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

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Floating Leaves Tea is 8 Years Old!

It feels like not so long ago that we celebrated Floating Leaves Tea's 7th birthday. On August 8th, Floating Leaves will turn 8!

It has been a very good year. We launched a tea club and I have been having great tea sessions with  wonderful groups of tea people.

Thank you all for taking the time to come visit, especially to those who don't live in Washington state but still took the time to visit. It's always a delight and an honor to share some tea with you.

This past May, I took 6 wonderful tea lovers to Taiwan and we had a blast! Thank you, Masa, Jan, Ana, Stephanie, David, and Matthew, for making this trip possible and for making the experiences magical!

And thank you, tea farmers, for making us all of these delicious teas!

We want to thank you for helping Floating Leaves Tea make it this far. On August 8th, all of our tea will be on sale at 20% off, and the sale will last for a week. Please take the chance to try out new teas or stock up on your favorites. All the teas have been opening up and they are delicious!

Thank you once again for all of the support. I look forward to seeing you very soon to share some tea with me and to thank you in person.

*Special thanks to a beautiful couple who has been helping out with the Floating Leaves Tea website and with all of my computer questions.

Thank you, my blog editor, for editing my posts and for reminding me when it's time to write more! You are the best and will get free tea for life.

Thank you, Doug, for all of your time and for the beautiful photos of the tea and of the shop.

My deep gratitude to all of you for making Floating Leaves Tea a better place.

Sunday, August 04, 2013


I have been asked a lot of questions regarding water, temperature, tea ratio, brewing time, etc.... Over the next couple of blogs, I will answer these questions based upon my observations in Taiwan.

*photo by Douglas King

First, what kind of water is best for making tea with? When I am with farmers in Taiwan, I ask what kind of water they use for tea. Most of the time, the answer is they use the water that runs down from the hills.

*photo by Matthew Kraus

When I was writing this, I thought it might be fun to taste some spring water vs Seattle tap water to see if there would be a huge impact on tea. I had 4 tea friends join me for this fun tasting. I bought Fiji water and Arrowhead water for this tasting. Why did I choose those two brands? I went to a 7-11 near my shop and that's what they have available for spring water.

First round, we tasted just the water itself. Spring water does taste "more alive" than filtered tap water (tastes more flat).

*Photo by Douglas King

Then I brewed our HeHuanShan Oolong in a competition style with these three kinds of water. The differences between the waters was very obvious in this round of tasting. We all agreed that HeHuanShan brewed with filtered tap water is more flat, but we couldn't agree which spring water showed the best result for HeHuanShan. Very interestingly, the tea broth from the tap water was much lighter.

*the above two photos by Douglas King

After this, we proceeded to brew a raw XiaGuan Tuocha from the 90's with these three waters. The differences among these three kinds of water were not as big. Spring water made the puer taste a bit better, but not by much more than the filtered tap water.

*the two photos above by Matthew Kraus.

We finished off our tasting with a Muzha Tieguanyin. Once again, the tea broth from the filtered water was lighter and this time, pretty much everyone liked the brew made with Fiji water the best.

We are blessed to be in Seattle, where our water is from the mountains. Unfortunately, the city puts in some stuff to make the water "safe" for people to drink. Because of the treatment, it also makes the water flatter than natural spring water. If you can find a way to get natural water in your region, that might be the best water for your tea. After all, bottled water is harsh on the environment.