Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This was my first experience making fresh rose hip tea, and I'm not sure I've got it right just yet. Everything I read suggested that I needed to open the hip and remove the fuzzy seeds inside. I did this, more or less. What is your advice, is this necessary?
Also, I think I needed about double the amount of fruit, for a stronger brew. My herbal tea was delicious, but lightly flavored. With more fruit, it would brew faster and stronger.
The liquid itself was full of small filaments. I'm not sure if it was pulp or the fur from the few remaining seeds. Thoughts? A simple solution to this was to pour the liquid through a tea sock (cloth filter, but paper would work, too).
The flavor was delicately tart with a hint of sweetness and rosiness. I enjoyed and will definitely keep experimenting with the formula. I'd love to hear your advice!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The shop has a nice selection of loose tea. I had a first flush Darjeeling.
Monday, October 29, 2012
What I liked about this oatmeal is that the chai spices added so much interest and depth, I didn't even think about adding a sweetener. In addition, it's a great way to add flavor to the oatmeal while using only water, for any of you looking to lessen your dairy.
How do you dress up your oatmeal?
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Tea made its first impression onto David’s life when he was a young boy. He spent time in his formative years living in Japan. Tea was a backdrop, establishing a presence that would return years later. As a young adult, David found himself navigating through Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD). Somewhat counter-intuitively, stimulants are often used to help manage this condition. Through David’s research he found that tea and one of its properties, L-Theanine, showed promising signs. L-Theanine is the amino acid in tea that works synergistically with caffeine to produce feelings of alertness and well-being. L-Theanine helps modulate the effects of caffeine and the combination of these two compounds “works magic” for David. (Note: Tea is only one part of David’s treatment regimen.)
David’s positive experiences with tea as a wellness aid led to a closer study of the culture of tea. He began tasting teas with dedication. As his knowledge grew, he found teachers. Preparing and enjoying tea became a centering ritual and a guiding passion. Over time, David began to see an opportunity in the Portland area for a niche business, one focused on the community of tea lovers. He found a space with big windows, large tables and the right tea-drinking atmosphere. He sells teas “underrepresented at other Portland-area tea shops,” along with a nice selection of Gong Fu tea equipment and tea books and magazines. I can vouch first-hand for the peacefulness of this tea space, having spent several happy hours there.
I look forward to learning more about and even sharing a small part in David’s tea journey. I offer sincere wishes for the success of PDX TEA and David’s endeavors.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
(courtesy the group to my right during our class)
For the oolong tea cupping, the procedure was very simple. We used what Suzette called "Farmer's Style." The dry leaf, 7 grams, went into the open bowl and we filled it to the top with boiling water. We used a porcelain spoon for tasting. (Porcelain doesn't interfere with the taste or aroma.) Here's a good tip I learned: When breathing in the aroma, breathe in with both your nose and mouth. Then turn your head away from the tea to exhale, out of politeness for the others. We started tasting at about 5 minutes and kept tasting further along.
We also did a second cupping using the full tea cupping set (Internatioal Standard) and performed what we called "Patience Testing." That's to test the multiple infusions and see how long the tea would continue giving.
Now onto Japanese greens...
Monday, October 15, 2012
Only in the awareness of the present,
can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.
Only in the present, can you savor the aroma,
taste the sweetness,
appreciate the delicacy.
If you are ruminating about the past,
or worrying about the future,
you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.
You will look down at the cup,
and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that.
you will look around and it will be gone.
the delicacy and beauty of life.
Plan for it,
but do not waste your time worrying about it.
when you stop worrying about what might never happen,
then you will be in the present moment.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Over the past month, I've become an Eileen Fisher fan.
I've long admired her classic, versatile and sustainably-made clothing. Add to that what I've recently learned about the company and Eileen in the excellent book, How Great Women Lead, and I'm even more impressed. The company's business practices give me hope that alternative models that consider human needs and the environment really do work.
I had a chance to visit the Seattle store recently and enjoyed a long conversation about the company with three employees, Sue, Candy and Pam, above. Probably the best possible testament to the company, these three women spoke very highly of its culture.
I will be honest - I viewed the store like a wearable art museum. The pieces are pricey and my frugal ways give me pause. Nonetheless, I find myself tempted! Pieces are made to last. Everything blends - even from year to year. In NY, there is a pilot Green Eileen store that sells used Eileen Fisher clothing. The non-profit supports programs for women and girls. So there's hope that I may yet own a piece or two in a recycled 'fashion'!
For my Seattle friends, there is a reception being held next Th the 18th at the store on Pine Street for Nancy Pearl. You might know of Nancy from her Book Lust reviews. If you can go, RSVP by today at 206-748-0770. And enjoy the gorgeous clothing!
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
- 3 grams of tea
- 150 ml (~5 oz) boiling water
- 5 minute steep
- Here's a great video for the mechanics of it!
Monday, October 08, 2012
He let is set and then sprinkled on sugar, which he caramelized with a torch.
Done and delicious! It had a crunchy texture from the caramelized sugar and tea leaf, and a tangy-sweet flavor. Some of the sugars, now warmed and combined with the citrus, melted into a delicious syrup.
I think I will try to recreate this, though I will leave off the caramelized sugar. As much as I have a sweet tooth, it was a bit too much for me. Instead, I will use a nut filler (maybe walnut?). I think the rest is good. What do you think?
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Friday, October 05, 2012
We started out right with a dim sum lunch in the International District. We took our own pu-erh tea for the pot and enjoyed many rounds of greens, dumplings, eggplant, shrimp, green beans with black bean sauce, and my favorite - the egg tarts.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Here are some photos from last year.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
~Thich Nhat Hanh