a colleague and I would like to offer it to our customers. It is a very rare oolong and I will sell it by the ounce for $15.00/ounce. An ounce will start at least 14 -20 cups, the re-steeping times are up to you. Let me know, just phone the store 206 448-4054 if you would like some.

Thanks to the Tea Dictionary by James Norwood Pratt for the information about this fine tea.
Published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA 2010, printed in India.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tea Talk Friday - Russian Caravan

Good Morning and happy weekend approaching! Today I am going to talk about Russian Caravan Tea - historically, the most important drink after vodka in old Russia. During the time of the Czars, tea would travel by camel from China to Moscow. The tea was famous for the smoky smell of the campfire it would absorb along the journey. In 1689, Russia and China signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk establishing their common border and enabling regular camel caravans to transport tea via Mongolia. The caravans took a long and difficult overland route of over 6000 miles and lasted 6 months. The completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1905 shortened the trip to mere weeks and sent the camel caravans into oblivion. It also changed the tea and today it is any black tea blend with a dash of Lapsang added.

Thanks to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary - Published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco 2010 - printed in India - for the information.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday - Famous Name Teas

Hello again: It's been an intense week traveling with Mr. and Mrs. Pratt, but I am finally settling back into my regular fall routine. I thought today I would talk about some famous named teas, Earl Grey, Prince of Wales, Queen Anne and Queen Mary. Earl Grey is the West's most popular tea, most popular black tea, and most popular scented tea, in that order. Named after the 1830's Prime Minister it is traditionally any tea flavored with bergamot. Corfu was the center of bergamot trade during the time the British Meditererranean Fleet was headquartered there and commanded by Lord Grey from London, Bickering still continues between Twinings and Jacksons of Picadilly as to who rightfully has the original recipe. Prince of Wales is a proprietary blend created by Twinings for Edward VIII, the abdicator. Edward apparently granted Twinings permission to resell his personal blend using his royal title in 1921. Queen Anne is a popular tea blend created in 1907 by Fortnum & Mason to commemorate the reigning sovereign at the time company was established in 1707 (must have been a bicentenial). It is a blend of some of the best gardens of Assam and Ceylon producing a strong, smooth tea suitable for all day drinking. Queen Mary is another proprietary Twinings blend consisting of muscatel Darjeelings, and much beloved by the wife of George V.

WOW! That's a mouthful (of tea). Keep drinking and I will keep bloging. See you all at Tea Fact Friday. Thanks to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary, published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA, printed in India, for the information provided.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Report on NW Tea Festival

Hello again, nice to be back. What an experience the Festival was! We received wonderful comments on the new location and the workshops and tastings were a terrific success. A few highlights for me were: the Tea Somalier class in which Norwood Pratt gave a history of tea followed by tasting all the varieties from white, yellow, green, darjeeling first and second flush, China black and pu-erh. The Chinese Tea Terms was well received as was the tea roasting class.
There are so many events that it is difficult to single many out - tea blending, cupping, gong-fu for children, and more. It was terrific. If you were not able to be there, mark your calendar for next year, October 6 - 7 at the Fisher Pavilion. A real treat.

See you Tuesday,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday

Hello again: Sorry for the delay today, I am focusing so completely on the NW TEA FESTIVAL that I am having difficulty doing anything else. It is going to be a terrific event! Norwood Pratt is arriving Friday and his presence will be felt throughout the festival. His Tea Somalier and Organoleptic Tea Tasting Classes are filling rapidly! Lisa Boalt Richardson will be staying for the weekend after helping with the Specialty Tea Institute Certification Class and her Paring Tea with Chocolates is filling quickly as well. Tea Chemistry, Roasting Tea, The Cupping and Tea Blending classes are all on schedule to be full and well attended. If you have an interest in expanding your knowledge and experience of tea, this one event will set you up for the year! At least, until our next one.

I will be out of the shop next week but will be back Friday, October 8 for Tea Fact Friday.

See you at the Festival,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tea Fact Friday

Hello and welcome to Tea Fact Friday, again! Today's fact is about Hagi stoneware.
Hagi-yaki is high fired stoneware that originated in Korea and was brought to Japan in the 1550's by two Korean potters, Li Sukkwang and Li Kyong. The Daimyo Lord Mori Tenumoto gave them permission to buil a kiln in exchange for Hagi pieces which could be used in the tea ceremony and for gifts. Hagi-yaki is made from soft clay with a milky white glaze.

At the NW Tea Festival next weekend (October 1-2) at Fisher Pavilion the World Green Tea Association will demonstrate the Japanese Tea Ceremony on Sunday afternoon, October 2. Come see this pottery used in it's intended manner by an expert in the ancient art of tea!

Thanks also to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary for this information. Published by the Tea Scoiety Press, San Francisco, Calif. Printed in India 2010.

Talk to you Tuesday,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday

Good Morning, or afternoon it appears!

Welcome to Tea Talk Tuesday. Today all the talk is about the NW Tea Festival which takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 1 & 2 at the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center - right beside the fountain! Many things are coming together for this event, the Tea Room is planning big things! Lots of tasting Coconut Pouchong and Peppermint Bark. Samples of many teas to take home and try! A Book signing with Lisa Boalt Richardson immediately following her presentation on Teas paired with chocolates on Saturday afternoon!

As if that weren't enough, There will be a tea blending class in which participants will get to create their own signature tea blend! Teas for this are coming from the Perennial Tea Room. You can sign up for this class at their website: NWteafestival.com and go to the program link.

Make sure you have these dates marked on your calendar!! October 1-2, (10:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday, 10:00am - 4:00pm on Sunday). We are looking forward to seeing you there!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Longjing - Dragon's Well

Hello again and welcome to Tea Fact Friday. I am sipping a cup of Buddhist Tea while I contemplate the fact(s) of today, Longjing or Dragonwell Tea. One of China's 10 Most Famous Teas and certainly, the best known of all China Greens. First grown in Hangzhou in the west lake region of Zhejiang. It is known for its "four uniques" - jade colour, vegetative aroma, mellow chestnut-like flavor and singular shape. The pan fried leaf is flat, slick to the touch and smooth; a classic leaf style for many pan fried green teas. Besides different seasons, there are up to 8 grades of traditional Longjing: "Lotus Heart" is the rarest, consisting of bud only; then comes "flagged spear." a bud and single leaf; then "bird's beak," a bud between two leaves. Much Longjing is now produced in Fujian and elsewhere outside the classical area of origin and much of this is very good quality tea.

Thanks again to The Tea Dictionary, by James Norwood Pratt, published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, California; printed in India.

See you Tuesday for Tea Talk,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - Revamped

Hello, welcome to Tea Myth Tuesday. Sorry to say, I am out of myths at the moment, so I thought I would just do a regular tea chat with this space.

Today I want to talk about the NW Tea Festival and how excited I am to be coordinating it! The Perennial Tea Room has been a sponsor of the festival since we were thinking and planning how to do it! Now the festival is in it's fourth year! And, we have moved from the NW Rooms at Seattle Center (we took them all over last year) to the Fisher Pavilion, a much larger space and much easier to find. More space for people to walk around in, more tea to taste and more interesting people to meet and talk tea with.

This year we are presenting workshops as well as open presentations and tea tastings! Two of these, which are most exciting to me, are the Tea Somalier and Organoleptic workshops being presented by Norwood Pratt, the most knowledgeable tea person I know. The classes were originally designed for restaurant staff and now are available for anyone with a serious interest in tea! Imagine 2 hours with him in a group of 10 - 20 people! Plenty of time to ask questions and generally discuss tea with this master of the art. Check out the website: nwteafestival.com to find out how to register for these workshops along with pairing tea with chocolate, a tea cupping class, a tea blending class and much, much more.

Check back on Friday for Tea Fact Friday! See you then,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tea Fact Friday

Hello welcome to Tea Fact Friday:
Today's fact is about the London Tea Auctions which operated from 1679 - 1998. The world's first tea auctions began as quarterly events controlled by the East India Company. In 1835 they became independent from company control. By the mid 19th century tea had become so popular that auctions took place monthly and ultimately, weekly. Tea was sent from India, China, Sri Lanka and Africa for sale at the auction and as the auction grew busier a practice developed of devoting particular days of the week to the sale of teas from each individual country. By the 1950's, a third of all the world's tea was bought through these auctions. The sales finally ended because tea was increasingly being auctioned in the producing countries.

Thanks to James Norwood Pratt, Tea Dictionary, Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA. Printed in India, 2010

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - No More Myths

Good Morning: Here we are at Tea Myth Tuesday and I have no myth!
I could talk about tannins in tea (there aren't any) but I don't have the information to back it up.
I have emailed my friend Nigel Melican and when he gets me the information I will get it to you.

In the meantime, if you have myths you would like verified or debunked send them to me as comments on this page and I will have a go at it.

See you Friday - there are endless facts about tea.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Oolong

Hello and happy Friday:
Oolong is one of China's six categories of tea, originating in Wuyishan (Fujian).
Oolong tea falls between the green and black tea categories with degrees of oxidation ranging from 7% to 70%. Oolong has been produced since the end of the Ming Dynasty.

Thanks to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary, Tea Society Press, San Francisco printed in India, 2010.

See you Tuesday

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday

Hello again:
Today the myth is the 30 second steep to remove 80% of caffeine. This is one of those "too good to be true" stories. Testing with black tea three different researchers found that after 30 seconds 11%. 20% and 23% of the caffeine was removed. Testing green teas, three other researchers found that after 30 seconds 6%, 24% and 29% of the caffeine was removed. No one, so far as I know, has come close to 80%. If you want decaffeinated tea, you will have to buy it!

Thanks again to Nigel Milecan at Teacraft , Bedford, UK for the information presented

See you Friday,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tea Fact Friday/Saturday

Well, someone was asleep at the switch! Tea Fact Friday will be on Saturday this week. Sorry to keep you waiting. Today's Tea Fact is about the Opium War waged by Great Britain against China in 1840-41. Opium was the primary trade commodity of the East India Trading Company. The Company grew opium in India and sold it in China. China moved to outlaw the sale of opium and Great Britain declared war in defense of the Trading Company. After losing the war, China was forced to cede Hong Kong to Britain and open 4 ports to British trade which was opium. Ultimately Britain/East India Trading Co. gave up opium production for tea production, but that is another fact.

Thanks again to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary, Tea Society Press, San Francisco, California. Printed in India

See you Tuesday - Julee

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - Back Again

Hello again! It feels like ages since I have looked at tea and myths, but it was just one week.
Amazing our perceptions of time. OK! Here we go! Today's myth is: White Teas have less caffeine than green or black teas. Here are some figures from my friend Nigel Melican that I got at the World Tea Expo:
White teas had a caffeine range of 3.4 - 5.7% with a caffeine mean of 4.9%.
Green teas' caffeine ranged from 1.7 - 3.9% with a caffeine mean of 2.9%
Black teas' caffeine ranged from 2.0 - 5.4% with a caffeine mean of 2.5%.
The same amounts of white and green teas were measured with slightly MORE black teas measured. Therefore, I declare this myth BUSTED! See you Friday for Tea Facts!


Thanks to Nigel Melican at Teacraft, Ltd. , Bedford, England

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tea Fact Friday

Hello! I am back to Tea Fact Friday! Had a wonderful experience at the 1st annual Los Angeles Tea Festival. Two full days of nothing but tea with people who love tea and can talk about it all day long!! Over 1000 people attended which is terrific! I can't wait for our 4th annual NW Tea Festival, October 1-2 at Seattle Center! Mark your calendars!

Here is a fact: There is nothing to make me more exhilarated than drinking and discussing tea with other tea lovers for several hours a day!

Another fact: Ceylon is the colonial name of the island of Sri Lanka. The ancient Sinhalese name was re-adopted by the island when it became a Sovereign Republic in the Commonwealth in 1972. It was always known to the Arabs as the Ilse of Serendip. World-famous teas grown on the island continues to use the colonial name.

Thanks to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary, The Tea Society Press, San Francisco, Printed in India 2010/

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Grading

Hello, welcome to Friday again:
Today's tea fact is Grading: The final step in the manufacture of black tea. The made tea is passed through several sieves of progressively smaller mesh sizes to separate the leaves into different sizes called: GRADES. Machines have been invented to do this work but all of them use the basic principal of shaking screens with varying mesh sizes.

Thanks to The Tea Dictionary by James Norwood Pratt, The Tea Society Press, San Francisco, Calif. Printed in India 2010

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - Caffeine Tea vs Coffee

Hello and late again:
Today's myth relates to caffeine: Tea and Coffee have the same amount of caffeine.
OK this one has two parts:
Part One: Dry product caffeine (g/kg)
R&G Arabica 9 - 12
R&G Robusta 18 - 22
Typical green/black tea 29 - 35

Part Two: Prepared product caffeine (mg/250ml)
Drip Brewed Coffee 106 - 173
Percolated Coffee 128 - 216
Starbucks Decaf 15
Assam 86
Green 59
White Bai Mu Dan 75

So, there you have it - partly Busted partly accurate. I guess it depends on whether you drink your tea dry or wet. See you next time.

Oh, Thanks to Nigel Melican and Teacraft for the information


Friday, July 29, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Fruit Infusion

Hello: Running a bit late today, it seems everyone I know needed to talk to me before noon today! Oh well, I am here now. Today's Tea Fact - Fruit Infusion: concoctions made without Camellia sinensis, caffeine and tannin-free. Many are blended on a base of hibiscus, rose hips and various other fruits, berries and flowers. Can be enjoyed hot or cold and frequently make exquisite iced drinks. They are ideal for people who are caffeine intolerant.

Thanks again to The Tea Dictionary by James Norwood Pratt, The Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA 2010.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - Green Tea is better than Black

Good Morning, again: Nice to greet you once again.
Today's myth is that green tea is better for you than black. This myth is about antioxidants and the way we are being manipulated by media groups with a specific agenda not necessarily related to tea.
This myth has several parts:
a) Antioxidants are removed by processing making green teas better than blacks. At this point there is no indication that processing removes ANY antioxidants. BUSTED
b) White tea has significantly higher antioxidants than green or black. Also not true. BUSTED
c) Black tea has far less antioxidants than Green Teas (see #a) NO. BUSTED
d) Milk wipes out the antioxidant benefits of tea - NOT AT NORMAL LEVELS. BUSTED
e) Green tea pill supplements are as good for you as drinking tea - NO - A pill provides only tea extract and a few cathecins but does not provide the full spectrum of elements that you receive in a cup of tea - whatever style. BUSTED

Thanks again to Nigel Melican at Teacraft for his inspiration and facts. He is curreently in Uganda and when he gets back I will regale you with more stats than you can imagine.

Please check my spelling!

See you Friday,

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tea Fact Fridays - Long in the mouth

Good Morning: Today's tea fact: Long in the mouth - a tasting term for "finish" or 'aftertaste". Tea aromas that linger in the back of the mouth and create a pleasant impression that remains after swallowing.

Thanks again to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary, 2010 printed in India, Tea Society Press, San Francisco, Calif.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - decaffeinate tea in 30 seconds

Good Morning: I can see that I need to do a better proofing job before posting. Robert Fortune was in China in the 1840's. Sorry for the errors.

Today's Myth: You can decaffeinate tea by steeping 30 seconds, tossing the liquor and re-steeping. This is more complex, but it is essentially BUSTED!

You can, in fact, remove some caffeine by limited steeping, BUT, you also remove other things which provide flavor and some of the antioxidant benefits you may want. Specifically: epigallo catechin gallate or epcg. Here is what you get:

Steeping 30 seconds at 160: 14% caffeine and 13% epcg removed
Steeping 30 seconds at 185: 29% caffeine and 23% epcg removed
Steeping 30 seconds at 212: 27% caffeine and 24% epcg removed

Steeping 60 seconds at 160: 38% caffeine and 33% epcg removed
Steeping 60 seconds at 185: 53% caffeine and 42% epcg removed
Steeping 60 seconds at 212: 51% caffeine and 44% epcg removed

If one of the reasons you drink tea is for the antioxidants, it seems silly to take it out along with the flavor.

Thanks to Nigel Melican at Teacraft for the information.

See you Friday,

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tea Fact Friday - Tea Folk We All Need to Know

Good Morning, time for Tea Fact Friday:

Robert Fortune: one of the "Fathers' of Indian Tea", this Scots botanist and traveler was one of the first Europeans to penetrate Cnina in thea840's and 50's. He shipped more than 20,000 tea plants and seedlings from China to India, thus helping to establish the Indian Tea Industry.

Information found in James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary, Tea Society Press, 2010 San Francisco, California. Printed in India

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - Factory Floor Sweepings

Welcome to Tea Myth Tuesday - on Tuesday this time. Today's myth: Tea Factory floor sweepings are used to make teabags. This is an arithmetic problem:

  • There are about 4000 tea factories in the world.

  • Each of them produces about 4 tonnes of tea per year.

  • Factory waste is 1-2% or about 15 tonnes of waste

  • Total sweepings are 60,000 tonnes.

  • 3 Trillion tea bags are produced each year! This would require 750,000 tonnes of sweepings! So, BUSTED.

As a side factoid of interest, most floor sweepings go back on the tea fields as fertilizer, and CTC tea is primarily used for tea bags.

Thanks to Nigel Melican at Teacraft for this information.

See you for Tea Fact Friday -

Happy Tasting


Friday, July 8, 2011

Hello, welcome to Tea Fact Friday - I will use this space to regale you with tidbits of tea information and lore for fun and fancy.

Today's fact is about the Robinson Tea Chest: On the morning of December 17, 1773, a young John Robinson collected a souvenir tea chest from the Boston Tea Party the night before. Passed down from generation to generation for over 200 years, the Robinson Tea Chest has endured as a symbol of American freedom and the birth of a nation. It is now in the Boston Tea Party Museum.

From: The Tea Dictionary by James Norwood Pratt, Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA, 2010

See you Tuesday for Tea Myth Tuesday

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tea Myth Tuesday - On Wednesday

OK! Here it is! Tea Myth #1" Drinking Tea will help you lose weight. BUSTED!!!
While the components of tea canprpoduce a slight weight loss effect, 5 cups of tea will ONLY
burn 67 calories. Since a standard diet is about 3000 calories, that would be a lot of tea!

The ONLY way to lose weight is to take in less calories than you need to go about your daily events.

Sorry this is posting on Wednesday. The blogmaster and I are learning to deal with each other and I have not triumphed, YET!

See you Friday for Tea Fact Friday and really on Tuesday for Tea Myth Tuesday.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Just back from the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas (go figure!). I had a grand time seeing old friends and meeting new ones. One of the workshops I took was about Debunking Tea Myths and I have decided to share some of them with you. Watch this space for "Tea Myth Tuesday", starting Tuesday, July 5 for some interesting mythologizing.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mexican Mango Tea

We've got a new tea in the shop, just in time for the (slightly) warmer weather!

Mexican Mango is a lovely black tea blend, flavored with mango and just a hint of chile. The chile doesn't really make it spicy, it just adds a nice background note to help punch up the mango flavor.

We think this would make a great iced tea, perfect for a party on those nice Spring weekends. It's a seasonal tea for us, though, so it won't be in the shop forever. Grab some for yourself in the shop or on our website.

Hugo the Robot

We'd like to introduce you to the newest addition to the Perennial Tea Room staff -

Well okay, he might not actually be on staff here, but he does provide a valuable service - infusing tea, and looking darn cute while doing it.

He hangs out in your cup to infuse your tea (kind of like relaxing in a hot tub) and comes with a little dish to stand in so he doesn't drip tea on your counter.

You can get your own Hugo the Robot tea infuser in the shop and on our website.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Teas!

We've got a rather eclectic group of new teas that have arrived recently, and we are quite excited about them!

First, a lovely Taiwanese tea returns to the shop: Ruby #18!

A black tea from Taiwan, this very special tea is a hybrid of the Camellia Sinensis Assamica from India and the wild Taiwanese variety growing near Sunmoon Lake. A chameleon of flavor, sometimes chocolatey, spicey, or sweet and caramely. It is always complex and wonderful.

Also returning is one of our most very special seasonal teas: Sakura Sencha!

This tea is always a quick seller, and we only get a limited amount each year, so get it while you can! The combination of Japanese sencha green tea and cherry blossoms is sure to make you feel like it's springtime (even if it's 40 degrees outside!)

We also have a brand-new tea in the shop: Almond Sugar Cookie!

This Ceylon-China black tea blend has a wonderfully nutty almond flavor, and the aroma of freshly-baked cookies! Great on its own, but add a bit of sweetener and a splash of milk and you've got a truly decadent dessert tea.

Also remember we still have some Irish Cream tea in the shop, but we might sell out before St. Patrick's Day. If you want some, now's the time to get it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Lemon Curd - Hogan's from Wales

Sometimes in life, simple is best. With that in mind, we brought in this great lemon curd from Hogan's in Wales.

It's all natural, with just 7 ingredients; sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, fruit pectin, citric acid, and lemon oil. It's great on toast, pancakes, waffles, scones, in desserts, or on just about anything else you can think of.

Come by the shop and pick up a jar (or two, since it'll disappear faster than you think!)

New Irish Stuff!

We just got some great new products in the shop in preparation for St. Patrick's Day!

Returning this year are a couple of favorites; our delicious Irish Cream black tea, with the great flavor of rum and cream, and Butlers Irish Whiskey Truffle Bars, made with luxurious dark chocolate.

New for this year are Sticky Toffee bars from Lily O'Briens, yummy little bars of milk chocolate filled with gooey sticky toffee, and Connemara Irish Whiskey and Heather Marmalade made by Crossogue Preserves in Tipperary, Ireland.

Remember, these products are limited seasonal items, so if you want some, get them now while they're still here!

Monday, January 17, 2011

New - Peach Fairies Display Tea

We've got a new tea in the shop, and it tastes just as beautiful as it looks!

This unassuming little ball of hand-tied tea leaves blooms like a flower when steeped in hot water, producing a lovely show and a tasty pot of peach-scented green tea!

The real show-stopper is the string of jasmine blossoms that rises to the top. This would be a great tea to serve in glass teapots at the end of a fancy dinner party, or just an afternoon tea break with a friend.

We sell these in packs of four for $5.00. Each blossom is enough to make two or three cups. Check it out in the shop or online!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bergamot Week is Back! Jan 7 - 17

That's right, it's time for Bergamot Week once again here at the Perennial Tea Room!

What's Bergamot Week, you ask? Well, for the past few years around this time in January, we have brought in some bergamot fruits so people can see and smell them firsthand. What's a bergamot, you ask? Well...

That's a bergamot. Looks like a lemon, huh? It may look like a lemon, but one sniff of the peel and you get the unmistakeable fragrance of Earl Grey. The oil from the rind of the bergamot fruit is what makes your Earl Grey tea taste the way it does.

The finest bergamots (Citrus bergamia) are grown in the Calabria region of Italy (the tip of the "boot"). The particular soil type brings out the most flavor in the oil. It's pretty difficult (and expensive) to get them from Italy, so we bring in some grown in California by a grower who specializes in rare citrus fruits.

The flesh of the fruit is rather sour, so it's not so great for eating as is, but the zest is wonderful to use in baking and cooking. Try adding some zest to a shortbread, or in chocolate truffles; anywhere you use lemon or orange zest. You could even try a twist of bergamot peel in a martini to give it a unique hint of flavor. I wonder if anyone makes bergamot bitters... Hmm.

Anyway, in honor of bergamot season, we're declaring the 7th - 17th of January Bergamot Week! We'll have bergamots in the shop for you to see and smell, and all of our Earl Grey teas will be 10% off! That includes Earl Grey Extra, Lavender Earl Grey, Victorian Earl Grey, Irish Earl Grey, Imperial Russian Caravan, Paris Blend, Decaf Earl Grey Extra, and Decaf Victorian Earl Grey.

So come on in, meet a bergamot, and pick up some Earl Grey and celebrate Bergamot Week with us!