Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Teas

Thanksgiving can be an ideal time to share delicious teas with friends and family. Aside from flavored teas, there are a number of rich, warming and even digestion-aiding teas, tisanes and tea cocktails/mocktails you can make for Thanksgiving. This year, I'm making home-blended masala chai, fresh ginger tisane, Superior Pu-erh from Imperial Tea Court and Ti Kwan Yin from Teance. I'm also making homemade rum-spiked apple cider, which I'll also be spiking with black tea. Yum! What are you brewing this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mega-Sale on Tea Books

Elmwood Inn is having a mega-sale on their "Tea in the City" books. It's only $3 for all three books, each of which focus on tea in a different city (London, Paris, New York). They are old enough that a fair amount of info is out-of-date here in NYC, where the business turnover rate is very high, but I can't speak for the other two cities. Still, it's an amazing sale ($54 off retail prices), and it only lasts until the 30th at midnight!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Haiku Teacups

Love haiku? What about tea poems? And... teacups? Check this out. They're made by the writer of my tea cups blog. Cool!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Leaving SF...

So sad to be leaving San Francisco today... I can't wait to come back! It's on my short list of cities to live in once I tire of NYC, so we'll see -- maybe I'll end up there soon! :) In the meantime, I have a few goodies to take back with me -- amazing oolongs and an "eight treasures" herbal tea from Teance. (Next time I go to Imperial Tea Court, I'll have to be sure to save time for selecting pu-erhs, instead of just interviewing the owner (at the Ferry Building location) and enjoying the incredible hand-pulled noodle soup with friends (at the Berkeley location). Still, I'm very glad to have the teas I managed to pick up!) What's your favorite tea from a vacation/business trip?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Last Day in SF

Sadly, today was my last day in SF. I spent most of it at The Academy of Sciences, which was fantastic. Unfortunately, I was not able to meet with James Norwood Pratt as planned, but I hope to see him the next time I visit. Tonight, I'm checking out the bar scene at The Alembic Bar -- I hear they have a fantastic whiskey selection, and I saw on their website that they make an intriguing tea cocktail.

Delicious hand-pulled noodles at the Berkeley Imperial Tea Court last night

Jellyfish at The Academy of Sciences

Me and my friends Natalia and Pat at The Academy of Sciences

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More from SF

Yesterday, I interviewed tea professionals at Imperial Tea Court and The Urasenke Foundation (wonderful!), and checked out Chinatown (way less crowded than the ones in NYC) and Leland's Tea Lounge (not bad). Today, I'm visiting Google and interviewing people from Mighty Leaf and Red & Green. Tomorrow is my last day. I wish I could stay longer!

Roy Fong at Imperial Tea Court in Ferry Market

Ten Ren in Chinatown

Tea bowls on display at Urasenke

Masala chai and scones at Leland's

Monday, November 17, 2008


I flew into SF after stopping off in Chicago on Friday night. It has been a busy trip so far: a tea tasting at Teance, interviews with tea professionals at Teance and Samovar, time with old friends and amazing food and tea. As always, I am very impressed with the approach to food here, and am glad to see many aspects of that approach (appreciative, contemplative, responsible) reflected in tea. Also, the weather has been fantastic. It was over 80 degrees this weekend! More soon...

Golden Gate Park

Winnie Yu at Teance in Berkeley

An amazing spread of sweets at Samovar (where I also had a phenomenal gyokuro and a great honey-aged phoenix oolong)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Off to SF

Tomorrow, I'm flying out to San Francisco for about a week. It is, arguably, the best place for tea in the U.S., so I'll be doing lots of research while I'm there! I'll post as much as I can during the trip, and then add extras later. If you have anywhere to suggest I go for tea, vegetarian food, art or anything else you think I'd like, please drop me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another New VeeTea Article

There's another new VeeTea article up. It's in The TeaRoom News and it's on tea terminology from antioxidants and astringency to terroir and yerba mate. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New VeeTea Article

There's a new VeeTea article out on World Tea News. It's on the trend of tea cocktails, and how they can benefit your tea business during the holiday season. Excerpt:

"Trend-setting bars, hotels and tea rooms are going beyond the classic hot toddy with innovative tea cocktails. Meanwhile, alcohol-free tea 'mocktails' are gaining ground as festive alternatives to cocktails. World Tea News investigates to get you ahead of the curve on this trend, just in time for the holidays.

Money Matters

It’s no wonder customers pick tea cocktails and mocktails with names like Black Market Manhattan and Silk Road for a sense of adventure and a hint of the exotic. While their enticing names and descriptions, as well as unusual ingredients and combinations, make them exciting menu additions for regular customers, it’s their profit margins and ability to draw new customers that make them increasingly popular amongst tea room owners.

Dawn Cameron, owner of NYC’s Sanctuary T, said tea cocktails make up about 20 percent of her overall sales (including food), and 60 percent of cocktails sold are tea-based. She said sales of tea cocktails, priced at $12 each, have doubled since Sanctuary T opened in August 2007. Master mixologist Benoit Cornet said the company’s profit margin for tea cocktails is on par with hot teas, which retail at $4-6 per cup."

You can read the rest on World Tea News. You can also find tea cocktail recipes on VeeTea.

All In This Tea

All In This Tea will kick off a Les Blank film festival at Film Forum in NYC on Thursday November 14th. What a great way to begin! It will show at 1, 4 and 7 PM, and Les Blank and co-director Gina Leibrecht will be present for the 7 PM showing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2008 NYC Chocolate Show

The 2008 NYC Chocolate Show opens tomorrow at Pier 94. Exciting! The line-up includes Charles Chocolate (they make amazing tea truffles with teas from Teance), NYC's own Jaques Torres, Serendipitea tea company, Valharona and more. Any of you readers going? Let me know if you spy any great tea chocolates or tea and chocolate pairings!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Celebration Teas

Sometimes, you just need to celebrate! Most people break out the alcohol, some break out the tea and others break out both. I love high-quality oolongs, pu-erhs or greens, flowering teas or masala chai for non-alcoholic options. Tea cocktails are also delicious and fun if alcohol is part of the plan. Which teas and tea recipes to you use to celebrate?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Happy Election Day! I hope you're all getting out there to vote (if you are eligible to do so, that is). I'm off to line up in a few minutes.

By the way, did you know that Obama loves tea? He used to drink organic green, but now he prefers tisanes. Cool!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Nice Cuppa

Between Halloween, the time change and the election, this is quite the eventful time of year. It's also the beginning off cold season -- yet another reason to relax over a nice cuppa tea. Enjoy you tea, and don't forget to vote tomorrow!