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Tea meditations/experiments: cold brewing vs. hot brewing

Traditional hot brewing vs. modern cold brewing

Iced tea is a tradition in the United States. Urban legend has it that it was "invented" here but I can't really buy into that kind of appropriation. But I can acknowledge that it was popularized here and that it is definitely one of the primary ways tea is consumed in this country. It is also responsible for the fact that the U.S.A. is the largest consumer of tea by dollars in the world, although not by volume. Most iced tea is made with lower quality commodity tea, usually bagged, and often sweetened or flavored. Which is also why this country is flooded with crappy tea. Some of us grew up on the (in)famous "sweet tea" of the U.S. South. For most of my life, I've sweetened and added milk or other less than healthy additives to my tea in order to make it drinkable. But no more!

Iced tea made with your favorite Leaves of Cha or other specialty tea is delightful and delicious without any additives. I recommend trying it with any of your favorite teas, except maybe that $1000/g hundred-year-old puerh you've been hiding in your tea hoard. Personally, I also use the word "iced" loosely, as I don't actually ice my tea because I don't want it to continuously dilute. But room temperature or refrigerated tea tastes wonderful.

So how to prepare your "iced" tea? Since I am not going to "ice" it, I use the same dosing I enjoy for hot tea. If you do decide to ice, you could increase the dosing to allow for the melting ice and dilution of the tea. I'm going to talk here about two methods: cold- and hot-brewing. Cold brewing, perhaps obviously, means putting the leaves into cold or room temperature water and then refrigerating it for up to 24 hours. The traditional hot brewing  is prepared just like you would for your hot tea and then cooled down and refrigerated or iced to the temperature you prefer. The biggest downside to hot-brewing is that you have to watch your steep time: too much time in the hot water will pull the tannins out of the leaf and make the infusion bitter and possibly undrinkable. Cold brewing does not have this problem. It's basically worry free. At room and refrigerated temperatures, the tannins do not cause the tea to become bitter. This makes cold-brewing a favorite when I'm serving it with a big, complicated meal like at holidays. It's one less thing for me to worry about. I just make it the night before and forget about it until I'm ready to serve it. One less thing to put me "in the weeds" when I'm in the kitchen.

What do I use to cold brew? Really any container that allows the leaf to expand into the whole volume of water will do. Then just pour through a mesh strainer. Or you can use a teamaker, french press, or tumbler for individual servings or this wonderful pitcher for small groups. When I'm brewing for a huge group, it's an appropriately sized pot or jug and then a mesh sieve to strain the tea through when the infusion is done.

I ran an experiment with one of my favorite cold teas, the Kanoka Assam, to compare hot- and cold-brewing. The results and recommendations are below. But again, any of your favorite teas would do. I also really like cold greens, oolongs, and some whites.

 

Cupping Parameters

I cupped three variations: a hot-brew and two cold brews,.

Dosing: 4 grams tea to 8 ounces of water

Assam #1: Cold-brewed for 24 hours

Assam #2: Cold-brewed for 8 hours

Assam #3: Hot-brewed for 4 minutes with 195˚ water, then refrigerated for 2 hours

 

Results and Conclusions
The first thing that you will notice it the huge difference in appearance. The color of the tea liquor is very different for the three variations, In the first two photos above, Assam #1 through #3 are from left to right, respectively. In the last photo, Assam #1 through #3 are from top to bottom, respectively.


For me, the most obvious difference in taste is in astringency (perceived as bitterness and/or dryness to the western palate). The cold-brews (#1 and #2) had none. Assam #3 was astringent but not in an over the top way. Any longer in the hot water when brewing might make it too much for my taste, or tempt me to sweeten or add a fat like dairy or nut milk.

The subtleties of the tasting are more subjective to individual palates, but my notes are below. I've also noted when I might prefer the tea made that way and also a pairing with one of my culinary specialties.

Assam #1: Color Yellow/Orange. No bitterness or dryness, notes of honey. This was my all-around favorite, It would pair well with my pasta with marinara or Pomodoro alla Napoletana sauce.

Assam #2: Yellow color. No bitterness or dryness. Crisp and refreshing with hints of citrus. This would be a favorite on a hot day to quench my thirst after a long round of tennis or crushing some hills on my mountain bike. It would be great for taming the heat of my pasta All'Arrabbiatta

Assam #3: Reddish brown color. Definite dryness and medium astringency. Hot brewing brought the malt notes forward as well. This is exactly how I like it to taste hot and is delightful cold. Some might be tempted to add a tiny bit of your favorite sweetener, but not this tea lover, The bigger mouthfeel of this tea would make it a favorite if I needed a pick me up. I think it would pair well with a hearty meat dish, like my pasta Bolognese or Beef Bourguignon.

Blind Test: I had my partner also pick her favorite, with no knowledge of the test parameters. She also chose Assam #1 as her favorite and mentioned a sweetness that was not in the others. So our tastes are closely aligned here. Go figure. 

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Happy Holidays and an auspicious new year to all beings!!!

I wish you all the best of times surrounded by whatever brings you comfort during these holiday times (Also...tea!)

I've been busy on the Holiday boutique scene and filling tea orders as you all stock up on your teas and gifts. But I want you to know how much I appreciate your support, whether you've become a regular customer or are an occasional visitor to the website.
These first couple of years of getting my tea business up and running have been a beautiful struggle; both to spread my passion for tea and to create a viable business bringing you consciously sourced specialty tea. It's a struggle to be a small-margin micro-business competing against the Amazons of the world, the commodity tea market, and hyper-capitalism. As the big guys have holiday sales with discounts that are bigger than my profit margins and offer free shipping even as I get emails from USPS about more rate increases, I keep plugging along trying to offer fair prices without feeding the consumer frenzy of the holidays. That being said, I acknowledge that tea is a wonderful gift and appreciate all of you that have made these festive weeks so busy for me.
Once again, thank you! And I hope you are taking plenty of time to simply make tea.

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Tea meditations/experiments on water
Lu Yü, in his 8th-century Classic of Tea, had this to say about water:
"On the question of what water to use, I would suggest that tea made from mountain streams is best, river water is all right, but well-water tea is quite inferior. (The poem on tea says, When it comes to water, I bow before the pure-flowing channels of the Min.)
Water from the slow-flowing streams, the stone-lined pools or milk-pure springs is the best of mountain water. Never take tea made from water that falls in cascades, gushes from springs, rushes in a torrent or that eddies and surges as if nature were rinsing its mouth. Over usage of all such water to make tea will lead to illnesses of the throat.
Of the many streams that flow through mountain and valley, there are those that are clear and pure but which sink into the ground and are absorbed before finding an outlet. From the hot season to the time of frost, the dragon may be sequestered and noxious poisons will accumulate within them. One taste of the water will tell you if it is all right. If the evil genius of a stream makes the water bubble like a fresh spring, pour it out.
If you must use river water, take only that which man has not been near; and if it is well water, then draw a great deal before using it.
1
Obviously, quality water is super important to a quality cup of tea. It can negate any advantage of specialty tea leaf and make a cup of commodity tea undrinkable. My tea friend Rie Tulali inspired me to experiment with different waters, as she has done in her wonderful tea experiments on her teacurious2 blog. We’re 13 centuries on from when Lu Yü warned us about the dragons in the water, so most of us don’t have access to water that “man has not been near.” But there are still places where delicious water can be found. One such place is Camp Myrtlewood outside of Myrtle Creek Oregon.
I’ve worked at Camp Myrtlewood’s Not Back to School Camp session for the last 10 years. I’ve served a lot of tea there, both in workshops and on the famous “tea stump”. This is the first year I got around to trying the water from the spring there in my tea. Their water trickles down mountain from their spring, getting naturally filtered as it flows down towards the Coquille River. The water for use at the camp is captured and filtered through a few stages of natural filtering. As a public facility, they then have to treat the water for public usage before it is sent to the taps around camp. That means chlorination. I bypassed that last step and so basically had filtered spring water. To be safe, I did boil it before bringing it down to the temperature for the teas but have since learned I didn’t need to do that.


1st Cupping: Shi Feng Long Jing Green Tea
2g tea/4oz water; 176˚ 2 minute infusions

Myrtlewood Water (left in photo)
1st Infusion:
  • Darker, more yellowish liquor
  • Grassier taste
  • Bigger mouthfeel
 2nd infusion:
  • Liquor color still darker and not more green
  • Bigger mouthfeel
 3rd infusion:
  • Liquor color still darker and tending to browner tone
Home filtered Water (right in photo)
1st Infusion:
  • Lighter, more straw-colored liquor
  • Slightly more astringent
2nd infusion:
  • Dryer mouthfeel
  • Alfalfa, hint of asparagus
3rd infusion:


2nd Cupping: Jin Ya Black Tea
2g tea/4oz water; 196˚ 2 minute infusions


Myrtlewood Water (right in photo)
1st Infusion:
  • Slightly darker and browner liquor
  • Sweet malt and tobacco notes
  • Bigger mouthfeel
2nd infusion:
  • Again darker liquor
  • Preferred taste of tea with this water
Home filtered Water (left in photo)
1st Infusion:
  • Lighter, orange’ish liquor
  • Flatter taste
2nd infusion:
  • Preferred color of tea in this water

One other thing I noticed is that my kettle remained super clean after bringing a gallon or so of water to a boil. I’ve been places where my kettle was coated after a pint of water (looking at you, Las Vegas!).
So while the difference was subtle between my home filtered and Camp Myrtlewood water, I definitely preferred it both in taste, color, and from my heart, as it is one of my favorite places on earth.
My next water experiments will be with some of the bottled water I have to use when traveling. Also, after seeing references to gathering snow for tea water in the Chinese Literary classic, the Chin P'ing Mei (The Plum in the Golden Vase), I'm going to grab some snow next time I get caught in a blizzard at my home ski mountain of Mammoth Mountain in the Easter Sierra Mountains of California. I'll keep you posted!
With tea, it’s always great to play around with your brewing techniques, ingredients, and parameters. But in the end, as Lu Yu says, “the quality of the tea is in the mouth.” So figure out what you like, drink tea and be happy.

 
Blog Post by J. Davis, YogiTeamonger
1 The Classic of Tea: Origins & Rituals / by Lu Yü; Translated & Introduced by Francis Ross Carpenter; Illustrated by Demi Hitz, The Ecco Press 1974
2 Water Matters! Comparing Bottled Waters for Green Tea / by Rie Tulali, teacurious

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New Teas in the Leaves of Cha tea chest!!!

Sencha Asanoka

Heirloom cultivar Sencha from Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan 

This delicious sencha is made with the Asanoka cultivar. Asanoka means “Morning Aroma” and is a cross between Japanese Yabukita and a Chinese cultivar. It was developed at the old Kagoshima Tea Research Center.

One of the things I’m passionate about with tea, and food in general, is unique and heirloom varietals or cultivars. So I was very excited to find this single cultivar sencha NOT made with the ubiquitous Yabukita cultivar. Of course there are fabulous senchas made with Yabukita but I’m all about preserving and encouraging diversity in specialty tea. The region of Kagoshima where this Asanoka was grown has a high temperature difference between day and night which helps the tea develop a deeper flavor that is vegetal and umami with a light sweetness and without much bitterness

Provenance:

  • Origin: Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
  • Grower/Teamaster: Itaru Kawaji
  • Elevation: 250m
  • Harvest Date: April 2019 (1st Harvest)
  • Cultivar: Asanoka
  • Cultivation: Certified Organic at source but not at packaging point (Leaves of Cha)  
  • Plucking Standard: Machine harvested
  • Processing Notes:  Fukamushi (deep) steamed
  • Nickname: Asanoka means “Morning Aroma”, but is also sometimes called “Senkou Ka” (“Incense Stick Aroma”) for its unique fragrance.
  • History/Pedigree: Grown only in Kagoshima prefecture, Asanoka is a cross between Yabukita and a Chinese tea cultivar (鹿Cp1  or Kago Cp1)

Tasting Notes:

  • Vegetal, bright, slightly sweet, with prominent umami. The brewed tea has a pronounced scent that is reminiscent of Thai Basil and Honeysuckle flowers with a hint of brine.

Find it on the website here.

Yame Gyokuro

The amazing shade grown Green Tea from Yame 

Gyokuro (“Jade Dew”) gets its name from its intense green color and the historical ball-shaped preparation of this tea. Nowadays, the leaves are straight needles like sencha, but the shading process prior to harvest still gives the tea its deep, saturated green color and rich umami flavor.

The Yame growing region is known across Japan for its excellent Gyokuro. Production of Gyokuro involves a 10-day period of shading the tea plants prior to harvest. The shading forces the plant to boost its chlorophyll production and retain its store of amino acids, leading to a deep green color and rich umami.

Provenance:

  • Origin: Yame, Fukuoka, Japan
  • Grower: Hoshino Village Farmers
  • Elevation: 200m~300m
  • Harvest Date: May 2019 (1st Harvest)
  • Cultivar: Yabukita & Oku Midori
  • Cultivation: Conventional
  • Plucking Standard: Machine
  • Processing Notes:  Fukamushi (deep steamed), high firing
  • Nickname: Jade Dew
  • History/Pedigree: Developed in 1835 by Yamamoto Kahei in Uji, Kyoto, Japan, Gyokuro became the first shaded tea in Japan to be consumed as a loose leaf tea. The original Gyokuro was called “Tama no Tsuyu” and involved the leaves being curled into tight balls, but through the years, this tea came to be processed like Sencha, with the familiar needle-shaped leaves.
Tasting Notes:
  • Savory, marine, buttery
Find it on the website here.
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New teas up on the website and on the way!!!

Wild Purple Ya Bao

Purple varietal white tea 

This rare tea’s leaves come from wild purple tea trees that grow in the high mountain areas of Jinggu. The trees are a varietal often referred to as purple “ye sheng”. Since the trees are completely wild and relatively remote, this tea is produced in tiny quantities and production cannot be scaled. The cost of the tea is almost entirely due to the labor of finding and plucking the leaf material. It takes about 15 days for them to collect enough to process into 15kg of tea. I sampled 25g in 2017 and loved it. When I decided a month later to add it to the Tea Chest it had already sold out for the year. I don’t expect it to be around for me to reorder before the 2019 harvest, so get it while you can.

(I know, I know, another purple tea…I just love them so much. I’ve noticed their rarity often means more (hand)craftiness and skill goes into their making than the more common cultivars. And I’m all about that handmade tea and those heirloom and non-commoditized cultivars)

Provenance:

  • Origin: Han Gu Di village area, Jinggu County of Simao, Yunnan, China
  • Grower/Teamaster: Mr. Zheng
  • Elevation: 1600-1750m
  • Harvest Date: Spring 2018
  • Cultivar: Camellia Sinensis var. Assamica Dehongensis, a varietal of what is often referred to as Purple "Ye Sheng".
  • Cultivation: Wild tea trees growing without cultivation; naturally organic, no certification.
  • Plucking Standard: Bud pluck
  • Processing Notes:  Brief withering and hot dry air exposure to halt the oxidation
  • Nickname: Sweet Ya Bao, 甜芽苞
  • History/Pedigree: This is a new tea to the market outside of China.

Tasting Notes:

  • Beautiful to look at in the brewing vessel and intensely aromatic for a white tea. Floral sweetness with fruit undertones. Like nothing I’ve tasted before.

Longing for Long Jing

Cupping the latest harvest 

Long Jing is one of the most famous teas of China, and the authentic tea grown within the National Designated Protected Zone (NDPZ)  of the original five West Lake villages is especially prized. The last lot of Long Jing on the LoC website was from Meijiawu Village, one of those villages. It was delicious and amazing. One of my lucky customers has bought out the last of it, on sale no less, so kudos to them. Unfortunately, due to it's rarity and the demand for it, the prices have skyrocketed way past what the U.S. market will typically support. Indeed, most of the "official" Long Jing from the NDPZ is now bought up in China and never gets out of the country. I only saw Meijiawu Long Jing in one place this year and it sold completely out in a matter of days. I also missed the opportunity to get a little of it for my own enjoyment.

I love the taste and craft of Long Jing, so I am exploring alternatives from outside of the area that use the Long Jing cultivars and are crafted with the same skill and love. Because of its popularity, Long Jing style tea is grown everywhere in China with varying degrees of success and quality. While the quality of the taste is "in the mouth" and subject to your preference and tastes, the ultimate success of the tea as "Long Jing" depends on how closely the terroir matches that of the NDPZ, the cultivars used (traditional heirloom, the commercially developed culitvar Longjing #43, or something else entirely) and the ability of the teamaker in matching the Long Jing style.

The picture above is from my cupping of a couple of candidates I am sampling. I hope to have a delicious alternative up on the website shortly. Another alternative that I love, is our Bao Hong Mountain tea, which is similar in appearance and shares some palette notes with Long Jing, even though it is a completely different cultivar than the ones use for Long Jing. And it is devotedly grown and processed by a family that has been producing this tea on their land for 10 generations.

I will notify all the subscribers when the new Long Jing is up!

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May Day General Sale!!!

Apres-ski gongfu tea break

I just returned from the Professional Ski Instructors Association Spring Convention at Mammoth Mountain CA. I took some adaptive continuing education clinics to support my volunteer work with the Los Angeles and veteran disabled community. For a quick video of my tea break, click here.

May Day General Sale!!!

10% off your order 

It's May and we're well into spring and the tea harvest, so it's a great time to stock up on your favorites. Today through 5/8/18, take 10% off your enitre order with discount code MAYDAY2018.

 

Sale Teas

Use the "Sale" tag to see all the teas on sale 

As I bring in new teas, I usually have some teas that I am discounting to make room for other teas or a new lot. It's always worth taking a look to see if there is anything tempting there.

On any tea page, click on the "Browse by Tag" pull down in the upper right of the window and select "Sale". Or simple click here.
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New Teas in the Leaves of Cha tea chest!!!

Darjeeling Yanki Special Black Tea

Small Farm  Tea from Darjeeling India 

Yanki Special 2nd Flush is a black tea from Darjeeling, harvested and crafted in small batches from small farms. It is one of the first Darjeeling teas of its kind in the market, as most Darjeelings are from large estates. The small-batch processing allows for a higher standard of quality and ethics for the growers and teamakers.
 
Yankhu Tamang founded the Society to "Promote Small Farmers, Socially and Economically”. The group is trying to change the narrative of Darjeeling tea production by empowering small growers to make their own tea, including both standard Darjeeling teas and handcrafted quality batches like this Yanki Special Darjeeling. This empowerment of the local Gorkhas, who have always supplied the manpower for the big tea estates, cannot fail to improve the quality of the famous Darjeeling tea and improve the livelihoods of the farmers and teaworkers.
 
Outside absentee ownership of those large estates has led to a decline in overall quality and a commoditization of most Darjeeling on the market, as well as being a factor in the unrest3 currently happening in the region.

Provenance:

  • Origin: Mirik Valley, Darjeeling, India
  • Grower/Teamaster: Darjeeling Small Growers Society/Yankhu Tamang
  • Elevation: 2,100m (7,000ft)
  • Harvest Date: Spring 2016, 2nd Flush
  • Cultivar: Camellia Sinensis Sinensis
  • Cultivation: Natural (Organic, but no certification)4  
  • Processing Notes:  harvested and crafted in small batches; hand-rolled
  • History/Pedigree: One of the first small-farm Darjeeling on the market, as most Darjeeling comes from large estates

 
Tasting Notes:

  • Smooth and even flavor with hints of sweetness that vary over different brewing parameters

Find it on the website here.

Floating Flower Jasmine

Blended Yunnan Green Tea 

This jasmine green tea was too beautiful and delicious to pass up even though the Leaves of Cha tea chest is primarily filled with straight teas. This delicate and aromatic blend is produced in the traditional way using just jasmine flowers steamed under the green tea and then also added to the finished tea.
 
Provenance:

  • Origin: Wu Jia Village, Yun Xian county, Lincang Prefecture, Yunnan (Jasmine flowers: Wen Shan area)
  • Grower/Teamaster: Mr. Yang
  • Elevation: 1650 meters
  • Harvest Date: April 10th 2017
  • Cultivar: Yun Kang Bi Luo Chun (cross of Bi Luo Chun and Assamica)
  • Cultivation: Natural, no pesticides  
  • Plucking Standard: Bud Pluck
  • Processing Notes:  Jasmine flowers are steamed underneath the finished tea leaves, then fresh jasmine Flowers are mixed in for additional fragrance  and beauty
  • Nickname: Jasmine Floating Flower
  • History/Pedigree: Yun Kang Bi Luo Chun varietal was first developed in 1992 by the Yunnan Tea Research Institute.  Cultivation was encouraged for more than a decade before it gained popularity as a finer green tea cultivar.

 Tasting Notes:

Incredible jasmine aroma that balances out in the cup to wonderful pair with the umami and vegetative notes of the green tea; all enhanced by the beauty of the jasmine flowers left in the tea leaves. Jasmine notes will be most prominent on first infusion.

Find it on the website here.

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New Teas...and more to come!!!

Kukicha

Green Tea from Shizuoka Japan 

Kukicha, or “stem tea”, is a specialty green tea made from the stems of green tea leaves. Kukicha typically is only made during the spring using a careful process to separate the leaves and stems. This kukicha is made even more delicious by using the flavorful first flush of the tea plants, after they have gone through their period of winter dormancy.

This wonderful tea is from Toshiaki Kinezuka's small, completely organic farm in Shizuoka. Their natural growing practices are an anomaly in the midst of Japan’s typically heavy use of chemicals in their industrialized tea industry.

The farm is now being led by Toshiaki's eldest daughter, Ayumi Kinezuka. Her passion is to keep Japanese tea traditions alive, while also gaining knowledge from other tea traditions. She studied black tea production in Sri Lanka.

She works alongside her father, mother, younger brother, and younger sister on the farm. Leaves of Cha is especially proud to support women-run tea businesses in what is a primarily male-run industry.

Provenance:

  • Origin: Nakayama Village in Fujieda, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Grower/Teamaster: Kinezuka Family/Ayumi Kinezuka
  • Elevation: 350m (1150ft)
  • Harvest Date: Spring 2016
  • Cultivar: Yabukita
  • Cultivation: Natural (Organic, no cert.) Toshiaki Kinezuka started farming with all-natural methods back in 1976, so the farm has been grown with organic practices for 38 years.
  • Plucking Standard: First flush pluck.
  • Processing Notes:  made completely of stems carefully separated during the production process
  • Nickname: Stem Tea

Tasting Notes:

  • Brilliant bright green appearance and a bright, rich aroma. The flavor is sweet and grassy with fresh citrus notes and a hint of seaweed, with very little bitterness and a very refreshing aftertaste. Cold-brews great for iced tea!

Find it on the website here.

 

Bao Hong Mountain Green

Yunnan Green Tea 

This Bao Hong green tea is just the kind of tea that gets me excited in this world of generic, commodity teas. It’s delicious, it has history, and it is cultivated and made with dedication and love. I’m still trying to sleuth out the name of the cultivar, if it has one, but the original plant is believed to have been brought to Bao Hong Mountain by a wandering monk from Fujian. Cultivation started during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907) around the same time as the Bao Hong Si Buddhist Monastery was being built on the mountain and has continued ever since. The Liu Family has been growing this tea for at least 10 generations.

This tea is similar to Long Jing/Dragonwell is many respects. It has a unique history and provenance, a similar appearance in the dry and steeped leaf, and in its taste. Yet it is unique in its own right and a great value given the skyrocketing price of authentic Long Jing.

Provenance:

  • Origin: Bao Hong Mountain, Yi Liang County, Yunnan Province, China
  • Grower/Teamaster: Liu Family
  • Elevation: 1550-1630m
  • Harvest Date: March 2017
  • Cultivar: Still researching; from a Fujian varietal
  • Cultivation: Natural cultivation in a remote un-adulterated environment
  • Plucking Standard: Fine Picking; bud & two leaves
  • Processing Notes:  leaves picked in a two hour early morning window
  • Nickname: Bao Hong
  • History/Pedigree: Cultivation started during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907). The Liu Family has been growing this tea for at least 10 generations.

Tasting Notes:

  • The leaves brew up full and plump for their small size, with the downy hair from the leaves floating in the liquor. Fragrant with grassy and mineral notes coming through especially on the second infusion.

Find it on the website here.

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Volunteering at WSC! The Tea Harvest is upon us!

Being of Service: The Tea Monger as volunteer Adaptive Ski Instructor

2017 National Disabled Veteran's Winter Sports Clinic, Snomass Colorado  

At Leaves of Cha, we believe in being of service. Last week, the Teamonger was in Snowmass Colorado volunteering as an adaptive ski instructor at the 2017 National Disabled Veteran's Winter Sports Clinic. This is my sixth year at the Clinic and it is one of the highlights of my year. This year almost 400 disabled veterans participated, including around 150 new participants. They were supported by about 1000 volunteers, including 200 of the top adaptive ski instructors in the U.S.A. and Canada. On top of that there were the veteran's own caregivers and supporters: family members, friends, and professionals who accompany the veterans and make it possible for them to attend.

Here's a little "taste" of what I do when I'm not brewing tea...

Check out the video here.

And even when I'm out on the snow and ripping off the tops of mountains, I still find time for tea, as you can see here.

 

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The 2017 Tea Harvest

Keep checking the Leaves of Cha website for new and restocked teas  

This is an exciting time of year as the tea world waits for all the new teas to come in. It is especially so when it comes to the small farm and single origin teas as even slight changes in weather can affect the quality, quantity, and cost of the tea produced. Many of the highest grade and most famous teas in China get bought up on the domestic market, leaving very little for the world market.

So look for some new teas to be added and for most to be restocked. Some teas might not be available this year because the quality was not there or the cost was too high to make it commercially viable. But I am always on the lookout for unique teas with provenance, with a story, and whose quality "is in the mouth."

Keep checking the Leaves of Cha website for all the developments. Drink With Me!
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Teaware the Ides of March

10% off all Teaware through March 22nd  

The Ides of March was not a good day for Julius Caesar. But everyday is a great day for tea. And great tea deserves great teaware. Check out all the great choices at Leaves of Cha here; from functional teaware to lovely handmade pieces that perfectly complement the handmade teas we sell here. 

10% off through 3/22.

Code: TEAWARETHEIDES17

"Et tu, BrewTea?"


In order to use it, enter the gift code above at checkout.
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Upcoming Events

Southwest Tea Festival

February 25th & 26th, 2017 in Las Vegas  

If you are looking to get out of whatever weather you are experiencing (it seems like everyone is too hot, too cold, too wet, or too dry!) and immerse yourself in tea, come visit my table at the Southwest Tea Festival. The Festival aims to unite tea educators, retailers, and growers with tea drinking consumers and hobbyists. This two-day festival will provide tea knowledge, cultural experiences, tastings, cuppings, pairings, and demonstrations for tea enthusiasts.

This will be Leaves of Cha's first Tea Festival and it's very exciting. I would love to see your there and meet you face to face over a cup of tea. AND, I have a discount code for my customers good for 25% off the ticket purchase price! Hope to see you there.

Code: LEAVESOFCHA

In order to use it, visit www.swteafest.com and choose to purchase tickets. When you are in the window where you get to choose the number of tickets that you would like to purchase, there is an option in the top right corner to enter a discount code. Once the code is entered, it will immediately take 25% off of the purchase price.

Cooking Demo with Tea Talk

Surfas Culinary District, Costa Mesa and Culver City CA  

Leaves of Cha has teamed up with the talented Bridget Reilly, owner of Costa Mesa's Royal Tea & Treatery for a couple of demonstrations at the Surfas locations in Southern California. The first one was at the Costa Mesa location before Valentine's Day and featured the making of delicious gluten-free, dairy-free treats. Whenever Bridget paused to prep or cook her treats, I would talk about and sample teas. The picture above is in the Surfas Test Kitchen at the event.

We have another one coming up at the Culver City location on Saturday, March 4th. Keep an eye on the Leaves of Cha Facebook page or other social media for more info on this event as it becomes available.

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