Shann sent me a box of chai from the Chocolate Bar during our first round of food blogging via mail. I’ve nearly finished the box but am trying very hard to savor the last bit. I love my daily chai from Starbucks but this, this is something else! This chai is a blend of black tea, a good dose of masala spice, vanilla, bits of dried apples, mint and pieces of CHOCOLATE! The smell of the blend is intoxicating – I think I’ve devoted more than a two hours sniffing the bag like some horrible addict. What do I smell? This warm, chocolately mint feeling of Christmas. It’s honest, smoky, heartwarming – apples, spices and chocolate all at once! I imagine being surrounded by family and friends, pulling warm loaves of pumpkin bread (moist and dense inside with a slightly crunchy crust) from the oven and a delicious dinner mixing cultural and local cuisine – shark’s fin soup, roasted duck and plenty of rice to go around! Isn’t it crazy how smell can transport you?
Freelance contribution by: Lucy Wyndham All tea leaves will eventually lose flavor, but properly stored dried tea leaves can keep their flavor for up to two years, depending on how fermented and intact the leaves are. Black tea leaves, for example, are more fermented than green or white teas, and will stay … Continue reading
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If you follow what gets said about prices each year, you would end up with the impression that the average price of tea has gone up. But more specifically the price at the most sought after regions (say Lao Banzhang, Bingdao) have gone completely through the roof. A lot of this narrative is anecdotal. Tales of rich Chinese buying up all the top-end product from X area. Part of it can also be seen when someone in the Sinosphere posts the maocha prices per location. These lists come with all sorts of contextual caveats, but the trend seems real. I don’t see any red flags to really doubt this storyline, but I was curious if it’d show up by looking at some of the data of prices on production by western facing vendors.