Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 has been a challenging and yet rewarding year for me. With the bad economy, the business was discouraging at times. However, we made it through another year and have come out fine, with good tea that was shared with everyone this year. Thank you all for your support!

I have been blessed with generous people; people who have and continue to give me advice and help on my website, useful feedback on my business, and who have donated time to help Floating Leaves Tea . I am also blessed with generous tea drinkers who have discovered interesting teas from other tea merchants and have shared what they have discovered with me.

Thank you to all whom have come in to Floating Leaves Tea to support my business. I love to have the special kind of connection with all of you, sitting down to drink and chat about tea. My dedication to sell honestly good tea is because of my love for tea and tea culture, and I wouldn't continue to love what I do so much if it wasn't for the wonderful tea friends I get to spend time with. For those who are not living in Seattle, thank you for ordering tea from the website. A lot of you have written me emails with questions and have sometimes called me, too. Even though I have never seen you, I feel like I know you somehow, through the tea.

Looking forward, one of my goals in 2010 is to continue to find good Oolongs. I know I have done well when you take a sip of tea and have a satisfying smile on your face. I know I have done well when you write and thank me for finding your favorite tea. Another goal is to do video projects on various Oolong processes with detailed explanations.

During this holiday season, wherever you are, please remember to sit down and have a delicious cup of tea.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter High Mountain Oolong

I've completed my tasting of the 4 High Mountain Oolongs that we will be carrying this season: Lishan, Alishan, Buddha's Hand, and LaLaShan. They all have a strong enough body and they are unique and very different from each other.

The Lishan Tea has a very nice fruit note with a buttery mouth feel. It has a very light roast to bring out the flavor.

The traditional Alishan Tea is floral, gentle, and complex. It is made by a premium Alishan tea maker and we are happy to have his tea again this season.

The Buddha's Hand is bold and green. It has not been roasted and was produced within the last 3 weeks, but the base is strong and the flavors will mellow.

The Lalashan is roasted, fruity, and has a clear and strong hui gan. It is a bold tea that yields a lot of flavor and many infusions.

We only have a small amount of each tea for now (the Buddha's Hand is temporarily unavailable) and more of them will be in Seattle after the New Year. If you want to figure out which one you might like the most, please check out the High Mountain Tea Sampler on our website: www.floatingleaves.com

I will be posting this season's Dong Ding tasting notes soon.

Happy Holidays to you all. Stay well and drink lots of good tea!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Winter Baozhong Has Arrived!

Before I had the chance to try any of the new winter Oolongs from Taiwan, I had heard a lot of rumors that this season's teas would not be good.

When the boxes of new Baozhong arrived at the shop three days ago, I have to say that I was a bit nervous.

I did two tastings with the bowl method comparing this season's teas to the spring Baozhong. I like this season's Baozhong better. I found them to have a thicker body. Next, I tried this season's Farmer's Choice, Honorable Mention and 2nd Place Baozhong in a gaiwan. Farmer's Choice is bold and upfront with both floral and some kind of fruit notes. Honorable Mention is soft and smooth. 2nd Place Bazhong has that typical "competition" floral note. All are enjoyable and different from each other.

I will try to give another update on these three Baozhongs after the first official tasting this weekend. I have noticed many times that some of each season's new teas will change a bit after they have arrived and have sat around for about one month.