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Talking Tea

Conversations on tea and tea culture.

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Drunk on Tea, Part 2: All About Pu Erh

Everything you always wanted to know about pu erh but were afraid to ask...and more. In Part 2 of "Drunk on Tea", Shunan Teng of New York City's Tea Drunk shatters some myths about pu erh tea, contrasts cooked vs. raw pu erh, and talks in-depth about pu erh regions and fermentation. Shunan also chats with us about her ongoing tea classes and events at Tea Drunk. Tea Drunk's website is at www.t-drunk.com. Its Twitter feed is @teadrunknyc. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @KensvoiceKen.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of Tea Drunk courtesy of Shunan Teng 

31mins

4 Nov 2014

Rank #1

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The World of Taiwanese Oolongs

This week on Talking Tea we begin exploring the spectrum of Taiwanese oolongs with Shiuwen Tai of Seattle's Floating Leaves Tea. Shiuwen chats with us via Skype about the history of tea in Taiwan, and how Taiwan's tea production has been influenced by its relationships with both China and Japan. We discuss some of the factors that go into forming the unique flavor profiles of oolong teas from Taiwan, including aged oolongs, why mouthfeel and texture are important in evaluating tea, and then take a closer look at two oolongs: Alishan, a high mountain Taiwanese oolong (the photo shows an Alishan tea garden), and the famous Tieguanyin.  Shiuwen also gives us tips on best brewing practices,  and shares her perspectives on how "science, art, love and patience" come together to create exceptional Taiwanese oolongs.  More info on Floating Leaves, including its online store, shop hours and classes, can be found at the Floating Leaves website, http://www.floatingleavestea.com, and on its Facebook page. Shiuwen's blog is at http://www.floatingleavestea.blogspot.com. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of an Alishan tea farm  by Wm Jas, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Cropped from original.

54mins

22 Sep 2015

Rank #2

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Tea, Zen, Awareness

We're releasing this episode in between the Western new year and the Asian lunar new year, and we took this opportunity to quiet our minds, turn inward a bit, and look again at tea as a contemplative practice. Chatting with us in this exploration is Ven. Hyeonmin Prajna, a Zen teacher in the Five Mountain Zen Order based in New York City, and a student and practitioner of Japanese tea ceremony in the Dai Nihon Chado Gakkai school of tea. The history of tea culture is so intertwined with Zen Buddhism that it seemed natural to ask a Zen teacher to give us some perspectives on the practice of tea, and we talk with Hyeonmin about the essence of Zen and how to apply Zen ideals to both tea ceremony and casual tea drinking. Hyeonmin sheds light on how the Japanese tea ceremony in particular reflects some of those ideals, gives us suggestions on applying these principles to everyday tea and everyday life, and discusses how all tea culture can, from a Zen perspective,  expand our awareness and help us “correct the mind and the heart”. More info on Five Mountain Zen in New York City can be found at zen-nyc.info and on Ven. Hyeonmin Prajna's Facebook page. To learn about tea ceremony programs in New York City in the Dai Hihon Chado Gakkai tradition, go to http://www.tea-whisk.com.  For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

29mins

27 Jan 2016

Rank #3

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Focusing on Taste

Today on Talking Tea we focus on the nuances of flavor, and how to fully appreciate the taste of tea by engaging all of our senses. Guiding us through this exploration of tasting is Billy Dietz, a tea development specialist based in Montreal. We chat with Billy via Skype as he shares a little of his own remarkable tea journey and then takes us through two methods of preparing a tea he selected for this episode, a Muzha Tie Kwan Yin oolong from Taiwan provided by Naivetea. We compare the preparation of this tea in the traditional Chinese covered cup known as a gaiwan with the professional tasting method known as "cupping". (In the image here the gaiwan is in the left foreground, the cupping set to its right.) Billy explains the purpose of each of these brewing methods, gives us details on brewing tips in each style and discusses how these details of preparation affect the taste. We chat about how the other senses come into play as well - the visual aspects of the dry and infused leaf and the brewed tea, the aroma, the tactile sensations of the tea after we sip it, and even how we breathe before and after taking a sip - how to fully engage with all of these to allow a fuller discovery of the tea. Throughout,  Billy emphasizes the need for playful experimentation with our tea, so that our tea drinking becomes an art of discovery, an opportunity for mindfulness and self-awareness. You can follow Billy on Twitter and Instagram at @sirwillotleaf. You can find his blogsite at sirwilliamoftheleaf.com. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo courtesy of Billy Dietz.

53mins

6 Nov 2016

Rank #4

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Learning Tea With Babelcarp

We're calling this episode "learning tea" because learning about tea can be like learning a language - like learning English, or French, or Chinese, or any other language. There's a vocabulary to tea, and the world of tea is so vast, with so many words, facts and concepts to learn and keep track of, that it's easy to get overwhelmed. Compounding this in the English-speaking world is the fact that tea terms are often actually in another language - most commonly Chinese or Japanese. So what's a tea drinker to do? To look at one solution to this problem in the world of Chinese tea, today we chat with Lew Perin, the creator of a free website app called Babelcarp. Lew calls Babelcarp a Chinese tea lexicon, but it's much, much more than a dictionary. We chat with Lew about his background in tea, what Babelcarp is and how it works, and how its structure and system of links and cross-references make Babelcarp a virtual encyclopedia of Chinese tea. As an example, we type a sample tea phrase into Babelcarp and look at the answers and cross-links Babelcarp provides. We also chat with Lew about the Babelcarp add-on in the Pleco Chinese dictionary app and how it can be useful in purchasing tea online. You can find the Babelcarp web app at babelcarp.org. Lew Perin's Twitter feed is @babelcarp. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

28mins

8 Mar 2017

Rank #5

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Talking Teapots, In-Depth with Scott Norton

When a listener requested an episode about teapots. we realized that this was a topic we haven't really delved into on Talking Tea. And having attended one of tea blogger, writer and teacher Scott Norton's incredibly comprehensive seminars on yixing teaware, we invited Scott to join us for an in-depth overview of teapots, their design elements, their history and how to best match your teapots with your teas. You may remember Scott from our episode Glimpsing Tea's Past, Finding Tea's Presence, at New York's Floating Mountain.  Today we begin by chatting a bit about Scott's "teapot journey" and his background collecting, curating and teaching about teapots. And then we begin to explore various styles of Japanese and Chinese teapots. We start by comparing two very different teapots from 19th century Japan, a larger blue and white porcelain teapot and a small lotus-leaf design kyusu, and we discuss the advantages offered by small teapots in control over the brewing process and obtaining more pronounced flavors from our teas.  As we move to Chinese teapots, we compare porcelain, glazed ceramic and unglazed clay teapots and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each. Scott chats with us about how to tell if an unglazed clay teapot is highly fired or low fired, and how the levels of firing and coarseness of the clay can create distinct differences in flavor and the results of our brewing. We also touch on the history of teapots and the influence of the Silk Road trade on teapot design and evolution in China. Scott has some rather large teapots in his collection, and we discuss when we might want to use a larger teapot and how to best use a large-size pot. Finally we chat with Scott about the questions we need to consider in matching our teapots to our teas, and Scott gives us tips on buying teapots and how shopping for a teapot can and should be an extension of our tea practice. Scott Norton's blog is at  scotttea.wordpress.com. You can find Scott on Instagram @cutechajin, and videos of a number of Scott's workshops and seminars are available on his YouTube channel. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.    more about Talking Tea  Sign up for our email list to get updates on new episodes and events. The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff. All images on this episode page, other than the header image, are courtesy of Scott Norton. This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Header image “Raw Puerh mid 1980 Menghai” by Cosmin Dordea, used under a Creative Commons CC By-SA 2.0 license. Adapted from original.

1hr 2mins

7 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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Crafting Tea and the Good Life

On our pre-holiday episode of Talking Tea we chat with Andy Hayes, founder and tea maker at Plum Deluxe, a tea blender based in Portland, Oregon. Andy talks with us about his mission to help people slow down and craft a life they really enjoy, and how this goal, combined with Andy's views on the importance of organic teas and his experiences of European tea traditions, influences his blending process. More on Plum Deluxe's teas can be found on its website, www.plumdeluxe.com, on Pinterest at pintertest.com/plumdeluxe and on Facebook at facebook.com/plumdeluxe. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @KensvoiceKen.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of Plum Deluxe's Reading Nook tea courtesy of Plum Deluxe.

26mins

17 Dec 2014

Rank #7

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Artful Tea

This week on Talking Tea we chat with Morgan Beard of Urasenke Philadelphia, an organization dedicated to practicing and teaching the Japanese way of tea.  We recorded our podcast inside the amazing Japanese galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which include a complete tea house and garden as well as centuries-old tea utensils and masterpieces of Japanese art.  Morgan talks with us about some of the objects in the galleries (including the tea bowl shown here), and about how Japanese traditions of tea and aesthetics come together in the spirituality of the Way of Tea. For information on Urasenke Philadelphia's classes and events, go to its website at www.phillytea.org. More on the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Japanese collections and its extraordinary upcoming show on the art of the Kano period is at the Museum's website, www.philamuseum.org.  Info about tea events at Shofuso, the Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, is at www.japanesehouse.org For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @KensvoiceKen.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Tea bowl photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art.

43mins

25 Nov 2014

Rank #8

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The Qi of Tea: Tea's Healing and Spiritual Qualities

You might think we're having an identity crisis this week on Talking Tea, since our host and guest on this week's podcast share the same name. In this week's show our host and producer Ken Cohen chats with renowned qigong master and author Ken Cohen, who also writes and lectures extensively about the health benefits of tea.  Ken shares his personal tea journey with us, talks about both the health benefits and the spiritual benefits of tea from the perspectives of Western science and traditional Chinese medicine, discusses how our connection with nature and poetry influences our enjoyment of tea, and explains how the intention, heart and spirit we bring to the preparation and drinking of tea change not only our experience of tea, but also our relationship with the world.  This week's episode is a bit longer than our usual shows on Talking Tea, since Ken was willing to share so much of his knowledge and wisdom with us, and we didn't want you to miss out on any of it. So make yourself some tea, relax and enjoy The Qi of Tea. And be sure to check back soon for details on our upcoming interactive Tea Poetry Project.  Our guest Ken Cohen's books, articles, and other publications, as well as a calendar of his upcoming lectures and events and his own selection of teas, are available though his websites, www.qigonghealing.com and www.kennethcohen.com. You can find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CloudForestTea.  For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our blog page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

1hr 5mins

12 Mar 2015

Rank #9

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Montreal's Tea School

What did Talking Tea do this summer? We went to summer school, of course. Tea summer school, that is. In August we attended one of the English-language Summer School workshops offered through the tea school at Montreal's Camellia Sinensis. After the workshop we sat down with Kevin Gascoyne of Camellia Sinensis to chat about current and emerging trends in tea education. Kevin talks with us about Camellia Sinensis' model for tea education, how its tea school began with a goal of giving consumers better access to tea knowledge and how it's evolved to include programming oriented to tea industry professionals as well as consumers. We discuss the Summer School and the benefits of small, seminar-style workshops where students and instructors have the ability to share first-hand experience. Kevin also shares his perspectives on what students should look for in choosing a tea education program, identifying a student's goals and finding a program to fit those goals, the pro's and con's of certification and the ability of tea education to empower consumers and industry professionals for their own tea journeys. We also sat down in the Camellia Sinensis tea house with four participants in the Summer School workshop to chat about their perspectives on tea education: Tea researcher/educator/author Selena Ahmed and chef Noah ten Broek talk with us about increasing awareness of the nuances of taste and sensory experience, and tea sellers Zhen Lu and Phil Rushworth discuss addressing misinformation within the tea industry and the importance of educating tea vendors as well as consumers. More info about Camellia Sinensis and its tea school is at the Camellia Sinensis website, camellia-sinensis.com. To inquire about next year's Summer School, contact Kevin Gascoyne at info-en@camellia-sinensis.com More on Selena Ahmed, her work and publications, are at Montana State's Food and Health Lab website. More on Zhen Lu and Phil Rishworth's company, Zhen Tea, is at the Zhen Tea website, zhentea.ca. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

1hr 4mins

16 Sep 2016

Rank #10

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Arriving At The Source

Most tea consumers never have the opportunity to visit the source of the teas we drink - the tea growers and tea makers in the various tea-producing regions around the world. So here at Talking Tea we've been wanting to hear an insider's take on sourcing trips, to get an idea of what sourcing trips are like and what tea retailers look for when they source their teas. Today we welcome back Shiho Kanamaru of Montreal's Cha Do Raku, to get that insider's look at sourcing. Shiho tells us how she began Cha Do Raku by developing a network of sourcing connections in Japan and then Taiwan.  We chat about sourcing trips as a form of tea self-education, about the cultural differences between networking and sourcing in Japan versus Taiwan, and about Shiho's use of instinct and sensation to find high quality, unusual and extraordinary teas on her sourcing trips. Shiho also talks with us about some of the challenges of gaining entry into the world of tea growers and producers, about the hard work and rewards of going to source, and shares an example of how she's "arrived at" extraordinary teas through a combination of connections, spontaneity and experience. More about Cha Do Raku, including its online store and info on its Montreal shop, can be found at Cha Do Raku's website, cha-doraku.com, and on its Facebook page. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of a tea farm in Taiwan's Pinglin District, courtesy of Shiho Kanamaru.

28mins

3 Feb 2017

Rank #11

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How To Spot a Quality Tea - Part 2: Silver Needles

In our last episode of Talking Tea we began to explore the elements of a quality tea with Shunan Teng of New York City's Tea Drunk. As examples of what to look for in choosing tea, Shunan selected two historically famous teas from China. We began in our last episode by looking at Gua Pian, a green tea, and now we chat with Shunan about Bai Hao Yin Zhen, also known as Silver Needles, as we continue discussing how to spot a quality tea. Shunan chats with us about some of the unique characteristics of Bai Hao Yin Zhen and white tea in general, and common mistakes buyers make in choosing a white tea. One of the things that makes Bai Hao Yin Zhen unusual is that it's composed only of buds of the tea plant, and we talk with Shunan about what the appearance, aroma and texture of the buds can tell us about the tea's quality and how it was harvested and processed.  More info on Tea Drunk, including its online store, shop hours and events, can be found at its website, http://tea-drunk.com/. The website also has links to Shunan's fantastic videos of her sourcing trips in China. The direct link to the videos is http://tea-drunk.com/pages/tea-trip-videos. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of Bai Hao Yin Zhen courtesy of Tea Drunk.

20mins

24 Dec 2015

Rank #12

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Baozhong: Born in China, Rooted in Taiwan

We're continuing our exploration of Taiwanese oolongs this week with a focus on one of the most celebrated of Taiwanese teas, Baozhong. Shiuwen Tai, of Seattle's Floating Leaves Tea, gave us such a fantastic and comprehensive intro to Taiwanese oolongs in our last episode that we had to invite her back to give us some more in-depth knowledge, and we asked Shiuwen to talk about Baozhong because, well, it's one of our favorite oolongs. Shiuwen chats with us about Baozhong's history, from its origins in China to its later cultivation in Taiwan, and how this history along with Taiwanese innovations in growing and processing Baozhong give it the distinctive flavor and bouquet it's known for today. We also talk about the birth of floral teas in Taiwan, about aged Baozhongs and aged oolongs in general, and about how a tea maker's skill can create an experience for the drinker that, in Shiuwen's words, is "almost beyond imagination." In the photo above, Shiuwen visits the Baozhong fields of Farmer Chen, in Taiwan's Wen Shan district. More info on Floating Leaves, including its online store, shop hours and classes, can be found at the Floating Leaves website, http://www.floatingleavestea.com, and on its Facebook page. Shiuwen's blog is at http://www.floatingleavestea.blogspot.com. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of Shiuwen Tai in Farmer Chen's Baozhong fields, courtesy of Shiuwen Tai. 

38mins

28 Oct 2015

Rank #13

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Talkin' Matcha, Part 1

This week Talking Tea talks matcha with Tyas Huybrechts, founder and blogger at Tea Talk, a blog devoted entirely to Japanese green teas. Matcha, a powdered green tea that's whisked into a frothy brew, is fast becoming the caffeinated drink of choice among many in the West, and Tyas tells us about matcha's history and cultural background in Japan, how it's grown and processed, and what to look for in buying quality matcha.  Tyas is also a long-time student (and soon-to-be tea master) of the Enshu school of Japanese tea, and he shares some of his insights and personal perspectives about matcha in the Enshu tradition. In our next episode, Part 2 of "Talkin' Matcha", Tyas gives us a detailed guide on how to prepare matcha at home. Stay tuned! Tyas' blog, Tea Talk, is at www.tea-talk.be, and is packed with information about Japanese green teas. You can also follow him on Twitter @TeaTalkBe and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeaTalkBe. For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea. To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.  This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

37mins

29 Jan 2015

Rank #14

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Choosing Teaware for Flavor, Aroma & Experience

Today we welcome back to the show Kevin Gascoyne, of Montreal's Camellia Sinensis Tea House, to chat with us in depth about how our choices of teaware impact the flavors, aromas and overall experience of the teas we drink. Kevin is often seen sporting his signature Royal Albert teacup, and that prompted us to ask Kevin what's the deal with this oh-so-English-looking cup. His initial answer inspired us to want to explore more fully how our choice of cup and brewing vessel affect our enjoyment of tea. In our chat we focus mostly on the effects of the cup on our tea experience (though we also touch on some elements of teapots). Kevin talks with us about how the shape of the cup controls the delivery of the tea to the mouth and the placement of the tea on the tongue, how the material, size and shape of the cup affect the thermodynamics of the tea, and how all of this impacts the flavors and aromas of the tea we're drinking. We chat about some of the design features of teacups that have evolved for comfort, warmth and delivery, and also how the visual elements and aesthetics of our teaware influence our enjoyment of tea. Contrasting tea served in wine glasses and in small tasting cups as examples, Kevin points out how different styles of teaware and brewing create different moods and spaces for our experience of tea.  We wanted to do these comparisons hands-on, so Kevin served us two teas in very different styles of cups: first with teaware from the Royal Albert collection, and then from the innovative Peter Ting tasting kit. Listen to the episode to hear the results of this tasting experiment. For more on Camellia Sinensis, including its teaware, teas, online store and locations, go to camellia-sinensis.com.    Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.    more about Talking Tea  Sign up for our email list to get updates on new episodes and events. The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff. This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of Kevin Gascoyne and his Royal Albert teacup courtesy of Camellia Sinensis. Header image “Raw Puerh mid 1980 Menghai” by Cosmin Dordea, used under a Creative Commons CC By-SA 2.0 license. Adapted from original.

42mins

1 Feb 2019

Rank #15

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Growing a Tea Meetup

One of our guiding principles here at Talking Tea is that conversations about tea and tea culture have the power to deepen our understanding and enhance our experience of tea. Today on Talking Tea we're exploring one of the ways people are increasingly coming together to share and talk about tea: tea meetup groups. We're joined by Roy Lamberty, founder and organizer of the New York Tea Society, a popular tea meetup in New York City. Roy tells us a bit about his own tea journey, how and why he came to organize the New York Tea Society, and how the group has grown and evolved since its inception. We talk about the challenges of running a tea meetup group and discuss choice of venue, theme and other important considerations in planning a successful meetup. But we also chat about the bonds that are formed through sharing tea, the value of learning from each other and the appeal of the meetup format to tea drinkers of all levels of experience. Aside from his role as meetup organizer, Roy Lamberty is the owner of myteaguy.com, an online seller of tea and teaware. For more info or to join the New York Tea Society, go to its Meetup.com site.  The New York Tea Society was featured in this New York Times article on September 26, 2017.  The Facebook group New York City Gong Fu Cha, mentioned in the episode, can be found here.  Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.    more about Talking Tea  Sign up for our email list to get updates on new episodes and events. The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff. This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of a New York Tea Society meetup courtesy of Roy Lamberty. Header image “Raw Puerh mid 1980 Menghai” by Cosmin Dordea, used under a Creative Commons CC By-SA 2.0 license. Adapted from original.

38mins

19 Jan 2018

Rank #16

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Chemistry, Climate Change, Bugs & Tea

Today we're exploring a bit of tea science on Talking Tea. We're joined by Eric Scott, a a tea scientist and researcher at Tufts University, to chat about some of the many ways a basic understanding of the science of tea can benefit us as tea consumers and tea professionals. Eric tells us a bit about his own tea journey and the work he's doing in tea chemistry, the chemical ecology of tea and the effects of climate change on tea. We chat with Eric about how even a little knowledge of tea chemistry adds to the story behind the tea we're drinking, can enhance our enjoyment of tea and our perception of flavors, and, if we're working in the tea industry, can help us educate consumers. We look at tea's relationship with caffeine, the importance of caffeine to the tea plant and how understanding this can bust some myths about caffeine and tea. We touch on two topics relating to shou pu erh and heicha: we look at why you might want to rinse your leaves if you're drinking shou pu erh or heicha, and we look at "fermentation". Most of us in the tea world have probably heard that oolongs and black/red teas are oxidized, not fermented, but we go a little deeper into what "fermentation" actually is and why it's not what actually happens in the processing of dark teas and shou puerh, even though those are often called "fermented" or "post-fermented".  Eric also gives us a peek into his research on the impact of climate change on tea. We chat about the effects of climate change on the monsoon season in Yunnan, and it's potentially game-changing effects on pu erh the pu erh market. We touch on the effects of drought on tea farms in India and Taiwan. And we look at Eric's work on climate change and bug-bitten teas, and how bug-bitten teas may help tea farmers succeed and innovate in the face of climate-change. Eric's Tea Science Tuesdays video series is available on the Tea Geek YouTube channel (and sometimes on Instagram). Eric is on Instagram @leafyeric and on Twitter @leafyericscott. More on Eric and his work is at his website, ericrscott.com. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.    more about Talking Tea  Sign up for our email list to get updates on new episodes and events. The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff. Image “Chemistry is Awesome!!!”, by erika.hicks, used under a Creative Commons CC By 2.0 license.  Adapted from original. This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Header image “Raw Puerh mid 1980 Menghai” by Cosmin Dordea, used under a Creative Commons CC By-SA 2.0 license. Adapted from original.

47mins

8 Nov 2019

Rank #17

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Bridging the Gap Between Tea and Coffee

At Talking Tea we've long wanted to explore the seemingly deep divide between tea and coffee, and between tea drinkers and coffee drinkers. But lately we've come to realize that the divide might not be very deep at all, and that there might be more similarities between the two beverages, and the two communities, than we ever imagined. To help us look at how the gap between coffee and tea is already being bridged, we're chatting with Nate Cochran of Spirit Tea. Part of Spirit's focus is the introduction of high quality specialty tea to the coffee roasters and cafes, and Nate himself has worked in third wave coffee as well as in specialty tea. Nate chats with us about his background in coffee and tea, about Spirit's focus and how they create accessible tea menus for coffee environments. We discuss differences and similarities between tea and coffee from the perspective of process, oxidation, terroir and cultivar, but mostly from the perspective of flavor and aroma. We look at what flavor profiles in tea may attract coffee drinkers and how tea drinkers can approach coffee. And we talk about how  education and community propelled the success of third wave coffee, and how they're crucial for the success of tea as well. Spirit Tea's website, including its online store, is at spirittea.co.   Photo of Nate Cochran talking tea and coffee during Talking Tea's February 2018 workshop, at Pilgrim Roasters in Philadelphia, courtesy of Jeremy Zimmerman. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.    more about Talking Tea  Sign up for our email list to get updates on new episodes and events. The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff. This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

52mins

1 Jun 2018

Rank #18

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Dong Ding: Everything Taiwanese Tea Has to Offer

Today we welcome back to Talking Tea Shiuwen Tai of Seattle’s Floating Leaves tea to chat about one of our favorite teas, Taiwan’s celebrated Dong Ding oolong. Shiuwen believes that Dong Ding represents everything that Taiwan has to offer in terms of producing tea, and we chat about the qualities that make Dong Ding unique in this capacity. We discuss three basic styles of Dong Ding – traditional, fragrant and charcoal roasted – and together we taste and compare both a traditional and a charcoal roasted Dong Ding. Shiuwen points out that Dong Ding is a very “physical” tea, and we talk about the tea’s physical sensations as well as its flavors and aromas. We discuss the impact of Dong Ding’s terroir (particularly its soil) and oxidation levels, and Shiuwen tells us about a continuing controversy over Dong Ding’s cultivar.  When we move from tasting a traditional Dong Ding to a charcoal roasted Dong Ding, Shiuwen chats with us about the effects of charcoal roasting, both for Dong Ding and for oolongs in general, and how a good charcoal master can focus and amplify the complexity and beauty of a tea. More info on Floating Leaves, including its online store, shop hours and classes, can be found at the Floating Leaves website, http://www.floatingleavestea.com, and at its Instagram feed. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.    more about Talking Tea  Sign up for our email list to get updates on new episodes and events. The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff. This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original. Photo of charcoal Dong Ding by Payton, available under a Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 license. 

53mins

13 Jul 2018

Rank #19

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Okakura and the Spirit of Tea

We're getting a bit contemplative this time of year here at Talking Tea, as the weather turns cooler and our bodies and minds begin to turn inward. So this December we're offering two episodes exploring the spirit of tea as reflected in chado, the Japanese way of tea. To kick off this two-part series we're looking at the life, work and influence of Kakuzo Okakura, best known for his modern classic The Book of Tea. As some of you may know, Talking Tea host Ken Cohen narrated and produced an audiobook edition of Okakura's The Book of Tea in 2015. Today Ken is chatting via Skype with Bruce Richardson, of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and its publishing arm Benjamin Press. Bruce wrote and published an extensive and scholarly intro to the print version of The Book of Tea, and Bruce shares a bit of his own tea journey with us and tells us how he was first drawn to this text. We discuss Okakura's early life in Japan and his exposure to the West, the origins of The Book of Tea and its connection with Okakura's work at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Okakura's influence on iconic American art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner, American artist Georgia O'Keefe and the design principles of Frank Lloyd Wright. Bruce chats with Ken about Okakura's perspectives on the connections between tea, art, and Zen, and Bruce shares his own perspectives, influenced by Okakura, on tea as an adventure and a creative path, on the importance of the space within and why the way of tea is the way of life.  Bruce Richardson's illustrated print edition of The Book of Tea, with his introduction, is available through Elmwood Inn Fine Teas or though Amazon. Ken Cohen's audiobook edition of The Book of Tea, published by Spoken Realms, is available at Audible.com , Amazon and iTunes. Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.    more about Talking Tea  Sign up for our email list to get updates on new episodes and events. The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff. This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

31mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #20