How to Make Vietnamese Coffee


A Vietnamese Phin or filter brewing coffee.

A couple of years ago, my husband came home raving about Vietnamese coffee. He’d had a cup while out to lunch with coworkers. He spoke so highly of it that I surprised him with a Vietnamese coffee filter and some coffee.

But I noticed that every time I mentioned Vietnamese coffee to someone, they had never heard of it. Which, in a world of coffee pods, instant coffees and barista brews, probably shouldn’t have surprised me. Vietnamese coffee takes a little effort, but it pays off.

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Brewing Tea with a French Press


Brewing Tea with a French Press using the El Gato Malo French Press!

When you think of a French press, your first thought is probably to think of coffee, right? It would make perfect sense as French pressed coffee seems more popular than ever. Everyone is looking to get that perfect cup of coffee without venturing out to pay someone else to do it. But have you ever considered brewing tea with a French press?

One of the reasons to opt for loose leaf tea over bagged tea is the way the leaves are processed. If you were to open a typical tea bag, you’d likely find finely chopped tea leaves. Loose tea is different. It is usually sold as large pieces of tea leaves even whole tea leaves. This can depend on the brand or even the style of tea. Because loose tea leaves are larger, when brewed they will expand. Having this extra room allows the leaves to release more flavor. In Asia it isn’t uncommon to put the tea leaves right into a pot. But this method, usually, doesn’t include any kind of mesh so leaves can get into your cup. Tea ball infusers, which is my normal brewing method, don’t give the leaves much room to unfurl. That brings us to brewing tea with a French press.
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Post by . Originally published October 6, 2016. Last updated July 9, 2017.

How to Cure a Clay Teapot


clay tea pot

You know that you’re becoming a serious tea drinker (is there a special name for that? A tea head?) when your collection of tea accoutrements includes a clay teapot. I acquired one, along with some incredible organic oolong tea from Taiwan, from Eco-Cha. That’s when I found out that the teapot has to be cured.

A clay teapot is an unglazed teapot made of, obviously, clay. The pots are generally referred to as Yixing teapots, as traditionally clay teapots are made with clay from the Chinese city of Yixing. According to what I’ve read, many of the teapots that are today marketed as Yixing teapots are not, in fact, made with actual Yixing clay. If the Yixing label is important to you, you’ll have to do a bit of research to ensure that a teapot is “authentic.” One of the reasons the clay teapots are so popular is that they’re considered to be the best teapot for brewing tea.
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