Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan

Archive for February, 2010

Fun tea documentary

February 22, 2010 By: ctan Category: News & Notes

Back in the summer of 2009, I visited the Aroma Tea Shop in San Francisco, and Haymen da Luz the proprietor told me at the time he was making a video documentary about his visit to the tea plantations in Fujian. He showed us lots of photos and the trip looked really awesome.

The video is on the website main page and also on the Tie Kwan Yin sales page: http://www.aromateashop.com/store/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=61

Haymen is the only tea guy I know who would admit, in his own tea documentary, that he’s craving a stop at Starbucks. It’s funny and informative. Check it out.

Sales & Bargain Teas

February 21, 2010 By: ctan Category: News & Notes

Imperial Tea Court in San Francisco has revamped their website. To celebrate they are offering free UPS ground shipping until March 31st on any order over $25, using coupon code cf3prf0y. Visit http://www.imperialtea.com/ to see. I have bought from Imperial Tea before and have been very happy with what I’ve gotten. If only they sold the ginger black I just used up on their website! I didn’t find it, but I suppose I must go back to San Francisco soon.

Meanwhile, I figured as long as I am passing on the Imperial Tea sale code, I would look up other tea sales on some of my favorite tea sites.

Aroma Tea Shop, also in San Fran, sells through their web site (which is how I found them originally) and their sale page has some very fine teas at HALF PRICE. Check it out at http://www.aromateashop.com/store/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=saleItems.

Have you checked out Teavana’s “clearance” section? Rose garden rooibos is on sale for a mere $2.40. Here: http://www.teavana.com/Tea-Products/Sale-Clearance/
They are also offering discounts on all orders, 10% off any combination that equals a pound (16 ounces), 15% off 2lbs, 20% off 5lbs or more. I got suckered in by this, and ended up placing an order for 8 different 2 ounce samples, which ended up coming to more thatn $50, so I qualified for free shipping, too! Yes, I would love to pay more for tea, less for shipping.

The English Tea Store, which I have ordered from before and pretty much always has some unbelievably good prices to begin with, has a large section of clearance items. They also happen to be a great source online for British chocolate bars and candies not usually sold in the US except in speciality stores. Among the items that caught my eye on this visit, a plum colored ceramic three-cup teapot, normally $8.95, only $4.95. (Edit: Google is apparently penalizing English Tea Store for inorganic incoming links and apparently thinks my links are not genuine?? I’ve removed them so that English Tea Store can get out of Google jail. You can find their site easily enough, but how about this? Don’t use Google to do so, please. They’re at EnglishTeaStore Dot Com.)

If you want their clearance tea in particular, check their clearance page. I’m currently looking at their Guava Comoros Green Tea Loose Leaf – 4oz, four ounces of which is already less than half price of most things at Teavana at its regular price of $3.99, but is on sale for $2.99 for four ounces. Hmm.

Then we have Boulder Tea. Most of the stuff on their “clearance” page doesn’t look marked down all that much, but they are offering a canister with 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of genmaicha for $15. I haven’t ordered from them before, so can’t vouch for their service. Anyone who does, please let me know. They have some intriguing stuff. (http://www.bouldertea.com/clearance.html)

And how about Camille’s Tea of San Antonio, Texas? There’s a “dollar page.” All teas listed there are 50 grams for a dollar, 100 grams for two dollars. (And maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see something listed in grams without thinking about drugs. But, well, I suppose tea is that.) I haven’t ordered from her before, but with priced like those, I might have to try some! (http://www.camillestea.com/dollarsale.html)

Lychee Flower

February 18, 2010 By: ctan Category: Tea Reviews

In my seeming never-ending search for a tea I liked as much as the lychee green they brew and sell at the famous tea house in the lake in Shanghai, which I visited in April 2007, when I was in San Francisco last summer I picked up some “lychee blossom” at the Imperial Tea Court (Ferry Bldg. location).

Here’s Imperial Tea Court’s description: A new addition to our flower tea collection, this beauty features a red lychee flower waiting to blossom inside a surrounding flower of green tea. Subtly scented with jasmine and flavored with lychee fruit, this stunning tea will display beautifully in a glass teapot.

It took me a while to get around to brewing this tea because I didn’t have a glass pot and kept not getting around to buying one, and beautiful flowering teas are maximally enjoyed when one can see them. But then I received one for Christmas! The other thing is I usually like to brew a flowering tea when I have a friend over for tea so we can both enjoy the sight, but I’ve been so busy lately I finally decided to just try it for myself.

I’ve had flowering teas before of various kinds and so I decided this time to photograph the process. What follows are the photos of the tea opening: