2018 Tea Book Roundup

In this article, I cover 6 tea books that came out since our last roundup in late 2017. Overall, it was a strong year for quality tea books and we're continually seeing authors raising the bar and introducing new concepts and information to our industry. This is key, as there are no doubt a number of books each year that are just re-hashing the same information we've read in other books. What's your favorite addition to the tea library this year? The Life of Tea: A Journey to the World's Finest Teas by Michael Freeman and Timothy d'Offay This beautiful book [...]

2018 Tea Book Roundup2018-12-11T13:06:08-05:00

Huajuchen: The Largest Tea Festivals in the World

The Huajuchen Tea Expos. Perhaps you've heard of it, or even been to one. Or perhaps, what's likely if you don't speak Chinese, you've never heard of it at all. Yet, it's the largest network of tea festivals in the world and naturally, they're in China. China is a big country with a lot of people and is responsible for the production of the world's most cotton, the top two largest beer brands in the world (shockingly), and of course, the most tea in the world. It then shouldn't come as a surprise that they host the world's largest tea festivals, fairs, and exhibitions, most of [...]

Huajuchen: The Largest Tea Festivals in the World2018-06-07T22:05:18-05:00

Teavana, A Distant Analysis

The news that in 2018 Starbucks will close its Teavana shops (more than 350 in all, there is no other such tea chain in the US), raises before tea specialists questions as to why the project is scaled down and how Teavana’s experience can be best utilized. We will try to answer these questions from Russia, relying on the old and established consumer tea culture existing in our country and making analysis based on Teavana’s online store (in this contemplation, we are not touching the issue that Starbucks has sold its other tea brand Tazo to Unilever). It's reasonably safe to [...]

Teavana, A Distant Analysis2018-06-07T21:53:07-05:00

2018 Tea Outlook

A new year is upon us and the tea industry is rife with innovation, cheeky trends, and funky fads. We asked 11 tea folk from around the world what they see coming down the pike in 2018 -- here's what they had to say: Ms. Yu Lu Vice President of the China Chamber of Commerce of I&E of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA) “I think in 2018 there will be steady growth in export volume and value of tea in China. Regarding the increase in export volume, there are a few key figures that I can share. According to [...]

2018 Tea Outlook2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

2017 Tea Book Roundup

In this article, I cover 5 tea books that came out in 2017. Tea writers are raising the bar with each passing year and there are a few that came out in 2017 that will prove a valuable asset to your bookshelf. Three Basic Teas & How to Enjoy Them by Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace Virginia has been a longtime lecturer at the World Tea Expo on the topic of the Organoleptic Analysis of tea. Most recently, she taught in the Nutritional Science Division at Cornell University, focusing on anatomy, physiology, nutrition, disease, mind and memory. She's applied this knowledge to tea in this [...]

2017 Tea Book Roundup2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

The Artisan Specialty Teas of Sri Lanka

While in Sri Lanka this past August, I got an in-depth look at tea production throughout the country and happened upon some fantastic handmade teas. 95% of tea produced in Sri Lanka is Orthodox Black tea made by machine, but there is a growing number of artisan specialty tea producers in the country. If this artisan production is met with overseas demand, it's a sector of the Sri Lankan Tea industry that is sure to grow. In this article, I'll share with you my experiences sampling a selection of teas from Lumbini Tea Valley and Glenwood Reserve. Lumbini Tea Valley Chaminda [...]

The Artisan Specialty Teas of Sri Lanka2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

150 Years of Ceylon Tea

Our very own Tony Gebely traveled to Sri Lanka from August 6 - 14 to cover the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon Tea. As a guest of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, he was given unfettered access to the events in Colombo, many of the country’s tea estates, and the Sri Lanka Tea Research Institute. This post is the first in a series covering his tea adventures in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was a major producer of coffee in the 17-1800s until the island nation’s coffee industry was completely wiped out by a disease known as coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). The [...]

150 Years of Ceylon Tea2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Hands On: The Teforia Leaf

** Update: Teforia has closed its doors for good. See their website for the full statement. What follows is our original assessment of their second product, the Teforia Leaf. My first experience with Teforia was a visit to founder, Allen Han's workshop in 2015 where he showed me a prototype unit. As skeptical as I was, I gave Allen 5 grams of my favorite tea at the time, a Meizhan black tea I had sourced from Fujian Province. I had only been able to get two gaiwan steepings out of a 5 gram serving of this tea. Allen loaded the tea into his unit's infusion [...]

Hands On: The Teforia Leaf2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

List of Tea Producing Countries in the World

Being World of Tea, we have identified the following list of 62 tea producing countries across the globe. This is as complete a list as we've been able to make. To be included, a country must have at least one functioning commercial tea plantation or have been represented in the press about a tea growing operation. Argentina Argentina is the tenth largest producer of tea in the world and the largest tea producer in South America. Australia Tea has been grown in Queensland, Australia since 1884. Today, there are a number of commercial gardens in the states of Queensland, New South [...]

List of Tea Producing Countries in the World2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Where Tea is Grown

We have identified the following list of 61 tea producing countries across the globe. To be included, a country must have at least one functioning commercial tea plantation. Argentina Argentina is the tenth largest producer of tea in the world and the largest tea producer in South America. Australia Tea has been grown in Queensland, Australia since 1884. Today, there are a few small gardens remaining in Queensland as well as a commercial producer of Japanese-style green tea in Victoria. Azerbaijan Azerbaijan is the fortieth largest producer of tea in the world. Bangladesh Bangladesh is the twelfth largest producer of tea [...]

Where Tea is Grown2018-06-10T17:20:45-05:00

Where Tea is Grown in the United States and Canada

Is tea grown in the United States? It sure is! Although we still have a way to go, American grown tea is a warm community and growing industry. From the rich volcanic soil of Hawai'i where the bulk of the farms reside to the rich and humid subtropical climate of the American Southeast to as far North as the Canadian border in the Pacific Northwest, tea farms have continued popping up all around the country. Now inhabiting 17 states, and with a single farm in Canada, we've put together a run-down of every tea farm we've been able to find so far. As [...]

Where Tea is Grown in the United States and Canada2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Microwaving Your Tea, The Controversy Explained and Refuted

The internet has been ablaze with a particularly nefarious news story typically titled something like, “You’ve Been Making Your Tea All Wrong!”. Are you sick of hearing this? Yeah, so are we. And not only because there’s no “right way” to make tea. I’m currently calling this topic the Microwaving Tea Controversy. The articles about this are usually titled something like, “Expert Claims Microwaving Tea Is Best!”, or “Microwave Makes the Best Tea Says Science”. The Microwaving Tea Controversy has excited dozens of news networks because it’s the perfect maelstrom of click-baiting buzzwords, science, consumer errors, lifehacks, outrage, a popular television [...]

Microwaving Your Tea, The Controversy Explained and Refuted2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Tea at 10 of the World’s Best Restaurants

On April 5, the annual and much lauded World's 50 Best Restaurants list was released. Decided by an Academy of around 1,500 members, made up of chefs, food critics, restaurateurs, and more, the list serves as a manual for famous food names and places. Although controversial for its general lack of female chefs, Euro-centrism, etc., the list offers a glimpse into what might be considered the most cutting-edge, most refined, and most interesting dining to be had anywhere in the world in 2017. But... and this is a big but... What tea do they serve? If these restaurants are supposedly the "best", then surely their [...]

Tea at 10 of the World’s Best Restaurants2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Satemwa, an Orthodox Tea Producing Estate in Malawi

Satemwa is a family-run tea and coffee estate located in the southern portion of Malawi in East Africa. The estate was founded in 1923 by a Scotsman named Maclean Kay. The garden is now run by his grandson, Alexander Kay. Satemwa is one of the last family-owned tea estates in the region, as most have been purchased by huge companies looking to produce commodity tea. I recently had a chance to try many of the beautiful teas that are produced at Satemwa and speak with Wouter Verelst who heads up Marketing & Business Development for the estate. Here are some highlights from our conversation: When [...]

Satemwa, an Orthodox Tea Producing Estate in Malawi2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

La Colombe Coffee Announces Retail Tea Program

La Colombe is a specialty coffee roaster and retail chain founded by Todd Carmichael and JP Iberti in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the time of this writing, there were 22 locations across the United States. You may recognize this name from the TV show Dangerous Grounds which aired on The Travel Channel wherein Carmichael travels to remote, often dangerous regions in the world searching for great coffee. Carmichael also holds the world record for the fastest solo journey across Antarctica to the South Pole, a 700 mile journey he completed in 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes. La Calombe tapped Alexis Siemons, [...]

La Colombe Coffee Announces Retail Tea Program2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

American Tea Room Reopens Beverly Hills Location

After a 15 month hiatus, American Tea Room's original Beverly Hills outpost is open for business. The 14 year old tea business owned and operated by David Barenholtz now has 3 locations, one in Downtown Los Angeles, one in Newport Beach's Fashion Island, and the original location in Beverly Hills. The Beverly Hills location reopens with the addition of coffee and juice service and is pursuing a liquor license to serve wine and beer, but the bulk of the floorspace is dedicated to retail.   Barenholtz "experienced a number of difficulties during the Beverly Hills renovation, going through 3 designs and the [...]

American Tea Room Reopens Beverly Hills Location2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Is Chinese Tea Safe from Pollution?

China produces the most tea on Earth. It's also one of the most polluted countries on Earth. Yet, in my humble opinion and that of many other tea connoisseurs, specialty Chinese tea is some of the best. What you’re probably wondering is this: Are Chinese teas safe from pollution? Like the Chinese tea industry itself, the answer is multi-faceted and can be difficult to sort through, especially in a shorter article, but I’ll try my best to sum up the factors involved and what you need to consider when buying Chinese tea. Issue #1 The first cause for concern, the one most of you are [...]

Is Chinese Tea Safe from Pollution?2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Modern Tea Processing Methods In Taiwan

Taiwan has pioneered the innovation of Oolong Tea processing methods from the labor-intensive traditional way to a mechanized, high volume modern tea making procedure. In this post, we’ll introduce the purpose of each step in the processing of Oolong Tea, and the machines that have been invented here in Taiwan over the last 35 years or so to do this work. Solar Withering. Photo by Eric Mah Solar Withering Freshly harvested tea leaves are brought to a tea factory as quickly as possible and are spread out somewhat sparsely on tarps to undergo the first step in processing tea, [...]

Modern Tea Processing Methods In Taiwan2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Available Now — Tea: A User’s Guide

The day has finally come, my book Tea: A User’s Guide is now available! The work is a result of my 10 years as a student of tea. As you may know, tea is one of those subjects where the more you learn, the less you realize you know. Because of this, I vowed not to write this tea book in a vacuum. Rather, core ideas were shared here on World of Tea along the way and you, the readers, helped me refine them. Finer points were scrutinized offline thru extensive peer review. Because of this, I can safely say that [...]

Available Now — Tea: A User’s Guide2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

The Official 2017 Tea Festival and Trade Show Schedule

There are a growing number of tea festivals, industry trade shows and conferences around the world. This list is an attempt to capture them all and it will be updated as more dates are released. If we have omitted an event that you are aware of, please reach out to us and we will add it to the list. Which ones are you going to? Be sure to chime in the comments below! January January 12-14: Bangladesh Tea Expo in Dhaka, Bangladesh January 21-22: Tea Festival India in Bangalore, India January 28-29: Toronto Tea Festival in Toronto, Canada February February 25-26: Southwest Tea Fest [...]

The Official 2017 Tea Festival and Trade Show Schedule2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Is Japanese Tea Safe from Radiation?

Five and half years after the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant in Japan, a question still lingers for some tea enthusiasts: Is Japanese tea safe to drink? The short answer? Yes. The longer answer? Resoundingly, yes! And the reason why is multi-faceted. Firstly, by “safe to drink”, the layman might think this means, “the tea is absent from radioactive particles”. While this may be true for many producers, this interpretation isn’t entirely accurate, for reasons that will soon become apparent. Why shouldn’t you be worried? Thankfully, radiation doesn’t travel far unless carried by a radioactive [...]

Is Japanese Tea Safe from Radiation?2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Oriental Beauty and Other Bug-Bitten Teas: Fact or Fiction?

When shopping for tea you're bound to come across some pretty bogus sounding marketing claims—tea picked by monkeys, affordable tea from 3000 year old trees, tea that will make you lose weight—so you'd be wise to be skeptical about Oriental Beauty, a so-called “bug-bitten” wulong tea originating in Taiwan. You may have heard that its flavor is owed to damage by a particular insect which starts the oxidation process, and therefore it is always from tea fields that are never sprayed with pesticides. In order to clear up some of the misunderstandings about this tea, we first need a quick primer [...]

Oriental Beauty and Other Bug-Bitten Teas: Fact or Fiction?2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Becoming Wu De: A Conversation with the founder of Global Tea Hut

Aaron Fisher was born and raised in Ohio in the United States. He studied Asian Philosophy and Anthropology in college. During his freshman year, he got into tea and meditation. After college, Aaron moved to Asia where he has resided for 20 years now. He has written several books on tea. He founded Global Tea Hut, a successful print magazine that ships with a new sample of tea each month that he and his team has sourced and the Tea Sage Hut, a free center in Taiwan that has been providing free tea education and meditation lessons for the past 6 years. [...]

Becoming Wu De: A Conversation with the founder of Global Tea Hut2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Say Tea (and Cheese)

Watermelon, ice cream, corn on the cob. Check. Cold beer. Fresh-squeezed lemonade. Check. Then there’s hot tea. Probably not the first thing that comes to mind for hot summer days. But it’s a real treat if you stick with lighter white teas, greens and oolongs or Champagne-like Darjeelings. Want to liven up your next barbecue? Try serving tea with just the right cheese and you’ve got a refreshing snack that surprises your guests and takes things up a notch. Most people naturally head for wine or beer with cheese for any occasion—winter, spring, summer or fall. (Indeed, there are lots of [...]

Say Tea (and Cheese)2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

2016 Midwest Tea Festival Recap

On May 7th, 2016 the Midwest Tea Festival celebrated its second anniversary, offering the Midwest a chance to come to Kansas City and explore the varied world of tea! The festival is a place for those new to tea to learn more about the leaf, or for those who are long familiar with the drink to expand their collection and interact with fellow tea lovers. And it was certainly grand affair, featuring over 25 vendors, 21 tasting sessions, and many classes and presentations. There was even a secret tea tasting organized by the members of Steepster that were in attendance! Of [...]

2016 Midwest Tea Festival Recap2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

The Problem With Tea Sommeliers

What is a tea sommelier? When I ask this, people generally describe someone who pairs tea with food and prepares tea at a restaurant. This is, after all, what most people believe the job of a wine sommelier is and they wouldn’t be wrong, although this is only one branch on their tree. I decided to investigate this, since for years I’ve been bothered by the term ‘tea sommelier’ and by the general misalignment with true sommeliers. After months of research, I’ve learned that tea sommeliers can spend large amounts of money to be certified, are trained in unstandardized ways with [...]

The Problem With Tea Sommeliers2018-05-15T08:40:33-05:00

Zhang Ping Shui Xian Production in Photos

Zhang Ping Shui Xian (漳平水仙) refers to a style of compressed oolong made from the Shui Xian cultivar of Camellia sinensis. The tea is produced in Zhang Ping, Fujian Province. Below is a gallery that outlines the production of this tea style in photos. Thanks to Chenggui Wang (王城贵)for providing these photos. Click any of the images below to open the gallery view.

Zhang Ping Shui Xian Production in Photos2018-05-15T08:40:34-05:00

2016 Southwest Tea Festival Recap

On February 27th, 2016, the Southwest Tea Festival was born as the weather guaranteed a bright day to shine through the skylight on the vintage Downtown 3rd Street's Farmer's Market building. Local vendors, musicians, and tea experts shared their wares and creativity to over 600 hundred attendees. The excitement was evident in the spirit of the local participants and those visiting from California, Arizona, and many other states. The iconic downtown building was filled to its limit with people and energy around tea, music, and niche crafts. https://vimeo.com/159272303 Tea products were available for sale from Las Vegas companies Tealet, Joy’s Teaspoon, [...]

2016 Southwest Tea Festival Recap2018-05-15T08:40:34-05:00

That’s Amari: An Ancient Love of Herbal Drinks

I loved amari before I even knew what it was. I lived in an old-time New York-Italian neighborhood for ages and sometimes found myself ordering digestifs from dessert menus. It’s what you did. In fact, the tradition of taking amaro after dinner goes back centuries, to a time when people got their medicine straight from the garden, from botanists or the apothecary, usually as a tincture or tea. Most amari taste medicinal and tend to embody the essence of bittersweet. Known to treat everything from stomachaches to cholera, they’re made by infusing brandy or other spirits with herbs, leaves, flowers, roots, [...]

That’s Amari: An Ancient Love of Herbal Drinks2018-05-15T08:40:34-05:00

Growing Green Tea in Victoria, Australia

For many of us, thoughts of Australia conjure up images of the Sydney Opera House, its world famous harbor and bridge, Bondi Beach or a sunburnt outback with a few kangaroos. Some may have memories of a trip down under, a holiday filled with diversity, sun and sand or maybe you came to study at one of Australia’s many world class universities. For many it’s the trip of a lifetime, and certainly if you’re like me, a life changing trip! But very few remember images of lush green and immaculately manicured tea bushes when thinking about Australia, surely that’s more in line [...]

Growing Green Tea in Victoria, Australia2018-05-15T08:40:34-05:00

Badass Tea Instagrammers of Russia, Latvia, and Belarus

This post features some of the coolest folks I've discovered on Instagram from Russia, Latvia and Belarus. Enjoy! https://www.instagram.com/p/7vi7Lqw-CR/ https://www.instagram.com/p/5HfzoLsv_H/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BBmkNojMv8A/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BAmDr9PMv5M/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BAUbI_jl-Vf/ https://www.instagram.com/p/oOHM9el-e2/ https://www.instagram.com/p/7Nqtm_DCFM/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BBvKI8wl2ko/ https://www.instagram.com/p/66-gi0DCDA/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BBUl2pwLwwd/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BBPmKeHLw3K/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BBryLmMw-N2/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BAhRxX8rw1k/ https://www.instagram.com/p/_4uN-vHaok/ https://www.instagram.com/p/zUIRkKHag3/ https://www.instagram.com/p/8SZ39-naum/ https://www.instagram.com/p/73G37IiLJM/ https://www.instagram.com/p/5MmCXBQ-MX/ https://www.instagram.com/p/_9ZNubCLDm/ https://www.instagram.com/p/mpVz-7iLCP/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BBrzJLMnPIa/ https://www.instagram.com/p/9T3qBuRJOk/ https://www.instagram.com/p/4_nrJONmtK/ https://www.instagram.com/p/47QeYww-Pi/ https://www.instagram.com/p/3VhQVsp4AA/

Badass Tea Instagrammers of Russia, Latvia, and Belarus2018-05-15T08:40:34-05:00

Tea Masters Cup: An Exposé

Tea preparation in Russia and several countries in Eastern Europe is sophisticated. Tea there is treated as more of a craft much like third-wave coffee is being treated in the United States. It's amazing to see how tea culture has progressed in a different way than it has in the United States. One great example of this progression can be found within an organization called Tea Masters Cup. I’ve been following the organization for several months now, speaking to it’s organizers and to winners of the cup. Tea Master's Cup has been occurring yearly since the first event in Moscow in 2013. The growing event draws large crowds, sometimes [...]

Tea Masters Cup: An Exposé2018-05-15T08:40:34-05:00

Sydney Tea Festival Expands to Melbourne

I ask you – what could be more exciting than announcing a tea festival? Announcing two! In mid-January, I had the privilege of meeting up with co-founders of the Sydney Tea Festival, Corinne Smith owner of Rabbit Hole Tea and Renee Creer owner of Perfect South Tea. As we sat sipping on beautiful teas at Corinne’s own tea establishment, the Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar in Sydney, the girls dropped a bomb shell on me! Sydney Tea Festival was launched in August 2014 and in its first year attracted around 5,500 tea enthusiasts. By August 2015 the Sydney Tea Festival in [...]

Sydney Tea Festival Expands to Melbourne2018-05-15T08:40:35-05:00

2016 Toronto Tea Festival Recap

January 30th and 31st, people from across the Greater Toronto Area flocked to see what tea is all about at the 4th annual Toronto Tea Festival. Founded in 2013, the Toronto Tea Festival is the largest event of its kind in Canada, and over 40 different companies showed up to sell their wares. There were independent vendors like festival founder Tao Tea Leaf; the dapper folks behind T by Daniel; newer Toronto-based sellers like Genuine Tea, Chaiwala, and Momo Tea; festival regulars like Capital Teas Limited and Basilur; and the national chain David’s Tea, among others. Ceramics vendors also made an [...]

2016 Toronto Tea Festival Recap2018-05-15T08:40:35-05:00

Five Years in Tea: A Retrospective

After working for American Tea Room for 5 1/2 years, I’ve decided to move forward with my career. Although I began my career more familiar than some with the world of tea, since the middle of 2010 I began an obsession, first working as a sales associate for American Tea Room, right smack in the middle of Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle. After a few years, I worked my way up to Store Manager and became intimately involved with the operation of the brand, eventually assuming the role of Beverage Director, officially, and unofficially as Training Director for all employees. I designed [...]

Five Years in Tea: A Retrospective2018-05-15T08:40:35-05:00

Australia’s Top Tea Houses and Tea Shops

Australia, that land down under, where just about everyone around the world wants to visit, study, work or just hang out! To learn about Australia, researching the guide books is a great way to find out where to visit, what to do and what you can expect to see, plus a few Australianism’s to help you blend in, like - “G’Day Mate.” A list of interesting creatures that you might be better off not playing with, great beaches, ancient mountain ranges, fascinating cities, awesome road trips, lovely locals, and great cafés, what more could you want? Well what about the tea? So we asked the locals [...]

Australia’s Top Tea Houses and Tea Shops2018-05-15T08:40:35-05:00

2015 Vancouver Tea Festival Recap

It was a perfect tea drinking day - cold, crisp, sunny. The 2015 Vancouver Tea Festival, held on November 21st at the Croatian Cultural Centre, hosted more than 3,500 attendees and featured 31 vendors from across British Columbia and the northwestern US. Exhibitors at the festival included: Thay Tea, The Tea Sparrow, The Tea Spot, Amoda Tea, Ichiyo’s Matcha Bar, Aromatica Fine Teas, The Teaguy, O5 Tea, JusTea, Steeped Tea-One Falling Leaf, The Chinese Tea Shop, The Tea Association of Canada, Oollo Tea, Davids Tea, Chado Tea House, Shaktea, Cultivate Tea, My Matcha Life, Young Mountain Tea, Sugimoto America, Trudy Ann’s [...]

2015 Vancouver Tea Festival Recap2018-05-15T08:40:35-05:00

2016 Tea Festival and Trade Show Schedule

January January 30-31: Toronto Tea Festival in Toronto, Canada   February February 14: Tea Lover's Festival in Los Angeles, California (USA) February 20-21: Houston Tea Festival in Houston, Texas (USA) February 27: Southwest Tea Fest in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) March March 1-3: Russia Coffee and Tea Industry Event in Moscow, Russia March 10-13: Thailand Coffee Tea & Drinks in Bangkok, Thailand March 17: Tea Masters Cup in Riga, Latvia March 19-20: Coffee and Tea Festival NYC in New York City, New York (USA) April April 5-7: Global Dubai Tea Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates  May May 7: Midwest Tea Festival in Kansas City, Missouri (USA) May 10-12: [...]

2016 Tea Festival and Trade Show Schedule2018-05-15T08:40:35-05:00

How We Used Tea in Our Wedding Ceremony

Because tea is what brought Katie and I together, we thought we'd use it in our wedding ceremony. Let me explain first how tea brought us together because some people seem to think this kind of thing just doesn't happen. Geoffrey Norman aka "Lazy Literatus" has a "standing 'scientific' theory that tea and dating don't blend." I asked him what he thought of our relationship and he said that it "seems to exist in stubborn defiance of my theory" and that Katie and I must have "sold our souls to Guan Yin... or something equally plausible." All joking aside, Katie was working on [...]

How We Used Tea in Our Wedding Ceremony2018-05-15T08:40:36-05:00

The United States League of Tea Growers

The United States League of Tea Growers had it's founding meeting on June 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the World Tea Expo. The meeting was attended by several tea growers and many influential people in the tea industry. Nigel Melican and Jason McDonald headed up the meeting in hopes to get a group together for: Building up plant husbandry knowledge Developing best practice processing know-how Developing appropriate automation Product and process innovation Trials related to US conditions Access to cultivars specific to US requirements Generic promotion of US grown teas Collaboration and information sharing Access to information resources Development [...]

The United States League of Tea Growers2018-05-15T08:40:36-05:00

Tea in Michigan

Katie and I were attending a wedding in Traverse City, Michigan last fall and while heading to Sleeping Bear Dunes, we made an awesome discovery. We happened upon a small tea shop called "Light of Day Organics" - we were surprised to learn that the owner, Angela Macke not only grows 240 different ingredients for her tea blends, but also has been growing Camellia sinensis since 2005! We were able to see the several varieties plants that she had in the greenhouse adjacent to her tea shop, unfortunately we did not have enough time to see her plants in the ground that have [...]

Tea in Michigan2018-05-15T08:40:36-05:00

Beginner’s Guide to Steeping Japanese Green Tea

Did you know that green tea is the most popular type of tea in Asia? It's the most consumed tea in China, and Japan practically specializes in it. Steeping Japanese green tea isn't particularly difficult, you just have keep some points in mind. Aren't Japanese and Chinese green teas the same? There is one major difference: the fixing process, which is known as "kill-green" in China. With a few exceptions, Japanese green teas are steamed while Chinese green teas are pan fired. For this reason, there is a great difference in the flavor, aroma, and color of the liquid. There are [...]

Beginner’s Guide to Steeping Japanese Green Tea2018-05-15T08:40:36-05:00

British Tea Culture

British Tea Culture, we all know it exists, we all know it's important, but what exactly does it mean? I set out to figure this out by interviewing over 110 people from the United Kingdom about their tea habits. I wanted to see what makes their tea culture unique across all social classes. I deliberately did not ask tea connoisseurs, for we know that the "connoisseur crowd" is a common stripe among all tea cultures. Assumptions made: British Tea is a black tea, mostly a blended black tea. Teas blends are commonly made up of teas from India (Assam), Sri Lanka, or East Africa. The following [...]

British Tea Culture2018-05-15T08:40:36-05:00

Tea Business Model: Buying Directly From a Tea Producer

As the tea scene explodes in America, we’re seeing many different business models, both on the wholesale side and on the retail side. One that I find particularly interesting is the small but growing trend of tea farms selling directly to American consumers, whether shipping directly from the farm or by shipping to the states for later distribution. I sat down with Chicco Chou of Mountain Tea to learn more about this business model. Chicco was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1987, his family owns 3 tea farms totaling 600 acres in Taiwan, China and Indonesia. His two uncles Zhi Xing [...]

Tea Business Model: Buying Directly From a Tea Producer2018-05-15T08:40:36-05:00

Understanding China’s Tea Harvest

In China, the tea plant can be harvested anywhere from once to as many as 6 or 7 times per year.  In addition, the first harvest – the first flush in Indian nomenclature – can occur anytime from mid-February to the end of May. Let us look at some of the factors that determine when tea leaves are harvested. Geography Where the plant is grown will have a big impact on when it can be harvested. This is dependent on a combination of these factors: Sunlight Heat Rainfall You don’t need to be a botanist to know that plants need sunlight to [...]

Understanding China’s Tea Harvest2018-05-15T08:40:36-05:00

Anxi Tie Guan Yin Oolong

Etymology: “Tieguanyin” translates to “Iron Guanyin,” Guanyin being the “Goddess of Mercy” Other Names: Iron Goddess of Mercy, Ti Kuan Yin, Ti Kwan Yin Origin: China, Fujian Province, Anxi County Taste: Overwhelmingly floral and slightly vegetal. Behind the Leaf: This tea is named after the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara ("Guan Yin" in Mandarin), also known as the "Iron Goddess of Mercy." Tie Guan Yin was first used only as a tribute tea to the Royal Court. The tea leaves from Anxi County are known for their overwhelming floral fragrance and are harvested from a Camellia Sinensis cultivar named Tie Guan Yin. They are [...]

Anxi Tie Guan Yin Oolong2018-05-15T08:40:37-05:00

Describing Muscatel

Muscatel is an elusive taste found in some Darjeeling teas, most likely second flush teas. It is very hard to describe the taste in words, but it is easy to recognize the taste once you are familiar with it. James Norwood Pratt goes as far as saying that in tea, muscatel "denotes a unique muscat-like fruitiness in aroma and flavour." Rajiv Lochan, owner of several tea gardens in India and CEO of Lochan Tea Ltd remarked that muscatel is "very difficult to describe but it is something extraordinary and rare." I asked my tea friends how they would describe this elusive taste [...]

Describing Muscatel2018-05-15T08:40:37-05:00

An Homage to Chicago Tea Garden

This is more of a bit of disconnected ramblings that I needed to get out since deciding to close down my company, Chicago Tea Garden. Hopefully you find what I've learned useful. Seven years ago I left the United States to spend a month abroad in China. While in China, I learned about the rich tea culture there as I traveled from city to city. This was when my interest for tea began. Upon my return home, I purchased a cubic-meter crate full of Yixing pots and sold them through the coffee shop I was working at during college. I studied the Gong [...]

An Homage to Chicago Tea Garden2018-05-15T08:40:37-05:00

What is Green Tea?

The definition of green tea in it's simplest and most generalized form is a tea that is made up of leaves that were prevented from oxidizing, shaped and then dried. However, green teas are not unoxidized. No tea is truly unoxidized because tea leaves begin to slowly wither and oxidize the moment they are plucked, something that is unavoidable since hours may elapse from the time of picking to the time of processing. So let's draw a line here and speak only of controlled processes.  The most prevalent form of green tea production involves heating the leaves shortly after plucking (some green [...]

What is Green Tea?2018-05-15T08:40:37-05:00
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