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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

J-Tea International Loose Leaf Oolong 'Bourbon Oolong'

Tea Information:
Tea: Bourbon Oolong
Type: Oolong Tea
Packaging: Loose Leaf
Company: J-Tea International
Purchase: Here
Description: This charcoal roasted oolong from Nantou, Taiwan was aged in a bourbon barrel from Buffalo Trace Distillery for one day shy of seven weeks. The results are amazing. Rich fruit aroma. Toasty nutty and woody. Sweet and creamy.

Steep Information:
Amount: 8g
Water: 500ml at 195°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: caramel, vegetal
Steeped Tea Smell: caramel, nutty, slightly vegetal (steamed spinach)
Flavor: nutty, then vegetal - like fall leaves, with a sweet caramel finish
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: astringent, citrus
Liquor: translucent orange brown

Rating: 3/4 leaves

Leaf system:
1=Bleh! not again if it were free
2=Acceptable, if it were free or there were limited other tea options
3=I might purchase this tea from time to time, or select it while out
4=A staple in our cupboard from now on, I will purchase and keep purchasing

I received this product for free in a swap. All my reviews are as unbiased as possible, whether I buy or receive free product. I accept no other compensation other than free product.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

World Tea Expo 2016

Soon I will be at World Tea Expo 2016

Follow along with #WTE2016

I plan to hit as many vendors in the exhibit hall as possible!

My Classes:
My events-I will be live blogging, follow along with #TBR
Tea Bloggers Roundtable - June 15th at 1:00pm
This is a free event welcome to anyone who wants to find out more about tea blogging.

Are you a tea blogger? Join our community! 

Follow me:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Southwest Tea Fest to Debut in Downtown Las Vegas

Have you heard about this?

This year’s SW Tea Fest will be held at the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market on Saturday, February 27th, 2016, from 10:00am – 5:00pm. 

If you are in the area I recommend you attend!

Tealet and Joy’s Teaspoon, both of Las Vegas, are proud to announce the debut of the Southwest Tea Fest. It is the cities first and only tea festival, focusing on quality tea and tea culture. “When people think tea culture and tea happenings, they think New York, Chicago, and Seattle. The SW Tea Fest gives us a chance to showcase all of the great businesses and cultural groups that are bringing tea right to our own backyard,” says Joy’s Teaspoon owner, Naomi Rosen. The SW Tea Fest will kick-off at 10:00am on Saturday, February 27th, 2016, at the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market, right in the heart of vibrant Downtown Las Vegas.  “We are excited to showcase the tea and art culture of the Southwest and hope Vegas locals and travelers come check out what Downtown has to offer,” says Tealet’s CEO, Elyse Petersen.

Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased ahead of the event at
Aside from the many cuppings, samplings, and tastings, the SW Tea Fest will also feature:
  • Wu Wo Tea Ceremony
  • Gong Fu Tea Ceremony
  • Blind Tea Tasting
  • Cupping Championship
  • Art Walk
  • Live Music and Food Trucks

Special presentations will be offered throughout the day and include:
  • The Sensuality of Tea (presented by Writer/Producer/Director James Orr)
  • US Grown Tea (presented by Rie Tulali of the US League of Tea Growers)
  • Direct Trade Tea (presented by Elyse Petersen of Tealet)
  • Matcha – Fact or Fiction (presented by Noli Ergas of Sugimoto America)
The first 500 attendees through the doors will receive Swag Bags that have been provided by, home to an on-line magazine, web community, and monthly tea subscription box.

Find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

Friday, January 1, 2016

Park Hyatt Washington’s Tea Cellar

Park Hyatt Washington’s Tea Cellar
1201 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037

Park Hyatt Washington’s Tea Table is available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm. To make a reservation for afternoon tea please call +1 202 419 6620 or visit

I heard about the Park Hyatt Washington’s Tea Cellar - and went with my grade school friends in September 2010. We were having a gathering. We sat in a glass enclosed area which was great for chattering while we ate without interrupting or being interrupted.

There were many tea assorted sandwiches on bread, and an assortment of sweets.

For a fixed price you could eat as many sandwiches and sweets from the buffet as you like, and get a pot of tea to share. I remember enjoying the sandwiches and sweets alike.

I had issue with the teapots. Which I will get into more later. But suffice it to say it was a lovely time with friends, but disappointing that they were out of macrons.

A nice tea service but not so remarkable I would recommend it or greatly desire to go back.

Pictures 2010

2015 - I hear they have re-launched and have a tea specialist Christian Eck, so I decide to try again.

I told a friend about it, and he took his wife a few weeks before we went. They unfortunately had a bad experience.

The complaints he had were that when they went the buffet price didn't include tea, and they were charged extra. When we attended together a few weeks later we were informed tea up to 12$ was included after that we had to pay. I wonder what went wrong with that during his visit?

He also indicated they had poor service in general, two examples being they had to stack plates as they were not cleared between buffet trips, and they were not offered water for a resteep of their puerh.

Well then he and I get our chance to go - a Saturday afternoon in December.

We got an Freak of Nature Oolong, Barrel Aged Lapsang Souchong.

The Freak of Nature tasted like a typical Wuyi oolong - but I didn't have much control over the steeping.

The Lapsang Souchong had nice caramel and woody notes from the barrel to finish and was a fun thing to have, I recommend it.

We tried a resteep of each, luckily this time we were offered more water unlike his prior visit with the puerh.

The lapsang did resteep but lost the barrel aged qualities. The oolong opened up nicely, still smooth, more floral. The oolong could certainly have had more steeps but we had other things we had to get to.

The complaints I had about the tea itself are as follows:

They indicate they have some very special teas. I own a tea company so perhaps I am biased but I didn't see much unusual in the tea menu beside some assorted older purerh. There were single origin (from a single estate), aged in barrels, aged in fruits, and other things that are fairly common in the tea world currently.

"Park Hyatt Washington’s Tea Cellar is home to one of the most unique and expansive collections of tea in the United States, with over 37 rare and limited-production, single-estates teas. Featuring teas from remote regions of China, Japan, Sri Lanka and the Himalayas, as well as herbal selections from Egypt, France and Argentina, the Tea Cellar’s sophisticated offerings introduce guests to the highest quality of tea, similar to the level of flavor and complexity of fine wines. The tea experience includes White, Chinese Green, Japanese Green, Black, Herbal, Oolong, and the deepest selection of Pu-Erh teas in the country with vintages ranging from 1949 to 2003. The Tea Cellar showcases a glass tea humidor to age and store vintage tea, in addition to a lit display of tea blossoms that flower when steeped in water."

The preparations of the tea is lacking, and even if they use nice teas I bet people don't fully get to experience or enjoy them!

Specifically they do not seem to measure, by weight, the proper amount of leaves for the teapots.
My friend and his wife indicated there was very, very little puerh.
On our trip there was way too much oolong, and about the right amount of lapsang souchong.

All the water seemed equally hot, I would have expected cooler water for the oolong. I fear what would happen if I ordered a white.

In addition they bring the tea to the table, after and unknown steep time, with no way to remove the basket, and nothing to put it on if you did. This resulted in an over steeped lapsang.

I would think, to best handle guests of all levels, they might want to steep the tea the proper temperature, and time, and leaves then remove the basket and bring both to the table and explain the leaves can be made into a second pot of tea when they are ready. This would educate and make it such that each tea was prepared well and could be enjoyed without extra tannins.

I understand the aesthetic of the glass teapots, although not ideal for all teas look nice and could settle for that since they offer tea warmers - if we could better steep the tea initially and were just trying to keep it warm.

The presentation of the foods was nicer than the 2010 visit, and still the same approximate number of selections. An adequate amount I believe.

The savories are now assorted instead of all white bread sandwiches. They are tasty but skew heavily to seafood which left one poor guest with only two options of savory to eat.
I believe when we went it was lobster sandwiches, oysters, pumpkin quiche, chicken wraps and deviled eggs (which one waitstaff seemed to indicate had seafood in it).

The sweets had two kind of scones, red velvet cupcakes (which were very dry), very boring cookies (two kinds), tasty macrons (assorted flavors), some kind of lemon merange tart, a chocolate raspberry mousse cup, and there may have been something else I missed. On the whole I most enjoyed the mousse and macrons.

If I had not seen the bit about the tea specialist, I would have been pleased by the improvements. However I got my hopes up.

Overall it was a nice afternoon out with my friend, an improvement on the buffet since 2010, but still disappointing tea preparation.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tea Rose Garden - Pasadena, CA

Tea Rose Garden
70 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

My mother and I went to the Tea Rose Garden for the Christmas Tea.
The location was adorable - an indoor garden setting with water fountain, rose trellis, hedges and a gazebo where a bridal shower was occurring. The place was all trussed up for Christmas and was very festive.

The three layered tea tray came with
butternut squash soup - thick and spiced like a sweet potato pie
Petal salad - just spring greens with a vinaigrette
2 baked ham, brie and cranberry tea sandwich
2 chicken almond tea sandwich
2 goat cheese and sun dried tomato tea sandwich
1 mini shepards pie
1 lemon raspberry scone with clotted cream and raspberry jam.
fresh fruit
1 petit four
red velvet, gingerbread and peppermint macaroons
eggnog mousse cake
a pot of Christmas blend black tea which we resteeped twice
about 40$ for both of us

Service was a bit slow and frazzeled but very pleasant.
The food was mostly unremarkable, not bad but not great.
We both very much enjoyed the red velvet macaroon, the butternut squash soup, the baked ham and brie sandwich, and found the scone amazingly moist and tasty. Everything else was uneventful.

Many of the items there were only one of so you had to share, which is no problem as my mother and I are happy to share food but something to be aware of for those who might not.

The teabag (tsac) was left in the teapot, leading to oversteeping if you aren't careful. this is becoming a peeve of mine in afternoon teas. Please steep the tea properly, or bring out a timer and dish and tongs to remove the tea!

I forgot to note what the christmas tea was spice with, but it mainly came out cardamom, but was enjoyable.

We had to go to the register to pay, it was a little awkward as no one said anything and perhaps we should have waited on a check?

American Tea Room - Los Angeles, CA

American Tea Room
909 S Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021

My sister was displeased with the area it was located in, she said if she had known where we were going we would not have gone after dark.

The building and interior itself were gorgeous, high ceilings, exposed woodwork, very crisp and modern tables and chairs.

I loved the test tube smelling area. You could scan then and a screen would tell you all about them.

The staff was friendly, helpful, but not pushy.

I got the Himalayan Butter Tea (Nepalese Black, Oolong & Pu Er Tea, Butter, Salt, Milk, Honey)

It tasted spiced, I liked the texture of the butter, but I would have sworn there were spices in it and it was interesting but not something I would get again.

There were an assortment of gold mylar bags, gift boxes, and tea ware one could buy and take home, in the outdoor seating area there was a living wall.

I enjoyed the visit and would gladly go back, apparently only before dark.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lipton Tea Teabag Herbal Tisane 'Cinnamon Apple'

Tea Information:
Tea: Cinnamon Apple
Type: Herbal Tisane (Tea is technically only from the camellia sinensis plant)
Packaging: Teabag
Company: Lipton Tea
Purchase: Local grocery store
Ingredients: Cinnamon, hibiscus flowers, chamomile flowers, roasted chicory root, allspice, orange peel, roasted carob, natural cinnamon and apple flavors with other natural flavors (soy)

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 bags
Water: ~500ml at 212°F
Steep Time: a little over # minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: cinnamon, paper
Steeped Tea Smell: apple, cinnamon, fall
Flavor: sweet apple, cinnamon
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: cinnamon
Liquor: translucent dark orange brown

yummm, fall

Rating: 3/4 leaves

Leaf system:
1=Bleh! not again if it were free
2=Acceptable, if it were free or there were limited other tea options
3=I might purchase this tea from time to time, or select it while out
4=A staple in our cupboard from now on, I will purchase and keep purchasing

I purchased this product. All my reviews are as unbiased as possible, whether I buy or receive free product. I accept no other compensation other than free product.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Annual Lady Devotea Day

A few days late, time got away from me, but let us celebrate Lady Devotea, also known as Anne.

Thanks to my adventures in tea, and the tea blogging community I have gotten the opportunity to work with and meet in person many amazing people, among them the not not often seen Lady Devotea (Anne) and her husband the infamous Robert Godden.

Not only is she his partner, but his editor too (you have read his book The Infusiast haven't you?)

Anne is a kind and cheerful woman with a knack for understanding both people and trends.

She can and will do anything she set her mind to.

Last year she opened a tea cafe in the United Kingdom, sadly she had to close it to move back to Australia - but she did it in a amazingly short amount of time.

In the past she also successfully ran a service assisting many Onkaparinga council residents to manage anxiety/panic disorder and depression in order to enter or re-enter the workforce. You can read more about the attempts to pick that project up again here:

So raise a cup to this amazing woman, Happy Birthday Anne!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tea of the United States first annual awards


"Tea of the United States - also known as "TOTUS" is the first national tea competition specifically for USA grown tea.  The TOTUS Awards is open to all tea farms, researchers and beginning growers whose tea crop origin is cultivated in US soil.

The TOTUS Awards will be held November 2015, headquartered in Hawaii, hosted by the Hawaii Tea Society in partnership with the Volcano Art Center, The Kohala Center,  Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council  and Hawaii Farmers Union United."

Any grower can participate and they would love bloggers to write about it!
They are hoping to encourage origin pride of US based tea growers.


Sip Alert

Check out this prototype of the @sip_alert #sipsafe a device that alerts you when the water gets cool enough to drink without scalding (or reminds you you have tea getting cold)

Sign up for the mailing list to find out more as updates come before the kickstarter begins!