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Last month, I talked about great tea-related subreddits. This week, let’s head on to Tumblr for our tea fix. Tumblr is a great place for a good laugh. It’s full of crazy people with crazy ideas on the most mundane things. AND, more importantly, it’s also filled with people who enjoy tea.

 

I love browsing teastuff on my computer while drinking tea — it’s a huge part of my morning routine. Usually I just sit around and look at my phone, but sometimes when I try to get some work done before finishing my drink, I end up sitting on the computer and browsing through tea porn on it.

 

The site that goes best with my morning cup? Tumblr. Seriously, it’s like Instagram on steroids! The photos are a lot larger, a lot less over-processed, and it gives the bloggers bigger room to write things about the photos too.

 

While there are a lot of tea things on my dashboard, here are my top 3 favorites:

 

1. Tea Territory 

 

This blog keeps up with it’s tagline, “All tea all the time”. It is literally jam-packed with tons of tea porn: tea cups, tea-themed accessories, and even geeky teaware like this Tardis tea set:

 

Tardis Tea Set

 

SOURCE: http://teaterritory.tumblr.com/post/92576234098

 

Tip: View this blog on its own as opposed to viewing it on your dashboard. The blogger’s attraction to saturated colors and yellowish tones create a motif on her overall page and is best appreciated when you look at the page itself. When I want to evoke feelings of warm summer mornings or cold Christmas nights, I go to her main page to get my fix.

 

2. Books and Leaves 

 

Books and Leaves is about, well, books and tea leaves, but mostly tea. I love this blog because it’s full of tidbits about different kinds of tea from all over the world. As a tea noob, I learn a lot of stuff here without feeling overwhelmed because the information provided is written in a short and concise manners. Like this short piece about matcha tea. Plus, it has lots of pretty pictures across the page.

 

3. Tea is My Cup of Tea 

 

This blog is an amalgamation of all things tea. From cultural tidbits about tea, portraits of people all over the world enjoying tea, to cute tea-related artwork and funny and interesting trivia about tea.

 

Like, have you heard of the mustache cup? Apparently in the Victorian era, protecting your mustache from the steam of tea was a thing.

 

Mustache Tea Cup

 

SOURCE: http://teaismycupoftea.tumblr.com/post/96388343210 

 

Don’t doubt it, the Mustache Cup is in Wikipedia. [Tweet this!]

 

If you want to drown in tea cultures, pretty photos, and crazy trivia, “Tea is My Cup of Tea” is for you. But who says you can only choose one of the three? Go ahead, create an account on Tumblr and follow them all!


Liked this post? Tell your friends by posting it on your Facebook page or Twitter! Plus, don’t forget to tell me what you think of the blogs on the comment section below!

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Tea to Clean Your Home?

 

You’re probably thinking good tea is best drank than used to clean boring old windows and floors. Can’t argue with that!

 

But when I found out that tea can actually be used to keep your house clean, I couldn’t help but feel a greater reverence for this drink. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving! Somehow, it always fits into our daily lives, even in the most mundane possible way.

 

So if you’re done scoffing at the thought of not drinking but *gasp* cleaning with tea, here are the top 3 ways to use tea for more domestic pursuits:

 

1. Clean Your Microwave with Green Tea

 

Because all the dirt of a microwave are conveniently hidden behind a closed door, it can take a lot of time before I realize that it’s actually in dire need of a good scrubbing. By that time, it would probably have a distinct unpleasant smell.

 

Apparently, green tea can be used to remedy the situation! Just boil water, steep the tea, wait for it to get cold, and voilá! You now have a good scrub for the inside of your microwave that’s both good for cleaning and deodorizing!

 

Source: http://housekeeping.about.com/od/savemoney/qt/cleanerstea.htm

 

2. Clean Glass Windows with Black Tea

 

california-tea-house-tea-for-cleaning-squareGlass is a great way to allow natural light into your house. It saves energy and it gives the house a brighter, fresher atmosphere than any wallpaper can. But it’s also very annoying to clean. While I usually resort to using the ol’ newspaper and water technique, it’s nice to know that I can actually use black tea to clean them glass windows as well.

 

Simply boil, steep, and cool it enough so you can transfer it to a spray bottle. Spray all glass with the tea and scrub away! It’s also an effective method for medium to dark hardwood floors.

 

Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-black-tea-window-cleaner-176386

 

3. Bring Back the Color of Outdoor Wooden Furniture with Black Tea

 

Okay, this requires a huge amount of black tea (about 4 or 5 tea bags). But if you have wooden outdoor furniture that’s starting to look sad after getting soaked under too much sun, this could be a good solution.

 

Simply make a pot of strong tea (4 or 5 bags) then mix into a bucket half-filled with water. Now grab a broom and wrap it in old pantyhose, dip it into the bucket, and sweep away. That’s it! No need for drying or further scrubbing!

 

Source: http://www.lifestyle.com.au/diy/cleaning-with-tea.aspx

 

That’s the top 3 I found most interesting on the Internet. How about you, have you seen, read, or tried any method for cleaning using tea? How was the experience? Would you even use tea to clean your home? Let me know in the comments below!

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I took a trip to North India some years ago and I heard the word “wallah” more often than I thought was necessary. "Wallah" sounded like our local word for "nothing", which is "wala" (accent at the end of the word). You can see why it made me curious. I asked a local what it actually meant. All he said was, “wallah” means, ‘someone who does something’.

 That was... vague.

But it satiated my curiosity anyway. So much so in fact, that it got me into the habit of using the word whenever I chat up locals. We would always get to the point of the conversation where I have to tell them all the Hindi words I knew. I'd usually say, "wallah wallah". ("Wallah" = nothing in my language. Get it?) Most people would simply smile politely, but one man actually did a rap that included the phrases, “pita wallah”, “chai wallah”, “[insert Hindi word here] wallah”. We all had a good laugh about it. 

california-tea-house-camsy-ocumen-chai-wallah

This is the legendary rapper. 

 

After leaving India, I forgot about that word and went on with my life. That is, until I saw this photo on Reddit a few weeks ago with the description, chai wallah

(c) Tom Abraham DcruzIt rekindled my interest in the word so I went on a quest to find its meaning. Took me less than a minute to find out, though--thanks to Google for taking all the fun out of a good research since 2004.

On to this new phrase then!

Chai wallah is a Hindi phrase commonly heard in (of course) India. So what does it mean? Let’s approach it per word.

 

california-tea-house-what-is-a-chai-wallahThe word “chai” literally means tea in Hindi. Whenever someone orders a “chai tea latte” at a tea shop, they’re actually ordering “tea tea latte”. Now that’s something language and grammar nazis can whine about for months or even years to come! Next time you hear someone order “chai tea”...

Well. Please. Please. Stifle your laughter. Not everyone can be as cultured as we are! 

“Wallah” on the other hand, is--as an old Indian friend once so eloquently explained--really just someone who does something. Or, as Google puts it, “a person concerned or involved with a specified thing or business” or “a native or inhabitant of a specified place”.

So “chai wallah” is quite literally, a person involved in making tea. They are everywhere in India -- from walking street peddlers to tiny tea stalls to even the most expensive restaurants. This is a country that just can’t get enough of tea.

Too bad I wasn’t such a tea whore back then! I did bring home a bag of darjeeling from an emporium in Varanasi, though. Then gave it away without even having a cuppa myself. Face palm!

 

How about you, what foreign tea-related phrases have you been curious about? I would love to hear about them and what they mean. Share them in the comment section below!

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california-tea-house-what-is-pu-erh-camellia-sinensisPu-erh or Pu’er tea has become a household name in weight loss and cholesterol control ever since the ubiquitous Dr. Oz named it as one of THE best teas for weight loss. Ever.

Whether this is true or not, one thing we all agree with is how awesome Pu-erh is. Seriously, there’s nothing like a good cup of this awesome dark drink with which to start the morning!

So where does this tea come from?

Pu-erh is a kind of fermented dark tea. Like most teas, it comes from China, the Yunnan province of China to be specific. This fermentation process is a Chinese specialty that produces a tea called “Hei Cha” or “black tea”. While it’s translated as black tea, it’s not the same black tea that we’re familiar with. Our black tea is China’s “red tea”. (Confusing, yes?)

Pu-erh comes from the plant called Camellia Sinensis, the same plant where green, oolong, and black tea (the Western black tea, not the Chinese black tea) comes from.

It begins as a raw product called “Mao Cha” or “rough tea”, or is pressed into different shapes and sold as “Sheng Cha” or “raw tea”. These are then fermented and matured with time.

There’s another process called “Wo Dui”, which was developed by two Chinese tea factories. This process produces a pu-erh product called “Shou Cha” or “ripe tea” and is then stored either loose or pressed.

california-tea-house-what-is-pu-erh

Whether “Mao Cha”, “Sheng Cha”, or “Shou Cha”, any of these three types can be stored and matured before being consumed.

Pu-erh contains antioxidants and other of those good stuff that could help with the protection of the heart and blood vessels. Unlike other teas, it has small amounts of a chemical called lovastatin - which is used as a medicine for lowering cholesterol.

It is said that pu-erh tea helps in lowering bad blood fats called triglycerides and LDL (low-density lipropotein) cholesterol. It could also increase the good cholesterol called HDL (high-density lipoprotein). So Dr. Oz wasn’t exactly bluffing when he claimed pu-erh is good for cholesterol control.

Pu-erh tea also has caffeine, but not as much caffeine as other kinds of teas. Nevertheless, it’s enough to allow me to stay mentally alert throughout the day. More than five cups a day, though, and my heart starts to race! Seriously, don’t try that at home, folks!

 

(Photo credit: "Xiaguan Te Ji Tuo Cha 2004". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.)

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california-tea-house-top-3-tea-related-subreddits-to-follow

Reddit can easily take days and days from your life without you even noticing it. It’s full of a ton of crazy and oftentimes useless stuff that sucks you right into it until...

Holy cow is it midnight already?! Yeah that about sums Reddit up.

But for the tea enthusiasts, tea lovers, tea connoisseurs, and all the other kinds of tea freaks in between, Reddit can be a gold mine of pretty pictures, resources, information, and of course, other tea-crazed individuals such as yourself.

If you’re new to the tea party and want a virtual place to hangout and discuss it as you drink your preferred cuppa, Reddit is the place to go. But which part of Reddit, you say?

Here are top three awesome places to start with:

/r/Tea

This subreddit has over 44,000 readers that include those new to tea and those who’ve lived their life around tea. Newbies and friendly oldies alike connect to discuss all things tea -- literally anything and everything about it. (Hard sellers are unwelcome, though.)

Not sure if it’s for you? Here’s the subreddit description:

Tea! This subreddit is for discussion of beverages made from soaking Camellia sinensis leaves (or twigs) in water, and, to a lesser extent, herbal infusions, yerba mate, and other tisanes. Please do not attribute sensationalist health benefits to tea. Posts that blatantly do so may be removed for the greater good.


Recommendations are encouraged, but posts that are solely meant to advertise tea related products will be marked as spam. Be respectful to new and inexperienced /r/tea members.

/r/TeaPorn

If looking at pretty pictures all day is your thing, Tea Porn is for you. With over 7,000 members posting tasteful and artful photos related to tea, it’s sure to get your tea obsession fix. It’s also a good source of recipes and design ideas for tea parties.

Not sure if it’s for you? Here’s the subreddit description:

Aesthetic pictures of or including tea, tea fields, tea sets, or teatime. Recipes in the comments are encouraged! Please nothing too dark or creepy. Please don't submit links to sales or auction sites. If possible, post the photo and link the source in the comments instead.

/r/TeaExchange

This has the least members among the three -- with only a little about 1,700 members under it’s belt. But if you’re serious about tea and want to consume as much kind of it from as many different places, this is the best place to go. As the title suggests, this subreddit is all about trading tea. If you just came from a trip to China and have an overstock of pu-erh from Yunnan, head on over to tea exchange and find someone who’d want to trade something for it. It’s a great way to discover new flavors and make some new friends too!

Not sure if it’s for you? Here’s the subreddit description:

the place to trade tea!

So go ahead, hop on to Reddit and follow these three subs. Just make sure you have enough willpower to tear yourself away from them!

 

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Tea Bar Chatter


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Latest Message: 1 month, 3 weeks ago
  • Will 9:20 pm:
    Nice blog post Camsy
  • Will 3:54 pm:
    Drinking chunky cherry and sitting on the beach.. Yum!
  • anonymous 9:57 pm:
    better get another pour
  • anonymous 9:48 am:
    Getting ready for the Kentucky Derby!
  • AllTea 3:37 pm:
    Probably the best tea I've ever had - thx
  • Will 7:55 pm:
    You're very welcome! Very good to hear
  • anonymous 7:54 pm:
    Just want to say "Thank you!" Lovin' my tea
  • anonymous 2:42 pm:
    Pouring rain over here! Perfect time for some tea
  • anonymous 9:45 pm:
    I hope you eventually carry the SleekSteep in larger sizes. It is the best invention ever!
  • Will 11:00 pm:
    Hot tea on a cold night.. perfect!

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