Archive for February, 2012

Me and my cha yuan

Add understated elegance to your tea setup

A while ago I bought a tea set from Dragon Tea House.  It’s an affordable “Yixing” set that comes in a carrying case that doubles as a chápán, or draining tea tray.  Included was a small tea towel – a washcloth, really – emblazoned with the legend CHA YUAN 茶缘.  茶 is tea, so I assumed this was Chinese for tea towel and moved on.

Recently, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to look up 缘.  To my bafflement, Nciku defined 缘 [yuán] as “cause, fate or edge.”  There are some poetic names for items used in gongfu tea, but this really took the cake.  How is a tea towel a cause, fate or edge?

Continue reading ‘Me and my cha yuan’


Journal article: Pu-erh tea tasting in Yunnan, China

My wife’s graduate studies are winding down, so I’ve been taking advantage of her university privileges to access some tea books and journal articles.  I recently read “Pu-erh tea tasting in Yunnan, China: Correlation of drinkers’ perceptions with phytochemistry,” by Ahmed et al., from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, and my scattered reflections follow.

Fig. 1. Lab setup

The authors studied 10 samples of puerh (ripe, new raw, and >10-year-old raw; plantation-grown and agro-forested), infusing each sample 10 times in gongfu fashion.  Each infusion was described and rated by a panel of Yunnan experts, and also analyzed in the laboratory for its constituent chemical content.

Continue reading ‘Journal article: Pu-erh tea tasting in Yunnan, China’

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