Tea Monday – An Ji Bai Cha

An Ji Bai Cha is needle-like a green tea and the name actually means white tea but it refers to the unprocessed white tea leave colour.
Apparently there was a legend in a 900 year old Chinese book about a a tea plant with white leaves and only in the 1980s did they discovered this legendary white tea bush.

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It is not just a really cool story, the taste is nothing compared to a “regular” green tea.
For me it has a fruity taste with a hint of lychee. The second brew is sweeter with no hint of tartness and very smooth.

You can infuse the tea for 1-2 minutes with 70-75°C. I prefer 2 minutes steeping time because the taste is a lot stronger.

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Since my parents brought me a pack of An Ji Bai Cha from Paper&Tea, I was sold on it and searched for it in Vienna after finishing it. I wasn’t that lucky because I discovered that it is quite a rare tea. The harvesting season is very short, only about 30 days in spring since the leaves eventually turn green when temperatures rise. Probably a factor on why they did not discover this tea sooner ;)

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I bought mine at this lovely tea shop in Bratislava and can only recommend you (if you have the time) to visit the shop. It has lots of great rare quality teas for a fair price because the owner is in personal contact with the tea farmers in Asia.

Have a nice week ahead of you!

 

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Cold brew green tea

It is gradually getting cooler the next days but for now I still prefer to drink tea cold instead of hot.

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What I really like is this ginger lemon green tea brewed with cold water in the fridge for 20 minutes.
I use a bit more tea than what I would usually use for a normal brew but again, I did not weigh it out and just went with my gut.

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I just go by trial and error, but if you like more detailed directions you can easily find those on google :)

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Have you heard of cold-brewing or have you tried it out yourself?
I heard that white and green teas don’t need that long to infuse but that black tea needs the longest, with infusion times being several hours.

Tea Shop in Bratislava

There is a special tea shop in Bratislava at Radlinského 24C that is specialised in high grade tea, with a lovely tea house joined to the tea shop.

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After aimlessly looking around for 5 minutes (since we did not have accurate directions) we stumbled over it and thankfully rested our feet in their garden while browsing their extensive menu card which is only written in Slovak but there are helpful pictures and the friendly waitress can speak English.

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We both instantly decided on the matcha and aloe vera drink to refresh ourselves and fruity cheesecakes.

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Luckily for us, the owner was in the house and had time for us to browse the tea shop.
The shop is closed on Fridays and always during the week-end so coming by to buy some tea must be done during the week, which is not possible for most Viennese. You could call him in advance though and ask him if he has the time to sell tea for you which he offered us.

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I was so excited in this tea shop and darted from one corner to the next, eyeing all those beautiful tea pots.
We do already have quite a collection and we settled on two teacups which you will be seeing soon :)

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Beautiful and handmade tea pots in all kinds of sizes and colours.

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The owner was very friendly and could explain and recommend lots of Chinese teas to us in English. I was so happy when he opened a fresh bag of An Ji Bai Cha for me to smell. It is really such a huge difference how you store your tea and how fresh and intense the scent can be compared to old samples.

We spend more than 100€ and got a rare first flush rohini exotic 50g bag for free, which I was a very nice gesture and is really appreciated!

Sadly I can’t think of a tea shop here in Vienna that can compare with this jewel but I am glad that we found it and we have enough tea for at least end of this year if not longer. I can’t wait to try them out and since the temperatures in Vienna are normal again there will be some tea posts coming up soon.

Tea Monday – Kusmi Rose

Kusmi invited me for a Tea Party and lured me into their shop by offering -25% and free finger food made with kusmi tea.

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The cream was flavoured with tea and tasted quite yummy!
Lisa, a friend of mine, gave me a great recipe book for dishes with tea. Still have to try that out and post about them.

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They were giving out those bags with a beauty surprise but when I paid I totally forgot about them and did not ask for one.
Can’t tell you therefore what was inside. It will remain a mystery ;)

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I took my sister along who got into a tea time outfit.

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After sniffing at all their testers I decided to go with their rose tea, which I quite enjoy.
Kusmi tea has a lot of aroma though so if you prefer real roses in your tea you have to look somewhere else!
I still enjoy it though since the rose aroma is not that strong and quite mild compared to another rose tea (with real roses) in my collection.

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Have you tried Kusmi and how do you like their teas?

Tea Monday – Løv Tea

Have you heard of Løv tea? It is being sold at Donauzentrum in the Kusmi tea shop (but probably also in some other locations).

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The tea I decided on getting is ginger-lemon, with all ingredients being from organic cultivation.
I think it is really crucial what you eat and it is important to avoid pesticides since they are absorbed by our bodies, especially when we use the skin of fruits and don’t peel them.

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The fun thing with Løv tea is, that it comes in a closed metal tin, keeping all of the aroma inside and protecting the tea from sunlight.

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I prefer this kind of flavour combination when I have throat ache or feel sick but I also really enjoy it in the evening to relax.
The lemon and ginger flavour is not overpowering and in balance with the green tea.

The instructions say that you should brew it for 3 minutes with 75° but I prefer the steeping time to be a bit shorter.
Just experiment with the time until you are satisfied with the result :)

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Teastories – Tea

Last Monday you got to know the new tea shop Teastories and I will present you some of their teas I tested at home.
Three black teas, one oolong and one fruit tea, so it is a nice mixture and overview!

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I just love quotes and that you can find them on nearly every package of teastories :)

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Three activating black teas and one calming fruit tea are up next.

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I don’t know why I am such a sucker for metal cans but I just love tea cans and they are so tiny and cute.
When I am finished with the tea I will probably use them for a DIY.

The advantage with black tea is that it is not as delicate as green tea and especially in the morning saves time, when you can brew your tea with boiling water instead of waiting an additional 5minutes for it to cool. Black tea is activating but it is actually never a problem for me and even when the Mister and me had the matcha seminar, I slept one hour later like a stone. So you have to find out for yourself how the caffeine affects your body and mind and adjust to that :)

 

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The Cha Cha Chai is a solid chai blend but the taste was not too strong when I made it with 3 minutes so I recommend it for 5 minutes, if you also like a strong chai taste. I enjoy chai a lot more with milk and am drinking it with vanilla soy milk at the moment ;)

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This Hollywood mixture smelled very intriguing with the popcorn, raspberries and pineapple pieces but I enjoyed it the least because it was too sweet for my taste. If you enjoy a sweetish and fruity black tea it might me for you though :)

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When I smelled Almond Amour, I instantly thought of an appelstrudel. The smell is just so addictive and slightly christmasy because of the cinnamon. Despite it being named almond amour, I think you taste the apples a lot more and it even tastes like a bratapfel. I also really liked this tea even though it can be very sweet as well.

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And my favourite tea, to my surprise is this, London calling. I am normally not really into lavender or roses in my tea because they are often just too overpowering but I somehow just loved this mixture. It is my go-to tea now in the morning and I love the citrusy lavender taste, which has a relaxing feeling for me.

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I just had to pick the “live forever” oolong since I am really into oolong at the moment.
I brewed it for 2 minutes with 80°C and was surprised by the sweetish smell of the tea, reminding me of milky oolong.
After checking the package, I discovered that lactose was added so for lactose intolerant people it might not be that ideal but I loved the smooth and sweet taste, reminding me of a much lighter milky oolong.

Have a nice week ahead :)

Teastories

Vienna has been lacking modern tea places, especially for young people and I am glad that Teastories opened end of March at Westbahnhof in the Westbahnhof shopping area.

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Karina and Davy are not only siblings but the two co-founders of Teastories and I got the chance to get to know Teastories better, through an interview with her. Both have an international background, having lived in different cities and wanting to retail something international in Vienna. Nothing better than opening a tea shop, with tea being grown and harvested all over the world!

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Karina explained that the quotes that are listed on the teas, mostly come from friends and families and have a very special meaning to them.
I think it is really cute that their tea with the containing stories are in a shelf, which is titled tea library.

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Karina mentioned that their concept is really important to them and how closely they worked with their Mexican graphic designers, Anagrama. If you look at their logo below, you notice that the quotation mark can also be seen as two tea leaves. How clever!
All those small details show, how much thoughts both have put into this tea shop.

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The foundation is the puristic look, letting the products be in the spotlight and carefully implementing their tea stories. Their declared goal is to reach everybody, not just the classic tea drinkers and I am very positive that they will succeed.

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Not only do they offer tea but also lots of tea accessories and best of all, cute cups. You can never have enough tea cups! The “Yours” and “Mine” tea mugs are so cute!

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I enjoyed this matcha latte during our conversation. I loved that the matcha was not overly sweet but the matcha taste could have been a bit stronger in my opinion.
Matcha latte and Thai tea are their best-selling drinks, with the matcha being biological from a Japanese supplier.

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This man enjoyed listening to our conversation and offered to pose for a picture. So thank you, unknown stranger!
Karina was so nice and gave me a lot of teas to try at home, which I will tell you all about in my next post, to not make this one super long.
So stay tuned :)

PS: If you drop by, don’t forget to get yourself a loyalty card!

Tea Monday – Tung Ding Oolong Tea

After the Chinese tea seminar the Mister and me attended, we were eager to try out more oolong from China and bought this Tung Ding in Nakwon, one of my favourite Asian supermarkets in Vienna.

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This oolong comes traditionally from a mountainous area of Nantou, which is located in Taiwan.
The tea balls are shaped from a special firing technique that leaves a green center while the tips are black and curled.shooting_vienna_tungding

We enjoy the sweetness of the first brew after the traditional Chinese washing of the tea with hot water.

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The recommended tea steeping time is for the first brew: 1 min30sek

the second brew, 20sek

for the third, 45sek

for the 4th, 1min and 20sek

and the fifth 2min and 20sek.

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I don’t know the exact price any more but it was around 10-12€. Considering how often you can brew the tea, and how many liters you can make with it, it is very affordable.

Tea Monday – 5 Cups Tea

This tea was gifted to me by a friend and besides the cute packaging I love the idea that you can mix a tea from 5 Cups, to your liking online.

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The products are packed in Berlin and 70% of the ingredients are at the moment organic, with them striving it to be 90%.
You can have a look at their table, where they list the origin of the ingredients and which ones are organic.

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In case you have a hard time deciding you can already browse the pre-mixed teas and get something from there!

One of the best-selling teas is “Frau Doktor Teedox” which sounds like a great tea for me. It is made up from sencha as the base and has; nettles, mate, lemongrass, ginger and lemon verbena added.

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Is there anything better than a wet and windy spring day with the right cup of tea? :)

 

Tea Monday – Jaksul

Korean green teas are quite hard to find here in Vienna, so naturally I took some home when I had the chance to visit Seoul in December.

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Jaksul is a special tea which is only harvested once a year in April! The name Jaksul means sparrows tongue and it is referring to the tea leaves resembling little sparrow tongues.

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I brewed my tea from Nokchawon at 90°C for 2minutes and it turned out smooth with a low but still noticeable umami note and a sweet after taste.

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The handmade tea cups are a recent addition and my favourites to nip on some tea. The gold particles sparkle when the sun hits them and makes tea drinking even more enjoyable for me. I bought them at Harry’s Tea Time in case you are interested in having your own :)

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