Chaxi: Harmony, Art & Expression in Tea

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We’ve been wanting to explore chaxi on Talking Tea ever since we visited the Tea Institute at Penn State University back in 2016. Tea was prepared and served to us by students in the Chinese tea track at the Institute with a degree of artistry and calm precision we had never quite witnessed anywhere else, and when we asked some of the students where they learned to prepare tea in this way, they suggested we speak with one of their teachers and mentors, Stéphane Erler, to learn more about chaxi, an artistic expression of tea originating in Taiwan.  Read the full show notes

Dark Tea Comes Out Of The Shadows

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Today we’re chatting with Zhen Lu and Phil Rushworth of Zhen Tea about a category of tea that’s not widely understood outside of China or even within China, and that’s heicha, or “dark tea”, hailing from outside the pu erh region. You may remember Zhen and Phil from our earlier episode “Lapsang Souchong – Beyond the Smoke”, and today we’re chatting at the Zhen Tea headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.  Read the full show notes

Choosing Teaware for Flavor, Aroma and Experience

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Today we welcome back to the show Kevin Gascoyne, of Montreal’s Camellia Sinensis Tea House, to chat with us in depth about how our choices of teaware impact the flavors, aromas and overall experience of the teas we drink. Kevin is often seen sporting his signature Royal Albert teacup, and that prompted us to ask Kevin what’s the deal with this oh-so-English-looking cup. His initial answer inspired us to want to explore more fully how our choice of cup and brewing vessel affect our enjoyment of tea.  Read the full show notes

Okakura and the Spirit of Tea

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We’re getting a bit contemplative this time of year here at Talking Tea, as the weather turns cooler and our bodies and minds begin to turn inward. So this December we’re offering two episodes exploring the spirit of tea as reflected in chado, the Japanese way of tea. To kick off this two-part series we’re looking at the life, work and influence of Kakuzo Okakura (pictured above), best known for his modern classic The Book of Tea.  Read the full show notes

Bridging the Gap Between Tea and Coffee

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At Talking Tea we’ve long wanted to explore the seemingly deep divide between tea and coffee, and between tea drinkers and coffee drinkers. But lately we’ve come to realize that the divide might not be very deep at all, and that there might be more similarities between the two beverages, and the two communities, than we ever imagined.   Read the full show notes

Innovation in Indian Tea

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Today on Talking Tea we welcome back Kevin Gascoyne of Montreal’s Camellia Sinensis Tea House. If you’ve heard any of our earlier episodes with Kevin, you’ll know that Kevin is a specialist, and one of the world’s leading authorities, on Indian tea. Kevin returns to the show today to chat with us about some of the challenges currently facing Indian tea production, and how an innovative new project in south India called the Tea Studio is attempting to address these challenges . Read the full show notes

Ambassadors of Tea

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There is an amazement of tea that’s hard to capture in words. It can happen when we experience a tea for the first time and are astounded by flavors and aromas unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Or when we revisit one of our favorite teas and find elements we never noticed before. Or when we find ourselves drinking a tea that’s been expertly prepared and artfully presented in a way that awakens all of our senses. 

Today we’re at 29b Teahouse in New York City, where the owners and staff strive to create and recreate these moments of tea amazement every day. We’re talking with Stefen Ramirez and Andreas Vagelatos, two of the owners of 29b, about their unique philosophy and approach to tea.   Read the full show notes

Bitten By the Bug: Oriental Beauty, With Té Company

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To kick off Talking Tea’s fourth season, we’re at Té Company, an exquisite teahouse in New York’s West Village, talking about an exquisite tea – the aptly named Oriental Beauty.  Read the full show notes

Two Tea Podcasters Walk Into a Bar…

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Earlier this year, TJ Williamson of the World Tea Podcast invited us to join him in leading a session on industry-specific podcasting at Podcamp Toronto. And when the nice folks at Podcamp also gave us the opportunity to record a Talking Tea episode in front of a live audience at Toronto’s Imperial Pub,  TJ graciously agreed to join us as a guest on Talking Tea, to chat about the backgrounds of our two podcasts, why we do what we do, and about TJ’s work in tea outside of his show.  Read the full show notes

Arriving At The Source

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Most tea consumers never have the opportunity to visit the source of the teas we drink – the tea growers and tea makers in the various tea-producing regions around the world. So here at Talking Tea we’ve been wanting to hear an insider’s take on sourcing trips, to get an idea of what sourcing trips are like and what tea retailers look for when they source their teas.  Read the full show notes