Archive for the ‘Tea’ Category

Kenyan Tea Markets

NPR had a fascinating report on tea markets in Kenya on the radio this morning.  Follow that link if you’d like to listen the report or just read the article.  The audio report, however, has more information than the summarized article provides.  I was quite surprised to find out that Egypt and Pakistan were the largest tea consumers in the world.  Of course, this is for heavily fermented and roasted teas, not your Oolong or green teas.

The bartering system for bidding on tea is really interesting.

A trader who wants to raise a bid can simply say, “Up,” or he can back away by saying, “Out.” Someone who wants to claim the highest bid tells the auctioneer to “Knock it, sir,” and then the gavel falls.

I wonder if this is the traditional way in which commodities were traded in the British Empire?  I also had no idea that Kenya was a major tea producer.  In my mind I had countries like India, China and Indonesia, or even some South American nations.

As one who generally prefers tea to coffee, I liked the Muchura’s response regarding coffee:

“I’ve never liked coffee, so I don’t drink coffee. It’s bitter, very bitter, and very thick in the mouth,” Muchura says. “Tea is light and sweet if it’s made properly, and you don’t need milk, you don’t need sugar.”

When it’s pointed out that many people like to drink their coffee black, he laughs and says, “Yes, that’s when it’s even worse.”

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My Current Tea

Last year while I was in Taiwan, after sampling it in the shop, I bought a tin of 913茶王 (Tea King) from a Ten Ren shop in Taipei.  I finished up most of my other tins of tea and I’m now mostly drinking this tea.  If you try to order it on the web or if you’re looking for it in a Ten Ren store, the tin looks like this:

913 Tea King

It is a really pleasant tea actually, with a very robust aroma.  The salesmen at the shop said it was a winter tea and I understand that better now.  It is stronger and not as sweet as some other Oolong teas I’ve tasted before.  If you’re looking for a new tea to help get you through the cold of winter, I highly recommend the 913 Tea King from Ten Ren.

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Tea from Taiwan

Teas from Taiwan

One of my colleagues at work recently came back from a trip back to his home in Taiwan.  He saw I had a box of Taiwan High Mountain tea on my desk and told me he’d bring me back some tea.  Apparently his dad received a lot of tea as gifts, but the man does not drink tea–something I cannot fathom–and he’d bring me back Alishan High Mountain tea.

He bought me a pack of not only Alishan High Mountain (阿里山高山茶), but also Dong Ding Oolong (凍頂烏龍茶).  I have never tried either before so I am really looking foward to trying them both!  Wikipedia says the following about Dong Ding Oolong tea:

This is a tightly rolled tea with a light, distinctive fragrance.

That sounds very pleasant!  It also says the following about Alishan High Mountain tea:

It is grown at an elevation of 1000 to 1400 metres. There is only a short period during the growing season when the sun is strong, which results in a sweeter and less astringent brew. It produces a golden yellow tea which has a unique fruity aroma.


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