green teas

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Make your best pot of tea. Start with the right teapot.

The “teapot” as a concept is seemingly a simple device, but each individual teapot has a unique functionality directly related to its material composition and vessel form. When choosing a teapot for use or purchase there are a few factors to consider. Tune in to Facebook live for Teance Tea Lab  with Trevor on Wednesday 9/12 at 10am for more information. MATERIAL COMPOSITION GLAZED CERAMIC Does not add, take away, or adjust the flavors of the tea. Has a high retention for the water temperature. This means the hot water put in the glazed ceramic vessel will not lose its heat very fast. Ideal for most teas and herbal teas. The most neutral material of the three. UNGLAZED CERAMIC OR STONEWARE Yixing ware is a typical example. Water temperature retention is similar to glazed wares This material is porous. These porous wares will season with usage. This means the tea…

How to Steep Tea without Instructions

You just found an old bag of tea, or your friend gifted you some special tea, but there are no steeping instructions. Do not fret, steeping without instructions is easy if you know what to look for. IDENTIFY THE CATEGORY OF TEA: What kind of tea do you have? Green, oolong, red, etc. Different categories of tea require different water temperatures. If the leaves are green and small, you are looking at green tea. If the leaves are covered in small white hairs, then it is a white tea. If the leaves are green and big or rolled, you have a light oolong. Dark, big and/or rolled leaves are likely charcoal roasted oolongs. Small, dark leaves are red/black tea leaves. (Pu-erh tea and herbal teas will be addressed in another post.) Try your best to categorize in order to find a water temperature to start with: Green- 160^F White- 180^F…

Green Teas and Yixing Teapots

New limited Yixing teapots and the latest green teas have arrived! Yixing teapots are the collector’s items, the prized possession of tea aficionados who can not do without. The reason is because Yixing is the historical ore that produced the kinds of clays that elicits the best qualities out of all kinds of teas, especially the complex types of teas. To that end, collectors marvel over dedicated which clay to what tea, what shape of teapot design pours or steeps the best. Choose a higher metal content clay to extract the high mineral teas such as the Wuyi or High Mountain oolongs, or a sandy, more porous clay for bright and light oxidation oolongs, or the denser clays for Pu-erh or black teas. Green and white teas require a lower temperature so most aficionados use porcelain for steeping those relatively more simple teas. Speaking of green teas, we just air…

March 28-April 3. The Fujian green tea lots have been combined…

March 28-April 3. The Fujian green tea lots have been combined already. Made from the Bai Mao varietal, the mango fragrance, sweet and mellow palate is impossible to mess up, making this the ultimate green tea- forgiving, accessible, complex, long lasting. The entry level friendly green tea that will last through your tea professorship. The Fujian producers continually study, innovate, create more and more amazing teas with everyone in mind, unlike many regions concerned with tea as bribery or artificial inflation of prices. This will be the second year in the existence of the under-glamorous Fujian green tea, and also the second year for Teance to carry it. Substance over glamour!

Nagatani-San, the founder of Sencha, who was elevated to…

Nagatani-San, the founder of Sencha, who was elevated to kami/diety status, the official tea god of Uji- discovered a way to make quality Sencha in the 1700s, and the landscape of Japanese tea was changed forever. It took him 15 years to figure out how to remove the bitterness from the tea leaves by studying how the farmers remove the bitterness from the persimmons when they are making hoshigaki. Carefully rolling the leaves in heated troughs into needle shapes, it would take 5-6 hours to make 500 gms. And it would sell for what is today, 70,000 yen per 100gms- or $600 for ¼ lb! Only the richest merchants can afford the leaves, and after they finish drinking the tea, the second tier merchants would dry the leaves and then drink them again. And then….. The poor samurai class would get to drink the leftovers after that.

At Ippodo, which was, since 1717 AD, the oldest and most…

At Ippodo, which was, since 1717 AD, the oldest and most prestigious teashop in Kyoto. They treated us to a workshop today. It’s rare for me to visit a teashop and learn some great techniques of teaching about tea, in very approachable and accessible ways. The group tasted Gyokuro cold steeped or brewed at 50 C, how Sencha varies against Bancha, and saw a demonstration of how matcha can be whisked at supersonic speeds of 10 seconds or less. Seeing these teas in their cultural habitats were mind blowing experiences.

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