Friday, December 30, 2022

The year 2022 in 12 pictures

Once again, there were lots of great pictures this year, but I need your help to know which are the two pictures that I should turn into postcards that will serve as gifts for your orders on 

The voting takes place here on Facebook. Press the Like button for the picture or 2 pictures you like best. In a week, I'll see which pictures have the most Likes and will have them printed. 

Right now, I still have postcards from 2018 to 2021 in stock. This means that a new customer could make 4 or 5 orders in 2023 and receive 4 or 5 different sets of postcards!

12. December. 24 Advent Chaxi of 2022

11. November. The geopolitical influences on red tea in Taiwan

10. October. Gongfu cha: feuilles entières ou brisées?

9. September. Happiness is easy

Thursday, December 29, 2022

The top 10 videos of 2022

I started making videos to connect with the many tea friends who couldn't come and take classes with me in Taiwan because of the pandemic. And now that these restrictions have been lifted, I wonder if I should continue them... I will continue as long as I feel that you find them valuable through the knowledge, inspiration, shared experience.. that they bring. The new monthly tea interviews have gathered lots of views and I'll continue in this direction. My second change this fall are 'semester classes' paired with a tea sampler built around a theme. With this new format, you know which tea I'm brewing in advance and you are able to order it early so that you can brew it while watching my video class. I try to make this as interactive an experience as possible. And if you watch me live on FB, you can even ask questions at the end of the class and get a real time answer! The classes are free, but you get more out of it if you purchase the tea sampler that goes with the classes. The fall semester sampler is still available if you wish to catch up on fresh mountain Oolongs and TGY. And here's the link to the 'winter semester' sampler of high and full oxidation teas. The winter classes will start on January 7th.

A gaiwan is the perfect tea learning vessel

Out of 118 videos this year, here are the top 10:

10. Sheng puerh tea (English):

9. Was ist Sheng Puerh Tee? (Deutsch)  
8. Tee in Swanns Welt, von Marcel Proust (Deutsch)  
7. Brewing sheng Puerh (English)  
6. Tea in winter (English)  
5. Long brews and inflation (English)  
4. L'entretien TeaMasters avec Jean-Philippe Muvien, seconde partie (français)  
3. What I learned from my gaiwan mistake (English)  
2. The secrets of Song dynasty style tea (English)  
1. The TeaMasters Interview with Oded Tzur - Part 1

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The top 5 articles of 2022 - les 5 articles les plus lus

 Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Joyeux Noël et joyeuses fêtes!

If I write so inclusively, both in English and French, it's for a reason: this year, several posts in French made it to the top of this list, which is quite unusual and I don't know if this has a profund meaning.

Si j'écris de manière si inclusive, en anglais et en français, c'est car plusieurs articles en français ont réussi l'exploit de figurer parmi les plus lus et je ne sais pas s'il faut y voir un changement dans mon lectorat ou une autre raison particulière!

One thing I did notice is that I wrote 4 out of 5 of these top articles in September, after the summer vacation! Either I write better after a vacation, or you are reading more!!

The/le top 5:

5  Le thé du côté de Guermantes. Mon analyse du mot thé dans ce troisième livre de la Recherche du Temps Perdu de Proust.

4. Le thé du côté de chez Swann.  Mon analyse du mot thé dans le premier livre de la Recherche du Temps Perdu de Proust.

3. The first priority: the rectification of names. It was a priority for Confucius and it's still relevant today if you want to learn tea: you must make sure that you are using the correct names and words to describe your tea.

2. Gongfu cha: feuilles entières ou feuilles brisées? Je réponds à la question des feuilles brisées dans la pratique du thé.

1. The end of good aged puerh abundance. All good things must come to an end...

Monday, December 26, 2022

24 Advent Chaxi of 2022

Below, in no particular order (except for the last one), I share the 23 Chaxi I made and 1 I experienced this year while waiting for Christmas. Most pictures were simply taken with my phone, without any enhancements, because I wanted to post them daily and quickly on Instagram. The Advent gave me a wonderful opportunity and incentive to brew great teas with my most cherished tea ware! And I'm glad that I did, because teas or wares that you never drink or never use have no reality. Carpe diem! Seize the day and enjoy the best of what life (and your tea stash) can offer! 

I hope these pictures will inspire you to make Christmas Chaxi by combining the decoration you have on hand now with your next tea! Merry Christmas and merry tea to all of you!

Friday, December 16, 2022

The tea visitors are back!

Taiwan lifted its Covid quarantine mid October and now the international tea visitors are coming back! I'm glad and honored that I'm still one of the tea persons to meet for people who travel thousands of miles to this tea treasure island! This honor also obliges me to provide relevant and interesting information and teas to my guests. 

The very first one was Zac from the US. He's in the process of building a tea business and I tried my best to introduce him to Taiwan's most popular and affordable teas.

The #1 is the Si Ji Chun Oolong. Pictured above, we tasted its Dong Pian version (which is on sale right now!)

Then, below, we moved to its roasted version. He loved its complexity and strong flavors.

I also brewed some Oriental Beauty for him, because it's such an important tea in Taiwan. This one is from a single batch, harvested on Bastille Day, probably the tea I'm going to brew while watching the Soccer world cup final (FRA-ARG) this Sunday! 
It's such an important tea that I will study 4 different OBs during my online winter 2023 tea classes. I recommend you order this sampler if you wish to attend this class dedicated to high oxidized Oolongs and reds.
These online classes are for those who can't come to Taiwan, or wish to learn even more! 

My second visitor is Regis from France. (2 more visitors have already reserved some time with me after Christmas!)

I think it's the third class Régis has attended with me. This time, he wanted a class dedicated to Baozhong tea.. The characteristic of this tea is that it's not linked to a cultivar, but to a process. Besides, now that fresh high mountain Oolongs are popular, this process has also been expanded and includes the whole spectrum of roasting. And to demonstrate the impact of roast (like above with the SiJiChun), we compared the roasted version of RouGui with its fresh version.  
What made this comparison particularly interesting is the fact that the RouGui cultivar, while very popular in the WuYi mountains, is seldom to be found in Taiwan. And that's the beauty of Baozhong, its wide range of cultivars. While the high mountain Oolong is almost exclusively using the Jinxuan (up to 1300 meters) and Qingxin Oolong cultivars, Baozhong is made with all kinds of different tea trees and this provides material for endless discoveries and experiments! 
Of course, the biggest draw to my tea class is that I let the student brew tea under my guidance and help him improve on his technique. It's easier to teach in real life than through online video classes! On the other hand, I think it's already helpful to see a teacher brew on a monitor or the screen of an iPad than being on your own!
So, if you don't have a plan for visiting Taiwan in the near term, don't hesitate to join my tea classes. I should mention that they are FREE (except for the teas that you can purchase here). If you attend the online class on FB live, you are even able to ask questions about the tea we are brewing that day. And if you miss the class, you can catch it later on my YouTube channel!