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

Lapsang Souchong – Beyond the Smoke

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As temperatures begin to drop outdoors and autumn settles into early winter, the scent of smoke rising from chimneys fills the evening air in just about every place we visit in the cooler climates. But the unmistakable aroma and taste of smoke is not something many of us actively seek out in our teas, and the famously smokey Lapsang Souchong is often overlooked by serious tea drinkers.  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

Creating Forest-Grown Tea in Hawaii

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Since we launched Talking Tea in 2014, one of our main areas of focus has been the continuing growth of tea enthusiasm in North America. We’ve chatted with tea sellers, educators and writers, but we haven’t had the chance to talk with anyone actually farming tea in the US or Canada. Until now.   Read the full show notes

Tea, Heart to Heart

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This week on Talking Tea we return to the Tea Institute at Penn State University to explore the evolution and burgeoning growth of interest in Japanese tea ceremony study at the Institute and beyond, and the transformative nature of tea ceremony practice. We first chat with Drew Hanson, founding instructor of the Urasenke program at the Institute. Drew talks with us about his own journey from art to tea, the history and development of the Japanese track at the Institute, and changing demographics and perspectives among students of Japanese tea ceremony.  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

Kevin Gascoyne on Darjeelings, Fair trade and the Future of Tea

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We’re back in Montreal this week on Talking Tea chatting with Kevin Gascoyne of Montreal’s famed Camellia Sinensis Tea House.

Kevin, a co-owner of Camellia Sinensis, is known around the world as a prominent tea taster, educator and author. We talk with Kevin about his passion for Darjeeling teas, how classically grown Darjeelings compare with newer clonal teas, and current trends in tea processing. Kevin also discusses fair trade and labor conditions at tea gardens in India and elsewhere, and shares his perspectives on the future of tea’s popularity and growth, both in North America and worldwide. And, as an added bonus, we chat with Kevin about Camellia Sinensis’ groundbreaking studies on caffeine and anti-oxidants in 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

From the Czech Republic With Oxalis Tea

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On today’s episode we have two guests speaking to us from  Oxalis Tea and Coffee in the Czech Republic. First up is Petr Zelik, owner and founder of Oxalis. Petr chats with us about tea culture in the Czech Republic, and especially about the challenges and successes of building a tea company after the fall of Communism. We also explore Oxalis’ offerings of Korean teas, which are not easy to come by among quality tea offerings in the US.  Read the full show notes

Teatulia: A New Model of Tea Farming in Bangladesh

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This week on Talking Tea we chat via Skype with Chris Olsen of Teatulia, an organic tea producer based in Bangladesh founded on principles of social responsibility and sustainability. 

You may be familiar with the unique flavor profiles of Teatulia’s teas and blends, and Chris and I discuss the influence of the Bangladeshi terroir on the complex flavors and aromas of some of Teatulia’s award-winning teas. But what most impressed us at Talking Tea was the positive impact Teatulia has made on the environment and society surrounding its tea garden.  Read the full show notes