Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NessAlla Kombucha

The first time I drank kombucha, my immediate reaction was to spit it back out as the fizzyness and sour taste took me by surprise. Now I've come to appreciate the carbonated, complex sweet and sour tastes of kombucha that can be made with endless varieties of tea. The numerous health benefits associated with it are also a big plus!

Some of the best kombucha I've tasted is made right here in Wisconsin by our friends at NessAlla Kombucha. The two wonderful ladies who created NessAlla are based in Madison and use only Organic and Fair Trade teas from Rishi Tea to brew their unbelievable kombuchas.

Stop by the East Side Green Market this Saturday from 10-2pm and taste some of their great brews.

You can also find the NessAlla ladies at the East Side Farmers Market in Madison every Tuesday from 4-7pm.

Some great NessAlla brews include Peach Blossom made with Rishi's Peach Blossom white tea, Jasmine made with Jasmine Green Tea, Mulberry Blueberry made with Blueberry Rooibos and Fresh Mulberries, Elder Flower Red Clover brewed with White Peony, Passion Fruit made with Passion Fruit Rooibos and White Peony.

Visit NessAlla's Facebook Page and drink up!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Strong & Sturdy like an Old Redwood Tree

Favorite teas come and go like the sun and moon rise and fall, but Feng Huang Dancong Ba Xian is my one tea that I can always come back to, strong and sturdy like an old redwood tree.
I still have a vivid memory of trying this tea for the first time. Sean and I had the privilege of cupping it as soon as it came in. I still remember that small little guywan so packed full of leaves. The small and dainty little lid trying so hard to contain the wonder of this tea, its unique strength and patience lasting through many complex and highly aromatic infusions. I felt like I was floating and glowing fire from the unbelievable chi this tea so willingly gives to all. I have gotten to know this tea over the past few months. Getting to know so many of its facets through my own personal manipulation. You and I can both love this tea and love something completely different about it. Recently, Sean and I revisited this tea again.

GLASS: half full of tealeaves, 180 degree water, rinse, 1st infusion 2 minutes, 2nd infusion 1 minute with the rest going up by 15 seconds.

The first infusion had the fruity and delicate floral aromas I remembered but I craved the bold astringency that I feel gives such great chi.

The second infusion started bringing out that astringency that balances out the delicate notes.

Then it happened, the third infusion gave me a combination of the first two with one of the nicest lingering aromas I have tasted in a while. It was as if fragrant blossoms danced on my tongue and filled my senses as I exhaled.

Mondays at work can be pretty stressful with the work of the weekend weighing down on you and the tasks of the week slowly piling up, but we do work at a tea company. My biggest perk is being able to stop and enjoy my water and leaves; taking the time to slow down and forget about the paperwork and voicemails and remember why we are here. My passion is tea and tea is good to me.

Susana Mojica
Student of the leaf and passionate aficionado.

The story of these oolongs begin with Zhao Bing, the last emperor of Southern Song Dynasties who fled to Chaozhou, Guangdong in 1278 A.D. As his group marched through the Feng Huang Mountains, they picked fresh leaves from old tea trees and discovered that by chewing the leaves, their thirst was miraculously quenched. The leaves had sweet, floral and savory notes with an uplifting energy that helped them through their journey. Varietals and seeds from original trees such as this one were spread through the region, selected and cultivated, resulting in what we like to refer as an extended family with many generations.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Garfield Street Days!

Photo from Express Milwaukee.
Read their article on Garfield Days 2008!

Rishi Tea is teaming up with Walnut Way Conservation Corp this Saturday, July 18th from 12-7pm at the Garfield Avenue Blues, Jazz, Gospel & Arts Festival (also known as Garfield Street Days) in Milwaukee!

Garfield Street Days takes place on Garfield Street between 3rd & 7th and features 4 musical stages of blues, jazz and gospel music along with great food, street performers and entertainment for the children.

Rishi Tea and friends will be selling 16 ounce cups of award-winning Summer Lemon and Tropical Crimson iced teas for $2. All proceeds will benefit Walnut Way in support of their educational initiatives that reform and engage youth and adult residents in civic and community leadership, environmental stewardship, housing construction and restoration as well as economic development.

To learn more abouve Walnut Way's resident driven programs, visit them at