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Tasting Notes

Oolong Vibes from Steep & Sip

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.

Carafe of Oolong Vibes from Steep & Sip
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Blog

MoTeaVational Quotes

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.

Cup of dark tea with the sentence "Less, but better, is a principle whose time has come."
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Tasting Notes

Tung Ting from Galerie du Thé

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.

The last drops of Tung Ting tea transferred from teapot to fairness pitcher
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Tasting Notes

Tea Infusiast Review Policy

I have a Tea Infusiast Review Policy because integrity, honesty, and transparency are important to me. I enjoying reviewing teas that I buy, that friends send me, or that are gifted to me by sellers. When sellers are kind enough to offer me free tea to review, I only accept if I think there is a strong chance that I will enjoy the tea, and they agree to my review policy. My review terms are:

  • I will not post about or review a tea unless I sincerely enjoyed it.
  • If I do enjoy a tea, I will happily post or review.
  • I will always disclose if I received a tea from a seller for free or with any special discount.

I hope this transparency gives everyone confidence in the sincerity of my reviews and makes them more useful.

If you have any questions, please drop them in the comments. I am more than happy to answer them. If you are a seller interested in discussing the possibility of a tea review, you can message me on Instagram @teainfusiast or send me a comment here. (I check my Instagram more regularly.)

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Tasting Notes

Two East Frisian Tea Blends

East Frisian tea blend comparison!  East Frisians drink copious amounts of tea and prepare it in an unusual way. Short version: they use special rock sugar, add cream (!), and empathetically don’t stir. For a more detailed account of how they prepare tea, I invite you to check out my blog post on East Frisian tea culture.

In this post, I am comparing two tea blends: Harney & Sons’ “East Frisian” and Thiele’s “Broken Silber” “Echte Ostfriesische Mischung.” East Frisian blends in Germany are mostly Assam, accented by Ceylon and/or Darjeeling tea. Harney says its blend contains all three. The Thiele package says, translated, the “best Assam teas characterize the full, fine, bitter taste of this classic top blend.”

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Blog

MoTeaVate: Focus Words

Vision boards, mantras, focus words. Some years I have ignored these New Year resolutions and trends. They didn’t feel authentic to me. I felt very differently in 2021. So, this year, I choose four words to help focus and inspire my choices. These motivational words, speaking as as a devoted tea drinker, MoTeaVate me to think harder about how to live better. Since “create” is one of my words, I challenged myself to make an image for each of my words in January.

I posted them on my @teainfusiast account on Instagram each Monday (AKA #MoTeaMon, or MoTeaVate Monday) in January and gathered the posts, here, to share in one convenient gallery.

MoTeaVate: image shows a cup and saucer with pebbles underneath, each with a letter that spells the word "create"
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Blog

Valentine’s Teas and Tisanes

February Flavors & Colors

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Maybe a romantic restaurant dinner for two, an in-person Galentine’s tea party with our Besties, or another ritual we used to do can’t be safely done this year. The disruptions are disappointing. Daily and seasonal rituals are so important. Finding a way to safely honor the time and mark the season can restore our sense of control and a bit of normalcy.  This post shares Valentine’s teas and Valentine’s tisanes to celebrate the season!

What’s more Galentine’s and Valentine’s than chocolate, pink, and red? Here’s a fun way, with a twist, to infuse the flavor of chocolate and the colors of the holiday into your February. I heartily recommend three Valentine’s teas and three Valentine’s tisanes that will get the job done deliciously.

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Recipe

Grapefruit Bee’s Knees Mocktail

Grapefruit Bees Knees Mocktail in a class with a spring of rosemary and a lime garnish. A sliced grapefruit and lime are on a cutting board to the left.

I love a mocktail. It elevates the moment, gives me something delicious to sip on, and doesn’t make me tired or interfere with my sleep. I enjoy many tea-infused mocktails. But since I usually drink mocktails in the evening and don’t drink caffeine that late, tea mocktails aren’t my go-to choices. 

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Blog

East Frisian Tea

East Frisians are long-time and prodigious tea drinkers

Tea is a big deal in Ostfriesland, part of northwestern Germany that borders the Netherlands. The name of the region is sometimes translated into English as Eastern Friesland, sometimes as East Frisia. A regional museum, the Ostfriesisches Teemuseum, pays homage to the history of tea in their culture. UNESCO even highlights it, noting that East Frisia has been a tea-loving region for about three centuries. A 2013 article in the New York Times by Ian Johnson helps further quantify East Frisians’ love for tea, noting that: “[A]ccording to the German Tea Association, if East Frisia were a country its annual per capita consumption of 300 liters would be the highest in the world.” Since East Frisians have been prodigious tea drinkers for so long, let’s explore what they drink and how they prepare their tea.

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Blog

Boston Tea Party

I timed my first blog entry to post on December 16, 2020 in honor of the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. 

Let’s just say I like to get PoliTEAcal sometimes!

In 1773, an organized and infuriated group of Bostonians, joined by some impromptu enthusiasts, hacked open and threw the contents of hundreds of chests of tea into Boston Harbor.