Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Peach Black Tea from Upton Tea Imports

It may be the season for everything pumpkin flavored and scented in stores, but my mind goes back to thoughts of the peaches of this past summer. When given the opportunity to taste and review some teas from Upton Tea Imports, I chose to sample the “Naturally Flavored Peach Black Tea with Fruit Pieces” as one of my choices.  Why? I chose to sample peach tea because I grew up in the upstate of South Carolina which might otherwise be known as “peach country.” I have tasted many a peach in my life.  So I thought I would be a good judge of the authenticity of the peach flavor in this black tea blend.  And I have not been disappointed.

Upton Tea Imports’ “Naturally Flavored Peach Black Tea with Fruit Pieces” is delicious. The brew is rich and smooth and carries an authentic and natural peach flavor.  For a cup or pot of hot tea, I used boiling water on this tea blend and found that the steep time that worked best for me was 4 minutes.  I also tried a cold brew of this tea. For the cold brew tea I placed 1 tablespoon of tea in a pint of water.  I left this mix in the refrigerator to steep for 24 hours.  The result was a delicious, light bodied iced tea with a hint of peach flavor.

Whether you are looking for a hot or cold tea blend, the "Naturally Flavored Peach Black Tea with Fruit Pieces" from Upton Tea Imports is a great choice.

(Disclaimer: The tea discussed here was provided to me by Upton Tea Imports.)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Tea Woodblock Prints by Artist Ron Bower

I am excited to share this set of tea-themed images by artist Ron Bower.  Ron and his wife Sylvia (also an artist) currently make their home in Kentucky where they are friends of Bruce and Shelley Richardson of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.   The four of them often share tea together - accompanied by lively conversations about art and life.  Ron particularly enjoys a dark, bold, tea such as one of the single estate Assams carried by Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.

In his decision to create woodcuts, Ron was inspired by the woodcuts of Kentucky artist, Harlan Hubbard.  

Ron, like the Richardsons, is inspired by the Japanese aesthetic and tea ceremony.  So when he decided to create a set of tea-themed images, it was natural for him to depict implements from the Japanese tea ceremony.


tea whisk

teacup & scoop

These images are available as note cards or as original prints in the Danville, Kentucky retail shop of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.  You can reach the shop by phone at 859-236-6641 or by email at tea@elmwoodinn.com. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Tea 101 MasterClass by Elmwood Inn Fine Teas: Day 3

Day 3 of the Tea 101 MasterClass consisted largely of very helpful lectures about starting and running a tea business.  The day ended with a meditation given by Shelley Richardson and a graduation ceremony.

meditation by Shelley Richardson
(photo courtesy of Bruce Richardson)

class photo
(photo courtesy of Bruce Richardson)

Receiving my certificate of graduation
(photo courtesy of Bruce Richardson)

gift from Shelley Richardson

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tea 101 MasterClass by Elmwood Inn Fine Teas: Day 2

Day 2 of this Tea 101 MasterClass included a number of tea tastings.  We sampled black teas, herbals and infusions, and finally oolongs.  I came away from the tastings with a much greater appreciation for the flavors and aromas of fine teas.

black tea tasting notes

pu erh cake

herbals, infusions, and blends

Bruce Richardson leading the Gung Fu ceremonial tasting of oolongs

The tasting of the oolongs was done in the Gung Fu style ceremony.  It was fascinating and the teas were delicious.  I have a new-found appreciation for oolong teas.

At the end of Day 2 we visited the retail shop of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.  We had great fun and all came away from the trip with much lighter wallets.

Lynn at Elmwood Inn Fine Teas

Shelley Richardson at Elmwood Inn Fine Teas

Our group at the Elmwood Inn Fine Teas retail shop 
(photo courtesy of Bruce Richardson)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tea 101 MasterClass by Elmwood Inn Fine Teas: Day 1

Arriving at the Tea  101 MasterClass by Elmwood Inn Fine Teas I was greeted by the open door of a historic Shaker building where the class was to be held.  The classroom space was pleasant, comfortable, and well organized.

Day 1 consisted of a combination of lectures and tastings.  The lectures on "Tea as a Lifestyle" and "Understanding Specialty Teas" were followed by tastings of white and green teas.

The lectures were presented by the famous and knowledgeable Bruce Richardson of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.  The tasting was a joint effort of Bruce & Shelley Richardson with Joanna Kirby, their friend and Director of Education.  After tasting these white and green teas I can say with all assurance that Elmwood Inn Fine Teas is my new "go to" source for fine teas.

Lynn with Bruce Richardson

Monday, September 10, 2018

Tea 101 MasterClass: The Arrival

I arrived this morning at LEX, Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, ready to begin this tea adventure.  The rental car pick up area is right beside baggage claim, so I got my car and hit the road.  The drive from the airport to Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill is a quick and easy one.

I saw fields of beautiful fences like these above along the route to Shaker Village.  Closer to the village, beautiful stone walls like these below lined the landscape.

Upon arrival, beautiful scenes greeted me.  The village is dotted with lovely vistas across fields, fences, and stone walls.  Inside the restaurant I found this curving Shaker staircase.

I am excited to begin the Tea 101 MasterClass organized by Elmwood Inn.  In the meanwhile I am relishing this venue, Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill.

© my tea diary
Maira Gall