When I’m feeling exhausted at work, I usually go down to the tearoom and order their Xanadu brand chai, but my sensitivity to caffeine (which seems to come and go) has made it difficult to continue this ritual. I really enjoy the Xanadu blend, as it is mildly reminiscent of the house blend of masala chai spices at my favorite Indian market. It is round and rich, and it can really reach out and grab those taste buds.
I caved in, and tried the Numi Ruby Chai this week, and though I was really positive that I’d be disappointed, I am happy to report that I was utterly wrong. The rooibos does not overpower the spice with its nutty, vanilly essence. It just provides a solid, smooth foundation. The spice blend is perfect of sweetness and bite. With a dollop of cream and a packet of raw sugar, I almost have a replica of a caffeinated version, and the taste and aroma give me the psychological boost that I need – without the headache. And even though the Tearoom serves it in the bagged format, I can satisfy the snob in me, as it can be found loose on several retail sites.
I’m anxious to get back to a point where I can enjoy a good oolong or assam again. We have a Gongfu Girl author event planned for early June, and I’m determined to get in on that hot tea action. (Pun probably intended.)
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I’ll take a moment during this brief post to make a little announcement: You might have noticed that we have a new Gongfu Girl, Kathryn. She had been posting notes about her tea experience in another Web community, and I invited her to join us here. I’m so glad she accepted!
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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.