Tea Time at Reverie: Yezi Tea’s Tie Guan Yin High Grade Oolong Tea

Squeezing in another tea review before the end of the month! I purposely saved Tie Guan Yin as my final sample from Yezi Tea because it’s my favorite kind of oolong. And this High Grade version of Tie Guan Yin did not disappoint! Read my review at A Bibliophile’s Reverie to learn more.

A Bibliophile's Reverie

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Today’s tea is one of many names: Iron Goddess Oolong, Iron Bodhisattva, Monkey-Picked Oolong, Tie Kwan Yin (Taiwanese)… They’re all part of the pool known as Tie Guan Yin, which is Chinese for “Iron Goddess of Mercy.” This renowned oolong tea is available at most tea shops and online retailers, including our friends at Yezi Tea, who were kind enough to send us samples. (Justin also wrote about Yezi’s Tie Guan Yin High Grade Oolong Tea here.)

Yezi’s brand of Tie Guan Yin High Grade Oolong hails from the mountains of Anxi County in the southern Fujian province of China. Since the early days of the Qing Dynasty, this tea has been famous for its heavy body and surprisingly sweet flavor. So, how does Tie Guan Yin measure up to other oolongs we’ve tasted for Tea Time? Read on to find out!

The Basics

Photo courtesy of Yezi Tea Photo courtesy…

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Time Flies!: May 2015

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Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies! It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share news and random things from my offline life, and hint at what may be coming in the month ahead.

Hope you all had a wonderful May! This past month proved to be just as busy – if not even busier – as others have been this year, even with a “stay-cation” halfway through. So let’s get right to the recap, starting with what happened at the blog:

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Tea Time at Reverie: Yezi Tea’s Dragon Well High Grade Long Jing Green Tea

Funny how I decided to review Yezi Tea’s High Grade Dragon Well Green Tea while reading George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons recently. (My review of ADwD is coming soon, btw.) And I think those fire-breathing wyrms and their brethren from other fantasy stories would approve of this prized Chinese tea. Read on to find out what makes Dragon Well so unique – in appearance, smell, and taste.

A Bibliophile's Reverie

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If I had to pick a favorite green tea, Dragon Well would be my vote. I was fascinated by its unexpectedly full flavor and the distinct appearance of its leaves the first time I tried it. So, I was thrilled when Yezi Tea sent a sample for Tea Time.

Known as Long Jing (Chinese for “dragon well”) in its native China, Dragon Well is celebrated as an Imperial Tea and surrounded by all kinds of lore. Listing all of the legends would take a while; but after researching, it’s clear why emperors loved this tea. Dragon Well is harvested exclusively in Hangzhou’s lakes region, and is comprised of unopened leaf buds called “dragon sprouts” (a.k.a. water lily hearts). The leaves are plucked by hand during the first couple weeks of spring, then pressed in a hot wok until the ideal shape is achieved. As for the scent and taste… Well, that’s…

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Time Flies!: February 2015

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Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies! It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share news and random things from my offline life, and hint at what may be coming in the month ahead.

First of all, thanks to all the new visitors who came by this month for the Maria V. Snyder and #1000Speak articles! I hope you enjoyed what you read and will continue to visit as time goes on. And if you haven’t yet, make sure you enter the Shadow Study giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Maria’s new book. The giveaway ends on Wednesday, March 4th at midnight EST, and is international (i.e., open to everyone).

February was much less stressful than the past couple months had been. (*whew*) It was also a super-busy month writing-wise, which is never a bad thing – especially given one of the milestones I reached recently. 😀  Some of you may already know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, no worries. That’s part of this month’s recap.

I’ve tweaked the format for Time Flies this month. If you’ve seen the past monthly updates, let me know you think this one’s an improvement over the last one.

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Tea Time At Reverie: Yezi Tea’s Yi Fu Chun Black Tea

Yezi Tea describes their Yi Fu Chun Black Tea as “smooth as riding in a Rolls-Royce on a newly paved highway.” After trying it for myself, I have to agree with that description. Learn more about this smoky, sophisticated black tea today at A Bibliophile’s Reverie, and what literary vampire it reminded me of.

A Bibliophile's Reverie

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Remember last time when I mentioned I was battling the winter blues? Well, the weather hasn’t improved much since then, so I’m craving a good ol’ black tea this time. Since it was time to rotate back to my Yezi Tea samples, I went straight for their Yi Fu Chun Black Tea.

Yi Fu Chun is a Chinese black tea grown near Fuqing City along the country’s Nanhu Mountain range. Climate plays a crucial role in tea-growing; and according to Yezi’s website, the Nanhu Mountains can be covered in fog for 200 days a year. Read on to learn more about this smoky, classy gem.

The Basics

Yi Fu Chun Yezi Tea 1 Image courtesy of Yezi Tea

Yezi’s Description:Yi Fu Chun is an organic tea, and Yezi is proud to bring you this offering sourced, like most of our teas, directly from the farmer. You will find drinking this golden brown brew…

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Freelance Article Round-Up: November 2014

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Welcome to this month’s Freelance Article Round-Up! And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans and others who celebrate the holiday. I hope your travels were safe and smooth, and you enjoyed platefuls of delicious food and good company.

November turned out to be quite exciting, so I’ll start off with the new venture that launched a couple weeks ago.

DIY MFA

This month I joined the staff of DIY MFA for their new column Theme: A Story’s Soul. The ongoing series will explore the importance and wide variety of themes in literature, and how readers and writers alike can think about theme more consciously. Click here to read the column’s introductory article, “What Is Theme and Why Is It Important?”

Tea Time at Reverie (Tea Reviews)

Two more tea reviews went live at A Bibliophile’s Reverie this past month. Here are the links again, in case you missed them:

What’s Coming in December

Currently I’m drafting my next article for DIY MFA, which will cover how to identify a novel’s possible themes by studying the book’s title and jacket copy. My next tea review for A Bibliophile’s Reverie should be online in the next week or so. It’s on a bold, complex black tea that’s wonderful for this time of year. I’ve also picked out my next tea to review, an invigorating herbal / floral blend.

Other Happenings

The fantasy WIP passed 100,000 yesterday! (YIKES.) Now I’m due to write the next Chronicling The Craft – and since this one celebrates another 25,000-word milestone, it means another reveal from the story. 😉 As for the novel itself, I’m definitely going to overshoot my word count goal of 115,000… so I’ll just continue following my outline until it’s done. Here’s hoping January or February will be the golden month!

What else for the blog? I’ll have a new author interview here during the first week of December (yay!), and I’ve yet to start a review of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina. And since 2014 is almost over, I also need to get cracking on my end-of-year lists for music and possibly one for books. So, I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me this month.

Offline and apart from creative projects, November has been absolutely nutty. Lots of holiday preparations, Christmas shopping (I have to do a lot of it early due to December birthdays and out-of-state gift-giving), and simply trying to stay on top of everything else. I’ll be relieved once the end of the December has come and I can relax a little.

Since New Years Eve will be a busy night, I’ll post the next Freelance Article Round-Up on Tuesday, December 30th. Lots will be going on here between now and then, so I hope to see you here again! 🙂

Tea Time At Reverie: Yezi Tea’s White Peony Master Grade White Tea

I’ve found a gem of an unflavored white tea! With notes of flowers, almond, and caramel, Yezi Tea’s Master Grade White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) White Tea is light and refined, a cup of liquid harmony. But of course, you’d like the longer version, right? Then I encourage you to check out my latest tea review at A Bibliophile’s Reverie!

A Bibliophile's Reverie

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After some brisk and flavorful brews for the past few Tea Times, it’s time for something more delicate. So, I went through my Yezi Tea samples and decided on their White Peony Master Grade White Tea. This brand of White Peony (also known as Bai Mu Dan) is grown in the Jian’ou County of China’s Fujian province and harvested during the spring. The young leaves are then gently dried in the sun on bamboo trays. No doubt this process – plus the fact that white tea isn’t oxidized like black, oolong, and green teas are – gives this tea its celebrated delicate aroma and flavor. The Master Grade level also indicates the highest possible quality for a White Peony tea. So, let’s have a cup or two (or three) of White Peony together, shall we?

The Basicswhite-tea-baimudan-leaves_master 2

Yezi’s Description:When White Peony tea leaves dry, they twist into…

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Freelance Article Round-Up: September 2014

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Welcome to this month’s Freelance Article Round-Up! If you read last month’s, you might have noticed something different about today’s. See the logo above? 😀 What do you think?

Freelance Article Round-Up is a monthly series (or bimonthly, depending on my freelancing schedule) to keep you abreast of the articles I’ve written outside of this blog. I’ll also offer a glimpse into the coming month’s assignments and other exciting happenings.

Here’s what I’ve been up to since the July / August Round-Up. Continue reading

Freelance Article Round-Up: July / August 2014

Happy last day of August, everyone!

As recently promised, today is Launch Day for the Freelance Article Round-Up series. These articles will post at the end of every month (or every other month, depending on my freelancing schedule) to keep you abreast of the articles I’ve written outside of this blog. I’ll also offer a glimpse into the coming month’s assignments. So, let’s get started!

Tea Time at Reverie (Tea Reviews)

After debuting the Tea Time column at A Bibliophile’s Reverie in June, three more articles have been posted over the past two months. I’ve covered teas of different types and flavors in each article to ensure variety. That way, readers don’t get to read about the same kinds of teas over and over again. 😉

Here are links to those tea reviews:

What’s Coming in September

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What’s this? More tea?? Yes, please!

We’ve got thrilling news for Tea Time at Reverie: Instead of reviewing tea from my personal stash, I’m going to try samples from generous teasellers! Yezi Tea’s package arrived last week, and more are coming from a couple other vendors. This is an amazing opportunity for the Tea Time column and for ABR in general. It also means I’m going to run out of room on my tea shelf at home – but that’s OK with me! *lol*

I’m also finishing my next piece for Grub Street’s blog. It talks about how writers can use music to enhance their writing, from creating the right headspace or emotion for a particular scene, to developing characters and settings. I listen to music whenever I write for these and other reasons, so I thought this would be a neat topic. Do any of you immerse yourself in music when you write?

That’s it for now. I hope you’ll come back on Tuesday, September 30th for the next Freelance Article Round-Up! In the meantime, check back here in the coming days and weeks for a new installment of Chronicling The Craft (novel-writing progress series), Recent Reads (book reviews), Music Mondays, and the launch of the Author Interviews series!