Archive for Tea category

Tea Tasting No. 8

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Tea type: Black Tea
Tea name: Nepal black tea
Bought at: David’s Tea, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Water Tower Place, Chicago/USA

Impressions: very smooth, slightly sweet flavor with a hint of malty aroma. I would recommend not more than 2 steepings, using hot water (95°C). This is currently one of my favorite black teas, as it is so smooth in taste with only very little astringent flavor. On the website of David’s Tea, they describe this tea as follows: „From the first sip you’ll notice its rich, sweet, honey-like flavour. What doesn’t come through in the cup is how much good this little tea garden does. They’ve set up a ton of amazing community programs to benefit local schools, underprivileged families, and the elderly.“

I really like that this tea not only taste great but also does great things for the community in Nepal.

Black Nepal Tea

Tea Tasting No. 7

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Tea Type: green tea
Tea name: Long Jing
Origin: China, Shi Feng, Xi Hu
Harvest: early spring 2016

Bought at: Tea Drunk, New York City

First impressions: As I mostly do not like Chinese green teas too strong, I prefer to infuse them for only about 1-2 minutes. This way, the tea has a mild and slightly sweet flavor with a hint of a roasty note. I can recommend up to three infusions. 

Overall, I would say it is a nice everyday tea. However, for the price I paid for it, I really expected something a bit more extraodinary. Although Long Jing tea is a very common tea in China, they can still be big difference in quality.

Price: 11 USD for one sample which is enough for one serving only and 43 USD for 28 grams. Also available through their online shop.

Tea Tasting No. 6

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Tea type: herbal tea

Tea name: Mulberry Leaf Tea (organic)

Origin: Kagoshima/ Japan

Bought at: The Bellocq Atelier (their tea no. 28)

Impression: Athough this is a herbal tea, you could almost believe it to be some kind of green tea. The flavor and aroma is floral and very light with a hint of a grassy note. Water for infusion should not be hotter than 80 degrees Celsius. This is a great green tea alternative for your evenings in case you are sensitive to caffeine.

Also read the article by T. Ching on mulberry leaf tea on his blog.

first infusion

One day in Lisbon

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Last month, I had one day in Lisboa, coming back from some wonderful relaxing days at the Portoguese ocean side. It was my second time in the city, so I wanted to take it a little more slow this time. Therefore, my priority was on finding some nice tea or coffee place and spending some quality time at a relaxing spot with a bit of sunshine. I think I did pretty well, but get a picture for yourself!

Hotel pick: Check-in Guesthouse – very cosy, comfortable and clean guesthouse, equipped with a big kitchen in case you feel like cooking. Located in the southwest of the city, close to the district Bairro Alto.

Place for tea: Tease – I discovered this cute and cosy café just by incident while I was in search of the Copenhagen Coffee Lab, as it is located across the street. The staff was super friendly and the atmosphere very calm and relaxed.  You can only get great tea, but also great cake and coffee.

Tease Café

Place for coffee: Copenhagen Coffee Lab – looking at the other side of the street, you then have  more great coffee to pick from. I did not have coffee here as I had tea at Tease, but I had a look inside. It has a very clean design with lots of whites and wooden colors.

And here are two more places for a quiet, relaxing break: two parks that I can really recommend are „Praça das Flores“ and „Praça do Principe Real“. The first one is really close to „Tease“ and the „Copenhagen Coffee Lab“. The second one is opposite of the indoor market I talk about in one of my former posts. Bigger than the first one, they both have their own wonderful atmosphere where you can grab a coffee, grab a book and relax.

Dachi Tea – a startup company from Taiwan

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Browsing through the internet one day, I found this amazing tea startup company called Dachi Tea.
I really like their company story and their idea behind the brand Dachi Tea. The idea was to firstly find the best raw material tea leaves and secondly, finding the best tea makers from all over Taiwan to create very unique oolong teas from the raw tea leaves provided. And that is exactly what Dachi Tea did! When you look at their website, you can choose between different tea subscription plans. 

For more great tea recommendations and especially the one on Dachi Tea, please also read Max Falkowitz’s article on „Where to buy amazing tea online„. A great and really helpful read!

Tea Tasting No. 5

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Tea type: green tea
Tea name: Japan Shincha Kirisakura (first flush)
Origin: Japan
Harvest: April 2016

Japan Shincha Kirisakura

Before going into the details, I have to mention the following: Usually I try to avoid buying at tea shop chains like „Teegeschwender“, as I’d rather like to support the local tea shops. Not only is the atmosphere mostly much more authentic, but also the tea shop owners and employees really put all their passion and love into the tea and in selling it. Furthermore, they can mostly give you much more background information on the different teas than in the more anonymous tea shop chains. However, as there are hardly any good choices on tea shops in Münster, I cannot avoid entering Teegeschwender once in a while. Mostly, when I’m out of my Japanese green teas for my mornings and urgently need some higher quality tea.
So I went to Teegeschwender the other day, expecting the regular three choices they have on Sencha tea. But what a surprise! As the green tea harvest in Japan started in April, the first teas of the new season are out. And before the senchas get in, the first month’s pick is actually called Shincha. As it’s the first cut, this tea is much sweater in taste and hardly has any bitterness compared to the Sencha’s that follow.

first infusion

First impression: I love, love, love this tea! The smell of the dry tea leaves is already impressive with its smell of  fresh mangos. Really amazing as that’s the pure and natural fragrance of the tea. The infused tea tastes very fruity and at the same time very mild. I can recommend four steepings and I even tried 6 and the tea was naturally less intense but never tasted astringent and still had a nice hint of sweetness to it. Really one of the best teas I have had in a while.

Tea Tasting No. 4

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Tea type: green tea
Tea name: Sencha Shoike-no-o
Origin: Japan
Bought at: the Ippodo tea shop in NYC. You can also purchase their tea through their website and they do ship international.

first Infusion

First Impression: very nice weedy smell and sweet in flavor. I can recommend three steepings, but not more as the tea then gets astringent even with low water temperatures. 

Compared to the sencha tea I mentioned in my post Tea Tasting No. 2 from the Bellocq Atelier, I prefer this one from Ippodo. To me it seems a little stronger in aroma. However, both teas are of really good quality and fine taste.

Tea Tasting No. 3

Tea type: green tea
Tea name: Sencha with Matcha (premium grade)
Origin: Japan
Bought at: McNulty’s Tea & Coffee Co. in New York City, USA.

First impression: the first infusion is very light in flavor without any astringency to it, but with this typical matcha tea note. I can recommend at least three infusions without any astringency coming through which was pleasantly surprising to me, as I honestly did not expect such good value for the money I paid for the tea. For sure I can highly recommend this tea if you want something stronger than your regular sencha tea.

Tea Tasting No. 2

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Tea name: Nobujuki Sencha Tea from the harvest of June 2016. Origin: Japan Bought atThe Bellocq Atelier in Brooklyn/NYC.

first infusion

First impression: the tea has a very nice grassy smell with a hint of a roasty note. The first infusion (60 C, 30 seconds) is very light in flavor with a sweet note. Second infusion  (60 C) is a little stronger and more grassy in taste. I would recommend a maximum of 3 infusions. This is a nice mid-to-higher level sencha tea.

Tea shops NYC

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One week in New York City and for me the opportunity to check out some of the tea shops in this great city. It is really difficult to say which tea shop I liked the most, als they all had their special styles. Therefore, I just would like to give you a short overview of the tea shops I visited and my personal view on them.

Ippodo Tea – Kyoto-based tea company. Located in an area a little off the main streets and sights. You have to look carefully for the signs. The atmosphere was really quiet and calm and the whole shop is kept in wooden colored tones. I bought a sencha tea and a sincha tea from the new cut 2016 and will give you my review on those in another post. Overall, I really liked the shop, but don’t expect a big selection of teas. I believe, however, that the ones offered are precisely good selected ones. They also ship international through their website.


Tea Drunk – located in a nice area in the East Village in a road with a few other individual small stores. This shop offers a nice atmosphere to sit down and have some tea. The ir bar in the center of the shop is great to sit down and watch the tea ceremony. They only offer Chinese teas. Therefore, I only bought a sample of one of their teas. Furthermore, I thought their prices to be quite expensive compared to others. However, I did not test the quality of their teas yet. Positive that the owner of the shop is regularly going to China to select the best teas for her shop.


Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company – such a cute little shop which offers different teas, spices and herbs. What I really liked was the fact that they offer tea to go (just as a coffee Shop) and you can choose between a broad selection of different teas. I bought a Genmaicha tea to go and really liked that.


McNulty’s Tea & Coffee of the oldest tea and coffee shops in New York City. Once you enter the shop, you immediately get the feeling how it was like in the old days. The staff is really friendly and the atmosphere great. I bought a Sencha tea combined with Matcha which I will review in one of my next posts.

The Bellocq Atelier
– one of the cutest tea shops I have ever seen, I have to say. The interior is chosen so very well that you feel home and welcomed immediately. The shop itself is located in the less touristy area in Brooklyn/Greenpoint which is nevertheless really worth a visit. It’s located in a cool industrial area where you would not necessarily expect a tea shop. However, after ringing the door bell, you’ll be surprised. The teas are on the pricier side, but seem to be carefully selected.

For further NYC tea shop reviews and recommendations, also have a look at the helpful and informative blog post „Where to by tea in New York City“ from the Serious Eats Team.