For you Kombucha fans who live in the Portland, Oregon area, Lion Heart Kombucha has opened small "brew pubs" in 2 locations in Northwest Portland. They brew about 160 gallons of this fermented tea each week. They have no desire to grow larger, as they want to maintain quality and a locovar profile as much as possible. One of my friends brews kombucha and I must say, I can't get past looking at it. Perhaps if I had some already tidied up...
The Third Annual North American Tea Conference is scheduled for September in Ontario Falls, Canada. It is really for those tea folks who are in business. If you are interested, contact either the Us Tea Association or the Tea Association of Canada for more information.
The English Tea Store blog http://www.englishtea.us/ has an excellent article on dealing with the special requirements of vegetarians and vegans you may have invited to a tea. As of today, it is about the third or fourth article down. I found it an excellent help.
Oregon is again in the news, this time in Eugene, where J-Tea can be found. They just sponsored a tea "time capsule" event. They sold jars of tea ranging from very small to over a pound, sealed with specially designed "year of the dragon" signed and dated seals so folks could then age their own tea. At the event, there were tastings of 20 year aged Oolongs. They may have some left. You can check at http://www.jteainternational.com/
Japan has done a 3 year study of nearly 14,000 aging adults and their tea drinking habits. They were careful to factor in things like diet, exercise and other life style choices and discovered that those who drank 3 or more cups of tea remained more agile and more independent, the more tea, the better.
On the World Tea Expo website, there was good news about black tea drinking and lower blood pressure. It was not a great deal, but every little bit helps, right?
Meanwhile, the University if Illinois at Urbana has been doing laboratory research with Yerba Mate and has found it kills colon cancer cells. I have heard from several sources that green tea does the same to prostate cancer cells.
So, fellow tea-drinkers, drink up! Tea is good for you and besides, it tastes good and warms you inside and out, when it's not cooling you off - such a bargain!
The World Tea Expo website also has some statistics that say tea drinking has doubled in the last few years, to the tune of several billion dollars. The US is sixth in consumption, behind the traditional tea drinking nations of China, India, Russia, Turkey and Japan. Per capita, however, Ireland is still in the lead, with each person drinking over 2 1/2 pounds of tea each year.
After all that, I did do a bit of tea tasting today. I am trying to use up my oldest samples, so I can go on to the new! Today's is Vanilla Pomegranate from Rooibos Suite http://www.rooibos-suite.com/ . The black tea was interesting looking with flower petals and pieces of dried lemon and pomegranate. The actual tea leaves were all black, fairly large and twisted. It had a pleasant vanilla/lemon scent. I brewed it for about 5 minutes with boiling water. The brew was a light amber color and smelled of both fruit and vanilla.
This was a pleasant mild tea that basically was just what it said it was. No particular nuances, nothing spectacular, but a pleasant drink with my fig and pecan scones.