Tag Archives: Wen Shan Bao Zhong

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…

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A Green Tea Exploration Moment

Even sick, she's happy

I feel as though my household has been unwell for the past two months. The past two weeks in particular have been rough with my Edie experiencing her first sinus infection.

So without going into the weepy tale of how awful everything has felt, and how much I have felt like a failure on every front, I will say that one result is that I am ready to explore the health benefits of green tea. I have fought this moment for years, but at this point, I’m ready to be open to anything that may bring additional balance or wellness to my mind, body or household.

NaiveTea. Lawrence. You have acknowledged my resistance to green tea and have provided a gateway tea to help ease me into this: Wen Shan Bao Zhong. I wish I had a photo of this one, but I really liked how this tasted similar to an Oolong, but had just a slightly brighter taste with just a hint of the green grass taste I associate so much with green tea.  I kept my tea cup full of this when my sore throat first appeared. Very soothing, very calming.

American Tea Room. David. You are a lover of green tea, and during my last visit you provided two suggestions to help me make my way into this rich and complex world. Japanese greens, Chinese greens, grassy, earthy, nutty, refined. Thank goodness you just presented me with two. My mind reels at the unlimited possibilities.

Genmaicha. David, you looked absolutely shocked when I said I’d never had a Genmaicha before, so this week I dove headfirst into teapots and teapots of this foundational tea. Opening the package, it’s rather funny to see rice and what looks like bits of popcorn mixed in with the very neat and tidy green tea leaves. One could possibly mistake this for potpourri, if one didn’t know better.

Keep an open mind. Widen your horizons. These are just a couple of the phrases I kept repeating to myself as I let the brew step in my little cast iron pot (courtesy of my dear friend Kari who taught in Japan for some time and always brought me back lovely tea things).

The resulting liquid was a surprisingly neon-ish yellow. A tea with a sense of humor. I could feel myself lightening up already. And then, the first sip…

I was bracing myself for a mouth full of newly mown grass on a hot summer morning, but instead a was greeted with a bold nutty flavor infused with the brightness of spring. The grass was there, but it was made earthy by the toasted rice. I found myself suddenly craving sushi, and it made me laugh when I went to read the description of this tea on ATR’s web site. Sushi with avocado is actually referenced there!

This was hearty enough for me to invite it along during my daily endeavors. No too light, not too overpowering to be a one-cup-stand. It has relationship potential. I think we’re going to get together again today. See how it goes.

For now, I’m feeling good about this green tea adventure. I’m actually looking forward to some other recommendations that have arrived and been patiently waiting for me to see the light. I think I see it. I think I do.

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A Saturday Family Moment

I can’t remember the last time we had a leisurely Saturday morning as a family. I’m sure it wasn’t really that long ago, but with the holidays and various projects going on I can’t really pinpoint when the last one was.

So, as Gene made breakfast and Edie played with her entourage that consists of Elmo, “Puppy” (though his real name is “Sal,” which is French for “dirty” because we got him at a sketchy shop in Paris), “Ow” (Short for “Meow,” and because she can’t pronounce the stuffed cat’s original name of “Micio”) and “Baby” (yes, we need to start working on some more creative names overall), I brewed myself a small pot of tea. And not just any tea, mind you. It was Wen Shan Bao Zhong, courtesy of Naivetea. While owner Lawrence focuses primarily on oolong, he suggested this green oolong as a way of easing me into the world of green teas.

I am enjoying the experiencing of new flavors and nuances of tea, so I surprised myself by excitedly anticipating this first sip. My tea mentors have not led me astray thus far, so I continue to put my faith in their introductions.  Inhaling the rising steam, I envisioned freshly mown hay in rolling hills, a soft floral perfume intertwining with it. The liquid is a bolder amber color than the gold I expected. The first taste. There is that grassiness that I associate with green tea, but it’s in the background and it’s resting on a velvety-soft body. The floral notes smooth the green edges of this tea, and I see how this could be a reliable companion throughout my entire day.

=The family is fed, the sun is shining with this January day promising to edge up into the 70’s, the dog has already found a sunny spot in which to lounge and nap. Today, this is what happiness looks like, and I love it.


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