Book: Tea Manufacture, by C.R. Harler

Many of the older books I find no longer have their dust-jackets and are just a plain leader bind, but I find it nice to include a picture if I can anyways.Whereas I called Tea Processing the spiritual sequel to Harler’s Tea Growing (as it draws from many different resources, but does take largely after Harler’s handbooks), this is the actual sequel (technically in terms of publication dates, prequel). It picks up where Tea Growing leaves us with the proper plucking technique and storage of fresh leaf matter. Continue reading

DvD: The Story of Tea

storytea-3Spotted this a little while ago and finally decided to give it a watch, since it isn’t very long. Basically sat in bed and watched a documentary on tea while drinking a cup of tea.

This came out last year, which means it’s at least fairly up to date. It was a nice enough watch, covering both a bit of tea history and a bit of tea culture, with a lot of on-sight views of tea gardens and tea houses. There were still a few gripes I had with it, though, which I don’t think detract from it as “a pleasant watch”, but I’ll get into them anyways. Continue reading

Book: A Full Cup, by Michael D’Antonio

afullcupHere we are. Thomas Lipton. I’ll pick up any teabook, really, and I enjoy reading about any bit of tea history. Important figures, especially recent ones, hold a special place for me.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise, seeing as my most popular post was a breakdown of the history of John Murchie, and I constantly defend Tazo because of Steven Smith. Either way, Lipton is usually said with a snear in tea-going circles.

Continue reading

Fatty Shiboridashi

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Scored this fat shiboridashi at a second-hand shop. It came with three matching cups. Tried my best to capture the crackle celadon finish. Looks like it could easily hold 6oz (almost a bit big for my small hands), and just fills the three cups.

Thought I’d share.

Book: The Tea Cyclopedia

teacycloopediaThis is a pretty unassuming little book, but turned out to be a solid read. The style of the cover actually mislead me into thinking it was a lot older than it was–I figured a reprint of a 1970s book–but it was actually published in 2013. I will say there are definitely a lot of books that cover most of the same subjects in about the same amount of depth, but this one does have a few merits I haven’t seen in too many ‘general tea’ books. Continue reading

Book: Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic

510M7ygFfbL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In the wake of the current Verdant Tea scandal, this seems like the perfect read. I started this book a little before the VTF, but juggling schoolwork and leisure reading, I haven’t really gotten to finishing it until recently. And I guess it’s perfect timing, because I think it’s a very relevant read to understanding the current drama. I won’t really be touching on that, because there are already half a dozen other tea-blogs that have covered it in depth, plus threads on TeaChat, r/tea, and Steepster to chronolog the drama (here’s Steepster’s to get you started, if you really haven’t been following the drama). Continue reading

Exhibitors of the Vancouver Tea Festival

I thought I’d break my experiences at the VTF down into more than one post; I realize I have a tendency to ramble, and the least I can do is break up the flow.

The second annual VTF wasn’t huge. I’ve been to huge conventions. It was a good size though, and busy as all hell. There were a lot of familiar logos about, and then some that I didn’t even know existed, let alone operated in the Lower Mainland. Continue reading

Networking (and the Vancouver Tea Festival)

Or as I’m going to call it, “networking” fingerquote end fingerquote.

To start, the industry I’m in (or rather, the industry I’m trying to break in to) requires networking. Most industries do, really, and on a scale of dependence out of ten, geology’s more like a four. In Canada, your end goal is to become a P.Geo, or Professional Geologist, a registration designated by APEG, or APG, or a variation of that sort of which depends on the province you’re practicing in. It’s (usually) the same association that deals with registering engineers (they like to lump us together, and that’s the case on the west coast), though geoscience isn’t treated as strictly (you can’t get paid as a “geologist” but you can still technically ‘do geology’ unregistered). So you need a degree in geology, and that degree needs to adhere to APEG’s syllabus, and on top of that, the syllabus requires additional courses, and then you need four years of work experience. Continue reading

Christmas Joy

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I’d just gotten off an eight hour shift, and I still had to drop off an item at the library. After that, it was either wait twenty minutes in the dark in November for another bus, or take the ten-ish minute trek up the hill, home. I decided to stop off at Starbucks to get something to warm my hands. Not caffeinated, I had class in the morning. I figured a hot chocolate would do.

It was busy, but I did a double-take when I spotted a familiar name and colour, but unfamiliar package on the display of Christmas goodies. Continue reading

Ode to a Mystery Tea

You were a mystery, given to me by a transient gamer friend who, chances are, I will never see again. I never knew your season, year, or even factory, but you were smooth and sweet, free of pile smell, almost a little caramelized and earthy. Easy-brewing and comfortable, even sweeter and thicker in a mug or a pot than a gaiwan.

But you’re gone now, and I can only hope I one-day find a tea half as comforting.

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