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Do you love chocolate?  We do!  In fact, we LOVE good chocolate and we want to give you a chance to enjoy good chocolate too!  We have a delicious, and we mean DELICIOUS, chocolate & nut Christmas wreath made by the newly opened Ministry of Chocolate to give away (see picture below).

Chocolate & Nut Christmas Wreath

Chocolate & Nut Christmas Wreath

The 5th person to email us their name and address to [email protected] before 5pm on Thursday 20 December 2012 will win!  Open to Australian residents only, good luck!  [* By emailing us your details you automatically indemnify, release and discharge us from any and all damages, claims, actions, and any allergic reactions, etc whatsoever arising or suffered in entering/winning this giveaway)].

The Ministry of Chocolate

The Ministry of Chocolate

Be sure to support the Ministry of Chocolate, located at 1361 High St, Malvern, Victoria, Australia, 3144.



Cup cakes!

Cup cakes!

Books are a feast for your mind: We loooooove our books here at  As it’s the festive season we have these two delightful (and this time of year useful) books to give away.

Afternoon tea, yum!

Afternoon tea, yum!

The 5th person to email us their name and address to [email protected] will win!  Open to everyone in Australia and to our overseas tea lovers too!  Good luck!



Here we drink three cups of tea and do business: the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything – even die.”

– Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan.

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea

After a disastrous attempt to climb K2, a cold and dehydrated climber drifts into an impoverished Pakistan village.  Moved by the inhabitants’ kindness and generosity, he promises to return and build them a school.  This is the extraordinary story of Greg Mortenson who, over a decade, built not 1 but 55 schools in remote villages across Pakistan.

The Educated Investor Bookshop has kindly given us a copy of this amazing book as a giveaway to our tea lovers.  The 10th person to email us their details at [email protected] will receive this book!

Thanks again to the Educated Investor Bookshop (see their website for great books!


PU-ERH TEA TASTING (31 July 2012)

Hosted by Andrew Yee

Twitter: @chinateatasting

Venue: Storm in a Tea Cup

A: 48A Smith Street, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, 3066|

T: +61 3 9415 9593Twitter: @TeaShopandBar

Pu-erh tea tasting

On 31 July 2012, a cold winter’s night in Melbourne, I attended an intimate Pu-erh tea tasting session (using the Gong Fu brewing procedure) with 5 other punters hosted by Andrew Yee at Collingwood’s Storm in a Tea Cup tea shop.  Andrew took us through a brief history of Pu-erh, including the two types (Sheng and Shou), its origins and the process before tasting three different Pu-erh teas.

2011 Mang Fei (Sheng Pu-erh tea)



Firstly, we tasted a 2011 Mang Fei.  We sampled 5 infusions of this Sheng type of Pu-erh tea. With each infusion the tea became darker in colour (ocher), its aroma stronger, with a lovely returning honey taste.  (A gorgeous tea!).



Then we tasted a 1996 Aged Sheng: We sampled 3 infusions of this tea.  With each infusion, that renowned dusty and smoky Pu-erh taste grew stronger, its sherry colour became richer with wonderful clarity.  Upon tasting it, initially I tasted ‘black’ tea flavours but that familiar ‘green’ tea taste soon came through and lingered.  (A true Pu-erh experience!)

1996 Aged Sheng Pu-erh tea

2008 Meng Hai region Pu-erh tea

Lastly, we tasted a 2008 Meng Hai region.  We sampled 2 infusions and were informed this tea was a Shou type of Pu-erh tea: It is the ‘manufactured’ commericalised tea as tea manufacturers here accelerate the ageing process, often don’t use the best tea leaves and it is often a blend.  Alternately, Sheng tea has a fuller and mellower taste (the aging process is not accelerated here).  Having tasted two wonderful and authentic Pu-erh (Sheng) teas, this manufactured tea could not compare:  It was cloudy (not clear) tea with a pungent dusty and smoky scent.  As for the taste, its thick moldy taste coated my tongue and the roof of my mouth with no lasting or returning flavour (a short flavour experience in comparison to the lovely lingering tastes of the first two teas).  Once again, having started with the authentic Pu-erh teas, the difference in the overall quality of the two different types of Pu-erh teas was certainly and intentionally highlighted!

It was a charming evening and we thank Andrew for spreading the good word about Pu-erh tea:  We look forward to you hosting many more such evenings!

(* …As for the venue, Storm in a Tea Cup, your tea bar and tea shop rocks!).

Effie Gidakos.


July 2012  – Giveaway Alert!  Celebrate Bastille Day!

Yum yum! Chocolate Eiffel Tower (approx 15 cm tall).

Bonjour tea fans! Did you know it was Bastille Day in France just passed? Well, to celebrate it we are giving away a chocolate Eiffel Tower we bought for you from Cacao Fine Chocolate Patisserie (if you haven’t tried any of their delectable chocolates, you must!).

The seventh person to email us their name and address (wherever you are in the world) at [email protected] will receive this Eiffel Tower!  Why the ‘seventh‘ person?  Why not?!  (We like to keep you guessing).

Make sure you put ‘Viva La France’ as your subject.

Bonne chance (“good luck”)!