Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teavivre - Tea for Life

It is such a treat when my mail includes a package from Teavivre containing samples of black, white, green, oolong and Pu-erh tea.


The tea samples included Bai Haoyin Zhen (white), Long Jing (green), Taiwan Tung Ting (oolong), Dan Cong Phoenix (oolong), Golden Monkey (black) and Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds (loose Pu-erh). 


As I mentioned in a previous post, this tea is very well packaged.  I like the individual sample bags that give lots of information including ingredients, place of origin, distributor and a brewing guide.  The heavy silver bags protect the tea from light, air and moisture.


 Right away I brewed myself a pot of the Golden Monkey black tea.  This tea from Fujian province had a pleasant aroma and I found it smooth and refreshing.  Obviously I’m not a connoisseur with extensive tea tasting experience – but I know what I like.


Next I tried the Dan Cong Phoenix oolong and the Pu-erh.  Both were very enjoyable. 

This was my first experience with loose Pu-erh tea.  The others I’ve tried came paper wrapped with the tea pressed into little bird nest shapes.  This one was not too earthy and I’m now starting to enjoy this type of fermented tea.  The Teavivre website has lots of valuable info on each of their teas.  For instance, I learned that the Mengku Palace Pu-erh was picked by hand in 2007 from special large leaf tea trees.  It is low in caffeine and outstanding in health benefits.

I’m looking forward to sampling the rest of my tea.  And while I’m sipping the Teavivre tea, I’ll be exploring all the great tea stories, photos, videos and links on their website. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tea Quote


Tea’s proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.

- Samuel Johnson


I don’t know about you, but I am starting off the new year bearing the effects of lack of exercise and indulging in a lot of holiday treats.  Time to get back on track and dig out my copy of “The Ultimate Tea Diet” by Mark Ukra.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tea Towels

While trying to tidy up my tea cupboard and find more space for all the new teas I’ve added over the holidays, I came across several tea theme towels.  Since I have what now seems to be a “collection” of tea theme kitchen towels, I decided to learn more about tea towels (dish towels as many of us in the US call them).


In the early 19th century Victorian ladies used fine linen towels to dry their precious china, glassware and other tableware.  This linen fabric didn’t scratch or leave lint on the pieces.  These ladies also personalized their towels with fine embroidery and used them at tea time to cover trays of food or as a cozy to insulate the teapot.

These days most of our tea towels are made of cotton or cotton blends and are easy care.  That suits me, since I don’t have the time to hand wash and air dry fragile, hand embellished linens.

One fascinating fact I learned was that the impoverished Vincent Van Gogh actually painted on tea towels out of necessity when he had no canvas available.  One (still life with flowers) sold for over 2 million pounds at auction in 2000 and a couple of others are in private collections.

In the 1900s in America, housewives used rough animal feed sacks for dish towels.  These were also hand embroidered, but whether or not they made it to the tea table I don’t know.

So, I guess I’ll continue to check out the tea towels at places like Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx just in case there might be a new tea theme towel to add to my collection.



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