Sunday, July 31, 2016

Teaology 101: Today’s post is brought to you by the letter 'C'!

It’s time for letter 'C' tea definitions. Refer to my posts on Letter 'A' and Letter 'B' for those definitions.

Cachar: Located in Northern India, this area produces a medium strength, common variety of tea.

Caddy: A tin or jar container of tea.

Caffeine: A chemical component in tea that is responsible for stimulating the nervous system.

Cambric Tea: A very weak tea infusion with a lot of milk and sugar added to it.

Camellia sinensis: The botanical name of tea.

Caravan Teas: Teas that were traditionally transported by camel routed from China to Russia. Also referred to as China Caravan or Russian Caravan. Caravan is also a blend, usually of Keemun and Oolong teas.

Cardamom: This is the main component of a blended tea or on its own as a tisane.

Catechins: A polyphenol found in tea that acts as an antioxidant.

Ceylon Tea: These are all the teas grown in Sri Lanka. Ceylon is the former name of Sri Lanka.

Ceylon Breakfast: Various teas grown in Sri Lanka that are combined to create a specific blend.

Cha: The Chinese and Japanese word for tea.

Chaga: This is a mushroom known for its medicinal properties. As a tea, chaga is higher in antioxidants than green tea.

Chai: The Hindi word for tea. Popular in India, a Masala Chai includes black tea, usually Assam, made with milk and various spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger etc… In North America, a Masala Chai is defined as Chai Tea.

Chanoyu: Refers to the ritual of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. It means ‘the way of tea’.

Char: An old British slang for tea to drink.

Character: Refers to all the desirable qualities of the tea in terms of taste, aroma, and appearance.

Chest: This is the traditional method of packaging and shipping bulk teas from estates. The chest containers are normally made of wood with a metal lining.

Chesty: A taint smell and tasting tea caused by poor packing. The resinous smell on the dry leaves is absorbed from the immature or inferior wooden panels of the chests.

China Oolong: These are large leafed teas from China.

Ching Wo: Located in China, this area produces strong black teas.

Choice: A good quality of the tea.

Choicest: The best quality of the tea.

Chop: A Hindi word meaning ‘to stamp’. So, a chop of teas refers to a specific number of chests of tea that are all under the same brand.

Choppy: The appearance of tea leaves that have gone through a cutter.

Chunky: Describes very large, broken tea leaves.

Chun Mee: A Chinese green tea with curled or rolled leaves. Also known as ‘precious eyebrow’ because of its resemblance to eyebrows especially that of young girls.

Clean: Evenly sorted grade of tea leaves that are devoid of dust particles and stalks.

Cloning Cuttings: Tea leaves that are cut from older bushes, and allowed to root, then planted in order to create new tea bushes.

Coarse: Describes a strong and unpleasant taste, usually acidic or bitter.

Coloury: Liquor that is bright rather than dull.

Common: A weak tasting and non-distinctive characteristic of the liquor of inferior teas.

Congou: Fine quality Chinese black or red tea with large leaves. The term is derived from gong-fu which means ‘art of tea brewing’.

Coppery: A good trait as a result of manufacturing. It refers to the bright, mahogany colour of the infusion in high quality black teas such as Darjeeling.

Cream: This refers to the precipitate of tea that has cooled down.

Creaming Down: Term applied to fine quality tea that turns cloudy caused by the precipitation of tannins. Tannins are responsible for the colour and astringency of black tea.

Cream Tea: This is Afternoon Tea that includes a dairy product, usually clotted cream, required for scones along with jams.

Crepy: Describes Broken Orange Pekoes (BOP) with a crimped appearance.

Crisp: This is a good quality where the liquor sipped quickly disappears on the tongue.

Croppy: Liquor that has bright, strong, and creamy characteristics. This can be found in some second flush Assam and Dooar teas.

CTC: Acronym for Cut, Tear, and Curl, or Crush, Tear, and Curl. This is a manufacturing process in which withered tea leaves are mechanically cut into small, uniform particles. It mainly occurs for Indian black teas and used for making teabags. The purpose is to aid in oxidation and create a faster, stronger, and a more colourful infusion.

Curling: Part of the manufacturing process, this is also referred to as rolling.

Curly: Describes whole tea leaves that are curled.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Cuppa: Another round of jasmine green tea!

Another tea from my Christmas gift, was a sample of Jasmine Green Tea. I had reviewed a jasmine green tea previously a couple of years back, and it was actually a pretty good cuppa. Will this one be just as good?

The contents of the package were just amazing to look at. Specks of dark green tea with large particles of cream coloured jasmine flowers. Oh and the aroma! It was so strong of jasmine, it penetrated through the plastic wrap packaging. Not sure if that's a good sign, but, I really liked it so far.

A pretty pile!

The liquor of the infused tea leaves was a deep yellow colour. It smelled a bit spicy but the aroma of jasmine was definitely there. This is where all of the positive aspects of the tea ended for me. The taste was just not there. It was bland and lacked body. This was rather surprising considering the strong aroma and deep colour of the liquor. It wasn’t a terrible cup. It just wasn’t very flavourful. Too bad.

Looks can be deceiving!

All I can say is, never judge a tea by its appearance. What you see is not always what you’ll get. The tea may be unattractive, but the liquor could be amazing. Or the tea may be attractive, but the liquor could be an unsatisfying experience.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Chai Wares: Infusing can be amusing!

Okay, since I began studying tea a few years back, I've come across many designs of infusers. Some were your typical infuser balls, others came as sticks. Then there are those funky infusers that come shaped as various characters or objects. Some are cute, others are really cool. Whether they work to the full advantage of creating a great cup of tea is another matter. All of them, however, are pretty darn fun! Here are some fun and funky infusers I think are so neat.

What a quack!

Look!  A Loch Ness Monster sighting!

Hoot hoot!

Shark attack!

Swimming with the sharks!

Enjoying the tail end!

Stick men can be fun!

We all live in a yellow submarine!

The Tea-Rex!

Tea got your tongue?

I'm melting!

This is a sloth.  Look it up!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Iced-tea bubbly without the tipsy feeling!

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a product, so, I thought this was the best time with the hot, humid weather we’ve been experiencing. I’m checking out another iced-tea. Yes, I’ve taste tested iced for another brand previously. I’ve also made my own iced-tea. However, this is a little different.

I found this iced-tea product on sale whilst out grocery shopping. It’s called Fruit₂O. It’s presented in a long, thin, sleek bottle, and it promotes itself as a sparkling iced-tea. Oh yeah? It’ll be like drinking champagne! I’m in.

A peek inside my refrigerator!

There were two different flavours available, so I decided to purchase both. They were on sale after all! I bought a Lemon flavour and a Peach flavour. I selected the Peach flavour for tasting first. The liquid poured like a sparkling wine. I even drank it out of a flute to add to the ambiance. 

A toast to iced-tea!

It had a light, fresh scent of peach. I guzzled it back! It was so refreshing. It tasted mostly of peaches and apples, with a light hint of tea. Very sweet indeed! 

The lemon flavoured iced-tea was just as refreshing. It tasted mostly of lemons and apples, with light notes of tea. Apple juice is a main, base ingredient it seems.

Perhaps it was the hot weather, or maybe it was the carbonated nature of the drink, but these drinks really quenched my thirst! I don’t think I could drink them every day due to the heavy sweetness. However, for something a little different than regular iced-tea, I’d go for it.