Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tea estates, Oolong and a Book

That's me - rocky. Actually it is early Roman ruins in front of the Palace in the middle of Vienna.

Did you know that there are 2 tea growing estates in Great Britain? I had heard of the first one, the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall. The second one I discovered when I looked at a blog by the Pembroke Tea Company in Wales. They have started several small tea gardens scattered throughout Pembrokeshire and the gardens have begun to produce. They expect to be in full production by 2021. You can even order tea from them now, containing about 12% of their own leaves at .

Several days ago I was talking about some confusion regarding Teavana’s Six Summits Oolong tea, which I really liked. I was adding my bit on Steepster and saw that it was flavored with raspberries, which I didn’t perceive at all. A kind woman from Teavana has cleared this up for me. They very recently started adding raspberries to the tea, which was not the case when I bought it. In my opinion this is ruining a good thing, although I think the raspberries will go with this Oolong.

I found a new tea book at the library. Well, new to me. The Tea Drinker’s Handbook was written by Francois-Xavier Delmas et al. It is again, a French publication with many nice pictures. The authors cover a great deal more of the biological/scientific side of tea, such a growing conditions, soil type, the physiology of taste, etc. Nevertheless, it is not boring at all, but really informative. They give the clearest descriptions of processing the 5 main types of tea that I have seen. They finish with a list of the 50 best teas with really clear directions on their preparation, having already given very clear verbal and pictorial directions for preparing teas in the Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Western styles. For me, one of the best parts was a “Tea-taster’s vocabulary”, as I am often at a loss as how to describe something I have tasted. I doubt that I would buy this book, as it is quite expensive. However, I just found it at Amazon for about $15. So, maybe I will buy it.
Today is not a tea tasting day, I just want old comforts, like my Hu Kwa Lapsang Souchong. Such lovely stuff.

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