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.