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The Chawan (茶碗) - How to Choose a Tea Bowl for You? - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

The Chawan (茶碗) - How to Choose a Tea Bowl for You?

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Written by Pedro Villalon
This is a short essay on why tea bowls matter and how to choose one that is right for you.  Thanks for reading!
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BUTTER FOR TEA?  DISCOVER TIBETAN DARK, BRICK TEA - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

BUTTER FOR TEA? DISCOVER TIBETAN DARK, BRICK TEA

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Written by Pedro Villalon
Tea is an integral part of Tibetan culture; young and old consume tea (usually with butter and pi...
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TEA SCHOOL | Musings on Matcha, Spring 2021 - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

TEA SCHOOL | Musings on Matcha, Spring 2021

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Written by Pedro Villalon
MIND-BOGGLING FACT: You need 100kg of fresh tea leaves to get 10kg of competition-grade matcha. W...
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TEA SCHOOL |  Gifu, An Under-Appreciated Origin - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

TEA SCHOOL | Gifu, An Under-Appreciated Origin

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Written by Pedro Villalon
Gifu's Shirakawa Guchi is a fairly unexplored yet fascinating Japanese tea terroir.
North of Nagoya, not far from the battlefield of Sekigahara...
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TEA SCHOOL | Musashi's (Mimasaka) Bancha - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

TEA SCHOOL | Musashi's (Mimasaka) Bancha

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Written by Pedro Villalon

TASTING EXPERIENCE
A juicy, full bodied dried fruit with a toasty finish, reminiscent of hojicha.

THE HANDCRAFTING PROCESS
Kobayashi San harvests tea leaves in the hot and humid days of summer; the tea bushes have a mishmash of larger leaves (half the size of your hand) that have been growing since early spring, and some younger ones that sprouted more recently. Kobayashi San harvest both leaves and small branches, all of which will impart a distinct flavour to the tea.
 
These leaves are boiled in cauldrons over a wood fire; the water used for boiling is carefully collected. Smelling these tea leaves as they boil is on the bucket list.

 

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History of Green Tea - Pan Fired Loose Leaf Tea and the Ming Dynasty - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

History of Green Tea - Pan Fired Loose Leaf Tea and the Ming Dynasty

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Written by Pedro Villalon
We define ‘green’ tea as tea that is unoxidized; the leaves preserve their natural green colour, just as if they were freshly picked.
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History of Hunan Dark Tea, Kernels - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

History of Hunan Dark Tea, Kernels

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Written by Pedro Villalon
Learn about the process that creates the complex, slightly smoky, and unarguably ‘fermented’ taste of this tea!
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TEA SCHOOL | Finish Firing Gyokuro on Charcoal - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

TEA SCHOOL | Finish Firing Gyokuro on Charcoal

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Written by Pedro Villalon
Finish firing (火入れ) is a most important process when crafting Japanese-style, steamed green tea. Not only is it important to reducing moisture content (thus preserving freshness for longer), but as our friend Jared from Jagasilk says, finish-firing 'develops the sugars and curb the tannins.' By the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, it was already a well-established custom.
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Yiwu, the Origin of the Tea Horse Road - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

Yiwu, the Origin of the Tea Horse Road

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Written by Pedro Villalon
Yiwu (易武), a historical town in Yunnan’s Mengla County, often called the ‘Origin of the Tea Horse Road’. 
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Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain 黃山), Special Tea Origin - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain 黃山), Special Tea Origin

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Written by Pedro Villalon
Some of the most important teas from one of the most important mountains in China.
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What is White Tea? - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

What is White Tea?

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Written by Pedro Villalon
WHAT IS WHITE TEA? Like so many concepts in a universe as broad as that of tea, many people disag...
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What is Matcha?  Brief History and Basic Facts. - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

What is Matcha? Brief History and Basic Facts.

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Written by Pedro Villalon
Learn about matcha! What is it? How did it start? How is it made? Is it hard to prepare? 

We have the answers for you!
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What is Green Tea?  How is green tea made? - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

What is Green Tea? How is green tea made?

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Written by Taryn

We are exploring all there is to know about Ujicha (green tea from Uji, Japan). We have tea from two growers of the region: Tsuji and Yosida. Learn some cool stuff about tea with us!

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What makes Yunnan special?  An introduction to the origin of tea. - O-FIVE RARE TEA BAR

What makes Yunnan special? An introduction to the origin of tea.

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Written by Pedro
Yunnan has a special in my heart.  This post will explore some of the culinary wonders in the province.  
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