October 4, 2012
by Cinnabar

The Northwest Tea Festival is this weekend at Seattle Center

puer at the Northwest Tea FestivalThis weekend tea people from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond will gather at Seattle Center for the 5th annual Northwest Tea Festival. The festival has gotten larger and better each year, and I am confident that this year will be one you will not want to miss.

Unlike many of the large scale tea events held across the country, the Northwest Tea Festival is consumer focused, rather than a trade show for the tea industry. There are many vendors on hand with a wide range of teas and tea-related items, and many opportunities to taste and experience new teas.

Throughout the two days of the festival attendees will find a broad range of events and activities, from educational workshops, talks, and demonstrations to limited seating tea tastings. I will be presenting two of these tastings on Sunday: “Caked Black Teas” at 10:30am, and “African White Teas” at 11:00am.

Here are a few specific recommendations for what to do while you’re there:

An American Pursuit of Puer Tea,” Saturday from 3:00pm – 4:00pm, presented by Jeffrey McIntosh

The Art of Tea,” Saturday from 3:30pm – 4:30pm, presented by Guitian “Becky” Li

Hei Cha – Chinese Dark Teas (Complete Survey),” Sunday from 11:30am – 12:30pm, presented by Charles & Laurie Dawson

Tea Chemistry – Reactions in Leaf and Cup,” Sunday from 12:30pm – 1:30pm, presented by Michael Coffey

Tea 101,” Sunday from 12:30pm – 1:30pm, presented by Brett Boynton

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September 27, 2012
by Chris
1 Comment

Indonesian Teas

order brewed” src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-q97e56JkKWM/UGSzFaVYI0I/AAAAAAAAIhI/ld0Yr60aJNA/w177-h235-n-k/C14099D5-55BA-4AD3-8824-8F3D1E192CDD.JPG” alt=”Brew of Indonesian Red Tea” width=”200″ />Recently I had the opportunity to cup three different teas from Indonesia, thanks to samples from PT Harendong Green Farm. They are labeled simply Red, Green and Oolong. Exciting, huh? Well, yes indeed!

Each of the dry leafs appeared to have been rolled in a half-ball style, with leaves that were slightly distressed-looking once unrolled (i.e. steeped).

For each of the teas, I used about one mug of hot water poured over one level teaspoon of tea in a porcelain teapot, steeped for three minutes at what seemed like an appropriate temperature (see notes below).

All were eminently drinkable, and each had a similarly pleasant velvety mouth-feel and a lingering (if not necessarily strong) aftertaste.

The one to write home about, though, it the oolong: I found it delicious and rather unique, with a warm and soft quality to the flavor and aroma that I just adored.

Notes for each tea follow:
Continue Reading →

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August 17, 2012
by Cinnabar

My favorite tea?

My tea world has been an embarrassment of riches for years. So presented with the task of writing under the topic “my favorite tea” as part of the Association of Tea Bloggers‘ lead-up to the “Bloggers’ Choice Awards” it was quite a challenge to sift through that immense history of deliciousness and try to extract just one particularly deserving tea. But I tried to think of one special tea that had both surprised and impressed me, and one immediately came to mind: the “Qiyuan Jin Jiang Da Hong Pao” that was sent to me by the people at Tea Valley.

One of the first things that hinted at the specialness of the tea was the small gold box that contained it. Packaging can be overly fancy or deceptive, but this looked simple and elegant. And the tea itself is absolutely fabulous. It was an award winner at the Wuyi Mountain People’s Choice Tea Competition in 2008, and although it is, of course, not leaf from the original TRUE Da Hong Pao bushes it certainly comes from bushes that have been very well cultivated and cared for. Rich and tangy, with a depth and complexity revealing its famous ancestry, it is a tea that I would bring out for a special occasion, and only if the other people who were going to drink with me were people I expected to appreciate the tea’s quality.

Unfortunately, Tea Valley’s website is offline right now, and I’m unable to find much detail about their company. They were located in Renton, Washington, just a few cities away from where I am. With teas this good, I want to see them continue to make them available!

The two runners-up for teas that I really, really like and recommend to other people quite often are Royal Golden Safari, one of the fine offerings by Royal Tea of Kenya, and Yulan Dancong, one of Canton Tea Company’s wonderful oolongs.

I want to know what YOUR favorite teas are. Let me know in the comments. More details on the “Bloggers’ Choice Awards” will be posted soon.

Please read the other posts by ATB members on this topic:

Black Dragon Tea Bar
Joy’s Teaspoon
Notes on Tea
Scandalous Tea
Tea Enthusiasts Scrapbook
Tea For Me Please
Tea Happiness
The Cup That Cheers
The Devotea
The Sip Tip
Walker Tea Review

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