News & Announcements

Hosted by Phoenix Tea

We started off the 2016 World of Tea series on February 12th with a new year party, celebrating the Year of the Monkey! We had exciting and delicious Chinese teas, but nothing picked by monkeys! 

Hosted by Perennial Tea Room & Phoenix Tea

The December 19th World of Tea event was an exploration of tea and culture from the Republic of Georgia. Georgia was established as a tea growing region during the Soviet era, and small farms continued producing high quality teas in small batches long after the collapse of the USSR. We tasted three different teas grown and produced in Georgia, and guests had the opportunity to try two versions of a Georgian specialty called a Churchkhela, made with concentrated grape, with nuts and sometimes coconut. The event began with a film on Georgian tea production, featuring one of the producers of the teas we tasted. Georgian teas are bold, distinctive, and wonderful!


While we listened to traditional Georgian polyphonic singing, Cinnabar shared a gorgeous example of teaware that might be used in Georgia, with handle-less teacups closely resembling bowls. 

World of Tea Series: A Taste of Georgia


As with previous years, having all that tea in one place seemed to chase the clouds away, providing festival-goers with warm weather and blue skies. This year, a minor layout change provided more space for workshops and vendor booths and more room for movement for the amazing number of attendees.

Northwest Tea Festival 2015


Our tour began in Taiwan with a refreshing Spring Lishan oolong paired with lightly flavored yam and pineapple cakes.

World of Tea Series: Traditional Teas & Sweets

Hosted by Crimson Lotus Tea

The September 5th World of Tea event offered a very special opportunity to taste 8 different puer teas, all made in the same facility in the same year. The eight teas were made as a series of experimental cakes by the China Puer Tea Research Institute in 2010. There were four grades of shou (cooked) puer, and four grades of sheng (raw) puer. Crimson Lotus Tea purchased these teas after a visit to the institute, and guided attendees through this interesting tasting of all eight of the teas, accompanied by information about the work done by the institute and what the facility was like when they visited.


The fourth tea was a 1990's Aged Tiguanyin from Taiwan.  Traditionally, this tea would be stored in ceramic containers and removed occasionally for roasting.  The taste shifted from smoky caramel to nutty caramel over three infusions.

World of Tea Series: A Flight of Aged Teas

Hosted by Cinnabar Wright (Phoenix Tea)

While most of the finest teas are at peak value shortly after their harvest and production dates, there are some teas that are produced and stored for years, utilizing traditional practices that enhance the depth and character of the tea. Aging is typically associated with the teas that are referred to as "post-fermented" in English. These are the teas from Yunnan, Hunan, and Anhui, China, which employ microbial agents as catalysts of change in the tea over time. These teas are most often formed into bricks, cakes, and other compressed forms, and they have a great deal of variation within those parameters, but all increase in quality as they become older. Producing a very different style, there is also a tradition in Taiwan of aging oolongs, which are taken out and re-roasted every so often, as they become richer, darker, and more complex.    

It is not difficult to find and taste unremarkable aged teas from Taiwan and China in the 2-5 year old range, so in this August 15th tasting we concentrated on teas that have been aged for at least 15 years, including some teas from the '80s and '90s. Teas of these older vintages are considerably more of a challenge to source, which is generally reflected in their price, but they are well worth the cost to the people who really understand and appreciate them. Some tea people attribute qualities above and beyond sensory experience to these aged teas, including high levels of "chi," the energy defined by Chinese medicine and martial arts, and many people experience a state of euphoria while drinking these venerable teas, known in the West by the term "tea drunk."    

We couldn't promise that attendees would experience an exalted mental state when you tasted these aged teas, but we can assure you that this was an enjoyable adventure with a flight of exceptional teas that you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else.

Hosted by Phoenix Tea

This was a really enjoyable and educational tasting on October 17th of 5 different pairings of traditional teas with traditional sweets, giving guests the opportunity to indulge in exquisite and unusual treats along with high caliber single origin teas. Guests experienced an array of aromas and flavors, including flowery, sugary, savory, and the teas and sweets were served in and on tea wares and accessories typical of the culture of each pairing.

Representative pairings came from Egypt, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, and Turkey.



Tatsuo explained how the behavior of steam in the yuzamashi (water cooling pitcher) can indicate temperature. Steam billows upward with near-boiling water temperatures, ideal for hojicha or bancha. Water at temperatures around 140°F will have little or no steam, ideal for gyokuro. Steam moving to the side at an approximate 45° angle indicates temperatures around 175°F - 185°F, ideal for sencha.

Red the rest of the post: World of Tea Series: New Harvest of Teas from Japan