Afternoon teas are full of sensory delights–delicate porcelain, fragrant tea, fine tablecloths, tasty sandwiches, buttery scones, and dainty desserts. Still–I have a confession. Despite being a tea lover, I have a problem with afternoon tea.
When I say I love tea, I emphatically mean the beverage made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. I don’t mean herbal teas (AKA tisanes). My desire to drink tasty beverages, however, is greater than my ability to tolerate caffeine (sadly), so I am constantly searching for caffeine-free tisanes that I enjoy. I have been experimenting with tisane recommendations to match tea moods or preferred flavor profiles.
A delicious Boseong Hwangcha was my first intentional–and very delicious–encounter with Korean tea. It inspired me to make a resolution to learn more about Korean tea. At first, I wasn’t sure how to begin.
I conducted (delicious) “research”–sipping many cups of tea–and attended several webinars. I also participated in multiple tea workshops, attended (virtual) tea talks, and received some help from a tea-blogging friend. Now, I am happy to share some resources so that you can join me on this learning journey! I am honored to highlight two skilled Korean tea sommeliers who run companies that focus on, or include, tea. These talented professionals have made very helpful introductory videos. Both women have rich professional accomplishments and backgrounds–more than this post can do full justice to!
Have you ever toggled between reading two books and found a beautiful and fruitful convergence? That happened to me last week and it felt like a gift. It was as if the universe kindly underscored a message so I would be sure to receive it. That message was about rejecting a culture of scarcity.
Would you like to learn about tea from the comfort of your own home and have the opportunity to learn from experts who, perhaps, live far away? If you answered yes, then this post is for you! It will provide a curated range of virtual tea talks and workshops, broken down by type. I draw upon experience in this post. I only recommend online events by tea educators and tea businesses that I have attended and found worthwhile.
When I say I love tea, I emphatically mean the magical elixir you can get from steeping leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant. I don’t mean herbal teas or tisanes. I actually have a harder time finding tisanes that I love than teas that I love. Despite my preference for tea, I have been impelled to go looking for delicious tisanes because my desire to drink warm, tasty beverages is greater than my ability to drink caffeine. Sometimes, I need something caffeine-free.
After a lot of experimenting, I have developed a caffeine-free latte that I love. If you enjoy rose and masala chai flavors like cardamom, you might love it, too.
There are many fancy gadgets that will help you froth milk for lattes. But, you don’t need them to get good results. With a few items you probably already have in your kitchen, you can froth milk on the stovetop if you follow these tips. (These directions apply to cow’s milk.)
I thoroughly enjoyed drinking Oolong Vibes, a blend from Steep & Sip Teas. The company describes this tea as a blend of “Amber and Jade Oolong.”
Good news: I think this tea will have wide appeal! Casual tea drinkers–especially those who like black or oolong tea–will find it accessible. The tea also delivers lovely flavors, mouthfeel, and interest for the more seasoned tea drinker. In fact, Oolong Vibes reminds me of the oolongs served by Chinese restaurants that take care to provide fresh pots of good tea.
I have been trying to find and create inspiration in 2021, most recently with MoTeaVational quotes–motivational quotes I have paired with tea photos. (A whole new way to think of tea pairings!)
I pulled out my journal and realized that one year ago today–March 10, 2020–was the last day I taught in person before I had to suddenly convert all of my classes to online, like every professor at my university and, of course, other universities and schools. Can you believe it has been a full year since COVID-19 profoundly disrupted our lives?
One entire year. And counting.
Increasing vaccination efforts offer a hope on the horizon. But, we aren’t there yet.
While we wait, pandemic fatigue is real. Still, I am trying to hold on to what nourishes and sustains me. In case it helps you, too, I have gathered here the MoTeaVational quotes I posted on Instagram each Monday (AKA #MoTeaMon, or #MoTeaVate Monday) in February 2021. I am happy to share them, here, in one convenient gallery.
Tung Ting is an oolong tea sometimes transliterated as Dong Ding, or translated as “Frozen Summit.” I was eager to try the Tung Ting from Galerie du Thé when they offered to send me some. Although “medium” in terms of roasted oolong teas overall, the roast on this Taiwanese tea is on the lighter side for Tung Ting. This discovery was perfect for me since I usually prefer oolongs with a light or medium roast. This tea, I am happy to report, delivered great flavor, aroma, and salivation.