Prefer Pu'erh?

We recently received a head's up about this wonderful article and wanted to share:

I can't wake up without Pu'er tea. I like mine from the Imperial Tea Court in Berkeley. It's a fermented black tea. I like it because it feels gentle on my stomach but it's pretty caffeine-rich, so it's nice in the mornings. It tastes really, really earthy, almost chocolatey. Sometimes I add a sliver of fresh ginger root to the pot to sweeten it.

 Quote from Fanny Singer

It would be a challenge to devise a more epicurean upbringing than Fanny Singer's. Her father is importer, winemaker and restaurateur Stephen Singer. Her mother is legendary chef Alice Waters, who celebrates the 40th anniversary of her restaurant, Chez Panisse, this year.

Ms. Singer was born in Chez Panisse's 12th year, and her life among its chefs inspired a children's book ("Fanny at Chez Panisse"), a café (Café Fanny in Berkeley, Calif.) and a granola blend (Café Fanny granola, for sale at select gourmet stores).

Now three years into an art history Ph.D. at King's College, Cambridge, the 27-year-old shared how she adapts her Berkeley upbringing to cramped British student housing.

I'm living in a delightful hostel called King's Parade across from King's College chapel. I share a minuscule kitchen with about eight people. It's a 2-by-5-meter rectangle with an electric stove, electric oven, scant counter space, the requisite microwave (which I've never used) and a toaster. We've jerry-rigged all kinds of ways to eat in my room.                 . . . . .   Read Entire Article

Continue Reading

Keemun Quandry

It has been my practice on every Spring harvest trip to China to re-cup all the samples I acquired  before I depart for home. In the past, I have almost never had a change of heart from the original cupping to the final cupping. This year is the first time I have experienced a change of heart!

 When I re-cupped the Keemun samples I helped make I was torn between accepting them for what they are or rejecting them. Even though I like the teas produced and find them to be interesting, the old timer tea buyer in me tells me that these are NOT traditional Keemuns. These are teas that the new Chinese consumers want. And if you've never had a great traditionally produced Keemun, you would tend to agree and be happy with the new flavor profile.

 The trouble is that I KNOW what a traditional Keemun is supposed to be like.  And now I don't know what to do - accept and enjoy the elements of the teas for what they are or reject and keep trying to find a provider who is following the old traditions?

 I am really having a difficult time wrestling with this issue. I wish some of you out there can chime in and let me know what your thoughts are?

Continue Reading