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The most inspiring tea blog posts of 2017

The most inspiring tea blog posts of 2017

2017 is almost over and I’m looking back and taking stock. It’s been a great year for The Tea Squirrel and I am truly honored to be part of such a lively, inclusive and positive community of tea bloggers and tea professionals. We inspire, support and motivate each other and I’d like to thank each and every one personally. 

Here's a roundup of the tea blog posts of 2017 that I found most inspiring (in random order).

Tea for Me Please, How To Taste Tea Like a Pro
When my hubby finds some leftovers in the fridge and he’s not sure whether they are still edible, he always wants me to check. Why? Allegedly, I am “the super taster” in our family! (Lamest excuse ever!) While I might be naturally very receptive when it comes to smell and taste, anyone can train their nose and palate and expand their sensory memory. If you want to learn to evaluate any tea you are tasting, Nicole has the post for you! Nicole is a point of reference in the tea community, and there’s a reason for that. She can explain even the most daunting of tea topics in a simple-to-understand way. In this post she takes us through the steps she follows when reviewing a tea. Whether you are just starting out with tea or are a seasoned tea drinker, you’ll want to read it.

Thirsty for Tea, Growing Tea: An Experiment
I’ve always secretly dreamed of growing my own tea plants. The only (minor) problems are lack of outdoor space (aka a garden) and the fact that I’m a "plant killer" (mind you, involuntarily). Bonnie, who is known for her dreamy Disney-inspired tea posts, afternoon teas and creative DIYs, got some tea seeds from Hawaii and documented their first growth stages. How exciting!

The Cup of Life, 15 of The Best Tea Advice & Tips For Your Tea Journey
Want to take your love for tea to the next level? Lu Ann collected advice from the online tea community (yours truly included). There’s something for everyone! The best tea advice she received when she first started her tea journey is “don’t judge a tea by its packaging”. Hard to disagree, right?

Teaspoons and Petals, Twelve Year Roasted Oolong & Pretzel Shortbread
Alexis made me swoon with this tea and food pairing (insert heart eyes emoji here). It’s so sophisticated and turned out to be one of those magical pairings that leave their mark. Her beautifully written post will leave you feeling giddy with delight and wanderlust. I need to get my little tea squirrel paws on that aged oolong and pretzel shortbread!

The Tea Letter, The Solitude of Western Tea Culture
Mike is onto something. In this post he takes an honest look at the problems that Western tea drinkers might face and acknowledges the beauty of tea as a shared experience. Mike is based here in the San Francisco Bay Area and I’m glad I’ve found a local tea blogger pal with whom I can share tea and blogging, online and offline.

Steep Stories, A Series of Single Origin Tea Sonnets
You've never seen such epic tea tasting notes and neither had I. Geoffrey wrote his tasting notes for five single-origin teas in Shakespearean sonnet form. As a lover of poetry and Shakespeare, I was super impressed. They are incredibly entertaining, especially when read aloud by the author himself.

Oh How Civilized, Tea Pairing 101: White Tea
This is the first installment of a very exciting tea and food pairing series designed by Jee, Sara and Georgia (see below), tea bloggers and tea sommeliers in training based in NYC. I love their approach and I enjoy reading all three posts about their pairing adventures. Jee takes us through how they paired white teas and French cheeses. Her photos are a dream. 

Tea Happiness, Tea Pairing 101: Green Tea and Mochi
In the second installment of this tea and food pairing series (see above), Sara takes us through how Jee, Georgia and herself paired mochi confections and green teas. Their location was an art gallery, how special!

Notes on Tea, Tea Pairing 101: Oolong Tea and Fruit
I told you, I’m a big fan of Tea Pairing 101! In the third installment of this series (see above), Georgia, Jee and Sara got together in an elegant penthouse apartment in Manhattan to pair oolong teas and fruit. This series inspired me to take a more structured approach in my own tea and food pairings.

Hanamichi, Northwest Tea Festival 2017
This year I had the pleasure to attend the Northwest Tea Festival in Seattle and sit on a tea bloggers’ panel. It was awesome to meet in person friends I had only known online and connect with fellow tea bloggers and fellow tea lovers. Heather reported in detail about the festival, vendors, classes, workshops and tastings in a blog post that brought back happy memories.

Tea Thoughts, Matcha Swiss Roll With Almond Cream
You guys know how much I love cooking and baking and mixing cocktails with tea. Matcha is always a big favorite and this recipe by Nazanin is drool-worthy for sure. Did you know that Nazanin is also a talented artist? She makes tea-themed pins, greeting cards and accessories. 

Beginning with Bergamot, Chai Tea Pumpkin Macarons
Bay Area tea blogger Sara cracked the code for baking perfect tea-infused French macarons. Chai pumpkin sounds like a winning flavor combination. French macarons are notoriously finicky but when you get them right, it’s just one of the most rewarding experiences. Her photos are stunning. 

Mei Leaf, Tea and Cheese Pairing 
Okay, technically this is not a blog post. I’m so glad I discovered this Youtube channel. All their content is very engaging and they are doing tea and food pairings! I totally enjoyed the cheese pairing series. Don and his sister Li show that the only way to find out if a tea and a cheese taste good together is by tasting them together.

Last but not least, my own favorite posts of 2017: tea and murals! As a person with a strong passion for art, living in The City by The Bay has inspired me to seek art beyond traditional settings and has helped me understand that beauty can be part of my everyday life anytime, anywhere. Same with tea, my daily ritual, in pursuit of beauty.

Tea and murals. Anniversary Edition.

Tea and murals. The honey bears.

Tea and murals. Pairing tea and street art in San Francisco.

The Tea Squirrel interviews tea blogger Georgia of Notes on Tea

The Tea Squirrel interviews tea blogger Georgia of Notes on Tea

Black tea squirrel cookies with rose icing

Black tea squirrel cookies with rose icing