Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tea Feature - Organic Green Phoenix

From the organic tea gardens located in the mountainous area of Anhui Province, China.
An excellent tea that can be had daily without feeling the pinch to the pocket.
The tea is light and soothing but with enough of a body for a mild caffeine feel.
Very enlivening and refreshing.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tea Feature - Green Monkey Picked

Green Monkey Picked

"Two knives and one pole" -  two straight leaves clasping the enormous bud with white hairs - the characteristic of this particular style of Monkey Pick tea from the An Hui region China, is one of the more prized version of green tea.
A sweet after taste, refreshing and light with a slight orchid fragrance.
The leaves are fleshy, pale green and vibrant., when brewed are slightly elastic, thick and soft.
The tea liquor is pale yellow with a greenish tinge, clear, bright and translucent. 
When store away from light and in an airtight container, this tea will last up to 2 years. 

This tea stands the ability to be brewed 4 times. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous season of love.

 Frances Brundage.1937. Christmas Card.
Source: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Guest Tea Review by C. Connelly

I would like to comment on the three teas I sampled from The Republic of Tea, the English Breakfast, Peppermint Bark and the Pumpkin Spice.

Peppermint Bark: The added Stevia leaf was alien to me and although the taste and after taste improved with extended brewing, about ten minuets, I found it dominating and not being a sweet tea drinker this was my least favorite but I feel could be easily redeemed, for me, by eliminating the sweet leaf.

Pumpkin Spice: Well balanced, blended and acceptable as a Holiday tea. I took the liberty of adding it to a mulled apple cider about 50/50 and the outcome was remarkable. Something I would buy at a store, pre-made and really enjoy around this time of year.

English Breakfast: Being raised in a Canadian Irish home Barry's Tea is what I grew up with and this full blend was somewhat familiar to me. A little stronger then the English Teas. This tea took me back to my childhood even to the point I added whole milk about 70% tea and 30% milk (warmed together) and was reminisce of cold Canadian winters and the tea my mother would serve us after spending hours on the homemade hockey rink. My favorite of the three.

By C. Connelly December 24th 2014

The Tea Horse Caravan on Etsy

Introducing online tea store front on Etsy.

Featuring scented teas, green and black teas and an exclusive Darjeeling tea.

The scented teas are blended by a Tea Master using the finest handpicked tea and blossoms of Damask Rose from France, Osmanthus blooms from Taiwan and organic Roselles grown in the US.
The scented teas are skillfully hand processed without any artificial scent or added essential oils.

Scenting black and green teas are time consuming especially when blooms of flowers are used.
The tea takes on the characteristic scents and the natural occuring essential oils that the flowers exude.

There are 12 teas featured in the online store.
These  varieties are from exclusive small tea farms in Taiwan and Nepal.

We will be featuring these teas in the upcoming posts.
Follow this link to the store on Etsy

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tea Taste Test: British Breakfast

Scent: Mildly sweet and mid-range astringency

Color: Deep mahogany red

Taste: Mild bitterness with a high astringency coating

Body:  Thick

Stay: Long stay

Leaf: Teabag

Conclusion: Astringency with a lingering bitter taste and a thick coating, no dust 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tea Taste Test: Peppermint Bark

Scent: High, sweet

Color: Dark amber


Taste: Mild mint and sweet after taste

Body:  viscous, Thick

Stay: thick and sweet

Leaf: Tea Bags

Conclusion: The brew was mild even though it had a viscous thickness that coated the mouth. Had a mid-range sweetness. When brewed – slight mint aroma. Light dust at the bottom of the cup.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tea Taste Test: Pumpkin Spice

Scent: Spicy and sweet, mild ginger

Color: Dark amber

Taste: Mildly spicy with a black tea flavor

Body:  Moderately thick

Stay: mild astringency coat

Leaf: Tea bag

Conclusion: Has a black tea flavor with a mild aftertaste of spice, brew was somewhat cloudy but with no dust. Spice notes are subdued not very pungent or aromatically overpowering. Note of the scents are far more heightened before brewing.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tea Review - The Republic of Tea

In the next three posts we will be reviewing teas from The Republic of Tea.
The following teas were sent by and courtesy of  The Republic of Tea Team.
The tea are of Pumpkin Spice, British Breakfast and Peppermint Bark.

The Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Bark are scented teas, while the British Breakfast is a blend of black teas.
These are teabags that are packed in brightly labeled and airtight tin cans.
Each can comes with suggestions for brewing with regards to time and temperature and the leeway of personal preferences.
According to the label only sustainable derived ingredients are utilized.
There is also a Caffeine Content indicator on the label.

Peppermint Bark comes in 1.65 oz can that contain 36 teabags. 
This is a blend of organic ingredients - green Rooibos, Peppermint, Cocoa extract, Stevia leaf, vanilla flavors and natural flavor. 
This is a Kosher certified tea, with the USDA Organic and Certified Organic Quality Assurance International stamp of approval.
It also carries the stamp of approvals for Gluten Free, Rainforest Alliance Certified for Rooibos and NON  GMO Project verification.

Pumpkin Spice is a blend  of black tea, ginger, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, Sweet Blackberry leaves and Pumpkin flavors. 
The can contains 50 teabags with a total weight of 2.8 oz. 
This is a Gluten Free certified tea blend.

British Breakfast blends black teas from Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling and Africa.
Contains 50 teabags in a can of 2.8oz.
Kosher Certified, Gluten Free and NON  GMO Project verified.

We will be doing a taste tests for each of these teas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teacups - Winter and Summer

Chinese teacups are traditionally made of porcelain and they are smaller than the European style  that was known as tea dishes.
The European style teacups were an adaptation of the English posset cup that was used to serve heated milk, spirits, wines, sugar and spices. 
These posset cups had handles on both sides of the bowl. 

When tea drinking was introduced into Europe most tea ware used in the European household were from China. and Japan.
The teacups were small and handleless.
These cups or tea dishes were used until the 19th century when they were gradually adapted and designed with handles.

Chinese teacups are meant to be cradled/cupped in the hands transfering beverage's warmth.
These cups hold between 2 -3 sips of tea.
They varied in size and shape according to the season.

Winter cups were uncurved at the lip.
They were rounded, deeper bowl and larger.


The summer teacups have a curved lip so as to have the tea cool faster in comparison to the winter cup for heat reservation.
The summer cups are smaller.

The porcelain walls of the cups are thicker to contain the heat.

Chinese Dou Li Chinese tea bowl. 
Styled on the Chinese and south east Asian bamboo hats popular throughout rural areas worn by farmers and fishermen.
A summer style of teacup having a larger diameter for heat diffusion.

The decorations of on the porcelain were of motifs from nature usually depicting the four seasons or emblems that were culturally significant.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

LACMA - 17th century French Porcelain Manufactory

Tea and coffee service in France and Europe began with popularity with the import of tea and coffee in the beginning of the 17th century.
They were widely served in a mobile style.
Venues were budoirs, salons, or even in the garden.
These mobile tea service were called dejeuners.
They were brought in and served upon a tray.

Teapot with cover, and Cup and Saucer and Tray
circa 1775

Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory
France 1740-1756
Soft Porcelain with glaze and gilding

The Sevres Porcelain Manufactory was founded in 1756.
This service comprises of a pair of cups and saucers, teapot, milk jug (not in photo), and a sugar bowl (see picture below.)

Component parts of tea service always varied according to the personal preferences of the owner.
These motives of pheasants and a Europeanized landscape of the Oriental motive was derived from the illustrations of Jean-Baptiste Oudry - 1686-1755.
He was a French artist of the Rococo period - painter, engraver and tapestry designer.

Sevres porcelain Manufactory
circa 1786
Porcelain with enamel, gilding and glaze.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

LACMA - French Neo-Classical Tea and Coffee Service

Coffee Cup and Saucer - 1779
Porcelain with enamel, gilding and glaze

Louis Francois Lecot
France 1741/2 - 1800/3
Sevres Porcelain Manufacturer

Cup and Saucer 
circa 1730

Soft-paste porcelain and glaze
Staint-Cloud Porcelain Manufactory

Plate, Cup and Saucer
circa 1750

Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory
France 1740-1756

Soft paste porcelain with enamel and gilding

Cup and Saucer 
circa 1800's

Porcelain with enamel, gilding and glaze

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LACMA - Neo-Classical English Tea Service - II

Staffordshire, England
Circa 1750
Stoneware with glaze

Staffordshire, England
Circa 1750

Sunday, August 24, 2014

LACMA - Neo-Classical English Tea and Coffee Service

Cauliflower teapot with cover.
Earthenware with lead glaze
Thaomas Whieldon, England 1719-1795

Coffeepot with cover

Staffordshire, England
circa 1765
Stoneware with glaze

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LACMA - Dejeuners and Cabarets

Tea and coffee service in the 18th century were called Dejeuners and Cabarets.
They were used to serve tea and coffee in bedrooms, boudoirs, salons or outdoors.

This service was a gift from the Empress Marie-Louise and the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
It was gifted to the emperor's sister Pauline - Princess Borghese.

Heavily guilded in the Sevres' Etruscan style.
Floral still life's executed by the Dutch artist Georgius Jacobius Johannes  van Os - 1811.

Winter is Coming - Ginger Tisane

 The warmth of summer is slowly fleeing as the September nights and mornings hint at the coming of winter. Ginger tisanes are perfect to pr...