Sorry for no post last week, I was out of town in Toronto and didn’t have a chance to write up a review, but I did do some exploring there! I didn’t know when I booked the trip, but Toronto has a huge Chinatown, which is usually one of the best places to find good tea. Here are a few of the highlights:
Crimson Tea Shop
I ended up stopping here on a whim because they had a sign on the door that said “Bets Pu-Erh in town”. I originally wasn’t going to because it was about 7:00 at night and having caffeine seemed like a mistake but I’m glad I did. It was a small shop with just two people working, and they were both really nice. I ordered a green tea, but the woman working the counter asked if I had been there before and when I told her I hadn’t she insisted on making a sample of all five of the Pu-Erh tea. The owner was really into tea and was very hospitable. He was telling me all kinds of things about Pu-erh tea and how to learn more about it. He even brought up his laptop and was showing me what to google to learn more. they also had other tea and good food, if you are in town and can make the time it’s definitely worth the visit. I ended up having the “red’ pu–erh and it was really good: earthy, no bitterness, no funky smell, but a little bit of a fermented after-taste.
Chinese Grocery Stores
There were several of these and they all had tea aisles. I ended up not buying any because I was traveling with just my backpack and didn’t want to have to lug it around, but it’s still fun to browse what they have.
You may have noticed there was no review last week due to the holiday. I’ll have one this week, but I thought in the meantime I could share some of the Cyber Monday deals I’ve seen around the internet today:
To be honest, a little disappointed there weren’t some bigger sales. Free shipping tends to come with any sizable order regularly nowadays. I will probably order some from Great Lakes Tea and Spice though.
I feel really old now, probably also because I just had my birthday.
Despite some solid intentions and a few half-hearted attempts, I’ve never made a real push to bring back tea geek: until now! I’ve just finished up a much-needed design upgrade and plan on posting here at least weekly. I’ve even already written and scheduled several posts for the upcoming weeks, so there is no turning back now!
What will I write about? I’ll continue to review teas. This site started as a way for me to try and keep track of new teas. I want to get back to that. Additionally, I want to expand into other kinds of posts, things that might be useful to a wider audience. What does that mean? I have some ideas, but even I haven’t narrowed it down exactly. Stay tuned, and if you have some feedback, I’d love to hear from you.
You may have noticed that there haven’t been too many reviews lately, like any, at all. I have a good excuse, honest! Last October, I got engaged and started planning our wedding. The big day was June 30th, 2012 and it went great. Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of time to write about tea, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been drinking it!
One of the things that was most important to both my new wife and myself was that our special day reflected ourselves more than any traditions or customs. We wanted it to be OUR wedding. One of the first things I thought about was trying to incorporate tea into the event. Along those lines, Teavivre graciously agreed to help us out by providing some tea to help make our day special, and we are both very grateful. We ended up using the tea in two places, as the wedding favor and on a special “tea table” at the reception.
Seeing as this is my first post since August, you can probably guess that I missed the mark with my teageek.org resolution to blog about new teas and answering tea questions. Looking back, I missed most of my 2011 intentions for this site by a pretty wide margin. Despite that, I think 2011 was a pretty good year for me, tea-wise.
I got to visit the Samovar Tea Lounge on a trip to San Francisco, and it was really awesome. Anyone in the San Francisco area should check it out. I love their tea and was totally geeked to get to visit them. I also started a new job, and while there were already some pretty solid tea drinkers here, I think I helped raise it’s popularity in the office a little. Actually, judging by my co-workers yelling at me about their “tea bills” I would say it went a little too well.
One of the reasons I haven’t been posting is that it has become too much of a chore. Feeling guilty when I don’t feel like writing a post has made me never really want to post, which is ironically the opposite of what I was trying to accomplish with teageek.org. This year I am going to approach things a little differently. Rather then rapid fire reviews that I don’t really care about, I’m going to not set any goals, and just see where it goes. I want tea to be about taking a moment and enjoying life, not rushing frantically through it. I have plenty of goals and challenges planned for 2012, I don’t need to make enjoying tea one of them.
Recently I went out to San Francisco for a mini-vacation with a bunch of friends. It was a good time, we had a lot of fun and saw pretty much all of the major stuff in the city. Another thing I did was drag my friends to the Samovar Tea Lounge. My girlfriend is the only one out of the group who like tea besides me, but the rest were relatively supportive. I’m pretty sure it was just because they saw an opportunity to make fun of my tea-geekery later (a favored past time), but I thought it would be worth it.
All in all, it was great, we went to the Zen Valley location. The atmosphere was very relaxed, and the tea was amazing. It was fun to watch them make the tea and serve it, and the tea ware was very cool and really added to the experience. I had the Nishi Sencha 1st Flush , my friend had the Lychee Black, and my girlfriend had Jasmine lemon aid . I also grabbed a Masala Chai to go as we left. All in all I had a lot of fun, and even my friend admitted the Lychee black was “The best dirt-water he had ever tried” I would definitely recommend visiting Samovar if you are in the city, it really is a fun experience.
Also, if you do visit, try the Masala Chai, it was amazing!
I started this blog about a year ago partially as a new year’s resolution. Since it is another new year, I thought it fitting to set some new goals. Originally I wasn’t sure what I would do, I thought about changing the focus of the site and stopping the weekly reviews entirely, but I really enjoy trying new tea, and it is a good way to make myself find different kinds.
Over Christmas vacation, my family learned about this blog, and I was surprised how many of them were interested in it. Mostly they had questions about tea. Does it have health benefits? Which one has the most caffeine? Do black and green tea really come from the same plant? I realized that a lot of people are interested in tea, but don’t really know anything about it. So, in the coming year I will be trying to answer one common question about tea a month. If you have one you are interested in, leave it in the comments and I will try to answer it!
I just wanted to take a moment apologize to readers out there who have been waiting so long for a new review! It’s been a crazy summer and while i have been drinking more tea than ever I haven’t seemed to find any time to blog about it. I’ll be continuing my once a week reviews starting today. I will also try to fit in some back-dated reviews of the teas I drank this summer when I can fit them in. Anyways, thanks for reading, look for more soon!
If your interested, part of the reason I didn’t have time to review tea is I was starting a business, check out www.thewebcounts.com for details!
Hey Everybody –
I am excited to let you know that I just got my free samples of adagio’s upcoming maestro collection! I was chosen for a preview of the new collection of 8 premium teas they are releasing April 10th. I will be reviewing the first later this week – look for them!