Reading the Tea Leaves

Tea Education, Consultancy, and Tastings

Archive : Recent Posts

  1. 4 Cups of Oolong – A Brief Primer

    The teas tasted one day last week were: Silver Tip Oolong from Taiwan (aka Oriental Beauty), Jade Kuan Yin (Special Grade), Ti Kuan Yin (1st Grade), and Imperial Gold Oolong (the last three from Fujian, China). Teas are sampled in order to decide on purchases and those selected samples are cupped again against incoming teas [...]

  2. What Does “Ming Qian” Tea Mean?

    At this time of year, much is made of Ming Qian teas at tea markets in China.  “Ming” refers to the grave sweeping holiday that comes in the spring, Qing Ming (Clear Bright).  “Qian” means before or prior to, so this term refers to teas finished before the Qing Ming holiday.  This year Qing Ming [...]

  3. “Milk” Oolong, with No Additives

    As I write this, it is the 3rd week of March (2014); spring has officially arrived and I hear of the first teas coming out from southwestern China.  However, this cream of the cream of the crop has prohibitively high prices, I must wait a bit longer to see samples from the early spring plucking.  [...]

  4. Floral, Friendly Oolongs

    The last post considered Oolongs that had some roasted flavor, teas that had been oxidized a bit longer and fired a bit longer than the green Oolongs that have become so popular in recent years.  These delicate Oolongs brew up a pale to medium gold in the cup, and the plumeria aroma make them winning [...]

  5. Beyond Friendly & Floral

    Most of us are practiced readers of food package labels now.  Recently I was intrigued by a box of teabags that were labeled “Green Tea” and also English Breakfast.  Reading a little further, the ingredients also included cinnamon, lemon grass, and a few other organic additions, with plenty of copy about the purported benefits of [...]