Happy Monday! 💚 I'm feeling pretty happy with my matcha game lately, especially with a little help from some friends. Recently, @_elodie_km challenged me to make matcha with much higher temps: around 195°F/90°C. 🔥 Apparently they use these temps for high grade matcha in the Japan, where she studies tea ceremony. I was scared of burning my matcha since I usually use 175°F/80°C, the commonly accepted temp. 🌡️ But too often, we rely on common tea knowledge without actually testing things for ourselves. 🔍 I played by the rules for a LONG time, too scared of doing "the wrong thing", when really there is no right and wrong in tea. It's all about the process! 🍵 Anyway, I'm saying all this because I want YOU to test this too. 🤓 If you have some GOOD matcha - anything fancy, single-cultivar, or small-batch will do - why not give it a whirl with 195°F/90°C? I can't guarantee that it'll be amazing. But it'll be an experience, and you'll learn something. And between me and fellow tea friends @questforperfecttea, @tea_happiness, @melucky, and @theearlgreystory, our results were a lot less scary than you'd think. ✔️ Share notes pls. #ForTeaScience
Oolong tea. 💛 It brings me back down to earth, and reminds me to let the light in. Taiwanese oolongs, like this one, are my favorite. I can't taste for shizzle today -- spring allergies, maybe? -- but luckily, a good oolong goes BEYOND flavor. This one from Yushan (Jade Mountain) tastes like cloud butter sprinkled with fresh rain. ☁️⛰️ It's rich, luxurious, and pure at the same time. A mini adventure in texture. Delicious! What's in your cup this lovely Spring afternoon? 💚
As much as I love classic teas from China, Japan, and Taiwan, they're not the only places in the world that can make good tea. What if we grew tea near the highest freaking mountains in the world? 🏔️🌏 You know, the Himalayas? Vegas friends: This week, explore the budding regions of Nepal and Darjeeling at my "Teas of the Himalayas" workshop. 🇳🇵🇮🇳 Friday, March 22 at 6 PM, hosted at @tea_and_whisk. These teas are lively, super aromatic, and often wonderfully off-beat, proving that it's TOTALLY worth it to look outside our comfort zones and expand our library of flavors. 🍵 See you soon!
Playing with teapots today. 🍵🔬 Here we have three different tea vessels, made of different materials. Left: 🇨🇳 Yixing clay pot Middle: 🇯🇵 Tokoname clay pot Right: 🇹🇼 Porcelain gaiwan Each one has the potential to either enhance or totally mess up a tea. That's why we gotta test our teaware: a good tea could taste horrible in the wrong vessel. For this test, I used Huang Guan Yin oolong, a flowery, fruity, and punchy oolong from China. Boy did it transform in these pots. One pot did good, one pot did amazing, and one pot just freaking RUINED the tea! Huge differences. Can you guess which one did best? 🤔 Hop onto the IG Live replay to find out, and maybe do a little experiment of your own. 👩🔬 Trade notes below!
I'm shook. Inspired by @_elodie_km's advice from her tea practice in Japan, I made today's matcha with her favored temp: around 90°C/195°F. 🔥 That's HOT. 🌡️🔥 If you've had burnt, bitter green tea or matcha, you know what I mean. Lots of you complained about scorched matcha during last week's #TeaHorrorStories, and for most matcha on the market around 175°F is a safe bet. But Elodie suggested trying 195°F with high-grade matcha. I used this single-cultivar Uji that I've been drinking lately to test. Holy sh*t. I expected to get at least a little bitterness, but all I got was sweet nectar of heaven. 🍵✨ This packed a level of complexity and elegance I've never experienced before in usucha (this style of matcha preparation). Irresistible. I gotta do this again. Is it a bad idea to whisk up a second bowl of matcha at 6 PM on a school night? 🌌
Memories from Paris! 🇫🇷 Today's session is a strange tea from one of the most mysterious tea shops I've ever visited: Maison des Trois Thés. It has no online shop, and no online presence. Just a quiet, elegant facade and a menu with a thousand teas. 🍵 The staff has an amazing, almost unbelievable mastery of that menu. I picked out this weirdo to take home: Ba Ding Chun Ya, a special, small batch production from Taiwan. It's an oolong tea that screams "Paris!" to me. Like the city's famous perfume shops, it overflows with complex aromas. Intenseeee, with notes of bergamot oil, jasmine, and sweet nectarine, and all sorts of other mystery scents. 🍊🌼🌆 Someone should really bottle this up and sell it. "Eau de Formosa" or something. Oh, and did I mention this is intense? 🤯
A few weeks ago, I published a friendly Guide to Silver Needle, where you could learn how to tell the difference between 2 main types of Silver Needle: Fujian, and Yunnan. After reading the guide, can you guess which type of Silver Needle this is? 🍵 🔎 Is it from Fujian - more soft and refined? Or Yunnan - more wild and aromatic? Link in bio for the guide. 📌
Happy weekend tea friends! What's in your cup today? On my end, I'm slowly working through a Silver Needle on this bright Saturday, after a matcha + Silver Needle experiment with @teaproject.uy. 🍵 Just like with the jasmine green tea from earlier this week, we whisked matcha in a light infusion of Fujian Silver Needle. It turned out even better than the jasmine! The white tea brought out the sweet, floral, and softly nutty flavors in the matcha, and with zero bitterness. 💚 I guess this is actually a thing. For now, I think I wanna go back to my regularly scheduled "proper" matcha, but dang, this is fun and fascinating. 😊 More tests to return to. Tea is endless!
Got a craving for jasmine tea. Got a craving for matcha. Well, por qué no los dos? ✌️ Why not both? To satisfy the indecisive tea monkey in my head, I whisked matcha with jasmine green tea instead of hot water. 🍵 I chose a more airy, creamy matcha (Samidori cultivar) and brewed the jasmine tea pretty light to avoid that gross, overbrewed jasmine flavor. 🌼☠️ No thanks. The results? This turned out pretty awesome. (Phew.) All the goodness of a fresh bowl of matcha, with the gentle essence of jasmine. 💚 Elegant and delicious. And thanks to some extra practice, the matcha still turned out better than last week's attempt. Swipe right to compare. Not every tea experiment goes well, but it's worth it for the wins you get in the end. 😀🤩
Spending my Sunday getting tea drunk on this gorgeous tea: a 2015 Da Hong Pao oolong. 🍵 Tea this good has a harmony that you can't mistake. There's a symphony of flavor, aroma, and texture that is hard to put in words. 🍑 Sweet like ripe peaches, but also intense and mineral, thanks to the rocky soils where this type of tea is grown. It's also kinda mind-altering. Makes you wanna sink into a sofa and listen to music on expensive headphones. Maybe I shouldn't have brewed this on our weekly IG Live tea session 😂 but it was fun to float away with y'all. Happy Sunday, friends. 🥰 Drink good tea, and have a great week ahead!
What made you fall in love with tea? When I got into tea, I fell in love with the culture, the daily practice, and the flavor. 🍵 Any health benefits were just a nice bonus. But as much as we'd like to share tea beyond the health trends, it's impossible to avoid the topic. Most people view tea as a form of medicine, and can we really blame them? Our ancestors drank tea for health far before they drank for enjoyment, and that's been passed onto us. Luckily, there are lots of evidence-driven ways we can talk about tea and health. Check out my latest post for research from the 2019 UC Davis tea conference. Link in bio.
After last night's snowstorm here in Las Vegas, I got to brew tea with fresh snow! 🍵❄️ It was collected as it fell overnight in my backyard, just a block away from the mountains. Still city snow though, so I was prepared for it to taste a little weird, but this is honestly worse than I thought. 😂 The melted snow literally tastes like cars, which is scary since we breathe this air everyday! It's quite the reminder of our impact on the planet. Just 200 years ago, the native folks who lived here would have had no problems collecting rainwater and making delicious tea. 🤔 Yucky results, but still worth the experiment and the reflections. 💧🌎 I feel even more pumped to develop those DIY water recipes for tea -- perfect tea brewing water with no need for plastic bottles (or yucky melted snow!)
The beautiful leaves of a Taiwanese oolong, rolled into tiny pearls. Because I really don't want to call them what they are: balls. So pearls it is, at least until I can say "oolong balls" with a straight face. 🍡 What's important is what's in the leaves. They open up as you brew, giving up some gorgeous flavors. Flowery. 🌸 Buttery.🥛Fruity.🍍And beyond. If you've never had Taiwanese oolong before, you GOTTA give them a shot - they're some of the most friendly and approachable teas in the world. Tea friends: which Taiwanese oolongs have you tried so far and loved, and why?
Mood. Tea is for flavor daredevils and scientists, but for artists and dreamers, too. From one tea sesh to another, a different lesson and a different mood. Right now, I just wanna let the melancholy of the season sit in and rest a while. Winter keeps coming in through the window, but soon it will be spring. ❄️🌷
If you've ever had a bad experience with one type of tea, don't write it off after just one try! Two teas of the same type can taste shockingly different, so you might just need to explore a little more to stumble upon that perfect flavor profile. Take green tea for example. There are lots of people who HATE the burnt, bitter taste of green tea, but green tea can also be: ☁️ light/sweet 🥬 fresh/vegetal 🌰 nutty/toasty 🐚 seaweedy/marine It all comes down to the way you brew, and to the unique character in each individual tea. I've had green teas that tasted like wet dirt, and green teas that tasted like sweet dark chocolate. Same name, different game. Always give it another shot. It'll either be good experience, or a good lesson for next time. 🍵
This tea is saving my life right now after being out in the freezing cold 😫❄️ First steep of Muzha Iron Goddess, a roasted Taiwanese oolong with notes of warmth, warmth, and more warmth. 🌄 Hints of hug in a cup. I LOVE complex flavors in teas, but sometimes you just gotta throw fancy tasting notes out the window. Teas don't always need to taste like pine nuts and red grape and organic free-range ghee from the Himalayas... what if the tea just FEELS good? 😊 Try it yourself. See what your tea can do beyond the palate. Does it make your heart race? Or does it make you relax? Or maybe it makes you zone out and listen to Björk for two hours, then wonder if your roommates put something weird in the water. Man, it's taken me so long to start noticing this, so don't delay like I did. Seize everything your tea has to offer. 🍵✨