CategoryTea Rambles

What Would We Do

SpontaneiTea’s recent (well, not-so-recent by the time I actually post this) post on the oversights of Bigelow’s new website got me thinking. And it only got worse (the thinking) when I clicked through to his guide to the Best Practices for Tea Company Websites. I live in an area blessed by a thriving (well, maybe less so now as we usher in the era of DavidsTea) industry of independent tea shops. Not as dense as some places, I’m sure, but there’s a lot within the radius of public transit that I have access to. At any rate, my question, followed by my experiences.

What would we do for our favourite tea companies?

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This Just In: More Tea

Two posts? From me? Huh, that’s… something, I suppose.

After spending a day cramming for midterms, I returned home to find that I’d received two envelopes. One of tea, one containing my PAL (That’s the Canadian equivalent to a firearms license, for the yanks). I’ve been collecting licenses as of late. Well, all relevant to my field, of course. On top of my PAL, I received my level 1 portable XRF operator’s license, and so with the ability to legally handle any non-prohibited firearm in Canada, as well as shoot a gun that literally fires xrays at things, I think I’m well on my way to a life of crime and super villainy.

At any rate, on to the tea. Continue reading

No Second Annual Vancouver Tea Festival

I’ve got half a post typed up in another window, and am penning another post on paper as I read the 1960’s handbook, “Tea Growing” by C.R. Harler. But instead of working on either of those, here’s a general post of updates instead.

Green Terrace Teas made a post on Steepster about offering free samples for review; I haven’t received mine yet, but we’ll see how that goes. I’ve noticed that someone (most likely from the country) has gone through and rated all their teas at 100 without posting a review. Usually Steepster is quick to jump on this and point it out, but it doesn’t look like anyone has noticed it yet; I’m not upset, as most new companies posting on Steepster don’t realize this is considered ‘taboo’ until users speak up. We’ll see.

Otherwise, I made a trip down to the Chinese Tea Shop and then O5, where at the latter I ended up staying way longer than I meant to talking with one of the employees. But that’s one way to spend an afternoon. I like the comradery of the Independent Tea Shop Industry (TM?) of Vancouver; my CTS bag was recognized the moment I stepped into O5, and we ended up discussing puers and dan cong oolongs (as those were what I’d purchased). From there we talked a bit about other tea shops and the tea events around Vancouver, as well as the prominent “tea folk” (he was surprised at how few I’ve met from the Vancouver Tea Society, but I tend to avoid large gatherings; me and conventions don’t mix–in fact, I took the UBC bus to get to O5, knowing full well that I could ride it to UBC where my friends were currently helping host Northwest Fanfest). Continue reading

Murchies: A Follow-Up

Thought I’d just make a quick post to bring to attention this comment, from “David” at Murchies, which clears up a few of the discrepancies I mentioned in my ramble about Murchies. Amusingly, this comment was made about a month ago, but I never got a notification for it, so I only just came across it.

DAVID wrote:

Amazingly thurough post which I enjoyed reading, thanks. To help explain the name confusion regarding John Raith/Raitt Murchie. Raith and Raitt are the same name and are both pronounced the same. Raith is how you spell it for a scottish reader and Raitt is how you spell it for an english reader. If my memory serves John spelt his name “Raith” on his wedding certificate, but his name on the death certificate is “Raitt”. I suspect the Susan which gave you information about a ‘Douglas’ may have gotten confused with a maternal branch of the family in which Douglas was a common name.

Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Shadowrun Brings Tealovers Together

I game. This should not be surprising, as I follow most of the trends associated with “geeks”, especially the old fashion type. Recently, my DM (of many years) has started into Shadowrun. This is my first brush with it, and to fill out our group he turned to the internet to gather some players. After many misses, he managed one new player (bringing our party total up to three), since most of our old regulars have since moved away.

During our last gaming session, I learned that our new member is big into tea. We managed to derail the whole game for half an hour discussing it–pausing every so often in an attempt to return to the game, but ultimately failing each time.

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Invaded Chinatown yesterday to pick up teas. I went in for unflavoured tuocha and “honey” phoenix dan cong, came out with a bit more.

And also books. But I got those at Chapters downtown, after I’d left Chinatown. Photos under the cut.

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Hor-Tea Cul-Ture, and Old Geology Books

Picked up some tea that seems to have absolutely no record on the internet. …Outside of the Art Knapps store, from which it seems to be a new product of theirs.

It’s always a little exciting to be the first to discover a tea on a community database-like setup like Steepster, although I always like reading through others’ reviews before making a purchase–it helps me decide.

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Tea Purchases

Thought I’d update with a few of my purchases. Seeing as I spent a total of one hundred dollars ($CAN) on tea and tea accessories (okay, they were all reasonable prices minus the forty dollars I spent on a freshly-picked 2012 first flush Darjeeling, but getting to that). Continue reading

Faking Sanity

I spoke, a few posts ago, about a Tea Shop/Used Book Shop I discovered whilst I was up north working at a coal mine. I didn’t think to scan the bookmark I picked up there, but I thought maybe I’d post that.

The shop was called “Faking Sanity”, located in Dawson Creek. Unfortunately, I was only able to visit it once, since I wasn’t living in Dawson, and didn’t own a vehicle (nor do I have my license, for that matter); it was found when me and some coworkers made a road trip there, since the groceries are about 1/3 the price (our town had one grocery store, and thus complete control over the perishable food market in the area). We’d passed the store while driving through the area, and I’d noted the name, “Faking Sanity” (I believe I figured it for some sort of Collectibles shop, perhaps). After watching Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon in a tiny theatre, I re-expressed my interest in finding a good book shop. Dave (a coworker) pulled out his phone and did a search of the area. There wasn’t much–just two, in fact, if I remember correctly. He said “Faking Sanity”, and I said that I remembered seeing that shop.

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A Search for Information: Murchie’s

It began (as it usually does) on Google; this isn’t the first time I’ve typed ‘ “John Murchie”+tea ‘ into the Google search-engine. I’ve done it a few times now, but my search usually ends with very little information, and I normally give up within the hour.

Let’s start with a background for the non-Canadians. John Murchie was a tea and coffee importer and blender; he started up the company “Murchie’s”, and is normally considered to be the man behind the unorthodox blending of green tea with black tea. Murchie’s is still around today (with two in Vancouver and more in Victoria), and is pretty well-known. Heck, I have a friend from Alabama who orders from Murchie’s to keep up on her supply of their Library Blend (she was first introduced to the company when she visited Canada a while back; sadly Murchie’s doesn’t extend into the US of A). Continue reading

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