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Morning brewToday I enjoyed Babington’s Darjeeling 2nd flush (3 min @ 90ºC). The dry leaf has a very nice, tart peach & apricot aroma to it. Right after steeping, the leaves had a very pleasant biscuity aroma. The liquor of the tea was a nice golden orange. Mild on the palate, this is a light black tea with a lingering flat taste. Overall, I enjoyed it.

Rated: 80/100

(Source: steepster)

Wet leafDry leaf

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The Tea Roundtable

Knights of the Roundtable

Knights of the Roundtable

roundtable, n: a meeting of peers for discussion and exchange of views.

That is what The Tea Roundtable is all about. Brought to you by Tony Gebely of WorldofTea.org and I, Griffin Kelton, The Tea Roundtable (TRT) is place for all people, from tea enthusiasts to rookies (even masters to shop owners), to share, learn, collaborate, meet, and last, but most certainly not least, to drink. That is the vision behind this community.

community, n: a body of people sharing an interest, idea, or purpose.

In order to have a community, we need a body of people. That is where you come in. If you are reading this blog, it is fair to assume that you like tea to some degree. With that assumption in mind, I present to you the goal of TRT: bringing people together who want to participate in the great journey tea has to offer and providing a place for that to take place. Combining that with our vision, you have the TRT. So if this interests you in any way, Tony and I would love to see you all there. Also, Billy Shall of Narien Teas, is sponsoring our first contest. The first member to contribute twenty-five meaningful posts to the forum will win an entire year of tea! (N.B.: In order for these topics to be considered valid they must be meaningful and be spread across multiple forum categories (moderators and administrators have discretion over this.) Best of luck members and new members to be! If you don’t win this time around, don’t worry – there will be more contests down the line. Please share this new community with your friends!

All Day Teas

@Terraburn asked me a question today: “is there a tea that I could drink throughout the day? So far it seems like tea is for certain times.” I am going to include a list of some later in this post; however, I want to start by saying that tea is all about the personal experience. The aroma, flavor, and time spent all coalesce into a adventure that it different every time. In short, certain teas are recommended for specific times and it is fine and well to enjoy them accordingly. Though, it is up to you when you enjoy your tea. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of all day teas from

Excellent book

Excellent book

The Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew. Each tea is categorized by country of origin and linked to a reputable tea vendor alongside their description.

Indian teas

Asaam

Khongea – “This tea from Khongea Estate is famous for its rich flavor and malty characteristics. It is strong yet smooth, yields beautiful dark liquor. You can have it in many ways. It is perfect with milk.” (auraTeas)

2nd Flush Darjeeling

Puttabong – “From a first-rate estate, this is a full-flavored selection with hints of chestnuts and pleasing muscatel notes. The cup is rich enough to support a touch of milk or cream but is also excellent plain.” (Upton Tea Imports)

Darjeeling Autumnal

Margaret’s Hope – “This second flush “champagne of teas” has a superb fragrance, very complex bouquet and classic muscatel characteristics. The liquor is golden in colour with a pronounced rounded character. Enjoy this tea daily.” (Notting Hall)

Darjeeling Green

Ayra – “As soon as the pack got opened, we got an overwhelming sweet fragrance with an undertone reminiscent of the fruit plum which is also ‘musky’. It is a complex flowery tea with complex hints of ‘caramel like’, honey, burnt sugar, slightly nutty, buttery etc. characteristics.” (Thunderbolt Tea)

China

White

Silver needles

Silver needles

Yin Zhen (silver needles) – “White tea from China. Silver Needle is among the most revered of Chinese teas, produced in the Fuding and Zhenhe districts of its Fujian province.” (Adagio Teas)

Green

Lung Ching (Dragon’s well) – “Green tea from the Chinese village of Dragon Well (Lung Ching in local parlance). Dragon Well tea has a distinguished shape. Its leaves are broad and flat, a result of laborious drying.” (Adagio Teas)

Oolong

Shui Hsien (water sprite) – “Shui Xian Oolong Tea or wu-long tea is a very popular variety of Oolong tea and one the common favorites among Gong Fu tea drinkers. Shui Xian Oolong Tea tea can be found in most Chinese restaurants menu, where the spelling “Shui Hsien” is more commonly used.” (TeaCuppa)

Japan

Matcha with whisk

Matcha with whisk

Gyokuro – “Harvested just two weeks of the year, this refined Gyokuro from the Fukuoka Prefecture is shade grown under straw mats.” (Le Palais Gourmet)

Matcha – “Our premium organic matcha is custom blended and ground under granite wheels. The result is an exquisite quality ceremonial grade matcha with a bold deep color, rich texture and a delicate bouquet.” (Le Palais Gourmet)

Genmaicha – “A modern take on the classic Japanese green tea with Matcha, grilled rice and popcorn. This nutty and flavorful tea is a great pick-me up.” (Le Palais Gourmet)

Taiwan

Pouchong – “fragrant, sublime tea from Taiwan” (Adagio Teas)

I hope this list can help you tea drinkers (and you vendors). If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me at @teatimetuesday or griffin@teatimetuesday.com. Have a great rest of your Monday!

Tea has benefits far and wide. Containing powerful antioxidants, many claim it is the cure to a plethora of ailments; however, all good things must have their limitations. Tea is no exception. And although its possession of minerals is no surprise, what may surprise you is that one of these is Aluminum (Al).

Aluminum

Aluminum

Although the FDA has classified Al has G.R.A.S. (Generally Regarded As Safe), it is by no means “good” for you. Many question the validity of the FDA’s claims in regard to Al, with good reason too. When levels of Al are elevated in the body, toxicity sets in that can lead to encephalopathy, osteomalacia or aplastic bone disease, proximal myopathy, increased risk of infection, increased left ventricular mass and decreased myocardial function microcytic anemia with very high levels, sudden death (HCBI). The most dangerous and common symptom is the accumulation of plaque in the brain. This plaque is insoluble and its accumulation has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s (Blaylock Wellness Report, Vol. 1 Issue 4). Aluminum levels (on average) are 1420 micrograms/g in of oolong tea, 576 micrograms/g in black tea, and 520 micrograms/g in green tea (Tottori Women’s College, Kurayoshi, Japan).

Don’t let this stop your daily enjoyment of tea though. Under normal conditions (normal renal function), the Al should pass through you body and you should be unaffected. Al is only absorbed by the body, it seems, when higher levels of acidity are present (Clinical Chemistry).

Lemons

They look deadly, dont they?

The pH of tea is around 6.5, which is relatively neutral, neither a base or an acid. So you should be fine right? Assuming you don’t add that lemon to your iced tea. Lemons have a pH of around 2, which is highly acidic. Ergo, tea with lemon has a higher acidity leaving room for that nasty aluminum to remain in your blood and wreak havoc on your body.

Grant it, you can probably still add lemon to your tea and not suffer any of the side affects of Al toxicity. So feel free to enjoy your tea with that lovely citrus we all love. But, it sure does make you wonder. What are you really drinking?

Concluding Matcha

Episode 5 and 6 were a lot of fun! Unforunately, I was unable to talk to you all about Matcha, the tea, as much as I would like to. The tea plant is rumored to have been brought over to Japan by a Budhist monk Dengyo Daishi. Matcha, as I mentioned in ep. 5, comes from the Gyokuro tea variant. This tea is planted in the beginning of May and grown for twenty days in 90% shade. After that, they are covered by sheets of bamboo to reduce the light even further. These low light levels increase the levels of chlorophyll in the leaves giving it that dark green tint. In addition to that, this causes lower levels of tannins. Tannins are what give most teas an astringent/bitter taste. Without this, Matcha is allowed a sweeter, lighter flavor.

(Thanks to Harney and Sons Tea for the image.)

Break away from the traditional tea experience and discover with me some alternative ways to enjoy Matcha. Easy, nourishing, and delicious!

Don’t forget to check out http://therescue.invisiblechildren.com

http://facebook.com/pages/Tea-Time-Tuesday/72715766293

Matcha smoothie recipe

So I told you all in epsisode 5 of TTT that I would post this amazing smoothie recipe online. So here it is!

Matcha smoothie

  • 1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. of Matcha (depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 scoop of Life Extension Whey Protein (that’s what I use)
  • A small pouring of Simply Orange Organge Juice
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • handful of frozen strawberries

Directions

  1. Add OJ to blender
  2. Add Matcha and blend.
  3. Add protein and blend.
  4. Add 1/2 of banana and blend.
  5. Add handful of frozen strawberries and blend.

Grant it, this is what I prefer. Feel free to tweak it as you like! And enjoy!