Happy Spring

Beautiful Spring Day

Beautiful Spring Day

Happy Springtime, my friends. It’s my favorite time of year. Flowers are in bloom, birds are singing and the bees are pollenating the plants. Springtime is a time of renewal.

It’s also the perfect time for a nice hot cup of calming jasmine tea. So come on by and visit us! We’d love to have you over. Stop by the shop and mention this ad to receive one free cup of hot tea!

I just want to wish all of my friends a happy time of renewal. Happy Springtime, my friends.

Please excuse the redesign

Hello Nations, and welcome again to your favorite little tea shop in the city. I’m excited to finally have some time to work on my true love, and with it, this website. It’s been about 4 years since our first design, and our current theme, while good, was not aging well with our site technology.

So please excuse the mess, and if you find yourself in the upper ring, stop on by and say hi.

And wherever you are, don’t forget to take the time to sit down, read a good book, do whatever calms your soul… and enjoy a nice cup of tea. You’ll thank you for it.

– Iroh

The Tao of Tea

Hello Nations!

Now, I know what you’re thinking… but don’t worry! I’m not going to get all philosophical on you today. (Well… maybe just a little.)

The only truly important things in life are our relationships. Relationships with those we love – our family and friends. And I cannot imagine going through life without friends! To enjoy a cup of tea with a friend is one of the true joys of living! I am very fortunate to have so many friends… and today I want to introduce you to some of my newest tea friends.

The Tao of Tea is a tea house in Portland, Oregon, and they serve some of the finest teas available. The ambiance in this tea house is second to none (well… maybe second to The Jasmine Dragon in Ba Sing Se… haha!). The employees all know their teas very well, including proper preparation and serving techniques. From the ambient lighting and (quietly playing) relaxing music, to the décor, I cannot imagine a more cozy way to spend an afternoon with friends. You will not be disappointed! If you know how much I love tea, you will understand that this is one of the highest compliments I can give.

So why are you still reading this? Get on out, stop by the Tao of Tea and enjoy a cup with a friend.


*P.S. For those of you that love to enjoy the very rare yellow tea, this is one of the only places in the area that carries it. Very limited quantities!

Still Here!

Hello everyone!

I wanted to let you all know that, despite not posting anything for a long time, we are still here!

Our tea shop in Ba Sing Se is getting so much business that we haven’t had time to update our website!

However, we love speaking with our customers and would be honoured if you would stop in for a complementary cup of our tea-of-the-week. This week, it’s ginseng tea (my favorite)!

So stop on by and let’s drink some tea!

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate (pronounced YAIR-buh MAH-tay) is a drink that is very popular in South America, particularly Argentina and Uruguay. It is not actually a tea, but a type of holly. However, it is drunk much like tea. And like tea, it also contains caffeine.

In the Rioplatense area, people drink out of a dried gourd (called the “mate”), through a metal straw with a filter on the end (the “bombilla”) that goes into the gourd. The tea is called just “yerba” down there.

In Argentina, some people enjoy it with a little sugar. This never happens in Uruguay, however. The Uruguayans are more, what you might call “purists”. But in Uruguay you will always see people walking around with a big thermos under one arm, and the mate in hand. Uruguayans don’t like to go anywhere without their mate.

The drinking of mate is a very cultural thing, complete with unspoken rules. For example, when someone offers you mate, you drink some and then hand it back. If you say “thank you” when handing it back, then you are done drinking. If you do not, then you are still open to drinking some more and the exchange continues.

This very cultural event can only be fully experienced by visiting the countries of Uruguay or Argentina and drinking it with the local people. Be sure and brush up on your Spanish before leaving!

Yellow Tea

Update (2015-05-03): My friends, I’m sorry to say that the yellowtea.net site is no longer up. That’s just how the fortune cookie crumbles sometimes. Haha! 😉

Yellow tea is a more rare tea, some describe it as a cross between green and white tea. It is prepared similar to green tea, but the leaves are dried differently and it has a different color and scent than either green or white tea.

I visited my local tea shop last night. I was surprised to learn that they did not know about yellow tea! Yellow tea is the new white tea. Everyone knows about white tea these days.

I know of a tea shop in London (on Camden High Street) that sells yellow tea in addition to some other truly wonderful teas. On my last visit I picked up some amber mountain yellow tea, which was a delight. The name of the shop is ChinaLife, and I highly recommend it for Amber Mountain Yellow tea if you are in the London area!

There is a wonderful site all about yellow tea at http://www.yellowtea.net/. This is a very well-designed site which appears to follow the Teaist philosophy of simplicity. It contains everything you could want to know about yellow tea.

If you ever have the change to come across some yellow tea, I suggest you give it a taste. Even if only to be able to say that you’ve had it!

Camellia Sinensis – The Tea Plant

All true teas come from one single plant, Camellia Sinensis. Any other plant that calls itself a “tea” is, in fact, a poser! So it is a good thing that plants don’t call themselves anything! Ha ha ha! 😉

The different types of true teas, which include green, white, yellow, oolong, Pu-erh and red/black, all come from this one plant. The differences are in how the plant is processed and turned into dried teas leaves that we use to make our beloved beverage of choice.

In its most general form, tea processing involves different manners and degree of oxidation of the leaves, stopping the oxidation, forming the tea and drying it.

The above quote comes from the current (as of 02 January in the year 2012 AD) Wikipedia article on Tea Processing, which is a great overview of the processing of different types of teas. I cannot better explain the process to you in my own words, so I will leave you this link so you can read it yourself. It is recommended reading for the beginning tea lover!

I will leave you to your reading. Right now, I think I’m going to go enjoy a nice cup of Jasmine tea…

The Book of Tea – Kakuzo Okakura

Kakuzo Okakura was a Japanese scholar. He was from an upper class family and tutored in English and Western thought as a child. He wrote The Book of Tea, a long essay which discusses Teaism, Zen, Buddhism, philosophy and the Japanese tea ceremony and its influence on all aspects of life and society in Japan.

It is a very good read, and I highly recommend reading it.

You can find royalty-free online and downloadable versions of the book The Book of Tea at Project Gutenberg here:

The Book of Tea – Project Gutenberg

Hello nations!

I am so happy to be able to share with the world… the opening of… Jasmine Dragon Tea!

This is truly a dream come true for me, and if it hadn’t been for the help and support of all my friends and family, especially my beloved nephew Zuko, this dream could never have become reality.

So, once again, thank you to everyone! As a token of my gratitude I would like to formally invite persons of all nations to come drink deep the sweet essence of tea with me… and the first cup is on the house. All week long! So come one, come all!

We are located in the Earth kingdom city of Ba Sing Se, in the upper ring. If you have trouble finding us, remember, just ask where you can find the finest tea in Ba Sing Se!

… because tea is more than just hot leaf juice…