Tag: TeaTrade’


 - by iheartteas

Judges Award Rishi Tea and QTrade Teas & Herbs with Numerous Wins
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 8, 2012) — With the 20 best tasting teas, the North American Tea Championship (NATC) is shining the spotlight on the most notable, high-quality teas that are commercially available in the North American marketplace. The Championship, held Feb. 28 – 29 in Las Vegas, Nev., evaluated premium hot teas from the fall 2011 harvest. The NATC is the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America.

Rishi Tea took home the most awards with a total of six first-place wins, two second-place wins and six third-place wins. QTrade Teas & Herbs followed with four first-place wins, one second place win and five third-place wins.

In addition to Rishi Tea and QTrade Teas & Herbs, other tea companies that took a prestigious first-place title include: Alvin’s of San Francisco; Florapharm Tea-USA LP; KIMICHA TEA; Naivetea; Newby Teas of London; Rare Tea Cellar Inc.; Silk Road Teas; Sipping Streams Tea Company; and Yogic Chai.

Companies that entered the competition for the first time and received honors – either a first, second or third place award – include: Alvin’s; KIMICHA TEA; Newby Teas of London; Silk Road Teas; Black Tusk Trading; Tazo Teas; Hankook Tea; and Zuri Tea.

A total of 50 companies competed in the North American Tea Championship with a record 230 tea entries (the previous record for an evaluation was 217 different teas in 2010). The Flavored Rooibos category had 35 entries – the largest number of entries in any one category, indicating the popularity of that tea in the marketplace.

“This year’s winners are outstanding,” said North American Tea Championship Judge Lydia Kung, a tea buyer and expert with Eastrise Trading Corp. “Congratulations to all of the award recipients. Overall, they were an excellent range of teas to judge, especially in the classifications of Oolong, Rooibos, Breakfast Blends, Jasmine and Assams. After the competition was completed, the judges compared notes, and we found that all of our scores were extremely close, which confirms the judging process works. It’s a testament to the carefulness and deliberateness of the NATC scoring procedure, and all of the winners can take pride in knowing that they’re of the highest quality. Indeed, the Championship and the champions set an excellent benchmark, and it encourages other teas in the North American marketplace to rise up to these high standards.”
North American Tea Championship winners (company, tea and category) include:
Alvin’s of San Francisco (www.alvinsofsf.com), Royal Tea, Earl Grey
Florapharm Tea-USA LP (www.florapharmteausa.com ), Snow Flake, Flavored Black Tea
KIMICHA TEA (www.kimicha.com), Jin Jun Mei, Black Tea
Naivetea (www.naivetea.com), Strawberry Oolong, Flavored Oolong Tea

Newby Teas of London (www.newbyteas.com), Rare Assam, Assam
Newby Teas of London (www.newbyteas.com), Rooibos Orange Pyramid Infuser, Flavored Rooibos Blends
QTrade Teas & Herbs (www.qtradeteas.com), Heirloom Oolong, Aged/Baked Oolong Tea
QTrade Teas & Herbs, Special Breakfast Blend, Breakfast Blend
QTrade Teas & Herbs, Naked Oolong, Blended Oolong Tea
QTrade Teas & Herbs, Darjeeling Extra Special, Darjeeling
Rare Tea Cellar Inc. (www.rareteacellar.com), 2010 Emperor’s Aged Keemun, Keemun
Rishi Tea (www.rishi-tea.com), Eastern Beauty (Bai Hao Premium), BaiHao/Oriental Beauty
Rishi Tea, Sakura Black, Blended Black Tea
Rishi Tea, Dong Pian, Green Oolong Tea
Rishi Tea, Jasmine Yin Hao (Organic/Fair Trade), Jasmine
Rishi Tea, Jasmine Pearl Lot B (Organic), Jasmine

Rishi Tea, Ancient Golden Buds (Organic/Fair Trade), Yunnan
Silk Road Teas (www.silkroadteas.com), Plum Fragrance, Dark Oolong Tea
Sipping Streams Tea Company (www.sippingstreams.com), Assam CTC, Black Tea-CTC
Yogic Chai (www.yogicchai.com), Original Masala Chai, Chai
A complete list of first-, second- and third-place winners of the North American Tea Championship is available at www.TeaChampionship.com. Honorees will be featured at the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (www.WorldTeaExpo.com), June 1 – 3, 2012 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

Winners Talk About the NATC
Bethan Thomas, marketing manager at Newby Teas of London, which won first-place in the Assam and Flavored Rooibos Blends categories, said, “The North American Tea Championship is very well known in the tea industry, and we were keen to participate this year for the first time, especially as we further expand our business from Europe, Asia and the Middle East into the North American Market. In fact, there’s no other comparable tea competition in any other region, so NATC is extremely valuable to the industry in terms of its high standards, engaging proper professionals to taste the teas and recognizing the very best teas.”

Newby Teas launched seven years ago and has been building a presence ever since. Thomas added, “Our teas have won in various food competitions, but the North American Tea Championship is the real deal in terms of evaluating quality tea. The NATC takes the right approach, and the judges have the correct skill-set and attitude. It sounds funny to say, but with other events, we’ve actually won too many awards, which lead us to believe that the judging in those challenges was not up to par. That’s not the case here. The judges are seasoned cuppers, and they represent the peak of the industry. On the whole, this win will help us in North America. It’s not easy to break into a big market like this, so we’ll use this win to open doors, build a presence and gain new business. We put a lot of effort into our products, using the right materials as well as packaging for freshness, so it’s nice to have all that hard work recognized.”

Yogic Chai Co-founder Ricardo Dacosta, who started his business in 2008 and won first-place in the North American Tea Championship Chai category in 2011 and at the recent 2012 competition, said, “For a small company like ours, it’s very exciting to be able to participate and win at the NATC. We undoubtedly created a masterpiece chai blend, but we don’t have the necessary capital to generate a lot of exposure for the tea. Participating in a legit, high-profile industry event like this helps us tremendously. It gives us credibility, and it’s proof that all of our efforts – bringing the authentic flavors of Indian masala chai to the United States – have paid off. There is no other way to get this kind of professional recognition for quality tea – the North American Tea Championship is it. Certainly, any company can say they’re the best, but the only way to prove it is through the NATC. And now, we have validation that we’re the best when it comes to chai teas.”

As a result of Yogic Chai’s 2011 NATC win in the Chai category, they generated numerous new business orders, including a deal with Foodzie.com, which delivers monthly tasting-boxes and exclusive small-batch products. “This year, we’re excited about the possibility of more new business because of our 2012 NATC award,” noted Dacosta.

KIMICHA TEA’s owner, Kimiko Uriu, who started her own brand in 2011, said, “It’s great to get a lot of positive feedback from customers about your tea, but being honored by industry experts brings it to a whole new level. A competition like the North American Tea Championship not only gives us recognition for winning first-place in the Black Tea Category for our Jin Jun Mei, but also acknowledges our ability to source the finest teas. We have invested a lot of time and resources into building close relationships with tea producers and selecting a range of teas that is rare, exciting and, at the same time, a great value for our customers. As a result, we have grown rapidly since our launch and have a strong customer base in Canada. We hope that this NATC win opens new doors. This was the only tea we entered into the competition and, given the results, we are excited to enter more of our teas next year.”

QTrade Marketing Coordinator Joshua Rigsby, whose company won in the categories of Aged/Baked Oolong Tea, Breakfast Blend, Blended Oolong Tea and Darjeeling, said, “We appreciate how the Championship recognizes and elevates quality teas in the marketplace, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to showcase our offerings in the competition. NATC raises the bar and creates heightened expectations for excellent teas in North America. The event features some of the finest leaves in the world, and the judging is spectacular. NATC judges categorically know how to recognize the best qualities in supreme teas.”

Rigsby – whose business has participated in the North American Tea Championship since its inception in 2008 – continued, “Overall, the NATC and the awards help our business in terms of exposure. We don’t have a brand in the market because we’re an import company, so the Championship generates increased awareness of our experience and ability to sell top quality premium teas and blends. We thank World Tea Media for organizing NATC, and we congratulate the other high-quality winners and companies that participated.”

About the North American Tea Championship
At the North American Tea Championship, tea submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf, brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed flavor, brewed mouth-feel and brewed harmony. An overall numerical value on a 100-point scale was then calculated based on the ratings of each characteristic above. Winners were determined by rank. The next North American Tea Championship will be held in May 2012 in Montebello, Calif. at the Wilbur Curtis headquarters, for an evaluation of iced teas. Entries will be accepted in April. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail liz@teachampionship.com.

North American Tea Championship is produced by World Tea Media, a division of F+W Media, Inc., which also produces World Tea Expo, World Tea East and World Tea News. Until 2010, the North American Tea Championship was called World Tea Championship, and it was held in-conjunction with World Tea Expo. Today, it is an independent event, judged by professional cuppers, that evaluates premium teas from around the world that are sold in North America. The annual Championship is made up of two classes: Hot Tea and Iced Tea. Each class consists of its own categories and judging panel. The Hot Tea Class is evaluated twice a year: February for fall teas and July for spring teas. The Iced Tea Class is evaluated once a year in May. Winners of the Tea Championship are announced after each respective evaluation. For more information, visit www.TeaChampionship.com.

About World Tea Media
 World Tea Media, a division of F+W Media Inc., is an integrated media company dedicated to providing business solutions to the global tea industry. Events include the annual World Tea Expo, the largest and most prominent event for the industry, and World Tea East, the regional event for the northeast, mid-Atlantic and southeast United States. World Tea Media also produces the North American Tea Championship and World Tea News. The North American Tea Championship is the only professional and independent competition that distinguishes the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace. World Tea News is an online portal that offers in-depth news, features and business insight for the global tea industry. World Tea Media is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev. www.worldteamedia.com

About F+W Media, Inc.
 F+W Mediais a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products and services for enthusiasts. The Company offers a diversified portfolio of books, ebooks, magazines, events, competitions, ecommerce, education, video and more. The Company serves 20 different markets, including writing, fine art, genealogy, antiques and collectibles,
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Note to Editors: Interviews and photos available. Press passes to World Tea Expo, June 1 – 3, may also be requested. E-mail

For The Love of Teaware

 - by iheartteas

I have been asked from time to time what I have for some interesting tea ware. I actually posted these pictures on Twitter about one month ago and have been meaning to post pictures here as well.

So without further ado…

Updated: February 19, 2013 (It’s been a while, sorry)
Wow, I can’t believe I neglected this post. I am so sorry for the delay. I wish I had an excuse but I really don’t except I plain forgot. Well, to continue with the theme I will provide information about two more teapots seen above.

Red Teapot & Cup – I am not certain but I believe this one to be made of standard pottery material. I actually found this years ago at Pier One. It looked so different then your standard teapot that I just had to buy it. The funny thing is I probably have owned this piece for a good eight years or so and have never used it. I am embarrassed to say I didn’t used it because as I started looking at the piece more closely and started to wonder if the set was decorative. It is glazed on the inside so then I thought maybe it was a functional set. Plus, it came with a tray and three more cups not pictured. Still I never took the chance and now it sits staring back at me in my China cabinet. If anything, at least it makes fantastic eye candy.

Brown Striped Teapot – I bought this set and another from thepuriTea for an amazing price some years ago. I liked this one because of its retro look. I am not sure exactly what material was used to make this set but it is perfect for tea for at least two. It is a fun teapot and I really bought it specifically for its unique qualities. The most interesting part is the unusually large handle. Still I think it suits this set well.

Thanks, for your patience in between updates. I plan on coming back here more frequently.

Updated: April 1, 2012
(Information provided is not associated with any sort of April Fools Joke, but in fact just coincidentally updated on the same day. So please rest at ease and enjoy.)

It has been requested of me that I provide a little detail about the various pieces you see presented above. Information such as where they were purchased and I assume a little sort of background about them that would probably explain why I decided to share these particular specimens with you. So it shall be done.

Clay Monkey Yixing Pot: I purchased this at my local Teavana. As a matter of fact my parents some years back gave me a gift card from there for Christmas. Of course not realizing that I no longer had interest in majority of their teas. Of course, their hearts were in the right place. I had often walked in and endured the gauntlet of employees coming at me at every direction. I hope you’re light on your feet because unless you want their help you better get ready to start the avoid-dance even before you step in the store. All this just to decide what to buy with my gift card; it was burning a hole in my pocket, as it were. Finally, it dawned me, tea ware. They have acceptable tea wares, some even exceptional but I often avoided looking at their pieces in order to avoid temptation, very expensive, at least for me. So I took a look around and decided what I would rather have is something that I didn’t have. This cute it pot was just for me. My first and still only Yiking pot and my little monkey treats me well. The lesson I learned… Sometimes the journey is painful but in the end the reward can be so worth it.

Black Cast Iron Teapot: I purchased this teapot along with many delicious teas as a part of my first order but definitely not my last order with LeafSpa Tea. They are sadly no longer in business and I will tell you nothing but good things about them. It was a husband and wife team and they only provided the very best organic teas. The couple were genuinely kind and always helpful. It is unfortunate what the economy has done to so many small businesses. Businesses like theirs that should have survived. A perfect example of remembering to support the “little guy” just because it is easier to shop a bigger brand doesn’t make it better. As for the teapot itself… It is gorgeous, sturdy, and retains heat like a champ. I haven’t used it much recently as I am a very moody person when it comes to, well just about everything and I just haven’t been in the mood to use it lately. Currently, I have this particular piece displayed in my China cabinet and has had many admirers peer through the glass just to see his beauty.

I will add more information about the remaining items soon… Check back soon, check back often.

World Tea Expo Names The Top 6 Leading Tea Trends for 2012

 - by iheartteas

World Tea Expo Names Six Leading Tea Trends for 2012
From Quality Tea and Matcha Lattes to Tea-enhancing Wares and Cold Brew Green Tea, World Tea Expo Evaluates the Latest Retail Developments, June 1 – 3
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 1, 2012) – Organizers of World Tea Expo, the largest and most prominent B2B event for the industry, pinpoint quality tea, growth in tea retail, cold brew green tea, green tea popularity, Matcha lattes and tea-enhancing wares as six of the key tea trends for 2012. World Tea Expo, which covers the latest retail developments, takes place June 1 – 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Registration and information is available at www.WorldTeaExpo.com.

“At World Tea Expo, we always strive to stay one step ahead of emerging trends, so we can deliver a relevant event to participants that fuels business growth,” says Kim Jage, sales and marketing director, World Tea Media, a division of F+W Media. “Each one of these six trends – as well as numerous other hot topics – will be addressed and explored during the Expo this year. At the event, attendees can: taste cold brewed green tea and the latest Japanese Matcha lattes; gain current knowledge regarding tea retail growth, supply chain transparency and FDA regulations; learn how to capitalize on tasting trends; and taste for themselves whether or not the newest tea ware on the market does in fact enhance the flavor of tea.”

Six Notable Tea Trends
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, World Tea Expo is gearing up for its three-day exposition and educational conference, to help retailers navigate the critical trends and make key business decisions. The event caters to tea room owners, coffeehouse proprietors, retailers, foodservice and beverage professionals, spa managers, hoteliers and grocers. More than 4,500 delegates from around the world are expected to attend, to learn about the newest tea product launches and business issues, including these six trends for 2012:

1. Quality Tea on the Rise
World Tea Media, which also produces the North American Tea Championship, World Tea News and World Tea East, says, “The tea industry is educating tea consumers about quality, thus improving their palate and desire for better tea. We’re still a bit behind here, but many retailers and manufacturers are making progress, and consumers are increasingly looking to buy better teas; they want to know what makes certain teas high quality rather than relying on the manufacturer’s word or enticing packaging,” explains Jage. “At the same time, industry members continue to discuss and ask one another, ‘How do we internally define quality,’ and that’s fabulous. We’re scrutinizing our own product; we’re asking what Fair Trade really means; and we’re asking if products calling themselves ready-to-drink [RTD] tea should contain a minimum of tea’s total dissolved solids, or if tea-flavored sugar water should be allowed to call itself tea.” Jage adds: “We’re also seeing big tea buyers take notice of the high-quality winning teas from the North American Tea Championship, a professionally-judged tea competition. A win here means quality has been assessed by a third party professional, and that’s making a significant difference for manufacturers when closing major deals.”

2. Tea Retail Continues Its Upward Trend
The tea retail trend hit a nice stride in 2011, according to World Tea Media, and it will continue to move up quickly in 2012. Last year, for example, tea retailer Teavana launched its IPO and Canadian-based DavidsTea opened two retail stores in N.Y.C., adding to its line-up of 69 locations. Most recently, Starbucks Coffee Company hired tea-retail expert Charles Cain as its new vice president for Tazo tea merchants and operations, which leads to much speculation regarding Starbucks’ plans to launch tea retail outlets. “At World Tea Expo, the industry is set to discuss the future growth of tea retail – and what will happen in 2012 – in a session called ‘Will Tea Ever Be as Big as Coffee?’” says Jage. “Right now, in the United States, there are currently more than 25,000 coffeehouses and around 3,500 tea retail locations,” she adds.

3. Green Tea Grows in Popularity
World Tea Media is also watching green tea move ahead of flavored and blended herbal teas, in terms of popularity. “No doubt due to its association with health and the preferences of ageing Baby Boomers and conscious Millennials, green tea is experiencing a growing consumer base, and that will continue this year,” says Jage. According to Packaged Facts’ Tea and Ready-to-Drink Tea in the U.S., 4th Edition, green tea is currently the No. 2 top flavor for U.S. tea product introductions (the No. 1 spot is blended teas). Among households purchasing loose leaf tea, green tea edges out herbal and fruit/spice teas with black tea as No. 1. The study notes that green tea is the No. 1 selected specialty tea product selected by customers at restaurants and retail establishments.

 4. Tea-enhancing Tea Wares
Glassware maker Reidel creates some of the finest wine glasses and decanters, and it’s said that these special glasses make a significant difference in the taste of vino, bringing out the depth, flavor and balance. And now, as the general populous continues to build a sophisticated palate, innovators are emerging and looking at ways they can enhance the tea drinking experience on a more sophisticated level. “Not only are more and more tea enthusiasts embracing particular tea tools to steep specific tea types, we now have contemporary ceramic tea ware to enhance a particular tea type’s taste,” explains Jage. “Reidel wine glasses changed the way we drink wine, and World Tea Media suspects that this cup philosophy will begin to change the way we drink tea in 2012.” Jage notes that this trend is starting with advanced tea drinkers and spreading to the everyday consumer – just how it did with Reidel and wine drinking.

5. Cold Brew Green Tea
Cold brew green tea is expected to be big in 2012, cites World Tea Media. Last year, Japanese manufacturer Yamashiro Bussan Company launched the first cold brew green tea at World Tea Expo. This year, branded cold-brew green tea takes the stage, including Swirl Tea, by Breezy Springs LLC. Breezy Spring products are already sold in Whole Foods Markets and Publix Supermarkets, to name a few. “World Tea Media predicts that with Swirl Tea’s cold brewed green tea on grocery store shelves, there will be a larger consumer base and awareness for this product category in 2012,” says Jage. “Imagine the delight consumers will have when they realize they can enjoy green tea without worrying about over-steeping it or water temperatures causing the tea to taste like burnt grass.”

6. Matcha Lattes (Real Ones)
Unlike the poor quality Matcha lattes that have “crashed and burned” in the past, there are now superb product offerings in the market, according to World Tea Media. All of these use real and high-quality Japanese Matcha, blended with minimal sugar but packed with flavor, such as AIYA America’s Matcha Zen Café Blend. “Matcha lattes are already wildly selling in Canadian foodservice establishments,” reveals Jage, “and I suspect the time has come for American restaurants to catch on in 2012. They are easy to make, require no additional equipment, taste delicious and are packed with the nutritional benefits of Matcha. They’re certainly a wonderful alternative to over-roasted coffee after a lovely dinner.”

Tea Growth in 2012 & Beyond
On the whole, tea continues to grow in the marketplace. According to projections from Packaged Facts, in their study Tea and Ready-to-Drink Tea in the U.S., 4th Edition, tea retail market growth will edge up from approximately 6.6 percent in 2012 to 8.7 percent in 2014, reaching $8.3 billion in that year. World Tea Expo presenter David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, notes, “The horizon for tea indeed looks bright. Factors spurring continued overall growth of the tea market include: the success of refrigerated and RTD tea; the acquisitions of Honest Tea and Sweet Leaf Tea that will continue to expand the distribution channels for these and other organic and specialty brands; the rapid expansion of specialty tea retailers such as Teavana; increased emphasis by Starbucks and other coffeehouses on their tea offerings; the sustained promotion of tea by the big restaurant chains, led by McDonald’s; the proliferation of tea rooms and other tea offerings at foodservice; the continued recognition by consumers of tea’s healthy properties and their switch to tea from carbonated soft drinks.”

To learn more about these trends and other hot tea topics, register for World Tea Expo at www.WorldTeaExpo.com.
About World Tea Media
World Tea Media is an integrated media company dedicated to providing business solutions to the global tea industry. Events include the annual World Tea Expo, the largest and most prominent event for the industry, and World Tea East, the regional event for the northeast, mid-Atlantic and southeast United States. World Tea Media also produces the North American Tea Championship and World Tea News. The North American Tea Championship is the only professional and independent competition that distinguishes the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace. World Tea News is an online portal that offers in-depth news, features and business insight for the global tea industry. World Tea Media is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev. www.worldteamedia.com

About F+W Media, Inc.
F+W Mediais a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products and services for enthusiasts. The Company offers a diversified portfolio of books, ebooks, magazines, events, competitions, ecommerce, education, video and more. The Company serves 20 different markets, including writing, fine art, genealogy, antiques and collectibles, design, outdoors and horticulture. Its growing portfolio includes print and online properties, free and for-fee subscription sites, educational programs, competitions and events. www.fwmedia.com
Information Provided By: World Tea Media

Halfway Through

 - by iheartteas

I am just about halfway through this Bahama vacation and I am honestly starting to get home sick.  Believe it or not I actually miss cooking my own food and even some of the rituals I am used too.  I am sure you are saying…”Boo hoo, at least you are in a gorgeous place with plenty of sunshine and beaches everywhere.  I agree and I will probably miss this when I am back home.  The biggest challenge I am personally facing here is the lack of tea.  I haven’t found anything good outside of Starbucks and it isn’t the Tazo brand.  I have fallen in love with the China Green Tips and am also enjoying the English Breakfast.  Now that I finally have a microwave in my room I can heat water without messing with the coffee  maker which always makes me a bit nervous.  It isn’t how I do it at home but lets face it I am in survival mode.  So as it is for now I am missing my tea cabinet, cubbies, drawers, boxes, cubes, and bags that I have it all sorted in.  I will survive but still it is a little difficult.

As for the Bahamas I am staying on Paradise Island which is a part of Nassau and it is amazing everyday.  The weather is perfect.  I am beyond tan and my daughter officially has gills.  We spend everyday at the Atlantis Resort and we still haven’t seen it all.  Well, there is no rush since I have so much more time left to go.

*Sorry no time to spell check so sorry for any errors.

It’s a Bahamian Life

 - by iheartteas

A quick update.  My family and I are enjoying some time in the sun. We are taking time enjoying the sunshine, warm weather, the beach, shopping, and some relaxation.

I am keeping my shop open and will ship out orders early March.  I thank you for your patience.

I hope to do a little tea hunting here on Paradise Island and Nassau in the Bahamas.  I hope I find some interesting treasure.  I will be sure to report back with any new finds.

See you all soon. :)

Tea Review: Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea – Teavivre

 - by iheartteas

Another wonderful sample graciously provided by Teavivre for review.
I have taken a rather long time to review this tea.  Not because I dislike oolong or because I was just to busy or lazy to do it but rather because it is essential I be in a special mood for oolong and an even more special mood for milk oolong.  You see i have a special place in my heart for milk oolong.  Do you have teas like that too?  For me tea is the cure to moodiness . Each satisfying one and then the others.
So finally the day has come.  The setting is perfect, and my mood in the right place.  I have been so patient and I am so glad I can finally reap the benefits of my resolve.  I steeped the milk oolong three times each infusion a different experience, as it should be.
First, I used my Gaiwan for this special event.  I went to painstaking lengths to ensure the tea-ware was clean and warmed.  I used natural spring water freshly heated to 195°F (I understand it is recommended I use 212°F but I wanted multiple infusions at lower steep times and in most cases 195° F is the standard protocol.)  I gave the beautifully balled oolong a quick rinse.  Next, the infusions were as follows…
Temperature:     Steep Time:      Flavor Results:

195° F                 30 seconds       Light, fresh, slight milky aftertaste

195° F                1 minute            Balanced, creamier, fresh milk, not enough sweetness

208° F                 2 minutes         Greater oolong flavor, milkiness has faded, still fresh

My favorite infusion was the second.  While I did enjoy this milk oolong my favorite is still from thepuriTea.  I find theirs a little sweeter and creamier.  The milk plays a much stronger role than the oolong.  Where here the oolong is the major contributor.  So it is really based on what you want more.  If you are looking for a natural milk oolong that is more prevalently milky with an oolong flavor background, go for thepuriTea.  If you are looking for an incredibly fresh green oolong with a touch of fresh cream-like flavor in the background, go for Teavivre.  In this case one is not better than the other as they both offer different attributes.
I enjoyed this one a lot but I was hoping it to be just a bit more in milky flavor.  I am certain the qualities of this tea will vary by harvest but as for now I am grateful for the opportunity to try this and will happily complete my sample.  I can’t say for sure if I will keep it in my permeant cupboard, but then again I suppose it depends on my mood.  Lets just say I haven’t ruled it out.
Score: 4 out of 5

Why “Silence is NOT Golden” – My Story

 - by iheartteas

Ok so this really has nothing to do with tea but mostly to do with the people that drink tea.

* Warning - I am probably writing this when I shouldn’t since I am a bit emotional at the moment.  Sometimes I find relief in writing and so I thought why not drag you tea friends into it for some of your thoughts.

What a day for mixed emotions.  My husband and I are celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversary in our most usual custom, apart.  Of course being apart isn’t by choice but rather been a part of our lives together from the start.  First, because of duty and now because of career.   Many of you, if not all of you know keeping a marriage together can be a difficult yet rewarding task but not without its lumps.   About 5 or so months ago my husband and I had one of those rather large lumps, of those you had better learn how to climb a mountain or dig a path through one if you plan on making it through this.  Before your imaginations run wild, there was no matter of infidelity involved so we best let that thought go.  This was one of those “growing apart” and “having children changes things” situations.

~ Just follow me through this rather drawn out story.  I must set a proper scene to get you to where I am going.  Thanks for being  patient. ~

We were one of those couples that rarely argued.  I mean we had little fights and disagreements but not the big fights we were always were helping our other friends work out. Trust me, I took pride in knowing that we got along so well.  At least until that one fateful day my world as I knew it came to an end.  Seems I was living a lie.  It was all a dream.  I was obviously in shock, denial, and so many other mixed emotions but what came to me as the biggest surprise is that I was ok with it.  For brief moments I felt if I lost it all that would be fine.  It was so odd, I thought why wasn’t I fighting?  I thought did my subconscience know something  I didn’t?  Needless to say it was a confusing time.

At this time I allowed myself to find comfort in my friends and family.  It is something I NEVER do. I am a private person and my problems are my own.  However,  this time I felt it was different.  I felt it was time I spoke with my family and friends about what had happened.  I always hated burdening others with my drama.  I used to put little value in myself, my feelings, and always put everyone else before me.

~ Boy, even I hope I know where I am going with this. ~

So after about a week of  indecision, upset stomach, thoughts of nothing but what would happen to us, and our family.  We finally had or BIGGEST argument ever.  Even bigger than our initial conversation about how he felt about me, about us.  I won’t go into the naughty tidbits but lets just say this… It ran into the wee daylight hours, involved him taking a long walk and getting lost, and a couple of nice gentlemen in uniforms.  (At this time I’d like to inform all of you there was NO physical violence, so please do not let your imaginations run wild)

That fight was a revelation for both of us. We discovered  neither of us were truly being honest with each other or even ourselves.   One did one thing for another thinking that’s what they wanted while the other really didn’t even like what it was.  ”Silence is Golden” does not apply to relationships people.

After we struggled for a couple of months we dedicated ourselves to always be open and honest with each other no matter what.  As a result of what started as a fight and ended as a happy realization that we do love each other deeply we are more committed now than we even were from the start.  We haven’t been this close in all our years of marriage.  I’ve even got him drinking tea.


Today I celebrated my 15 year marriage.

Today I want you to celebrate all the wonderful relationships you have and could have as I remember Milly.  A sweet gal that made me laugh and kept me wanting.

I wanted to bring you my story because of Milly and all the other people in our lives that mean so much to us and haven’t told.  I know we all have simalar stories of our own.  Sometimes,  however we forget to tell those people closest to us or even those we only know because of the Internet just how much we care.   Our time is short, spend it wisely.


Rachel :)

Video Tea Review: Jasmine “Dragon Pearls” Green Tea – Teavivre

 - by iheartteas

Today I am reviewing a Jasmine “Dragon Pearls” Green Tea that was so kindly provided to me by Teavivre.  Haven’t been wowed by many Jasmine teas in the past and I think the biggest reason is the artificial feel to the cup.  Often times too much Jasmine makes it into the cup creating a strong perfume like flavor which is amazingly obvious.  I was pleasantly surprised with this cup and hope the same positive words can be said for the remaining samples I have yet to make.  This would be my second tea I have tasted from Teavivre.  Both have helped me to regain hope that one day you can find a good cup of tea especially in a varietal that you thought you never would.

After allowing the tea to cool slightly I have come up a great personal association for it… a cup you can enjoy in a meadow full of blooming flowers in a peaceful spot with the sun warming your skin and a calm breeze bringing you peace.

Score: 4 of 5


Thanks for watching. As you can see I am still in he experimental state with these videos.  I appreciate your support during my growth with this process.