Tag Archives: Naivetea

A Winning Moment

‘Tis the season to be jolly! To keep the joy and mirth a-flowing, I’m so happy to announce our Facebook Fan Page Drawing Winners!

Winner of the American Tea Room Flight to Japan Tea Moment Care Package: Shari Engelbrecht

Winner of the Naivetea High Altitude Tea Moment Care Package: Ed Bromley

Winner of the DAVIDsTEA Winter Collection Kit Tea Moment Care Package: Cathy Furr Robertson

Thank you to the dozens and dozens of new fans and friends. I hope you and your family and friends will enjoy many special Moments during this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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An Oolong in Germany Moment

It’s always so lovely to hear of other tea lovers discovering new teas or wanting to share their own tea moment. So, of course, I was delighted to hear from Abadia in Germany and her experience with one of my favorite Oolongs, Rose Violet Calendula Oolong from Naivetea:

Hi Jen!

This tea was really nice!
I was sceptical, because I don’t really like teas with flowery flavours.
But I was surprised!
I loved it!
I think these three flowers complement each other in a very harmonious way.  And the Oolong basis emphasizes this composition perfectly.

Greetings from the very cold Northern Germany!

Abadía

Thanks Abadia – I love this one too! But I guess that is no surprise, as it won An International Tea Moment’s Best of 2009 award for Oolongs. 

Keep sharing your tea exploration and tea moments with me! I love to hear all about them!

An International Tea Moment is having a holiday drawing! Learn the details here.

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A Green Tea Wrap Party Moment

With elections completed (thank heavens), and tea partiers having made their statement – whatever it is (frankly I haven’t paid attention) – I thought I’d wind down my own Green Tea Party movement with a fond remembrance of all I’ve learned and experienced.

For those of you who wonder who won, well, Green Tea did.

I began my Green Tea Party with the objective of exploring green teas and trying to develop any kind of appreciation for them at all. What I discovered was an incredibly vast spectrum of flavors, colors, and intensities that surprised and delighted.  I have been won over.  Here’s a walk down memory lane:

I started with my Green Tea Exploration Moment. Part of my motivation was the feeling that my family had been sick too much for too long. Began my journey with Wen Shan Bao Zhong from Naivetea and Genmaicha from American Tea Room.

Next  was A Long Jing (Dragonwell) Moment. David from American Tea Room recommended I begin with Chinese green teas to ease my way into the greens. Along the way I discovered fun legends involving dragons and village wells. (Thus the name…)

Ceylon Vithanakanda, FOPA House Green Moment happened next. A visit to Bill Waddington’s TeaSource in Minnesota provided a fascinating insight into another person’s tea obsession, with the bonus of acquiring some exquisite teas.

An Empress Jasmine Moment was next, with my introduction to a green tea blend from Lindsay’s Teas. My love for Chinese green teas was growing. I was beginning to see what all the buzz was about!

A Summer Morning Moment led me to explore a “greener” Chinese green tea from Two Leaves and a Bud, called Tamayokucha. The deeper you dive into this world of tea, the more fascinating facts you uncover, such as this particular style of tea is covered for the last few weeks before harvest to bring out a specific flavor!

My first tentative steps into Japanese greens was facilitated by MyTeaShelf in A Refreshing Sencha Moment. This introduction transformed my view of Japanese teas from scary Samurai to engaging Geisha.

In An Ashland, Oregon Tea Moment, I got to do what I most enjoy – share my tea discoveries with some of my favorite people. One of these teas was Immortal Green, a Japanese sencha with peach and passion fruit from American Tea Room.

Feeling braver, I decided to go right for the unadulterated stuff in A Who Sencha Moment. DAVIDsTEA provided some lovely Organic Japanese Sencha, and my newfound love of green tea took strong root.

In A Letting Go Moment, American Tea Room’s Marrakesh (a Chinese green with spearmint!) helped drive me to find clarity in what was truly important in my life and what needed to be tossed aside.

There have been other green tea moments, of course. The green tea samples I brought to a routine doctor appointment because I remembered she had said most green teas don’t agree with her and I thought she might like to try just one more (Marrakesh). The Harney and Sons Pan Asia tea bags I carry with me on all business trips because they are easy – though apparently they look like baggies of weed, which may explain why my carry on bag has been hand searched more than once. The Green Peony tea from Peet’s Tea given to me as a gift from a friend – the tea is hand crafted so that you place it in your tea cup, pour hot water over it and it looks like a blooming peony in your cup. Beautiful! 

It’s been a transforming journey, this Green Tea Party. I have fallen in love with something that less than a year ago would “gag me with a spoon.”  Thanks to all my tea friends and gurus who helped me see the light on this one!

As we approach the holidays, some of you may be dreaming of a White Christmas. Well, I’ll be dreaming of White Teas. I feel a new obsession coming on…

I’m on Facebook too! Join An International Tea Moment’s new Facebook Fan Page! http://www.facebook.com/TeaMoment.

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An All-The-Oolong-Day Moment

I’ve been so entrenched in my Green Tea Party, that I decided I needed to pause my clique-ish behavior and try to make some new friends. Naivetea has been busy recently with some new and exciting teas, and I took the opportunity to take a day and make it all about Oolongs.

I began my day with Li Shan Oolong, which is grown in the highest altitude tea farms in all of Taiwan. Knowing this tea was so exclusive only made me feel that much more elegant as I experienced this lovely, delicate tea. It has the lightest floral perfume, and a soft sleek feel. The best word that comes to mind is refined. Sipping this delight, I almost felt underdressed. This is a tea with presence. A Lady Diana of teas.

As I journeyed forth through my day, I continued with a cup of Da Yu Ling. I have to say, it is truly remarkable how Oolongs that are both grown in similar regions can have such distinct differences. This tea had a smooth, almost buttery feel with that signature, yet mellow, floral perfume. The difference, however was in the tiniest peppery hint that brings to mind evergreen forests. As it was a rare, chilly autumn day in Southern California, this felt like the perfect choice.

As I made my way through the lunch hour, I chose to have a little fun and try the Kyoho Grape Oolong. As I opened the package, I was struck by the scent of grape Jolly Ranchers! Once I added the hot water the scent took on a level of sophistication that fused the grape with the floral. This is a robust tea, very full, and almost had the essence of grape Kool-Aid, though I don’t mean to cheapen the beautiful flavor. I was just amazed at the fact that a tea could maintain a profile of grape without that over-sweetness I associate with fruit teas and infusions. This was a perfect balance of grape and floral notes that was satisfying, but with a bit of playfulness.

And as the day approached evening, I was ready for something light. White Peach Oolong sounded like just the ticket. What a way to close out my day! This light and smooth Oolong had just a whisper of peach with no fruity aftertaste – a triumph in my book! As the rains continued, I lounged happily with my cup of sunshine. One word of caution – take care not to oversteep. I made this mistake once and encountered a slightly metallic taste. However, the greatest beauty of this tea is its ability to be delicious hot or cold. Some of the other Oolongs can take on an astringent quality as they cool. This Oolong is beautifully smooth hot or over ice. I can’t wait for the California sun to re-emerge so I can fully appreciate White Peach Oolong on ice!

A good day. A very good day. New flavors and fragrances accompanied me through the day, and not a stinker among them. Naivetea continues to surprise and delight.

An International Tea Moment now has a Facebook Fan Page! Share your Tea Moments with me there at http://www.facebook.com/TeaMoment.

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An Iron Goddess of Mercy Moment

Mu Zha Tie Guan Yin

 

Morning tea is what I do every day. At home or on the road, this is pretty much the start of my day. At home, it is accompanied by toast with real butter. Maybe some honey. This is probably not the most well-rounded breakfast, but it works for me.  

It’s a special treat when new tea arrives on my doorstep. Today, it was Mu Zha Guan Yin from Naivetea. This tea is also known as the Iron Goddess or Mercy, which brings to mind a Taiwanese Mary Poppins of sorts. (Now, there’s an idea!) A firm hand but with loving forgiveness for those daily blunders.  

As I brewed this tea, I was greeted by the scent of roasted rice or nuts rather than the gentle perfume I have come to associate with many Oolongs. This would make sense, as I learned that this Oolong is processed according to the traditional method of repeat roasting.  

The first sip… a woodsy, roasted rice flavor. I keep wanting to compare it to a GenMaicha, but without the grassy finish. It’s a hearty tea, perfect to give me a little shove into the morning tasks at hand. I find this tea pleasantly leaning toward a black tea weight and  feel, rather than green. And in the end, there’s the subtlest sweet aftertaste.  Each taste brings out more complexities. At times I detect ripe oranges.  

This really is an Iron Goddess of Mercy – allowing me to indulge in the comfort zone of black tea familiarity while firmly challenging me with the complex citrus, woodsy, roasted flavors. It’s warmth and earthiness make it feel just right as my guide into autumn.  

Let the day begin!  

An International Tea Moment now has a Facebook Page! http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/An-International-Tea-Moment/160567147290939. Share your tea moments with me there!

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A Quieting of the Mind Tea Moment

I just went to Nordstrom during lunch today to pick up a couple of things and saw a woman get attacked in the parking lot.  I heard a commotion and turned to see a young man in a hooded, black sweatshirt practically jump on her back, trying to grab her purse. At 11:30 a.m. in the morning! She fought him off,  and there were 3 – 4 of us who saw it happen. My heart went out to her. How terrifying!
 
The thing that impressed me, however, was the number of people who jumped in to assist. One woman who saw it happening started honking her horn and she called 911. Another woman saw him jump into a car with 3 other guys, and she drove around to us to give a description of the car and its passengers. An employee saw where the getaway car had been parked and was able to show security the spot so they could review security camera footage and perhaps get a license plate number. I didn’t know what to do except ask her if she was hurt and follow her around with her shoes that had flown off during the attack. Horrible.
 
Back at home, feeling the after effects of adrenaline and thinking of that brave woman who fended off her attacker, I felt the need for tea. As fortune would have it, I had just received a package from my dear friends at Naivetea. In addition to a gift I had ordered, there were samples of new delights in the world of Oolong. One struck me as just the thing: Dong Ding Oolong. The name alone made me lighten up, and the earthy, nutty fragrance helped plant my feet firmly back on the ground.
 
Steeped in my new/old teacup from the Ashland trip, I took in the mellow amber color and inhaled more of that nutty earthiness, reminding me a bit of Genmaicha with that hint of roasted rice. And then, the first sip. It is not often that the flavor of the tea exactly matches the fragrance of the tea, and yet here it was. Such a direct translation! I found it intensely comforting that what I smelled was what I tasted. This is reality. This is comfort. As though I had my own, personal map that was shouting at me in bold letters, “YOU ARE HERE!”
 
And now I can continue my day, holding that woman in my heart, praying that her raw nerves were being soothed, that the potential fear would release her and she would not spend the next days, weeks and years looking over her shoulder.

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An Imperial Beauty Moment

I am the mother of a 2-year old girl.

She is changing so fast, now. Jumping, running, talking, sleeping in a big girl bed! I guess every parent marvels at the very fact of their child. I certainly do. Every new facial expression is so clever, every new word a sure sign of genius. And as she changes, so do I. The fierce, desperate anxiety to keep her safe and alive at all costs, is mellowing slightly to a fierce protectiveness to ensure she gets what I believe is best for her and that nobody messes with her. Nobody.

She has her nicknames, like any child. And like many parents, we can’t help but refer to our little girl as our “Princess.” And it is during this moment of reflection and quiet gratitude that I, appropriately, am enjoying a most elegant and regal oolong.

Imperial Beauty. The honey-caramel tones of its liquid are re-emphasized by the light honey-caramel aroma.  A pleasantly sweet candy and floral fragrance – but not too sweet.  The first sip is rewarded with a more rich and substantial oolong that really does feel like an Imperial luxury.

I’m noticing that oolongs, and in particular, Naivetea oolongs, are becoming my companions in moments of relaxation, reflection, and peaceful solitude. Is it the touch of floral fragrance that puts me in mind of a peaceful garden? The satisfying yet mild taste and substance that makes its presence known but is not imposing?  I think Lawrence Lai, of Naivetea, put it best when he explained that oolongs are such a “friendly tea.”

As I finish this lovely cup and count my blessings, I smile at the thought that this mother of a little “Princess” can’t wait to share moments of Imperial Beauty together. And soon.

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