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

Growing a Tea Meetup

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One of our guiding principles here at Talking Tea is that conversations about tea and tea culture have the power to deepen our understanding and enhance our experience of tea. Today on Talking Tea we’re exploring one of the ways people are increasingly coming together to share and talk about tea: tea meetup groups. We’re joined by Roy Lamberty, founder and organizer of the New York Tea Society, a popular tea meetup in New York City.  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

The Sencha Episode

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This week on Talking Tea we’re exploring the intricacies of sencha, the most ubiquitous of Japanese green teas. Sencha? Intricate? Many tea drinkers don’t think of those two words in the same context, but we sit down with Zach Mangan of Kettl, a Japanese tea seller based in Fukuoka, Japan and Brooklyn, New York, to sample some senchas and to look at how multifaceted this tea can be.  Read the full show notes

New Visions in Japanese Tea

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If you’ve listened to our Talkin’ Matcha episodes you’ll recognize the name of Tyas Huybrechts. Tyas has been a blogger and tea ceremony instructor based in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan, and we’re delighted to welcome Tyas back to Talking Tea to chat about his new venture, The Tea Crane, a company focused on chemical-free Japanese tea.  Read the full show notes

Tea, Zen, Awareness

We’re releasing this episode in between the Western new year and the Asian lunar new year, and we took this opportunity to quiet our minds, turn inward a bit, and look again at tea as a contemplative practice. Chatting with us in this exploration is Ven. Hyeonmin Prajna, a Zen teacher in the Five Mountain Zen Order based in New York City, and a student and practitioner of Japanese tea ceremony in the Dai Nihon Chado Gakkai school of tea.  Read the full show notes

A Relaxed Approach to Tea & “Tea Decadence” at Montreal’s Cha Do Raku

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Today at Talking Tea we’re in Montreal beginning our exploration of this city’s vibrant tea scene. Our first stop is Cha Do Raku, a new tea house and shop in Montreal’s Plateau district. Cha Do Raku (it means “decadence of tea” in Japanese) and its owner and founder, Shiho Kanamaru, have already made a name for themselves through the highly regarded teas offered through Cha Do Raku’s online store. Today we visit Shiho in her new shop and chat about how she realized her dream of a tea space that embodies the spirit of doraku, a simple, relaxed enjoyment of tea.  Read the full show notes

Tea & Relational Culture: What’s Tea Got to Do With It?

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One of the things we hear over and over again from people in the tea world is how so many great relationships have been created and nurtured through tea. But what is it in tea culture that’s so good at bringing us together?  Read the full show notes

Beauty in Imperfection: A Visit to the Shofuso Tea House

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This week on Talking Tea we’re back in Philadelphia at Shofuso, an authentic, and quite amazing, Japanese house and garden with a fully functioning tea house and roji, or tea garden. We’re joined by Derek Finn, Shofuso’s site and program manager, and Morgan Beard of Urasenke Philadelphia,  an organization dedicated to practicing and teaching the Japanese way of tea.   Read the full show notes

Talkin’ Matcha, Part 2: How To Make It

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Have you been wondering how to make a bowl of matcha without the ritual of a formal tea ceremony? How to get a smooth, frothy lime-green foam that looks and tastes great? Talking Tea is here to help. In Part 2 of Talkin’ Matcha, tea blogger Tyas Huybrechts explains how to make a fine bowl of matcha in a few easy steps.  Read the full show notes