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I embarked on my tea journey when I studied abroad in China in 2008 and traveled around Taiwan that summer. I'm here to share my experiences and offer my own opinion, advice, and comments on tea.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back from Hiatus, and with a New Tokoname

Hopefully there are some people who are keeping up with this blog, and if not ... well, there isn't much I can do, is there? I've been away from from my blog because of my last semester at college kept me plenty busy, and I've been desperately looking for a job that I've neglected this blog until yesterday. Even though I've been on hiatus, I've still been drinking tea, mostly some Oolong my grandmother brought for me from Taiwan (if anybody wants to trade samples please let me know!), but I've been dabbling in some Indian and Japanese tea.

I've found a small teashop in my town, and although the selection is kind of small, I'm glad there's a brick-and-mortar tea store I can rely on now. Even though I love buying tea online, because of the variety, I love buying the tea in person, because you get to smell and actually see the tea leaves in person. I'll post some photos and write a short review the next time I visit.

So back to my introduction to Indian and Japanese tea. I've been trying the usual suspects of India: Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri. There isn't much variety at the tea store so I decided on some on the more inexpensive ones.

I visited yesterday to pick up a sample of Darjeeling when a small Tokoname caught my eye. It wasn't too expensive either, and the quality seems decent. Even though I could've bought a tokoname with more pedigree online, I really wanted to be a patron of the store. Besides, I figure I can buy the authentic stuff when I'm more knowledgeable.

And here's a shot of what the inside looks like. I'm hoping that the mesh filter won't affect my tea brewing too much. I think it holds around 300 ml, and I love the creamy whiteness along with the rustic brown ring around the lid.

I bought some Shizuouka Sencha, and from what I've researched on Teachat, it's a pretty commercialized region for Japanese tea. I was considering buying the Gyokuro, but being afraid of brewing it improperly I'll try that next time. I use about 5 grams of tea leaf, and brewed for about a minute and a half, adding 30 seconds for each additional infusion. I really enjoy the flavor, and I'm reminded of Huangshan Mao Feng for some reason. I'm trying to learn more about Japanese teas, because I enjoy them more than Chinese green teas. I'm really excited about it, because it's like I'm learning about tea for the first time, and there's so many new things.

I'm still looking for employment, so there will probably be fewer tea reviews, but hopefully I'll still have alot to write about. Also, if anyone knows of teashops in Los Angeles that's hiring ...
once again, comments are welcomed


Bret said...

Same here, since moving back to Austin TX Ive had no need to mail order tea anymore as there is an abundance of good to exellent tea shops here.

Victoria said...

Beautiful kyusu, please share with us on TeaChat!