James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary: Fukusa

Fukusa: A square silk cloth used in cha-no-yu for the ritual cleaning of the tea scoop and the natsume or cha-ire, and for handling hot kettle or pot lids. Fukusa are sometimes used by guests for protecting the tea implements when they are examining them. When not in use the fukusa is tucked into the “obi,” or belt of the kimono. Fukusa are of different colours for men and women, for people of different ages or skill levels, for different ceremonies and schools. If you want to read more about James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary or to pick up  a copy, click
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James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary: Jade Oolong

Jade Oolong: Contemporary trade term like Amber oolong coined by Thomas Shu in 1996 to describe Taiwan’s greenish type of oolongs. It is also sometimes called “fragrant” oolong because it is so aromatic. Jade oolongs may be made from several different varietals but never from Tieguanyin or Wuyi types used for Amber oolongs. The oxidation is kept down to 25% or less and the leaf is less shotty than Amber oolong due to this minimal rolling. Dong ding is typically made into jade oolong for example. If you want to read more about James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary or to pick
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James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary: Rengong Fajiao

Rengong Fajiao: Chinese manufacturing term in Pu-Er production for the controlled fermentation (not oxidation) essential to production of Pu-Er teas. This accelerated process of Houfajiao uses heat, moisture and microorganisms to achieve Pu-Er and other Heicha teas. If you want to read more about James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary or to pick up  a copy, click here.
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An Introduction to James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary

James Norwood Pratt is best known for his book, New Tea Lover’s Treasury. Considered an authority on tea and tea lore, he has spent much of his life disseminating the way of tea to America and the West. His latest book, the Tea Dictionary includes terminology for the cultivation, manufacture, tasting, trading, marketing, and classification of tea: some of which has not been translated to the English language until now. Pratt collaborated with Dr. Chen Zhongmao (now Honorary Chairman of China’s Tea Research Institute), Devan Shah and Ravi Sutodiya to create this 370-page book. The dictionary also includes a  timeline of
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2010 First Flush Hawaiian Oolong

The long delicate, hand-processed leaves of Mauna Kea’s 2010 First Flush Oolong are something to behold. Taka is getting better and better at replicating China’s Oolong process of olde. The dry leaves have the familiar floral scent of a Chinese or Taiwanese Oolong, but with a wisp of something more fresh, like the smell of laundry left to dry outside in wind blowing over a hay field. The New Zealand Oolong I recently tried also had this fresh scent. After a 1:00 infusion at 195 degrees fahrenheit, the leaves had barely begun to unfurl. Because these leaves have barely unfurled,
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Open for business: Chicago Tea Garden…

I am proud to announce that our company, Chicago Tea Garden is finally open for business. We have 9 teas from David Lee Hoffman’s Phoenix Collection to start and some local tea-ware from Chicago Potter — Chris Chaney. Lainie Petersen has written a wonderful article on us as the Chicago Tea Examiner, see it here. The Little Yellow Teapot also wrote an article about our opening: here. I chose to sell David Lee Hoffman’s teas to start for a few reasons… the man is a pioneer in the tea industry. He has relationships with farmers all over China and has
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Fresh Darjeeling Tea – Rare Pearls Rohini Estate

Just before Christmas I received a beautiful package from India (it had a bit of a tough time in the mail as evidence by the dents in the box, but the tea was safe) from my good friend Sonam of “Fresh Darjeeling Tea.” Inside were 3 beautifully packaged fresh teas from Darjeeling — the likes of which I’ve never seen. Sonam has done a wonderful job sourcing rare and amazing Darjeelings — a quick browse through the image-slider on his homepage can show you this. He has found wonderful full-leaf oolong and pearls – teas not generally renowned in Darjeeling.
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Mauna Kea's Sweet Roast Green Tea

I have tried some great new teas out of Hawaii. It is really exciting to be able to try something so new. I received this package of “Sweet Roast Green Tea” from Mauna Kea. The leaves looked like no other tea leaves I had ever seen. Almost appearing as if they had been plucked, baked, then coarsely shopped. They were flat and jagged. The instructions on the bag said that this was meant to be an iced tea. “Brew 1/4 cup of tea in 2 litres boiling water for 2 min. Strain. Enjoy Chilled.” Now 1/4 cup of leaves —
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Christmas Tree Tea

You’re right, its not really tea. There’s no tea included. I found this curious product at the Ferry Building’s Saturday Farmers Market in San Francisco a few weeks ago. What you get for around $7.00 is 20 tea-bags filled with douglas fir tips. From the box: “this tea [tea? really?] is made with hand-gathered, sustainably-wild-harvested Douglas Fir Tips. Although nothing that comes from the wild can be certified organic, since this term applies only to farm-grown produce, our Douglas Fir is harvested in pristine wilderness that has never seen any chemicals and is probably more natural than the most organic
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Review: Lu Shan Yun Wu from Dream About Tea

I’ve been itching to get my hands on some of this green tea for some time, and Lainie Petersen just happened to give me a bit: This tea looks awesome, its tiny and wiry leaves steeped up a beautiful light-green liquor that had a very subtle taste with no astringency whatsoever! I definitely recommend this tea for a simple green tea if astringency is not your thing. Dream About Tea’s site says: “This is a rare and unusual Chinese green tea, grown in Lu Shan, Jiangxi, China. The dry leaf is dark green, small, and twisted, and infuses to a
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