Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea


Recently, I discovered the Harney & Sons Guide to Tea while browsing at the Barnes & Noble. I emailed the publisher to see if they would be willing to send me a review copy, and luckily for me, they said yes! This truly is a delightful book, and it really covers it's bases well. I will be using and recommending this book for years to come.

The book is written by Michael Harney, a master tea blender working at Harney & Sons. He is a very credible source on the subject of tea, because of the large amount of experience he has had at Harney & Sons.

The book contains a section on tasting teas, which I found very interesting. It includes a lot of tips, such as examining the leaves, brewing for the proper time and temperature, using the proper sort of water (filtered water), etc. The tasting guide is second-to-none, and I highly recomment you all give it a look.

The book also contains a brief history of tea, a "Tree to Tea" appendix, a lot of tea sources, and so forth.

But the bulk of the book is spend describing in detail over 50 of the most common types of tea, the temperature at which they are to be brewed, how to distinguish a good tea of a certain type from a bad tea of a certain type, etc. He also includes details about what the dry leaves should look like, what the liquor should look like, the types of aromas the tea should posess, the body that the tea should have, and the flavor notes you should be able to detect from the tea.

All in all, this book is an exhaustive resource on the various types of teas that are available, and the author has done an excellent job providing all the details you would want to know when brewing a cup of tea.

I highly recommend that you all pick up a copy of this book. I think you will find that it is an invaluable resource for any tea drinker to own.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Video on Tea Steeping

Hey all,

I just got emailed this video about steeping tea that I think you might enjoy. Here is an excerpt from the email that I received:

"Think you've got steeping down? has a fun new video that may change your tea brewing ways. David Wong, director of tea culture and education at Tillerman Tea, is on CHOW with the three "hows" of steeping. Check it out:"

So, if you feel like it, I recommend checking out this video! it is very interesting.

Again, it can be found at:

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tea Cozies by El Donna

Greetings readers!

Today's posting won't be an actual tea review. Instead, I'll be reviewing a tea-related product.

Recently, I was contacted by Amber Malley of a company called "By El Donna." She asked to if I would be interested in helping her raise awareness about their new line of tea cozies. Naturally, I said yes, since I am always interested in raising awareness about quality products in the world of tea.

So, she sent me a sample cozy to check out, and today's post will consist of me commenting on the cozy.

I've used a lot of tea cozies over the years, and throughout my experiences with tea cozies, I think I can safely assert that all tea cozies are NOT created equal. I have used many quality tea cozies, but I have also used tea cozies that are definately NOT up to par.

Once, I ordered a cozy from a popular tea company on the internet (which company shall remain nameless), and the item I received from them looked great, however, upon using it, I discovered that they did a poor job on the stitching, and the product literally came apart at the seams when I tried to use it.

Another time, I purchased a cozy from my local Target store, and while the tea cozy looked great, and managed not to fall apart, it wasn't made of a thick enough material, and when I used it to handle a particularly hot teapot, I burned myself, because the material did not do a good job of insulating against the hot teapot inside.

Thankfully, neither of these scenarios are the case with the product I received from By El Donna. The very day I received the cozy, I put it to immediate use. I used the cozy to insulate my favorite glass teapot while I handled it, and moved it from place to place. Not only did this cozy hold up under the pressure, it also did an excellent job of insulating my teapot! The cozy barely felt warm to my hands while it insulated my teapot - a sign of utmost quality.

Additionally, these cozies look GREAT! I love all of the cozy designs on her website, especially the one she ended up sending me, which is called "Quite Reflections." They have colors and designs available to suit a teapot of any color that you might imagine.

Another point I would bring up is that each of these cozies is hand-stitched, which is an excellent sign that this company is one that is committed to a very high quality standard.

I would refer you to the image I have posted if you would like to get a closer look at the cozy.

So, the tea cozy held up to my highest expectations! I would highly recommend these cozies to anybody shopping for one!

I would encourage you to drop by their website, and have a look at their offerings! Their website is also very well-designed, by the way. You can find the site at the following location:

I'd highly encourage you to take a look and see what you can see!

Well, as always, thanks for reading! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for several reviews that I am currently working on. I have several different reviews in the works, so I will try my best to have a new review up every 1-2 weeks. Since I am a student, that is the best I can do. I'd love to be able to post more frequently, but my studies always come first!

Thanks again for reading, and I hope you all have an excellent fall, and an even more excellent winter! Winter, my favorite season, is almost upon us! And with the rapidly cooling weather, we are on the verge of the ultimate season for hot tea!

Over and out,