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What Is Pu-Erh?

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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?

Two Common Types of Teatime in England

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When we imagine British people having tea, this is what we usually think of: 


An afternoon garden party among ladies in elaborate gowns, discussing the Queen and the weather while sipping tea in delicate white china and munching on cakes and crustless sandwiches. Everyone in the party, of course, speaks in an unnaturally formal British manner.


But that image is actually only half of the (albeit stereotypical) picture. For the English, there are two main types of teatime: low tea or afternoon tea and high tea or meat tea. 

Types of Chinese Green Tea

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types of chinese green teaIt is perhaps safe to say that one of the most famous, if not the most famous tea type is green tea. Aiming to validate the benefits of green tea has been the topic of many scientific endeavors over the past years. But regardless the results, people have continued to patronize green tea for both the purpose of health and pleasure.

Tea Production - Top 5 Tea Producing Countries

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tea productionTea, being one of the world's most loved beverages, is not only full of healthy benefits but also of rich history. From its early beginnings sometime in the 2737 BC in China, tea has traveled a long and rich journey before earning the hearts of millions of people in the world.

Pu-erh Tea - The Healthy Chinese Tea

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pu-erh teaSince the early times, tea has become one of the most exquisite and relaxing drink patronized by people from all throughout the world. Not only is it loved by its calming, soothing and tasty properties, but also because of all the tea health benefits made known to us. Since its propagation, several tea collections and flavors have been developed and among them are green tea, black tea, white tea and oolong tea. But have you ever heard of pu-erh tea? If not, this short article will give you an overview of its history and its benefits.

Coffee vs Tea - a Comparison Part I

Posted by     Tea Journey | Tea Trips      0 Comments  views (2155)

coffee vs teaBoth coffee and tea are among the most popular drinks in the world. For all other reasons,  these two have always been favored by people from different countries, different races. Science and research kept on telling us over and over the benefits of each but none could really point out which of the two is say, better.  This will be a series of short articles on comparing coffee vs tea, discussing their origins, composition, health benefits and other useful information that might help us determine which really is the one.

The Muse's Friend: Great Britain and Tea

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As the eyes of the world turn toward London and the city fills with athletes and visitors from all corners of the globe, I can't help but turn to thinking about one of my favorite aspects of British culture: their intense, often parodied love of tea. While often seen as a stereotypical hallmark of the way in which the world views Britain, the unassuming drink and the UK's love for it has played a big role in history. It's estimated that approximately 165 million cups of tea are drunk daily in the UK, but what are the origins of this drink in the countries? How did it find its way past the White Cliffs of Dover?

Porcelain (a primer in pretty)

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porcelain teacup

One of the charms of tea drinking is the accessories, most common of which is the teacup. When we think of tea service we usually think of china or silver. Generally, when we use the term "china" in modern terms, we are referring to any type of ceramic dinnerware. As the name suggests, china was originally used to reference ceramics from China. The term has since broadened over the centuries.

Tea and Revolution

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Tea Revolution

When you think of your history textbook from high school, you think back on wars, bloodshed, gunpowder... and tea? Tea has been part of revolutionary movements in politics and has caused several wars over the past few centuries.

Despite its relaxing properties, tea has caused some of the largest and most widely studied conflicts in the world.

Black History Month and Tea Rooms

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Tea rooms gained popularity in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Tea rooms were the purview of women, staffed by women, run by women, and frequently owned by women. Tea rooms were not merely a means for women to gain financial independence and become players in the economy as business owners, they were a place for of various social classes women to interact without derision or the constraints of her class. NY Times, December 01, 1912.

High Tea

Posted by     Tea Pearls of Wisdom      1 Comments  views (6679)

High TeaWhat is High Tea exactly? Low Tea and High Tea are like small meals, almost like snacks, served with tea. Low tea, which gets its name from being served on a low table, like a garden table or coffee table, would be served somewhere between noon and 5 PM and hence sometimes goes by the name Afternoon Tea. High Tea is typically served around 5 - 6 PM and is a heartier snack, with meats, breads and of course tea. High Tea got it's name from being served on the dining table which was typically the tallest table in the house.

Tea Puns and Poetry

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tea humorI read this joke today: What is the tea leaf's favorite form of literature? Poetea.

I was quiet, unchanged, laughless. It is a terrible joke, after all, and i was inspired to form this gem (and source of undue pride): Who is the tea leaf's favorite poet? Tea S. Eliot.

My first addition to the tiny world of tea humor spurred a hunt for classic T.S. Eliot verse concerning tea or tea leaves or cups, any semblance of tea culture in the influential work one of the most important English-language poets. I came to a few lines near the end of "Hysteria." The image Eliot presents is an elderly server spreading a cloth over a rusting green table.

A World of Possibili-teas!

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Tea Revives you

Early on in my romance with tea, or looking at it now it was probably an inseparable facet of that budding love-story, it occurred to me that tea was one of those rare "universals" in our world. One that, with regard to the place of importance it holds across cultures, sits in the company of those other great tenets of humankind- love, anger, sorrow, birth, death... Wait, come again? How is it that tea might be equated to the strongest and most translatable of human experiences? Well, that's what this post is about.

Creating memories, a journey through time

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Close your eyes. Lift up your cup of tea, and inhale the aroma. How do you feel? Does the scent of your tea trigger a memory for you? Is it a fond one? Scientists have found that scents, can in fact trigger memory. Scent is actually the strongest sense that triggers memory. So it's no wonder that every time I have a cup of the Jasmine Pearls from CTH, I am tea memoriesoverwhelmed with peacefulness.

Twelve long years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. I was due anytime, and helping out in my parents cafe back home. As pregnant as I was, I spent a lot of time sitting in an old white rocking chair, in front of the bay windows in the cafe. I loved to sit there, watching the people go by, the snow drifting in the air. Sitting in the chair, my hand on my abundant belly, feeling hope, pride and nervous excitement.

Bergawhat? Discover Bergamot Oil

Posted by     Tea Pearls of Wisdom      0 Comments  views (1880)

Earl Grey is in my top five teas. On some days, it even earns the number one spot. Part of what makes this tea variety a popular favorite is its distinct flavor and aroma. What is the source of this noticeable bite? A scan of the ingredients will reveal the culprit…bergamot oil. Oh, bergamot oil, of course! Wait, what's a bergamot and why is it oily? My acquired taste for this curious tea additive demanded that I find out. I'll skip the other obvious question surrounding this tea, which is why it’s called Earl Grey. In short, a British politico named Charles Grey liked the particular blend so much that it was named after him.bergamot oil

3, 2, 1---and the mountain was gone. A ball of mist swirled in a masking envelope. I looked on. This was the power of Huangshan or as English-speakers will better understand, Yellow Mountain.

Yellow Mountain Green Tea

And moments later, as if my murmurs had been heard, a single ray broke the swirl and the creamy jutting spires of stone dazzled. A natural muse, Hunagshan has served as the source of allure for countless traditional ink paintings and thousands of poems (20,000 to be exact, from the Tang to the Qing, 618-1912). Last counted in 2007, 15 million visited, but for more than just that.

Make Your Own Genmai-cha Tea

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In researching this article, I came across the following legend regarding the origin of Genmai-cha:

genmai-cha brown rice tea

In feudal Japan, there was a servent named Genmai. One day he was serving his master, a samurai lord, some tea. As he served the tea, some grains of rice fell out of his pocket and into the tea. His master, furious at him for ruining the tea, executed him on the spot. The samurai lord decided to drink the tea anyway and loved the flavor that the rice added to the tea. He ordered that his tea be served that way every day from then on and called the tea Genmai-cha in honor of it's accidental creator.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

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chinese medicine

From a Westerner's point of view, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is old fashioned and perhaps even obsolete. The methods are usually different from Western Medicine and can often seem like they come from fantasy novels. A closer look, however, can show someone with an open mind that some of the practices make a certain amount of sense.

Tea Culture in China

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Chinese Tea KettleIn China, there are seven daily necessities: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and, yes, you guessed it, tea! The tea culture in China is a vital part of Chinese history and its culture. China’s tea culture differs from that of other countries such as America or even Europe.

I’ve seen your avid tea drinkers—you know, the ones who routinely set up shop in cafés like Starbucks and gulp their tea while typing on their laptops.

In tea central, what to buy?

Posted by     Tea Journey | Tea Trips      0 Comments  views (2096)

In the history of tea, it’s a long one. And as for its birthplace in Yunnan, China, I couldn’t think of a more idyllic one.

As I posted earlier, I recently visited tea’s historic roots, both physical and mythical, in Yunnan. A unique province, for sure, Yunnan is tea central for any tea buyer, casual drinker or coinsurers. And as for the traveler, it’s a prized gift-buying paradise—tea—something people back home will actually use.

China's Trail to Tea

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Old Tea Horse RoadI've always wanted to visit Yunnan, China's southern-most province. A place named for its clouds, but more notably known for its immense mountains, it's easy to like. And as you learn by living in China, you become the envy of any Chinese national just by spending a day there.

Origami and Tea Growing Regions in Japan

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I’ve never been great at origami, but if it means not slaving over keigo (??), honorifics, or memorizing hundreds of kanji ( ??), Chinese characters, in Japanese class – I’ll try it!paper crane for Japan support

In Iowa, high schools and colleges joined together to make 1 million cranes to send to Japan to show support. And so, our sensei (??) taught us how to make paper cranes.

Chinese Tea Regions

Posted by     Tea Pearls of Wisdom      0 Comments  views (3634)

What is the most confusing place for people to make a choice? It is probably the supermarket. As a tea-savvy, the most time-consuming aisle for me in the supermarket is the beverage. There are a whole bunch of almost the same-size boxes lying on the shelf and usually they can be categorized by different standards. They can be divided into Green, Black and Herbal. They can be categorized by organic and non-organic. People can even choose them according to those emotional adjustment functions, which I never believe so, such as calm, passion or refresh. Or trying to pick out what you need by this so typical American way, caffeine or caffeine-free.

japanese tea pots

It is truly universal that for any place in the United States, to be cool and fancy is to be having a decent coffee shop. And café here is more about coffee; it’s also about mouth-watering dessert and hot tea.

I am now sitting in a café in the little Midwest town, a place, however, still called as Iowa City and thinking about how to start my story about tea rituals in different cultures worldwide. Within the whole morning I have spent here, I saw at least 10 people ordering tea, which were served with tea pots and tiny cups accompanied by saucers...

Chai Tea

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What is 'Chai' tea?

Apricot Chai: Aphrodisiac Tea

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While I was eating a soft, ripe and juicy persimmon one morning, I understood why this fruit has been regarded as one of the various kinds of aphrodisiacs in history. It then occurred to me...why not an aphrodisiac in a cup? aphrodisiac tea

I was inspired to then research various fruits, spices, herbs and teas throughout history that have been recognized as having sensual qualities. The knowledge I gathered was fascinating, as I learned that lovers, poets, kings, mistresses and even doctors alike have been interested in this phenomena.

Tea Time to Chill

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For as comforting as tea is, these days I've been prioritizing refreshment even more. Enter: iced tea. Although research has shown that 20% of teas boastful antioxidants are lost when cooled, the quintessential lemon slice delays the reduction, giving me enough time to enjoy all the benefits of tea time. No wonder over 80% of the tea served in the United States today is iced.

Who drank the first cup of tea?

Posted by     Tea Pearls of Wisdom      3 Comments  views (3514)

Behind every great passion is a story. The story of tea dates back nearly 5,000 years ago. The Chinese Emperor, Shennong, who was also know as the Emperor of 5 Grains taught the Ancient Chinese people all about the practices of agriculture, which advanced their culture and revolutionized the way they ate. His teachings were to let people learn how to cultivate and grow grain for food, which in turn would avoid killing as many animals as they had in the past....