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March 30, 2011

Our Wuyi Dark roasted oolong may be classified as a Rock Tea, or Yan Cha, for growing on the steep cliffs of the famed Wuyi Mountain Range in China's Fujian Province.

As a practice, tea can be a source of pleasure for a lifetime. It is a way to focus, to center. In a world constantly telling you to hurry up, it is the easiest way to slow down.

– James Norwood Pratt : New Tea Lovers Treasury

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March 29, 2011

The tea leaves used to produce Matcha are shaded a few weeks before harvest to boost their chlorophyll, amino acids, and other flavor compounds. Check out that vibrant green color!

Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.

– Friedrich Hegel

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March 27, 2011

An herbal blend carefully crafted for your Nocturnal Bliss: Rooibos, lemon myrtle, lavender, cornflower, and stevia.

If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.

– Malcom Gladwell

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March 26, 2011

Maiden's Ecstasy embodies the classic traits associated with Shou Pu-erhs: Rich, Earthy, and Soothing.

It seems like the chaos of this world is accelerating, but so is the beauty in the consciousness of more and more people.

– Anthony Kiedis: Scar Tissue

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March 25, 2011

A tribute to the cherry blossom festivals of Japan, our Cherry Blossom Sencha ushers in spring with the delicate scent of pink sakura blossoms.

There is only one way to learn… It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.

– Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist

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March 23, 2011

Named after the Yixing clay used to craft these mini tea pots, Yixings have porous qualities that absorb and eventually release flavor.

It is easier to exclude harmful passions than to rule them, and to deny them admittance than to control them after they have been admitted.

– Seneca

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March 21, 2011

Pu-erhs are often found compressed into cake-like bricks called, Bin Chas. Analogous to fine wines, pu-erhs are the one tea type enhanced with age.

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.

– Leo Tolstoy

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March 20, 2011

Organic blossoms with bright, daisy colors yield a dry bouquet of true chamomile sweetness.

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

– Anne Bradstreet

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How to Brew Tea

The Three Pillars of The Perfect Brew: Tea, Temperature & Time.

This art involves the balancing of three variables: amount of tea, water temperature, and steeping time. Since flavor is subjective, only you can determine what the right recipe is for your palate.

To begin your experimentation, start with the following guidelines:

Tea. Use 1-2 tablespoons of tea per 8oz cup. Get the most flavor from your tea by using more tea for short steeping periods.

Temperature. Always start with the best tasting water you can find: filtered, spring, or even “mountain stream fresh.”

Time. Steep the first infusion for 15-30 seconds.

Repeat. Re-steep for 5-20 additional infusions, increasing the brew time to taste.

Expert Notes

  • For Pu-erh & Oolong teas: Awaken the leaves. Rinse leaves with boiling water prior to first infusion.
  • Experiment with water temperature. Start with a rolling boiling and then try different temperatures to get the flavor you like best.
  • Brew with a gaiwan for maximum effect.



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How to Brew Masala Chai

Our Organic Masala Chai has people from all over the Bay Area coming to the Lounges for that cozy, creamy, and dreamy experience. Our secret Masala Chai blend was created from a combination of several collected family recipes from across India.We use only organic whole spices and organic, whole-leaf black tea. The resulting drink is a perfect and flavorful balance of spice and tea… and totally addictive.

Here’s how to make the perfect, creamy, steamy cup of Chai:

  • Bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil.
  • Add 2 tablespoons sweetener (we like our Balinese Samovar Sweet Crystals because they’re healthy and good for the environment).
  • When sweetener is dissolved in boiling water, add 2 tablespoons Masala Chai + 1–2 tablespoons of your favorite black tea (add more black tea for more caffeine kick).
  • Boil together for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup whole milk (or milk substitute). Bring to a boil again.
  • Remove from heat immediately (before it boils over).
  • Steep covered for 5 minutes.
  • Strain and enjoy!
  • Tastes great hot, or, chilled. Serves 2.


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Magic Matcha: From Tea Leaf to Green Tea to You

From Process to Ritual

Mystery hovers over this magical tea. Although not the most popular of green teas, it is likely the most exotic. Matcha’s unique processing begins with a shade grown tea leaf, yielding an intensely green, chlorophyll infused leaf. Once dried, the leaves are pulverized to dust between two large granite plates.

The magic of this tea is left to the user, making as big or as little ceremony as is necessary. To learn more about the history and ceremony, watch this video with Christy Bartlett of the San Francisco Uransenke Society. The joy of this tea happens not only in each sip but in the preparation. Hand-whisked with a bamboo chasen until soft green peaks form on its surface, this tea is blended, and not infused like other leaves.

Continue reading Magic Matcha: From Tea Leaf to Green Tea to You