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Ya-Ya’s Tea-Board

News from the Teahouse, about tea and more

GABA tea – new research into possible health benefits, new teas on offer

 [ IMAGE: GABA oolong drunk from Jade cups ]

Recently, a number of new studies have investigated various aspects of GABA tea. Most of these have been published in the time since I published my initial post on GABA tea almost 3 years ago. As if that wasn’t reason enough to revisit this very special type of tea, I also have a more personal reason to share some more information about our Taiwanese GABA teas. As many of you will know, I’ve just returned from a tea-sourcing trip to Taiwan last month and finally managed to meet all the people involved in the production of our growing range of different GABA teas. I will introduce some of the main GABA personalities in Taiwan in a future blog post.

Tea wisdom by Baisao, The Old Tea Seller

 [ IMAGE: Tea in the Woods ]

One of the important characters in the world of Cha Dao (a spiritual approach to tea) was Baisao, the Old Tea Seller. In the mid-eighteenth century, leaving behind a life as a buddhist monk in his late fifties, Baisao set out for Kyoto to become a tea seller. He used tea as a medium to inspire and bring enlightenment to those who frequented his tiny stall.

He’s a great inspiration to Ya-Ya and I want to share an except from one of his poems that highlights some aspects of tea that are important to us.

It doesn’t take seven cups like Master Lu says
My guests get old Chao-chou’s one cup tea;
And whoever can grasp the taste in that cup
Whether stranger or friend, knows my true mind.
Sake fuels the vital spirits, works like courage,
Tea works benevolently, purifying the soul.
Courageous feats that put the world in debt
Couldn’t match the benefit benevolence brings.

Baisao, from ‘Tasting some new tea from Ekkei
(Translation by Norman Waddell)

I’ll be setting up my little tea stall at the Harbour Harvest Festival at Living Springs on 5 April. Come by and let me share a cup with you…

Discover Tie Guan Yin – a fascinating group of oolongs with many subtle differences

 [ IMAGE: Tieguanyin oolong tea ]

I’ve received a shipment of various organic Tie Guan Yin oolongs a couple of weeks ago, and thought this is the perfect opportunity to introduce this fascinating group of oolongs in a bit more detail here. So, if you always wanted to know more about this mysterious tea called Tie Guan Yin (also known as TGY, Ti Kwan Yin, Tieguanyin or Iron Goddess of Mercy), please read on.

First ever Ya-Ya sale: 15% off all Chinese Black Teas until 15 February

Year of the horse

To celebrate the start of the Year of the Horse, I’ve decided to have the first sale ever at Ya-Ya. We don’t usually put teas on sale due to the way we operate and price our teas and teaware. We keep the markup extremely small to make even the most outstanding teas affordable to everyone. And with such small margins, our normal prices can’t easily be discounted.

But I’m in a festive mood today and have decided to give all of you an incentive to try some of the phenomenal Chinese black teas that you might otherwise not consider. Ever wondered why everyone is raving about the incredible smoothness of a good Keemun Mao Feng? Or whether the elusive Jin Jun Mei is really justified to be so expensive? Why not use this offer to see (or taste) for yourself?
The offer of 15% discount on all Chinese Black Teas is valid during the Spring Festival holidays and ends on 15 February.

You can browse our selection of Chinese Black Teas here.

Light Meets Life 2013 pu-erh cakes

 [ IMAGE: Pu'er teas ]

I have just received a new shipment of the 3 Light Meets Life pu-erh cakes that I have offered some of my customers via email in December last year. The first shipment sold out in a matter of hours and I had to put some people on a waiting list for new stock. Now, this shipment has arrived and I want to open the offer to those who haven’t received my email last month.