Fall Into Oolong Teas

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cupping the underrated, overlooked or possibly misunderstood, fall harvests has been particularly tasty this year. While I am always partial to oolongs I have to say that I have found this season's selections to be really good.

Frequently asked "what's your favorite tea?" elicits a response that is somewhat generic “I can't choose just one." The truth is that so many factors play a part in what type of tea I am in the mood for; energy level, time of day, what I am doing, what I have or have not eaten, if I am cheerful, cranky, super busy and what lies ahead. Whatever the case may be I can most often select an oolong that will fit the bill.

So while I definitely do not have a "favorite" tea, oolongs would be my overall favorite varietal. The incredible nuances and subtleties of the category offer something delightful for every palate.

A good oolong has helped me demonstrate the special qualities that exist in premium loose leaf teas on more than one occasion. They perfectly illustrate the dramatic difference in what is commonly consumed in the US versus what is available. Unadulterated oolongs perfectly illustrate the incredible taste that exists in specialty teas with nothing but Mother Nature’s magic at work. They have the ability to peak a newcomer’s curiosity and help develop love for tea.

Mango Ceylon was my first introduction to premium teas followed by, 5 days later, Formosa oolong. Looking back I suppose I didn’t stand a chance of escaping destiny and frankly I am glad I didn’t.

With new suppliers and new selections I am excited about sharing these teas and hope that you enjoy them as much as I have.

Until next time, Beth

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Spring Time in West Lake

Thursday, March 27, 2008

All settled in at the fabulous Hyatt Hangzhou after a very hectic day traveling by train we are really excited about the day ahead at West Lake.

Hangzhou's West Lake area is consider to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in China and spring makes it even more appealing. The plum blossoms are in bloom and the gardens are breathtaking.

We spent the afternoon just enjoying everything the area has to offer. The last time I was in Hangzhou was during the spring festival which occurs in late April and is an important holiday when many Chinese travel domestically, Hangzhou being one of if not the most popular place to visit. Needless to say on my last trip it was so crowded with people I did not enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

I took tons of great pictures and tried to upload them but am not able to, something with my connection? Which sometimes happens here....will post some eventually!

Back to business tomorrow cupping teas in Hangzhou, until next time, Beth

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