• 02Dec

    On a  more serious note (yes, I’m capable of that), check this out:

    In a three-part series, The Phnom Penh Post (a Cambodian English-language newspaper) traces “the legacy of a royally ordained Cambodian tea plantation – plus a local strain of the popular plant.”

    Khmer brew: exploring the parviflora tea strain

    Today, many tea plants can still be found growing in the wild in Kirirom Park, where the old plantation used to be, not far from the King Father’s former summer residence. All teas – whether a grassy green, a buttery oolong or a hearty black – come from the same species of plant.

    It’s the variety of the plant, soil conditions, altitude, rainfall and the processing that make the difference in the end result: the most-consumed beverage in the world after water.

    But what happened to the tea plantation after the war?

    A 1996 article in the Post recounts how 1,500 hectares of Kirirom were signed over to a private Cambodian investor, who planned to establish a tea plantation, despite the region’s being declared part of Cambodia’s system of national parks by Royal Decree in 1993. The old prewar tea plantation, which measured some 300 hectares, was part of it.

    One year later, in 1997, the Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper reported that the investor had sold many hectares of the park, installed a sawmill and destroyed the plantation.

    Nowadays, it’s believed that some of the surviving tea plants are harvested opportunistically, on a small scale, by locals.

    […]

    However, if you’re feeling down in Phnom Penh and fancy some fresh tea leaves for an uplifting brew, there’s no need to travel to the Indian foothills of the Himalayas anymore – a short day trip to Kirirom will do the trick.

    Picking your own leaves may equate to one of the more labour-intensive ways of brewing a cuppa – but it would also surely make one of the most satisfying cups you’re ever likely to taste.

    See also:
    Part II: Quality is their cup of tea
    Part III: Making time to enjoy a cup of tea, according to tradition

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  • 02Dec

    I mention Star Trek in one of my posts and what doth the tea-drinking universe bequeath upon my little nerdy heart? A mug from Wil Wheaton with the (in)famous Captain Picard quote on it in big bold lettering: “Tea, Earl Grey. Hot.

    See? See!?

    WheatonMug

    (There’s even a Flickr Group Pool for photos of the mug in the wild.)

    Who is Wil Wheaton? Peasant! Wheaton is a writer with a talent for heartwarming stories of daily life that we can all relate to, an engaging Twtiterficiando, and an actor well known for – among other roles – his part as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. For those not familiar with Wheaton’s current success as writer I recommend reading Just a Geek – a memoir that will illuminate his trajectory from actor to writer and child to adult – as well as Sunken Treasure, a collection of gems from his almost decade-long stint of blogging. The mug is part of Wheaton’s promotion of his newest book, Memories of the Future.

    Yes, yes, I know – I’ve said before that I prefer teacups to mugs.

    And I do, if truth be told. It’s not just that I associate mugs with coffee, it’s also that teacups do seem to have a perfect balance between the amount of tea in the cup and the amount of said tea that is exposed to the atmosphere. Whether this really makes any difference at all to the tea drinking expereince or, more importantly, to the taste, is probably a matter for scientists. Or Mythbusters. Or somebody other than me. Regardless of actual facts, I’ve always felt that tea just tastes better in a tea cup. Besides which, the volume in a mug is usually off for estimating the cuppage (snicker) from my teapots. And yes, I just made that word up.

    But never mind all that! This blog is about sexy tea things and the irrational desire to possess all things tea by a cat loving lady with too many teapots. So I eat my teacup words and declare that this mug is freakin’ hot, baby, and I must get my grubby little paws on one. Seriously! This mug looks like it could beat the pants off of Royal Albert in a cage match. (Don’t tell my mother that because I’m hoping to inherit her entire Royal Albert Old Country Roses collection someday.)

    Ooh. I can even brew a cup of Serenitea: Kaylee for the mug and be in AU teanerdvana. Or is that going too far?

    Filed under: accessories, my stash
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  • 01Dec

    So I … um … forgot to mention here that I guest blogged over at The English Tea Store on Tea and Travel. (It’s a pretty nice tea blog, BTW. Check them out on Twitter too.)

    So now I’ve mentioned it. You may carry on.

    Filed under: guest blogging, Shopping, tea culture, travel
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