Here are two articles from last year that I've been meaning to link for some time. They are both from The New York Times and they cover very different aspects of tea. The first is similar to my recent Tea Muse article on tea in Austin. Its focus is Portland and it is written by the talented Ceil Miller Bouchet. The second is about the owners of a specialty foods store who, like me, love to teach tea and who, unlike me, recently published the wonderful book “The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide."
Excerpt from Beyond Tea and Crumpets in Portland:
"... that's why I came to Portland: to connect with this moist metropolis through my favorite brew. Building on the success of established Portland tea businesses like Tazo Tea, Stash and Oregon Chai, the city is host to one of the most distinctive tea scenes in the country. Locally owned tea spots have sprouted throughout the city, supported by an epicurean population that travels miles for the perfect cup. From mushroom tea to tea paired with sake, these citizens of the Pacific Rim are thinking way beyond tea and crumpets. And no tea bags allowed."
Excerpt from Lessons From the Professors of Tea:
"In Shanghai they visited a bustling regional wholesale tea market that was featuring first-of-the-season teas from the eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui. (Cramped in the back of a van full of Chinese passengers, no officials saw them as they rode through the checkpoint into a Chinese-only wholesale section of the city.)
On a boat ride on the Lake of a Thousand Islands, in Zhejiang Province, a woman named Wei Cui Lan, one of China’s leading tea authorities and one of the last women to graduate from tea school before the Cultural Revolution, showed them the methods required to brew at least 30 different varieties of green and oolong tea."
PS--I still have two free tickets left for the Coffee and Tea Festival. Email me with your name and a comment or suggestion for Vee Tea to win them.