Monday, March 9, 2009

"Tasting: Tea, The Essential Pause" in Tricycle Magazine

Phyllis Segura, a friend of Pot Luck Tea alerted us to her latest article on Tricycle Magazine's web site. Titled "Tasting: Tea, The Essential Pause," Phyllis explains the essence and joy of loose leaf tea and takes you on a culinary journey with her various tea based and inspired recipes.

Recently at the Nanuet Library in Nanuet, NY, Phyllis offered our teas to patrons at her cooking demonstration. Attendees thoroughly enjoyed our Rooibos Chai.

Phyllis is a Shambhalian, private chef, photographer and painter. She lives in Piermont, NY. View her web site at

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Selection of Jasmine Scented Teas

For Jasmine Tea Lovers: We've added several new Jasmine Scented Green and Oolong Teas, including an absolutely delightful China Jasmine Oolong Xiang Yun, and a new Mu Dan Blooming Tea Rose.

We've also changed to a new supplier for our Dragon Phoenix Pearls, by far the finest Pearls I have ever tried.

To see our new offerings, click over the Jasmine Scented Tea Page on our web site.

In addition to our USDA Certified Organic Jasmine Green, and our Pouching Jasmine Delight (pouchongs are lightly fermented teas, but not as fermented as an oolong), you will also find links to all of our popular teas.

As always, thanks for reading our blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Track Your Package" Now Available from Pot Luck Tea Company

We've added a new page to our web site to enable shoppers to track their orders directly from our web site. Simply enter your FEDEX tracking number or USPS tracking number in the box where indicated and click "Track" -- it is that simple.

FEDEX will send a tracking number to the email address you provided with your order when the package is accepted by Fedex for delivery. Tracking numbers from USPS will be sent directly from us for now until the USPS interface is operational.

To go to the new tracking page, click here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Deeper Discounts on Yixing Teaware; New Selection

We've added some more teapots to our Yixing page on our web site and have increased some of the discounts. Some discounts now are at about 35%.

The "Texture" teapot (viewed right) is on sale for $20.00. It originally sold for $32.00. It is 12 ounces, very unusual, collectible and makes a great gift. Our remaining stock is limited, so please order today.

Also, we've discounted our popular Catwalk teapot (from $35.00, now $26.25) and our Catwalk Tea Mug (from $13.50, now $11.50).

All quanitites are limited and discounts are only available while supplies last. Check out our Yixing page on our website for the full selection and discount prices.

We are also planning some major changes to our web site over the next few weeks including order tracking, and a vast new selection of EU certified organic teas. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tea Tasting: A Wonderful New EU Organic Assam (TGFOP)

I've just finished taste tests on a new Certified EU Organic Assam from Dethlefsen & Balk. Accurately described as a TGFOP (Tippy, Golden, Flowery, Orange, Pekoe), this tea is produced on the Sonarie Tea Estate, located in the Sibsagar district. According to local lore, JONAK (the tea's name) means "Assam's Moonlight." The tea garden's history can be traced back to 1874. The tea has a medium-large leaf with some golden tips, and it has a pleasant malty spiciness, very round in taste.

Pot Luck Tea is moving forward with our goal to switch over to all organic teas, with either USDA or EU Certifed Organic.

I truly enjoyed this tea and will definitely order it for our spring tea additions. Dethlefsen & Balk are members of the German and European Tea Councils.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Deep Discounts on Popular Yixing Teaware

Connoisseurs say the best cup of tea is brewed in a hand-made Chinese teapot made from the "purple clay" found near the Yangzi river. These teapots have been created in the Chinese province of Yixing (pronounced yee-shing) since the Sung Dynasty (960-1279). These works of art are both collectible and utilitarian.

For centuries, Yixing potters have fashioned teapots from the purple-brown clay of the region. The beautiful stoneware vessels became the models for the earliest European teapots in the late 17th century. Yixing pots were made in China until the communist revolution brought production to a halt. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Yixing potters resumed this ancient craft. Today Yixing pots are collected and treasured throughout the world.

Because they are not glazed, the clay pots absorb the tea. Over time, a layer of tea sediment forms and with subsequent use the pots retain the flavor, color and aroma of the tea. This is why it is best to use one kind of tea in your Yixing pot.

We are offering deep discounts on some of our most popular Yixing teapots and tea mugs.

Here are some examples:

  1. Catwalk Yixing Teapot, was $35.00, now $26.56
  2. Top Dog Yixing Teapot, was $19.00, now $14.25
  3. Yixing Catwalk Mug, was $13.50, now $11.50
  4. Covered Yixing Mug (pictured above), was $15.00, now $11.25
  5. Butterfly Glazed Teapot, was $28.00, now $21.00
  6. Cicada Bamboo Teapot, was $32.00, now $24.00
  7. Simplicity Yixing Tea Set, was $38.00, now $28.50
  8. White Glaze Yixing Tea Set, was $35.00, now $26.25
These prices are only valid while supplies last. To see the teaware, or to order, click here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shade-Grown, Certified Organic Yerba Mate

We have found a wonderful source for shade-grown, certified organic Yerba Mate from Brazil. Offered in one pound bags, we are confident that you will become a loyal Yerba Mate drinker. We also are offering a low introductory price of $12.00 per pound. To read more about it, or to order, click here.

Yerba Mate is a lightly stimulating beverage from South America with a mild amount of caffeine and just the right kick. Our Yerba Mate is organically grown and produces a light green beverage, with its characteristic sharp flavor.

Our Yerba Mate is untreated and contains no filler or flavoring agents, just pure organic shade grown Yerba Mate leaves. It does contain trace amounts of caffeine. Yerba Mate has over 196 active compounds, shadowing the active compounds in Green Tea which has about 144.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Culinary Herbs & Spices In Bulk Packages

We've added a link on our home page to a new section called "Culinary Herbs & Spices." We're starting small with just five items, but will add to the list as our sources of supply become more secure. All items will be either "Certified Organic" or "Cultivated Without Chemicals." Some will also be "Fair Trade." To start, we are offering:

Indonesian Cinnamon Sticks
Indonesian Ginger Root
Lavender Flowers from France
Star Anise From Vietnam
Jasmine Flowers from China

All are bulk packaged in one pound bags. Delivery is generally 7-10 days. To get to the Culinary Herbs & Spices page, click here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Free Shipping On Valentine's Day Tea Infused Chocolate Truffles

Use Coupon Code "beemine" at checkout and get free shipping on Tea Infused Chocolate Truffles for Valentine's Day.

Each gift box contains five truffles: Oolong, Hibiscus Flower, English Breakfast, Chai and Jasmine. This is a nice gift that simply says, "I'm thinking about you." Order now for delivery on or before February 14th.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our China Superior Ti Kuan Yin Oolong -- A Very Special Tea

We are very pleased with this year's China Superior Ti Kuan Yin Oolong tea. This oolong is entirely handmade Ti Kuan Yin from the Chinese Fujian Province and has an unusually pronounced natural sweetness. It has a lighter cup color and a more complex, sweet, orchid-like aroma with a rich flavor that persists effortlessly for three infusions.

Recommendations: Use 1 heaping tsp. per 6 oz. cup; heat fresh cold water until steaming briskly (195ºF); let steep for 2 1/2 minutes. The leaves support many consecutive infusions.

The tea is priced at $20.00 for four ounces, or $68.00 per pound. But for a slightly inconsistent leaf appearance the tea would be priced higher. If you were going to splurge on one oolong this year, this would be it. And as alway, use current coupon codes for discounts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Check out "The Teashop Girls" by Laura Schaefer

Here's what the book is about:

"Being in middle school can be pretty rough. Everything about everyone is changing so fast. And there are so many things to worry about all at once: school, family, crushes, jobs, and last but definitely not least, friends.

Annie, Genna, and Zoe have been best friends forever. But with eighth grade ending, the girls are beginning to grow up and grow apart. When Annie takes a job at her grandmother's teashop, things begin to look up. In between whipping up chai lattes for customers, tasting new teas, and attempting to catch the attention of her barista boy crush, Annie is finally beginning to feel as sophisticated as her best friends. But an eviction notice spells trouble for the Steeping Leaf. Annie's ready with her multistep Save the Leaf Action Plan, but will it be enough? Can Annie rally her friends to save the Leaf before the teashop and the Teashop Girls are history?"

Learn more at
Laura Schaefer's web site, or buy the book from --> (see link to right).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spice Melange Postcard & Coupon Code, Valentine's Day

The coupon code on our latest postcard mailer can be used for any item, on any order, not just on the Spice Melanges. If you received this postcard,

the coupon code is on the back, just under the return address. We'll be posting our Valentine's Day offering in a day or two. This year, we will likely go with the tea infused chocolate truffles. Stay tuned, and thank you for your continued support.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Advertisement in Natural Awakenings Magazine

We're trying some new local advertising in Natural Awakenings magazine. The magazine bills itself as "your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle." This seems to fit our philosophy pretty well. Here is a copy of the advertisement we submitted.

This "Remedy Tea" is part of a new line of utility teas. We also offer a "Flu Fighter Tea," a "Memory Aid Tea," a "Hangover Helper Tea." Find these teas here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We're Not Ready To Re-Stock Pu'er Tea Until Quality Issues Are Resolved In China.

Did you see the article in the New York Times this weekend about Pu'er tea? Here's the link: The article talks about the price bubble for Pu'er and how the fotunes of Chinese tea growers grew and faded with the price of Pu'er tea.

We used to carry one or two Pu'er teas but stopped after finding erratic pricing and quality problems. When prices went through the roof about two years ago, we found ourselves uncomfortably having to charge our customers prices for tea that we didn't think worth the money. Even though prices are back in line, we are not going to carry Pu'er. The market is flooded with fake Pu'er tea, and even the best tea buyer would be hard pressed to not get taken.

Because the market flooded with poor quality tea, and given that we a small company, we can't risk our customer goodwill on an unreliable product.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The New Tea Book: A Guide to Black, Green, Herbal and Chai Teas

There’s a world of difference between the tea you brew at work to power through an assignment and the stuff you make at home, using your favorite infuser, mug, fixings, and pairing with a pastry. This book provides a healthy serving of factual knowledge about the beverage – from how it’s cultivated and fermented to caffeine content and antioxidant properties – but it’s equally invested in more abstract qualities of the drink.

The New Tea Book focuses on the ritual of tea drinking and how it informs our daily routine and creates space for contemplation and relaxation. Featuring information on tea varieties as well as recipes for chai and pastries, this book aims to inform your own tea-drinking customs.

To order the book from, click on the link to the right. Check out all of the books selections on this blog (right hand column) or view a more extensive selection at:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Discount Coupon Code

To get a 10% discount on any order over $25.00, use the discount coupon code: TeaCat. The "C" has to be capitalized. The discount applies to all items and all quantities, even already discounted bulk purchases.

We are thinking about closing out and discounting our remaining inventory of Japanese Tetsubin. It seems that competition from cheaper Chinese knockoffs has made our original Japanese product non-competitive (except to those who appreciate the Japanese quality, and will not accept the Chinese knockoff). If we go that way, I'll post a notice here on the blog first.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jasmine Flowers, Cacao Nibs, Cardamom, Carob and Cinnamon Sticks

We get frequent inquiries about our Jasmine Flowers. They come whole from China and are grown "Cultivated Without Chemicals." If anyone is interested, they come in one pound containers, and we can resell them for $17.00 per pound.

We also get inquiries about our Cacao Nibs. Ours come from Peru and are certified both organic and Fair Trade. They also come in one pound containers, and we can resell them for $30.00.

We can also discount these items in larger quantities. Please inquire by email.

I hope to have these items under a heading called "Culinary Herbs & Spices" on our web site within the next month or so. Other items include Organic Cardamom from Guatemala, Organic Carob from Spain, and Organic Cinnamon Sticks from Indonesia.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Black Tea Improves Immune System (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

Black tea might improve the body's immune system, said the Tea Council of the USA, citing research from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University. The human clinical trial found that drinking five cups of black tea a day quadrupled the body's immune defense system in two weeks.

I haven't seen the study, but hardly a day goes by without some group touting the results of another organization's study. I post them on the blog from time to time, but have never really put much stock in the reports. Of course, I wish everyone drank five cups of tea a day, for their health (and mine). Anyway, enjoy your tea, and thanks for reading.

Rick Tannenbaum

Monday, January 5, 2009

88% of Specialty Tea Purchases Are Made By Women

Here is an interesting statistic: an estimated 88% of specialty tea purchases are made by women. Instinctively, I've known this for some time. Also, empirically, our sales figures would support this. But, 88%. I thought our figures were an anomally, or maybe just wrong.

We've just closed out our year, and while we need some time to study our sales and trends, I would guess that sales of spice melanges, lattes, herbal tea blends and remedy teas were all up. I'd also guess that loose leaf tea sales were either flat or up slightly.

Tetsubin sales were weak -- that trend has passed.

Yixing sales slid a bit, but nothing shocking. Tea filters, cups and accessories were probably in line with prior years. Tea infused chocolate sales were a disappointment.

Although loose leaf tea may be considered a luxury item; sales overall were not off. Our regular repeat customers -- the heartbeat of our business -- maintained purchases at their regular or even increased volumes.

Fedex has been a cost saver for orders shipped to the West Coast, and new updates to our web site including order tracking should be coming this year. To anyone we disappointed, I personally apologize.

And to all of our loyal customers: thanks again, and to all a good year!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Spicy Ginger Riot Blend Change

We've changed the blend in our Spicy Ginger Riot. The melange now contains Ginger, Cinnamon, Apple Bits, Fennel, Coriander, Star Anise and Licorice Root. The package now contains 4 ounces instead of 3 ounces.

We welcome any comments on the new blend, and as always appreciate your support.

Normal shipping resumes January 5, 2009.