Review: Big Island Tea, Round 2

Big, leafy heart for Big Island Tea. Check out the Kilinoe Green in action on the ‘Tubes:

Final ver-tea-ct: Like the ocean wandered into my mouth and set up a Kumbaya circle. Very chill, very aloha.

(Hey YouTube, when are you going to get a tag for tags?)

Cheers!

The Cup-fessional: When “You”-sful is Useless

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The 2nd person: ego-less and faceless, therefore inoffensive and objec-tea-ve. Great for useful information and tutorials, but what about real life?

Real life is not objective.

Every cup has a taglist of sip-‘speriences that came before.

For crying out loud, how can anyone take a cup and not feel something? (If this is you, go back home and do it over again.) My last cup: getting re-acquainted with a Pu-Erh for 4 infusions of raspberry tiger awesome.

Tea-feelings happen.

No point in tea-nying it anymore.

Cheers.

Linguis-tea-cs: Handy Mandarin.

English speakers like to complain that Mandarin Chinese is the most difficult language in the world. (Then other Asian Studies students tell you no, Japanese is the hardest. This annoys the declining Latin and Russian majors. Meanwhile, everyone else in the world wants to find the poor soul who invented English and punch ‘em in the face.)

However, no one can argue that Mandarin is un-tea-niably useful–especially for our bud-dies and sip-lings who like to get down with a cup of Bai Mu Dan or Long Jing.

Thus, here are words commonly associa-tea-d with tea, and their variations: (Because heaven forbid a transliteration system actually makes sense.): Continue reading

Snooty Tea Review: The Lazy Leaf Tea Company

lazyleafsetI’ve had these samples from the kind folks at the Lazy Leaf Tea Company since June, and finally had the chance to review them properly. Their Facebook page also operates as their retail website, so no worries about getting through a bog of social media and Pinterests to track them down. (If only the rest of life were that simple!) And the prices aren’t half bad, even when you convert pounds to whichever currency is sitting in your pocket. (Unless it’s empty–the glamorous life of a tea blogger.)

It’s been ages since our last UK tea. Could it have been as far back as the Tea Co Cha-llenge?

Luckily this is only two teas, so we can leisurely sip along. They even included tea filters! As a tea-monstration of their “signature” teas, Lazy Leaf has chosen to feature an Earl Grey and a flavored Chun Mee green–“Jasmine Lychee” should make an interesting bundle of flavors… Continue reading

Upcoming Tea-vents: TEAityChat and Francophone NYC at Presstea!

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Hello again, bud-dies and sip-lings!

It is my absolute pleasure to announce two exci-tea-ng new developments coming your way in the next two weeks:

1) #TEAityChat!
From 8-9pm EST on August 27th, I’ll be co-hosting a Twitter chat on the History of Tea. (Hence the Lipton post earlier this week. Brushing up on those factoids!)

2) Francophone NYC’s first Meetup at Presstea!
On September 5th, from 7-9pm, join us in the West Village for an evening of fun, food, and French. Frankly, it’ll be awesome.

Event details here!

(Bilingual puns available upon request.)

EYEBROWSCheers!

Lipton: Even “Bad” Tea Can Be a Good Thing

Commanding a solid 40% of the tea market, there’s a good chance this good ol’ bagged stuff introduced you to tea.

Remember those uniformed snobs from Pirates of the Carribean? That was the East India Trading Company, doing shady business a century before Sir Thomas Lipton came around. Then during the 1880s, a Scottish-born dude living in the States decided to carve out his own imperialist niche out of the corrupt Europe-Asia tea trade. He established tea plantations in Ceylon, Sri Lanka, and the next thing we know, it’s like Kleenex–the name is everywhere.

How did Lipton get so popular?

For starters, everyone in the 1800s was already drinking tea. (America had yet to wish on a shooting Starbucks and become the coffee nation that it is today.) Lipton simply capi-tea-lized on the existing demand by taking out the British middleman and importing directly. This lowered the retail price to a degree so magical that even Brits were loving it. He was able to export his stuff back to the very market that spat him out.

(While, of course, exploiting the Sri Lankans for cost-effective labor. Please don’t miss the irony that America, a former English colony, was colonizing other spots for tea. Nice job, guys.)

Fast forward back to 2014, and Lipton is on sale at the supermarket for less than what you’d pay a stripper.

Tea-conomics 101:
Cheap tea = Popular tea

Popular tea, no matter what it tastes like, is still tea.

It’s become a Cool Kid thing to rag on Lipton, calling it “bad tea” because if we’ve become accus-tea-med to awesome loose leaves, the grocery store baggies taste weak by comparison.

Yet this inspires casual drinkers to inves-tea-gate better leaves. And if you’ve been sipping along with this blog, you know exactly where that leads.

Besides, when used properly–like in the Tea-torial linked above, or 5 ways to use nasty teabags–Lipton can be a handy tool.

EYEBROWSCheers.

Snooty Tea Review: Tea Source

tsourcesetAlong with Big Island Tea, another happy tea-scovery from the World Tea Expo 2014 is TeaSource. (They had Pu-Erh samples. Won me off the bat.)

Steeping strong for eighteen years, Tea Source carries leaves from around the world, both single-origin and flavored blends to sa-tea-sfy every palate. Personally, I haven’t been crazy about flavored teas these days, but their Dark Rose is just too adorable—be still, my bea-tea-ng heart! Continue reading