tea, tea review

About

We are two tea aficionados who love each other very much and who just so happen to love tea as well (the former more than the latter of course!). We live in the area now known as Flagstaff, AZ at the base of the Holy San Francisco Peaks.
This site is part blog, part review, part whatever-we-feel-like at the moment. We just really enjoy tea and want to share our enjoyment and experiences with whoever cares to wander through this sordid part of the tangled interweb. We may get political, we may get silly… but there’s always a moment for tea, savvy?

SO, WHO ARE YOU, REALLY?

Ok, ok, so the personal infos:
Princess: Passionate about crocheting, knitting, baking, running, and much more…

Klee: Musician with the group Blackfire, traditional Native Dancer, documentary filmmaker, graphic designer, silversmith, haiku enthusiast.
Favorite tea at this moment: Large Leafs from Old Trees Pu-er (The Phoenix Collection).

SO, WHY TEA?

We’re so very glad you asked… we could explain this over a nice hot pot of Lapsong Souchong if you are ever in our area or we’re in yours.
Otherwise, we truly hope that by reading our posts you will find some semblance of an answer.

SO, WHY A SITE & WHAT’S UP WITH YOUR RATING SYSTEM?

Tea tastes are very personal and as such very subjective.
We have tasted tea in nearly all corners of the U$, throughout Europe, in Africa, and beyond (no not Asia yet, but you can help us get there by donating to the cause!), so we feel like we have a pretty good sense of what we like and what we don’t like as far as tea and tea houses go. We have traveled to many a city and conducted the customary preliminary online search to determine where good tea may be enjoyed… at times we found absolutely nothing online yet when we hit the streets, another world seemed to exist (we know, silly to imagine a world unbeknownst to the all-knowing interwebs, right?!). Other times we found so many convoluted reviews and inconsistent advice that we became determined to spare others a similar fate.
On that note, we wish to be as fair as possible to everyone and everywhere we sample teas from. Please know that we will be honest about our preferences and upfront about our biases. A tea or place we rate highly you may not enjoy and so forth, such is how it goes with any “rating system.” If you agree or disagree, please deposit your thoughts in the comments!

At times we base our criteria for evaluation of the teas on:
Overall appearance of the Dry Leaf
Aroma of the Dry Leaf
Color of the Liquor
Flavor of the Liquor
Aroma and Appearance of the Wet Leaf

A few notes about our approach to tea and intentions here:

  • You won’t find many how-to’s or tutorials here.
    The web is full of them. Additionally, we’re not tea experts, nor do we really want to be. You could learn everything there is to learn about tea on the interwebs, but what about finding some other aficionados and asking them what they know as the best way to enjoy a particular Oolong? Taking the time to enjoy the moments of trail and error, of following tea to adventures that no website or blog could ever allow for is what we desire…
  • Tea has a colonial history that is currently perpetuated today in fields in Africa, in India and so forth. As we do not wish to contribute to the colonial/capitalist forces built from exploitation of Indigenous Peoples on large tea plantations, we make all effort to ensure that all the tea we enjoy is fair or direct trade. The smaller the company, the smaller the farm, the better.
  •  Enjoying tea doesn’t have to be expensive, and it really shouldn’t be.
    We get most of our tea wares from thrift stores, inexpensive markets, or on the rare occasion we find a bargain in a small, off-the-beaten-path tea house. We firmly believe that expensive tea doesn’t mean it is always good tea. Anyone who has had the honor of sharing tea with David Hoffman and his partner have most likely heard this as well. If it tastes good to you and its cheap, what else matters? One of our favorite Puers is about $10 a 1/4 lb and lasts for quite some time.
  • Tea has a large carbon footprint.
    Buying in bulk may reduce the carbon footprint of transporting tea, but that doesn’t make itthat much better for Mother Earth. This is why we try to buy as direct as possible.
  • Organic tea helps Mother Earth, farmers, and our bodies.
    ’nuff said.
  • Tea has a rich cultural heritage that we do not intend on appropriating.
    We are willing to accept that which is graciously offered and nothing more. We are willing to offer graciously in return.