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More than 180 articles exploring tea experiences around the world

Long Beach and Queen Mary

Long Beach and Queen Mary

For me, the Queen Mary was not a haunted ship. Instead, it was a boon, where I became an American celebrity wearing a golden sherwani, escorted by the red haired Tealet fairy, Elyse Peterson.

Elegance and simplicity

Elegance and simplicity

Tea could be served anywhere – indoors or outdoors – at this year’s Pasadena Showcase House of Design, an English country estate serenely situated on 3.5 acres.

Dong Fang Mei Ren

Dong Fang Mei Ren

Actually, it’s a funny story. It happened in Taiwan during the Japanese Ruling Era. It is said that there was a tea farmer who was very lazy and did not take good care of his tea.

A haven in hojo

A haven in hojo

These days, whenever I travel, I scout for tea places to hang out in. One of my favorite overseas tea spots is Hojo Tea in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’ve been there four times so far.

2014 spring harvest: the race is on

2014 spring harvest: the race is on

Every year around this time, tea lovers frantically contact their tea brokers, favorite online tea retailers, or local tea friends to see how they can get their hands on the freshest tea of the year: the First Flush.

Arighato Gujaimaso

Arighato Gujaimaso

From the moment you get up in the morning, go to the toilet to get ready, have breakfast, catch the train to Minamimakhuari station and take the bus to the venue of Foodex 2014 in Makuhari Messe, the chant of “Arighato Gujaimaso” is heard constantly.

Starting an online tea store in the land of coffee

Starting an online tea store in the land of coffee

I started working on the idea of opening an online tea store in my country, Colombia, about a year ago. It’s something I’ve wanted to do out of my passion for tea rather than because I see a big market for it, or think that I’ll get rich doing it.

On the subject of glass tea thermoses

On the subject of glass tea thermoses

Warm, visible, untainted tea on the go; once impossible, now impractical. Since the beginning of tea, mankind has made many advances in the area of boiling-liquid containment.

Ten thousand miles without a cloud

Ten thousand miles without a cloud

Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud was the title of a book which recounts the steps of a woman retracing the footsteps of Huang Shan, the monk who took Buddhism from India to China during the 8th century.

Bonding through chai

Bonding through chai

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk of happy things.” – Chaim Potok

Little India is a South Asian neighborhood in Singapore that dates all the way back to the 19th century where early Indian immigrants lived.

Tea at sunrise

Tea at sunrise

As final arrangements are put into place for the upcoming World Tea Tours’ Tea Tour of Fujian, I’m still warmed by the illuminating memory of my visit to Darjeeling in December of 2011.

Teatime in Burma

Teatime in Burma

When you think of Burma (now known as Myanmar), you think of Aung San Suu Kyi and the lack of democracy or human rights. You don’t usually associate the country with tea, even though teatime in Burma…

27 steps of Wuyi tea art

27 steps of Wuyi tea art

Oolong tea is considered by some connoisseurs to be the ultimate in the art of tea. Not just its manufacture but also the way in which it is enjoyed.

Small scale Kenyan tea growers need your support

Small scale Kenyan tea growers need your support

As a guest, and resident tea sommelier for JusTea, I am finally heading out for my first trip to the Kenyan tea fields after a successful launch of some of the country’s finest orthodox tea – a country that is legendary mainly for its CTC black tea.

Tea and the monsoon season

Tea and the monsoon season

There are many ways to appreciate tea, and for some what starts as the enjoyment of an occasional cup turns into an obsession, a vocation, or both.

The Chinese tea shop

The Chinese tea shop

As part of my self-education, I sourced out another tea merchant in the Vancouver area. This time I wanted to go to a more traditional tea shop, so...

Top three Taipei tea moments

Top three Taipei tea moments

I recently went to Taipei for a quick break, and of course, planned the trip in such a way to try all things tea there. I love the tea culture in Taiwan – it’s so vibrant with a good mix of tradition and trendiness.

A storm in a tea cup

A storm in a tea cup

Some people swear blind that tea tastes better from a certain drinking vessel, whether that be a bone china cup or insulated camping mug…

A unique aspect of Singaporean tea culture

A unique aspect of Singaporean tea culture

Since I run a tea shop in Singapore, my overseas friends sometimes ask me what uniquely characterizes our local tea culture. Singapore, along with Malaysia and Hong Kong, represents a meeting point between eastern…

Tea friends are the best friends

Tea friends are the best friends

I am now in Korea. The first reason I came here is not embarrassing – I missed my friends. However, the reason I missed my friends here so much is because I felt lonely in Hong Kong. This is a bit embarrassing. Although the Hongkongese are…

Exploring Fujian teas

Exploring Fujian teas

For nearly 5,000 years, tea has been an integral part of Chinese life, eventually spreading worldwide by sea. The coastal Fujian province was one of the first places that developed and provided tea to the foreign market. The southern Fujian port of Xiamen (ancient Amoy)…

Two Japanese Gardens in Northern California

Two Japanese Gardens in Northern California

Soon after completing my post, Depictions of Tea in Art, last November, in which I mentioned my favorite painter, Johannes Vermeer, I resumed my journey examining this Dutch master’s work up close and in person…

Tasting teas from Nepal

Tasting teas from Nepal

“I ordered a cup of tea, and the owner brought over three cups of tea on a tray,” recalled Sydney Frymire. “He explained that the cups highlighted the different strengths of tea from the pot: top, middle, and bottom.” This was…

Tea is comforting

Tea is comforting

Drinking tea brings me comfort. The comfort stems from my memories of when I fell in love with tea. I fell in love with Japanese green teas when I lived for a year in Japan after college. Each day I faced language and cultural…

Ancient tea roads

Ancient tea roads

The British brought tea to India (or started planting tea in India) no earlier than 1828, but tea has a history as long as 5,000 years, so certainly tea traveled in and around India for a long time, although there are…

Tea-picking ballads and operas

Tea-picking ballads and operas

Like many involved in labor-intensive agrarian endeavors, tea pickers must often wrestle with the forces of Nature, although capricious weather conditions are not always the nemesis. What some laborers eventually succumb…

Experiencing Myanmar tea

Experiencing Myanmar tea

To recreate the Chaqi I experienced on my first day in Myanmar, I visited many tea shops and tea houses, which disappointed me. When I say “tea shop,” I am referring to a shop that sells tea leaves. When I say “tea house,” I am…

The Earl and me

The Earl and me

I have to admit it: I’m not a big Earl Grey tea fan. Although it is one of the most popular blends in the world, I’ve never really warmed up to it. I do have some good memories…

Kaiseki Ryori

Kaiseki Ryori

Nowhere in the world has the ritual of tea become more stylized than in Japan. From meticulously manicured tea gardens to the precision of the cha-no-yu tea ceremony, attention to detail in Japan is unrivaled. It should, therefore, come…

Enjoying tea on the high seas

Enjoying tea on the high seas

In a world where many things are uncertain and much of the news disturbing, it’s always comforting to find that some things remain unchanged. Recently, I guest cheffed aboard Silversea cruise lines, presenting on tea…

Atmospheric teahouses in Taiwan

Atmospheric teahouses in Taiwan

You have only one day in Taiwan and you face the ultimate traveller’s dilemma – how should you spend it and where should you go? Yes, you can shop and eat until you literally drop, but why should you when you can,,,

The life of a Twinings tea master

The life of a Twinings tea master

As a tea hobbyist, I always like meeting people from the tea industry to gain insight into their work. As fate would have it, I recently made the acquaintance of Mr. Theerasaj Phangmuangdee (or Dew, for short)…

Tea tourism and K2K

Tea tourism and K2K

Sometimes doors open themselves. On November 20-21, 2012, I was in Kunming, China to attend an inter-governmental meeting with an active business forum at which I was asked to speak on tea…

Paris museum exhibition on the history of tea

Paris museum exhibition on the history of tea

Paris may well be the best museum city in the world. Across the Seine, in the Tocadero Quarter, are three wonderful, relatively little known museums. The first, the Palais de Chaillot, located at I Place de Trocadero, contains…

Tea tourism

Tea tourism

On the morning of October 12, I was at the Wild Mahseer resort in the Balipara area of Assam with Dan Robertson and Mark Mercier when I read something very appalling in a 2006 issue of Tea Today – a monthly…

2,000 cups of tea a day

2,000 cups of tea a day

A short five-minute drive from the American University of Sharjah in Sharjah, UAE (that’s the United Arab Emirates, a small nation that borders Saudi Arabia) is the Royal Tea Cafeteria. Over the past seven…

Builder’s tea

Builder’s tea

“Working man’s tea, known better as “builder’s tea,” is everywhere in England. Most places are still serving it – and most people are still drinking it, even if they never pick up a hammer or saw…

Tea family

Tea family

While I was traveling on Jeju Island in Korea, I visited the family of my friend, Yongtag. As in all traditional Korean families, the core of the family is the mother because she cares physically and emotionally for each family…

A little D.C. exploration

A little D.C. exploration

As I mentioned in my last post, my family and I just returned from a glorious trip to Washington, D.C. My husband thinks we went to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but I know we went because…

A mid-autumn pairing: Chinese tea + mooncakes

A mid-autumn pairing: Chinese tea + mooncakes

If there were ever an occasion that would get people more interested in Chinese tea, it would be the Mid-Autumn Festival, an annual event that falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar (this year, it will take…

Another famous Chinese tea – Huang Shan Mao Feng

Another famous Chinese tea – Huang Shan Mao Feng

While composing my last post, Naming a Tea: Duyun Mao Jian, I became interested in China’s Ten Most Famous Teas. Like the rest of the world, the Chinese love compiling lists. So is there a universally acknowledged list of top-ten…