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.